No, that’s not a peanut butter sandwich that was abandoned in the fridge last winter behind the eggplant pickles and the half dozen half-empty packets of various kinds of miso. The black stuff is kurogoma butter, made from toasted black sesame seeds.
Of course you can get peanut butter in Japan, but the shelves are filled with so many more exotic options: kinako butter (made with roasted soybean powder), melon butter, choco butter and three kinds of sugar toast butter: plain, maple and cinnamon.
Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!