Tag Archives: traditional Japanese

February 09

Shirakawago In The Snow

For years, I’ve wanted to see the old-fashioned farmhouse hamlet of Shirakawa-go all lit up at night in the snow, and this week I got half my wish. It turns out that ever since it was named a Unesco World Heritage Site, viewing the farmhouses lit up at night has become such a crazy tourist madhouse […]

November 07

Remote Control Hell At The Traditional Inn

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 specialties, but when I got to my room I found…this.   I mean, what the heckin’ heck? Five remotes to control a tatami-floored room at […]

June 10

How To Make The Most Beautiful Lollipops In The World

OK, I admit, I did not make this lollipop. I went to the workshop taught by the artist who made it, but the thing I ended up making did not remotely, remotely, REMOTELY resemble this lollipop. First of all – to be fair – we weren’t supposed to be making goldfish (which is, like, the Mt. Everest of lollipop making). […]

March 05

Sleeping Bags Of Yore

At first I thought this was some kind of wacky winter kimono from prehistoric, pre-Patagonia days, but no: it’s actually a futon built for two! This fancy sleeping bag was actually used by courtesans when they entertained their customers in Yoshiwara! Back in the day, plenty of men wealthy enough to buy opulent mummy bags for their paramours frequented the pleasure quarters, even though it […]

February 27

When Is Something More Beautiful After It’s Broken?

When it’s a shoji screen with a tear in it, of course! This is how people mend paper screens after those inevitable situations where an object in motion tends to stay in motion. I love how something that becomes less perfect also becomes better. Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.

January 04

I Love Japanese New Year’s Decorations!

  In Japan, the frenzy of weird Santas and blue poinsettias are whisked away the day after Christmas, and replaced with something far better…new year’s decorations! I never saw them before I lived in Tokyo, but it was totally love at first sight. New year’s decorations are sold in November & December at small shops in Asakusabashi, […]

January 01

Dang, If Only I Hadn’t Been Distracted By The Satan Horns…

…I’d have realized I could have had a smashing set of ram horns to wear all day, to welcome in the Year Of The Sheep! Happy New Year, everyone! May the coming year be the best yet! *\(^o^)/* • Read a novel set in Tokyo