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Tokyo Midtown Yaesu: The City's Trendy New Dining/Shopping Spot
Whereas the Tokyo Midtown complex in Roppongi was poised as a high-end competitor to Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown Hibiya offers a slightly more accessible space plus a terrace with a great view of the Imperial Palace Garden, Tokyo Midtown Yaesu stands out in providing and promoting public space where people can simply hang out, marking a welcome rarity in Japan’s hyper-regulated capital...
Shodoshima: Japan’s Mediterranean-esque Island and Birthplace of Olive Cultivation
When thinking of Japanese food, a lot of items come to mind from sushi and tempura to ramen and okonomiyaki, but olives are unlikely to feature at all. Yet, for those in the know, the island of Shodoshima has become near synonymous with this versatile fruit....
The ‘Two Faces’ of Gold Bar’s cocktails make for surprising sips
Shine a black light on Gold Bar’s latest cocktail menu, Two Faces, for more than meets the eye: famed temple Sensoji is suddenly surrounded by Shinjuku neon, a kabuki actor wielding a makizushi (rolled sushi) is joined by a burrito-brandishing Mexican skeleton, and a lonely, dead tree mysteriously bursts into full bloom.
The menu highlights the duality in life: light and dark, strength and weakness, traditional and modern. On one page, a beautiful woman in an ornate kimono coyly holds a fan, ...
Japan tastes success at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony
t the 10th anniversary of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, perhaps the biggest reason to celebrate was that fact it was happening with international guests in attendance.
Held at Singapore’s glitzy yet theme park-esque Resorts World Sentosa on March 28, the welcome reception was buzzing with reunions between Asia’s top chefs delighted to see their peers after the pandemic drove previous events online. Despite Japan’s relative isolation over the past three years, the country proved as much as ever that it’s a star player in the Asian gastronomic scene.
Every day, Yuki Motokura records the temperature and the humidity, and checks in on his pizza dough. He adjusts the flour, water and salt in minute increments, and logs the results with precision...
Cafe Tsumugi’s Spectacular 18-dish Breakfast
Those arriving at Tsukiji Station on an early morning food hunt are most likely in pursuit of some breakfast sushi. Although Japan’s world-famous Tsukiji fish market relocated to Toyosu in October 2018, the ramshackle outer market remained, with its eclectic mix of household goods, tea and dried goods, and seafood donburi shops.
Those in the know, however, might head for a different and very unusual breakfast experience in the area – one that has its origins in traditional vegan Buddhist cuisine...
Nanohana: Cuisine from Sado Island
Nanohana could almost be mistaken for someone’s house if it weren’t for a small lectern, propping open an enthusiastically-scrawled menu....
Tempura Dining Itoi: Tempura for the Times
It might easily be mistaken for a hipster café. From the street in buzzing Shinjuku City ward, a large window illuminates an open kitchen where Yuichi Itoi, sporting a baseball cap, white T-shirt and piercings, is prepping ingredients. As we step inside, we’re greeted by the sound of low-key hip-hop and the chatter of two young couples sat at the counter, sipping drinks. Two men are at a table butted up against a bare brick wall, an open laptop amidst their plates.
Back to School—a Few Decades Later
Feature article for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Magazine Spring/Summer 2021.
How Tokyo Metropolitan University’s unique program is giving older citizens new ways to
connect with ideas and people.
How COVID-19 is forcing us to re-examine food waste
It’s a chilly December evening in Tokyo and chef Noriyuki Suzuki, of restaurant Sakanoura Rojitei Yasaito, is presenting curious onlookers with an array of unexpected ingredients, whipping up a nine-course tasting menu out of leftovers such potato peelings and forlorn-looking pineapple skins....
Subterranean sake: Cave aging Japan’s national drink
Deep inside a complex of caves carved into a Tochigi Prefecture mountainside lie rows and rows of bottles of sake.
Here, no sunlight penetrates and, with an average temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, the underground shelter is said to provide the perfect conditions to age and bring out bold, new flavors in Japan’s national drink.
This Japanese Company Wants You To Grow Your Own Protein
Growing your own meat might seem like something straight out of science fiction but that’s precisely why Yuki Hanyu from IntegriCulture decided to try it.
“It didn’t even have to be cell-cultured meat,” admits Yuki Hanyu. “In 2013, I was thinking about actually doing science fiction and I thought about different options like a Mars colony or interstellar starships and stuff like that. Then I thought it was probably the right time for cell-cultured meat..."
A Guide to Awamori, Okinawa’s Ancient Alcohol: How it’s made and how to drink it
My interest in awamori began from a place of skepticism. We’ve all read the spiel about some local liquor somewhere, which often falls into the “nice to try on holiday, wouldn’t care for again” category. This is how I started out before I tripped and fell down the rabbit hole into the world of Japan’s oldest distilled liquor.
Awamori has flavor profiles as deep as its 600 years of history. Official tasting note suggestions for this fascinating Okinawan liquor, range from “fruity,” “nutty,” an...
Ayu Fish: A Guide to the Small but Luxurious Ayu Sweetfish that Smells like Watermelon
If you take a trip to Gifu City, it won’t take long before you spot a fish motif scattered around, depicting ayu sweetfish (or just plain “ayu” or “sweetfish”).
Secret Shizuoka: 4 Things To Do in Japan’s Tea Capital
Shizuoka is one of Japan’s largest prefectures, often synonymous with Mount Fuji due to the many breathtaking views it offers of the famed mountain. It’s also known as the country’s tea capital, accounting for 40% of production. Its countryside is famed for its gentle green slopes, where many farms grow and harvest their tea.