A Little Samurai Armor in the Living Room

May 5 is Children's Day. Since my wife and I have, well, children, we get out a set of miniature "yoroi" (armor) so that our sons grow up healthy and strong.


I've posted about this before, so forgive me if you read that previous post! But, I absolutely love getting out this miniature set of samurai armor every year… » 4/27/12 7:40am 4/27/12 7:40am

Hanging Out with Naked Folks All Weekend

One of the most popular things to do on vacation in Japan is head to an onsen or "hot springs". They're dotted all over the country, and people—both young and old—enjoy visiting onsen towns, where they eat delicious food and bathe.


When taking a bath in Japan, you wash first and then enter the water to help keep it… » 4/02/12 6:30am 4/02/12 6:30am

Press This Arcade Button. A Real Person Will Appear.

One of the best things about Japan is the service. The service is generally great. One of the things that makes it so great? Call buttons.


Instead of sitting in a restaurant waiting around for a waiter or waitress to make his or her way towards your table, you can press the call button, and your server will come… » 3/14/12 7:15am 3/14/12 7:15am

Goodbye Winter Food! It's Been...Delicious

It really feels like spring here in Osaka—finally! Flowers starting to bud, bees buzzing, and birds chirping. But that also means, no more winter food.

Many dishes in Japan are seasonal. I grew up in Texas, and yes, we ate seasonal food (I think). Japanese food is even more seasonal than what I had as a kid. For… » 3/08/12 7:30am 3/08/12 7:30am

This Fruit Costs Twelve Bucks. Just This.

In Japan, "omimai" (お見舞い) is when you visit folks in the hospital. My mother-in-law broke her back, so we've been several times. But it's not only family members—like elsewhere, friends and extended family visit, too.


My brother-in-law's company sent a huge dekopon fruit basket, as well as cookies and cakes. My… » 2/27/12 7:45am 2/27/12 7:45am