Tag Archives: Japan

Differences in Taste

9 May

Kelly Dobkin, a writer on Zagat, recently posted an interesting article “Hooked on Acid – Has the American Palate Changed Forever?”  While I found interesting her article on the American taste changing from the creamy French to spicier/more acidic flavors in their food, what caught my eye was the fact that she suggests these spicier flavors are predominantly Asian in nature.  

As most of my readers know, I have traveled and eaten in several Asian countries ~ China, Korea, and Japan to be exact.  The lack of cooking utensils (and a determination to thoroughly enjoy ourselves) led me and my fellow students to local restaurants most nights.  Asia is awesome for many reasons, but the cheap food at restaurants is a real draw.

One of the things that I kept running into were warnings about the spiciness of their food.  Having been raised on Mexican and South American food, I have always had a preference for the spicier side of cuisine; and I generally order hotter dishes when I eat out.  Asia was no different, and I frequently was drawn towards dishes with the cute little jalapeno pepper symbol next to it.  Repeatedly, the waiters/waitresses would stop and ask if I was quite sure I wanted something that hot.  Over and over, they would warn “very hot. I think that in America you must not eat food this hot.”  And just as often, I would reassure them that if they didn’t hand over the beef dish immediately, they were losing a hand to my fork.   Continue reading

Delicious Desserts!

14 Feb

Drinking Red Wine animated emoticonDelicious desserts at a small restaurant in Japan.  It was actually attached to a little shop beside our home station; and we ran in for some lunch before a movie.  The signs all pointed to it being a omelette shop (Japan has many restaurants that serve lunch and dinner omelette), and we thought it’d be another mom & pop place. Instead it was incredibly fancy and the dinner was arranged prettily and with elegance 🙂 Luxury in Excess!

Art I Love – Hidden Realm

5 Feb

“Hidden Realm” by MissStark

Video

New Island in Japan!

22 Nov

“Traveler’s Lodestone” out in Hard Copy!

15 Nov

Celebrations abound! At last, “Traveler’s Lodestone” is officially out in hard copy — a great universal translator ready for use!

After a great deal of time and effort, we have put together this great resource for anyone working with foreign languages. Whether that be while traveling abroad or when dealing with non-native speakers in your own backyard.  “Traveler’s Lodestone”  is a point-to-speak book. It uses picture-based communications to cover the basic things a person would need when conversing in any foreign language. The idea is that when the words aren’t at the tip of your tongue, the pictures are at the tip of your finger. Everything from groceries to clothes to hotel amenities to weather, directions, and more is available instantly with this easy to use book. It’s quick and universal!

Right now it’s out on CreateSpace, but coming soon to Amazon and other booksellers near you. At 5×8 and 100 pages, it’s small enough to stick in your purse or bag and carry around, easy to pull out and use. Check out this great universal translator! Now tested in Korea, Japan, and China–it worked perfectly! (the Bathroom/Toilet pic is apparently very popular 😛 )  Trust me; I’ve tried the dictionaries, translation books, etc. and this is the best tool I’ve found so far.

Great for students abroad!

Pick up Your Paperback Copy By Clicking Here

If you are interested in the E-book Version, that’s available here.  The e-book is actually broken up into 3 short Volumes for easier use.

We’re also working on a Android/Apple app. As soon as I figure out how to attach buttons to links, we’ll be adding that.

 

Sayonara Japan!

12 Jun

Two days ago, I officially made my sad goodbyes to the wonderful people I met in Kyoto.  I had the opportunity to meet some amazing folks, both in the program (like my absolutely fabulous roommate) and on the streets of the city itself (like our totally sweet and awesome hair cutter/stylist at the Noel Salon on Shijo-dori near the corner of Shijo and Senbon–you should definitely check her out).  I got some amazing pictures and great adventures were had by all 🙂  Everything from washing our hair in Shampoo and then Body Wash because it looked like Conditioner (stupid look alike bottles) to finding a restaurant that offered Beef Tongue and Grilled Horse meat (true story–it also served beef gristle; you know the stuff you cannot eat off your steak?!?).   We got lost so many times, but every time met someone or ran into some awesome landmark that made up for it.  We found new favorite restaurants (Anri in Porta at Kyoto Station is DELICIOUS!), favorite hang-outs (loved wandering around the riverside at Arashiyama), and new best friends.  

To Japan: I Salute You For A Wonderful Time!

Chishaku-In and Sanjusangendo

7 Jun Chishaku-In

Chishaku-In and Sanjusangendo:

Kyoto’s Most Famous Garden and Temple

It’s funny, but when they told me I would be visiting Kyoto’s most famous gardens; somehow my brain was picturing a type of botanical garden such as you would see in the U.S.  You know, open rows upon rows of flowers, all arranged carefully around small stone water fountains.  Suffice to say, I had it more or less completely wrong (kind of like when they said I was going to a monkey zoo and instead took me hiking to the top of a mountain to see them in their natural habitat mid-forest).

The Chishaku-In garden is actually rather small and compact, but what there is of it is stunning.  Carefully interwoven around some lovely temple buildings and tucked up against one of the many mountains in the area, the gardens consist of small Continue reading

Waffle Fish: Essentially Japanese

29 May

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Haha, had a little fun today!  My roommate and I went wandering and we finally got the chance to try these fish-shaped waffle treats.  We’ve been dying to try them for a while, but they usually are filled with this bean paste that doesn’t sound too appetizing.  However, today the little shop across from the hotel offered the ones filled with chocolate so we took a chance and grabbed one on the spot.  It cost 100 yen (approx. $1), and was pretty good.  I thought it was a little bland (literally a pancake filled with cheap chocolate), but I think it has a lot of potential.  I want to try making one with sweeter pancake batter and perhaps a more flavorful chocolate.  Still, I had fish-shaped waffles! How awesome is that?!?

Walking the Streets of Kyoto

26 May

Went for a walk outside yesterday (Sunday here) and I ended up travelling quite a ways up and down the streets. Walked down Sanjo street (where I live) to Karasuma Street and then back up Shijo Street. Saw a couple places I want to check out tomorrow! But I also saw some really cool random things that I thought I’d share. So here is a glimpse of the streets of Kyoto!

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10 Things I Will Miss About Japan (and 1 Thing I Won’t)

25 May

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6. Vending Machines

Vending Machine

Cigarette Vending Machine

Holy cow, there is just no way to describe all of the things you can get in vending machines here in Japan. Continue reading

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