Yearly Archives: 2011

Tobacco Vending Machines – what is a Taspo Card?

December 27, 2011 by Ray Proper

Japan used to be heaven for the vice inclined, tobacco and beer were readily available in vending machines all around town, but those days are gone. It turns out that having such ready and unsupervised access to these types of machines resulted in children having access as well! The last time I saw a beer […]

Making Gyudon at Home!

October 23, 2011 by Ray Proper

Live in a Japan for any longer than about a day and you will run smack into Yoshinoya, or some other variety of gyudon, probably best described as simmered beef served on top of steamed rice. Ifyou discount Curry Rice, it is probably the most popular fast food in Japan. I pretty much guarantee that […]

Japan’s Largest Freshwater Aquarium – Aquatotto Gifu

October 17, 2011 by Ray Proper

Water Eco Park is Japan’s largest freshwater aquarium. The aquarium is a part of the Kiso River Water Park in Gifu, roughly a 40 minute drive north east of Nagoya. The Kiso River Water Park offers the opportunity to feel “real” nature. Admission is free to the park itself, and there are lots of things […]

Yakitori – Grilled Chicken on a Stick. It’s good!

October 7, 2011 by Ray Proper

Yakitori in a nutshell: kill chicken, put on stick, grill over fire, and eat. The world at large suffers a serious lack of meat on a stick options, but Japan is a glorious exception to this rule. Here, you can get basically anything on a stick. Once while viewing the fall colors at Korankei, near […]

Autumn’s Treat – Matsutake Mushrooms

September 26, 2011 by Ray Proper

Just about everyone has seen these mushrooms in the supermarket; these are not the grown on top of a bottle en masse 100 yen variety, these are THOSE mushrooms that leave the unitiated wondering what kind of mushroom could possibly be worth 2000 yen or more? Next time you see them, I suggest you pick […]