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A secret castle garden, a killer Japanese cocktail recipe, & why the more friends you have, the lonelier you might be

Hi everyone, it’s me, Jonelle. Whether you’re venturing out or sticking close to home, I hope this month’s features deliver a little break from whatever’s on your to-do list, or (in the case of the original Last Tea Bowl Thief cocktail), at least make checking it off a bit more fun!

Links to the OCTOBER 2020 Japanagram features:


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…read more


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…read more


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…read more


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 Genjiclick here


🎑In November, we’re headed to a town with a beautifully restored samurai neighborhood and one of the most famous gardens in Japan, lit up at night, and I’ll teach you the secrets of everything from making delicious yakitori chicken meatballs at home, to how to put your thumb on the scale of fate, Japanese-style. If you’re not a subscriber yet, 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 November issue:


Chicken & Ginger Yakitori Meatballs

There’s nothing more crowd-pleasing than these delicious ginger-scented skewered meatballs, slathered in tangy yakitori sauce…(To get the recipe, click here to get Japanagram)


Gold-leafed ice cream, exploring a restored samurai town, and the world’s most killer Japanese garden lit up at night

The town of Kanazawa surprises and delights with everything from a beautifully restored samurai neighborhood we can explore—both inside and out—to one of the three most famous gardens in Japan lit up at night…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)


Is it your lucky day? In Japan, fortune favors the vigilant!

If someone told you they wanted to move a meeting you’d scheduled because the astrology forecast for that day is too unlucky, you’d probably be moving them right off the payroll, wouldn’t you? Unless you’re in Japan, where that’s a perfectly good reason to change a meeting, wait to buy a car, or…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)


The weird & wonderful  world of bonsai chrysanthemums

Yes, bonsai chrysanthemums are a Thing. And they happen in Japan every year in November. That’s when growers with wicked smart tricks for shaping this unassuming shrub with the meh flowers into things of wonder compete for the most over-the-top shapes and unbelievable profusion…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)


Idoru by William Gibson

As I admitted in that interview on My Haunted Library, my secret guilty reading pleasure is sci-fi. And nowhere does sci-fi intersect with Japan more spectacularly than in William Gibson’s Idoru. If you love Japan, but you’ve never read this book, I envy you! I’d love to be reading it again for the first time…(To enter to win your very own copy, click here to become a Japanagram subscriber)

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

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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