When your parents agonized over the perfect name for you, I hope they avoided all the usual pitfalls—initials that accidentally spell swear words, traumatizing nicknames, monikers that belong to disgraced … Continue Reading How lucky is YOUR name?
You can’t buy this book…but you can get it for FREE! This new not-for-sale novella features the characters from the Only In Tokyo mystery series in an all-new story! My … Continue Reading An All-New Yumi & Kenji Short!
If you’ve been puzzling over why Japan is such a “mask-wearing society,” it’s not because they’re all super-OCD about germs. Here are six excellent Japanese reasons to wear a mask … Continue Reading Six Surprising Reasons Japanese People Wear Masks, Even When There’s No Pandemic
We’re coming into high matsuri season, when the local Shinto gods are paraded through the neighborhood to remind them of all the people and businesses they’re supposed to be keeping … Continue Reading An Only-In-Japan Problem If There Ever Was One
Tokyo lifted its state of emergency early, after new daily cases dropped into the low double digits for several days running. Despite the fact that there was no lockdown, and … Continue Reading 43 Reasons Japan Beat COVID-19 Without Lockdowns Or Mass Testing
I love chocolate. And I love mushrooms. But not together. Which is why, even if these displays hadn’t reared their blatantly commercial heads on the freakin’ day after Halloween, it … Continue Reading Stars Wars X Christmas Mash-up NOOOOOO
From the land that junk food shame forgot, this. A yakisoba sandwich is basically the Japanese equivalent of cold pizza for breakfast, on a bun. This is what frugal Japanese … Continue Reading One Fried Noodle Sandwich, Please
There I was, drinking in the serene green at the Kiyosumi Garden… …when I nearly stepped on this. It’s (weirdly) classified as “invasive” (because China) and “threatened.” Which shouldn’t surprised … Continue Reading I Saw Another New Wild Animal In Tokyo!
The must be the tool you’d need when pulling into the glamping spot in your pristine 4-wheel drive, to, I dunno…shovel a few more steaks onto the barbie? Return your … Continue Reading The Tool For All Your Chrome-plated Outdoor Needs
I was in Kamakura today, happily waiting for the arrival of my sesame soba and a mountain of crispy burdock root… …when they delivered my beer along with the usual unwanted … Continue Reading Nemesis, Thy Name Is Squid Guts
Okay, I know you think I’m a whiner because I went off on this guy wearing an orange jacket, sitting right in the middle of a shot I wanted to … Continue Reading The Scourge Of The Orange Jacket
This yogurt-banana mash-up surfs in on the enduring popularity of the local favorite soft drink, Calpis, which inexplicably established sweetened sour milk as a delightful flavor in Japan. Peach Coke … Continue Reading Soft Drink Flavors I Do Not Want To Try
On Tuesday I arrived at a fabulous onsen in Tateshima, expecting to simmer in their hot spring, gaze at splendid autumn leaves in luxurious quietude, and stuff myself with regional … Continue Reading Remote Control Hell At The Traditional Inn
Somehow, charcoal-flavored cocoa is a vice I’ve managed to avoid acquiring until now, and I feel it’s in my best interests to keep it that way…. • When not avoiding … Continue Reading November Can’t Come Too Soon
Nobody’s going to deny that rock gardens are one of the great art forms of Japan. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy an exquisitely designed miniature landscape of meticulously raked gravel… … Continue Reading Failed Rock Gardens Of Japan
You know how it goes when a VIP comes to town: streets unexpectedly blocked, swarms of shifty-eyed men in dark suits with little curly wires in their ears, cavalcades of … Continue Reading Japanese Invent A New Way For VIP Visits To Annoy The Populace