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A town full of tricksters, strange Japanese beauty goals, and humble fall flowers that become spectacular in numbers

Author Jonelle Patrick in cat mask

As we slide into fall, how are you doing? I hope you’re not in the path of any of the disasters that have been coming at us from all directions. You may be feeling that NOTHING could surprise you at this point, but maybe you’ll crack a smile as we visit a town full of tricksters, shake our heads at odd Japanese beauty goals, and enjoy how the small and humble can come together to become mighty.

Links to the SEPTEMBER 2020 Japanagram features:

Japanese beauty device for training your nose to be taller


Japanese beauty goals: Tall noses, small faces, and big feet

To Western ears, compliments in Japan often sound like anything but. Standards of beauty differ all over the world, but none are as quirky as Japan’s odd love of…read more

Tanuki art figures in Shigaraki


Tanuki Town: Let’s go to Shigaraki and meet all manner of tricksters

This month we’re going to an ancient hamlet that’s deep in the mountains near Kyoto, where Japan’s most legendary trickster is born. Come with me as we wander through the town, and let’s see if we can spot all the ways local artists are teaching the old prankster new tricks…read more

Tunnel of bush clover hagi at Mukojima Hyakka-en inTokyo


When the small and humble come together to become magnificent and mighty

When I started thinking about what’s so special about September in Japan, the first things that came to mind were three obscure flowers that are nobody’s favorite. By themselves, they’re utterly small and forgettable. You might even be a little insulted to receive a bouquet of them on your birthday…read more

Japanese rice bowl with miso poached salmon, peppery marinated mushrooms and snow peas with soy-lemon dressing


Japanese Summer Rice Bowl

This dish of harmonious flavor bombs can be made in less time than it takes to cook the rice! No-mess, no-smell, poached salmon with spicy miso topping teams up with chilled snow peas in soy-lemon dressing and peppery marinated mushrooms to make the perfect late summer meal…read more

It Was You Only In Tokyo Short with other Only In Tokyo mysteries

All subscribers get a free downloadable copy of It Was You, so if you’re not signed up yet, click on the cover photo or scroll down to the Get Japanagram button to get yours!


🍁In October, I’m taking you to a place that isn’t on your must-go list (but it should be), we’ll be exploring those lessons nobody goes to Japan to learn (but somehow end up unlocking all sorts of mysteries), and cooking up original cocktails to celebrate the publication day of The Last Tea Bowl Thief. If you’re not a subscriber, you can’t read these features until the end of the month, but it’s easy to join and get full access now for FREE! Click on the link at the end of each description or scroll down to the Get Japanagram button.

Here’s what’s in the October issue:

Apple-ginger sour cocktail mocktail


The Ninth Attachment Cocktail/Mocktail

These apple-ginger sours—with a name that will make you laugh when you read The Last Tea Bowl Thief—have a secret ingredient which turns it into one of the tastiest Japanese-flavored bevvies you’ll ever sip, with or without the alcohol…(To get the recipe, click here to get Japanagram)

Takashima castle garden in Suwa City


Holy log-riding, a secret castle garden, and a fire-breathing stone dragon

This month we’re heading to Suwa City, a place that has probably never been on your Japan trip list, but it should be! It’s home to a festival where people ride killer logs down a mountainside, a castle that hides a gorgeous garden inside its walls, and the best sake you’ll ever taste…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Headless plastic character figure with trash at Tokyo curb


Tiny pants, the garbage police, and the more friends you have, the lonelier you might be

There are some things that nobody who moves to Japan wants to learn. But sometimes it’s these unwelcome lessons that unlock all kinds of other mysteries…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby


The Tale of Murasaki

Written by Liza Dalby, who lived and researched for a year in a Kyoto geisha house before writing her acclaimed books Geisha and KimonoThe Tale of Murasaki vividly imagines 11th-century court life through the eyes of of Murasaki Shikubu, the Imperial lady-in-waiting who wrote the epic novel, The Tale of Genji(To enter to win your very own copy, click here to become a Japanagram subscriber)

Signed bookplate in The Last Tea Bowl Thief by Jonelle Patrick


Your very own signed bookplate

If you pre-order a copy of The Last Tea Bowl Thief, I’ll send you an archival signed bookplate, and if you order one for a friend, I’ll send them one too, signed from either you or me!…Here’s how to get it

If you need a little break from the news, it’s not too late to get the October

delivered straight to your in-box!

Click the button and sign up to get yours・° ♪・☆ 

(And just so you know, I hate spam too, so I’ll never share or sell your info.)

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

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!

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