Celebrating Sakura at Sake no Hana

The cherry blossom or sakura is much revered in Japan. Each spring, as the pretty pink flowers engulf cherry trees throughout the Japanese islands, the evening news includes a blossom report, tagging the towns and cities where the blossoms have appeared, until the entire map of Japan, from Okinawa in the south to Hokkaido in the far…

Yoisho and the Dream Sashimi Sea

I have a dear, small, Scandinavian friend who, like me, loves food. This friend has survived a life-altering, direction-changing year, culminating in a decision to leave London in favour of her Tokyo-based love, going via Denmark to enjoy some quality family time. Needless to say, she couldn’t possibly leave the country without first dining with…

Monkeys at work

You may recently have read my post about the Blue Monkey that Planetross sent me from Japan. Well, here’s a link that all monkey lovers out there should truly appreciate. This is a Japanese restaurant with a different sort of staff, and it’s already on the Epicurienne list of Must Eat There One Day. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7654267.stm

Blue Monkey Oracle Visits London

Planetross has a Blue Monkey Oracle who gives him Life Advice. Blue Monkey got tired of doing that in Japanese and decided to travel to London to stay with me and learn Engris. He got here yesterday. PR had warned me that the packing was plentiful and it was; Blue Monkey arrived intact, although a…

Yoshi Sushi Bento

I love having Bento for lunch. It’s a great way to eat Japanese – a partitioned lunchbox contains a balanced offering of salad, tempura and/or some sort of meat or fish, rice and some palate-cleansing fruit to finish. I used to work near a place where you could have a Bento lunch box for £5.00. Apparently…

Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson

This is one of the most unusual travel books I’ve ever come across, written by a Canadian teacher of English as a second language, who decides to follow the appearance of the cherry blossom by hitchhiking from one end of Japan to the other. I haven’t yet finished, but can’t resist sharing a couple of…