Mar 16, 2012

#15 - Ganban-yoku Bedrock Bathing

Ganban-yoku, or bedrock bathing, is a type of heat bath that was originally imported to Japan from Thailand. It is also called "bathing without hot water"!

Ganban-yoku stones are usually made of granite or silica, and embedded in the floor of a special room and heated to a temperature of around 40℃. The room is air conditioned to keep the overall temperature slightly lower than that of the stone beds.

The heated stone slabs emit far-infrared rays and negative ions. The rays penetrate the human body, increasing our basal metabolism, improving blood circulation, and detoxifying the body by helping eliminating wastes. We can get much more perspiration than sauna!

Do we have to be naked when we use ganban-yoku?
No! We wear special clothes like pajamas, spread towels on the stone, and lie down on it. It's very comfortable and soothing!

Mar 15, 2012

#13 - Yaki Onigiri

Yaki Onigiri are grilled rice balls. They are grilled on a wire grill until crispy, then brushed with soy sauce or miso. Yaki Onigiri are the best served hot! Usual onigiri have fillings such as a little umeboshi or flaked salmon, while yaki onigiri usuallly don't have any fillings.

Yummy x 2!!

#12 - White Day

White Day is a day marked in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China on March 14th, one month after Valentine's Day.

In Japan, Valentine's Day is a day that ladies present chocolate gifts to men, as an expression of love, courtesy, OR "obligation". On White Day, men who received chocolate on Valentine's Day are expected to return gifts to the ladies. Typically, popular White Day gifts are sweets such as cookies and chocolate or something expensive such as jewelry! We believe the return gift should be two to three times expensive than the Valentines's gift.

Thank you, Mr. K!

Feb 18, 2012

#11 - Doll's Festival for Girls

Doll's Festival for girls is held on the 3rd of March. We, Japanese, display a set of hina dolls and pray for the sound growth of girls in the family. We also offer sweet mild sake and diamond-shaped rice cake on the doll's stand↓

Hina dolls should be put away immediately after the 3rd of March, otherwise the girl, we believe, will have trouble getting married! Amazing custom, isn't it??

Jan 21, 2012

#10 - Water with Ice Cubes

In Japan, when we go to cafes, they serve a glass of water with ice cubes even during the winter time!

Interesting, isn't it???

Jun 27, 2011

#9 - Tsukemono

Tsukemono (漬物, literally "pickled things") are Japanese pickles. They are served with rice as an accompaniment to or garnish for meals.
Mustard Tsukemono (Eggplant)
The most common kinds of tsukemono are pickled in salt or brine. The Japanese "pickles" are in fact "preserved vegetables" and not "pickles". Soy sauce, miso, vinegar, rice bran (nuka), and sake lees (sake kasu) are also useful for pickling.
Cucumber Tsukemono
Takuan (daikon radish), umeboshi (ume plum), turnip, cucumber, and Chinese cabbage are among the favorites to be eaten with rice as an accompaniment to a meal.
Takuan (Radish Tsukemono)
Traditionally, the Japanese prepared tsukemono themselves. Pickling was one of the fundamental ways to preserve food. Nowadays, tsukemono can be readily bought in a supermarket, but despite this many Japanese still make their own. 

Kyoto has its own vegetables, called Kyo-vegetables, and the tsukemono is also famous not only for local people but also for tourists. For example..........
Mibuna Tsukemono

Eggplant Bubuzuke Tsukemono
I love Tsukemono!

Jun 8, 2011

#8 - Manhole Cover

Manhole covers in Japan are very fashionable and unique, reflecting each locality.

For example....................
Coastal towns like Otaru City and Monbetsu City have cute sea otter covers.

Yokohama City has a famous soccer team. That's way it has the team mascot on the covers.

Hiroshima City has a famous baseball team. Now you've already known what I'll show you!! The team mascot is on the covers!

Mr. Shigeru Mizuki, a famous cartoonist, is from Sakaiminato City and his popular cartoon characters are on the covers on the street!

The Osaka Castle is also on the covers in Osaka City!

Interesting, isn't it?
When you come to Japan, plz look down and find unique manhole covers :)