Monthly Archives: February 2013

2013 Tokamachi Snow Festival

With its tall mountains and island geography, Japan has areas with heavy rain throughout the year and snowfall in the winter.  Over the years, in many areas the snow has been changed from a hardship to benefit.  The first place in Japan to create a snow festival is Tokamachi in Niigata prefecture. Tokamachi (十日町市) City is located in eastern Niigata prefecture.  The names of that area are interesting in that they refer to the days it used to take to travel

Advanced Miso Soup Recipe

Miso Soup is a traditional part of Japanese cuisine. It is often served as a side for meals, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I’ve done another, more simple version of this dish before.  If you want a simple miso soup, check it out.  The thing that makes this recipe different, and so much better, is that I make the dashi (broth) from scratch rather than from a packet of hon dashi.  Doing everything yourself will elevate a great bowl of

2013 Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentines Day!  Vday in Japan is a concept I covered pretty well last year as well as in my second book which is coming this Fall.  If you’d like to learn more about this holiday in Japan, please check these posts! My 2012 Valentine‘s Day Valentine’s in Japan Hi.  My name is Poo This year will be my first away from school.  I’m traveling with some elementary students to Niigata prefecture as part of a yearly exchange with a small

Okinawan Black Sugar Candy – Kokuto

Okinawa has its own history and culture, which is reflected in the foods you’ll find here. Since Okinawa is so far to the south, you will also find that many of the fields are filled with satokibi, or sugarcane. It might not surprise you then that one of Okinawa’s local treats is a kind of Black Sugar candy made directly from the juice of sugar cane plants.  The name of the treat comes from the kanji symbols for black and

2013 Kumejima Sakura Festival

January 26th marked the beginning of the 2013 Kumejima Sakura Festival.  Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) are an important symbol marking the change of seasons in Japan.  As the weather begins to warm, cherry trees sprout beautiful flowers in a range of colors from white to red.   Since Okinawa is so far south, cherry blossoms begin to arrive in January.  They work their way north through April.  During this time, people flock to areas with cherry trees to picnic, drive, and