NB: Some of my earliest blogs no longer have their accompanying images but enjoy the copy!
Sorry for the slightly late post – I was away over the weekend and have spent the last week finishing my epic eBay clearout (which ended up becoming my second job after I got home from my actual job)! Anyway, here’s the traditional format that this blog has become known for. I’m going to start branching out into different areas though, mainly because it’s less taxing for me to write and it’s also more interesting for your readers. Speaking of, make sure you subscribe, as I really am back for good now!
News story of the week: Arranged marriages make a comeback in Japan
Source: News on Japan
Tsumago was an important post town on the route between Kyoto and Edo (otherwise known as Tokyo). Today, it is a very well preserved historical town thanks to the work of its residents. The Honjin, the principle inn serving travelling officials, and Wakihonjin, which accommodated travellers of lower status are still maintained, recreating the historical post town atmosphere.
Many ryokan, traditional Japanese inns, are located in the town as well as the Tsumago Castle ruins. Depending on how much time you have to spare, the old walking trail to Magome is worth exploring. The town is not particularly easy to access; the best option is to either take one of the infrequent buses or a taxi from Nagiso Station, which is accessible from Nagoya and Nagano Stations. Still, for the authentic historical Japanese holiday, Tsumago really should be on your list.
Japanese saying of the week: I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu
Literally, ‘a frog in a well does not know the great sea’. This is a very simple proverb – a person who is trapped in their own way of life does not know of any other and is therefore scared of it. People only know their own surroundings and therefore don’t have any real knowledge of anything else.
Bento of the week: Fighting Fish
Apparently these two fighting fish actually represent a showdown between bloggers J.D Roth and Trent Hamm. (I’m not making that up!) I have no idea what the ingredients consist of in this one but I suspect those fish are actually sweets . . .
Series of the week: Trigun
I recently polled the blog’s Facebook page, asking what anime people wanted reviewing next. With a land slide victory, here’s Trigun, a staple Space Western anime for many fans.
The story follows Vash the Stampede, also known as the Human Typhoon, a wandering gunman with a bounty on his head. He travels from town to town, inevitably causing destruction, followed by two women employed by the Bernadelli Insurance Society. Despite the sixty billion ‘double dollars’ bounty of his head, Vash is a kind-hearted man who tries to save lives. He cannot clearly remember the incident that earned him the bounty, the destruction of the city of July. Occasionally joined by the priest Nicholas Wolfwood, another gunman with a mysterious past.
At first, Trigun looks like a slapstick show that relies more on comic relief than plot. However, it soon shifts towards the darker and dramatic side and is well-known for having one of the strongest and more emotional endings of any anime. It also has the cutest mascot kitty! If you like your action, gun fights and plot, Trigun should be on your immediate ‘to watch’ list.
Weird thing of the week: Konbini
You can tell I haven’t blogged for a while. This feature was the request of the website banner art winner, Wai San. Konbeni, also known as 7/11, are convenience stores that can be found all over Japan. They’re much more impressive than your British ones (obviously) – some of the stranger items include shirts for extremely busy salary men, bento boxes and ticket reservations for shows, theme parks and so on. No two konbini are the same as the range of products is always slightly different, due to the major operators competing for new innovative products. For the busy travelling tourist, the kobeni breakfast is an essential item that you’ll be eating a lot. You’ll always find something weird and wonderful in a konbini, whether it’s a Dragon Ball crisps or sparkling soy water.
Recipe of the week: Chicken teriyaki
Chicken teriyaki is a staple lunchtime dish in Japan and for a very good reason – it’s delicious! This week’s recipe has been taken from norecipes.
- 4-6 skin-on boneless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons mild flavored honey (or maltose)
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons sake
Until next week!