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A killer Japanese garden lit up at night, delicious chicken & ginger yakitori meatballs, and how to get lucky, J-style

Author Jonelle Patrick with sake cup
Thanks for being by my side as The Last Tea Bowl Thief went out into the wide world to seek its fortune. Your friendship and support mean more to me than you can know. Please help me celebrate at last by pulling up a comfy chair, picking your favorite sake cup, and letting me pour you a toast to the delights that November had to offer…

Links to the NOVEMBER 2020 Japanagram features:

Chicken and ginger yakitori meatballs


Chicken & Ginger Yakitori Meatballs

There’s nothing more crowd-pleasing than these delicious ginger-scented skewered meatballs, slathered in tangy yakitori sauce…read more

Kenrokuen garden in Kanazawa lit up at night


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…read more

Fortune dispensing vending machine with animated shrine maiden


Is it your lucky day? In Japan, here’s how they tip the hand of fate!

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…read more

Bonsai chrysanthemums at Jindau Botanical Garden in Chofu


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…read more

Cover of Idoru by William Gibson


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…read more


Writing how-tos, killer reviews, podcasts & more!

I don’t usually offer writing advice outside of workshops, but here are links to a few guest blog posts, podcasts and other bits and pieces that came out elsewhere last month, along with The Last Tea Bowl Thief. Level up your own writing with “Beyond the Five Senses: Six Powerful Tricks to Enhance a Sense of Place,” get moving again with “Are you stuck?” and soak up other tips & tricks to make your own writing dreams comes true!…read more

Coming in DECEMBER…

🎄In December, we’re checking our just how weird Christmas in Japan really is, delving into the Japanese art of gift giving, whizzing through millions of sparkling holiday lights on a roller coaster and more! 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 while you’re still in the holiday mood! Click on the link at the end of each description or scroll down to the Get Japanagram button.

Here’s what’s in the December issue:

Man dressed in sexy Santa miniskirt at Shibuya station


There’s nothing weirder than Xmas in Japan

Like most things in Japan, they get Christmas exactly, excruciatingly right, and at the same time so very, very wrong. Poinsettias are all the rage, lavishly-trimmed trees abound, and Santa and his helpers are on every corner, except sometimes they’re a little…off…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Jewellumimation lights at Yomiuriland


Millions of twinkling fairy lights, dancing fountain extravaganzas, and glowing cotton candy, all served up on a roller coaster

Yomiuriland outdoes itself this year with all-new glittering lights and fresh spectacles of live dancers performing with choreographed water fountains…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Wine bottle wrapped in furoshiki


The Japanese art of gift giving

If there were medals for gifting, the Japanese would own the gold and the Guinness record for owning the gold…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)


Marinated Pork Medallions with Melted Leeks

If there were medals for gifting, the Japanese would own the gold and the Guinness record for owning the gold…(To get the recipe and make it tonight, click here to get Japanagram)

Bookshelf at bookstore in Boise, ID


There’s a book on this list for everyone on YOUR list

The gift of escapism is at the top of everyone’s list this year, and books are the perfect getaway when we can’t get on a plane ourselves. Here are books that your giftees probably haven’t read yet, in every category…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

Cover of December 6 by Martin Cruz Smith


December 6

Martin Cruz Smith’s novel is set in the hours right before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, capturing the moment from inside the world of the attacker. Seen through the eyes of one of the few foreigners in Japan, we watch from within as this tiny, insignificant country thrusts itself onto the world stage…(To read more, click here to get Japanagram)

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

delivered straight to your in-box!

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


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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