Posts Tagged “Japan”

Hokusai: The Master’s Legacy

Hokusai: The Master’s Legacy

We have likely all heard of Hokusai but in truth most people would only recognise The Great Wave off Kanagawa, also known as The Great Wave or just The Wave. It is a woodblock print and an iconic example of this man’s work; it’s prominent on the cover of Hokusai: The Master’s Legacy, a sumptuous…

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The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker – review

The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker – review

An in-depth exploration spanning 800 years of the art, essence, and enduring impact of the Japanese Garden. The most comprehensive exploration of the art and concept of the Japanese garden published to date, this book covers more than eight centuries of the history of this iconic horticultural genre. One might think of a Japanese garden…

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Japan – Marco Polo Pocket Travel Guide 2018 – guidebook review

Japan – Marco Polo Pocket Travel Guide 2018 – guidebook review

Japan is a country like no other. Ask people where in the world they would dream of visiting and they will likely mention Japan. It is a heady cocktail of tradition and modernity, and it’s easy to feel out of one’s depth. But there is help, and in a very convenient size and format. A…

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New Trends in Japanese Photography – review

New Trends in Japanese Photography – review

Photographers create stories with their cameras. One can have the most expensive equipment but still never rise to being anything more than a holiday snapper. The eye of the photographer is the piece of kit which finds that illusive evocative shot, and New Trends in Japanese Photography offers a collection of pairs of eyes. Do…

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Domon Ken: The Master of Japanese Realism – art book review

Domon Ken: The Master of Japanese Realism – art book review

Domon Ken is one of the most renowned Japanese photographers of the 20th century. One might not recognise his name but one will likely have seen some of his work, which is iconic and which spanned decades. This is an excellent book which strives to offer the reader a comprehensive overview of Ken’s photographs. The…

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Japanese Curry – traditionally cubed – recipe

Japanese Curry – traditionally cubed – recipe

We might think that Japanese curry is a new invention. Perhaps Japanese tourists discovered the recipe for curry on recent trips to the Subcontinent. But, no! It’s a tradition adopted from the British Navy and has been popular for a century or so. If one visits Japan and has the opportunity to stroll around a…

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Rafute – Okinawan braised pork belly – recipe

Rafute – Okinawan braised pork belly – recipe

This is one of my favourite ways of eating pork. Rafute is flavourful, tender and moreish. It’s a dish popular in Okinawa in the far (very far) south-west of Japan. It’s traditionally made with two local staples – Awamori, which is Okinawa’s celebrated spirit, and the island’s brown sugar, which is often made into candy….

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Ichiryu Hakata Udon House – restaurant review

Ichiryu Hakata Udon House – restaurant review

Ichiryu Hakata Udon House is from the same stable that brings you Japan Centre and the chain of Japanese restaurants, Shoryu. Ichiryu is a well-placed eatery on New Oxford Street, and even after just a couple of months it’s enjoying a loyal following of office workers, shoppers, and I hear it’s been discovered by a…

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Den Udon at Kings Cross – restaurant review

Den Udon at Kings Cross – restaurant review

[This venue is now closed] Japanese food is becoming more popular. There have long been very smart Japanese restaurants in London and they have been serving the most delicious and most intricate dishes to customers who appreciate refined cuisine. Now we see a veritable rash of more reasonably priced Japanese noodle restaurants, but there are…

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Sunday Brunch – Kurobuta Marble Arch – restaurant review

Sunday Brunch – Kurobuta Marble Arch – restaurant review

I confess, I had no idea what to expect. Yes, it was going to be Japanese. But a Sunday Brunch Buffet? How was that going to work? In my admittedly somewhat limited experience, Japanese food comes in two varieties: first – casual noodles; second – etiquette-riddled kaiseki cuisine. So how would a Sunday brunch buffet…

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Bó Drake, Greek Street – restaurant review

Bó Drake, Greek Street – restaurant review

It’s a part of Soho that has been the haunt of those seeking dubious nocturnal delights down the centuries, but also those associated with the arts and literature. Greek Street, running from Shaftesbury Avenue to Soho Square, might take its name from the Greek Church (later St. Mary’s) built in 1677. The church was on…

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Umami Kelp and Wasabi – an introduction

Umami Kelp and Wasabi – an introduction

London’s Icetank Studio was the venue for an informative and friendly seminar on Umami hosted by the Japanese Culinary Academy UK and supported by JETRO London (Japan External Trade Organisation). It showcased some of the exhibitors from the Japan Pavilion at this year’s Speciality Food Fair and they gave demonstrations to illustrate the significance of…

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Ozeki Dry Sake – drinks review

Ozeki Dry Sake – drinks review

If we are new to sake we will likely be looking for a mild flavour and a light sake. Yes, sake does indeed have a different taste profile from wine. But Japan’s national beverage is distinctive, complex and can be rewarding to those who appreciate its layers and balance. I found Ozeki Dry Sake particularly…

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Shirataki Shuzo Atoaji Kiriri Uonuma Junmai Sake – drinks review

Shirataki Shuzo Atoaji Kiriri Uonuma Junmai Sake – drinks review

The quality junmai sake, made in Uonuma City in Niigata, is a pure sake made of just 100% Japanese rice polished to 65% of its original size. The key ingredients are water and koji mould, which turns the starch in the rice to the sugars necessary for fermentation. With about 90 sake breweries, Niigata is…

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Sake Cups … or perhaps a glass – travel review

Sake Cups … or perhaps a glass – travel review

Or natural wood, lacquered wood, glass or even plastic… For those of us who love the delicious complexity of sake, the vessel from which we drink is often something of an afterthought. But it shouldn’t be. A sake set is a generic term for the collection of items used for serving sake. It usually comprises…

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Sake: The History, Stories and Craft of Japan’s Artisanal Breweries – book review

Sake: The History, Stories and Craft of Japan’s Artisanal Breweries – book review

I was told to expect a book. I was told to expect a big book. I was told to expect a coffee-table book. What I got was a book the size of a coffee table but one which will hold my attention long after the furniture would have lost its purely functional appeal. Sake: The…

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Yuzu Cupcakes with Matcha Tea Frosting – recipe

Yuzu Cupcakes with Matcha Tea Frosting – recipe

Looking for Japanese flavours in a dessert but using traditional Western techniques? This could be the recipe for you. Yuzu Cupcakes with Matcha Tea Frosting are little fancies that would be a welcome addition to a very English afternoon tea, but they use very Japanese Yuzu juice giving a citrus tang; and then there is…

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Umami: THE FIFTH TASTE – guidebook review

Umami: THE FIFTH TASTE – guidebook review

It’s a buzz-word these days: Umami. It’s a very familiar taste, flavour, sensation on the taste buds but we have only relatively recently put a name to this savouriness, this deliciousness. But how do we view it with regard to sake? This was originally a Japanese word and it’s all about a particular taste: of…

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Art Place Japan by Fram Kitagawa – review

Art Place Japan by Fram Kitagawa – review

Every three years hundreds of square miles of countryside in north western Japan are transformed into a sprawling and many-faceted art installation. More than 150 of the world’s most-celebrated landscape artists, sculptors, and architects display their work in a couple of hundred villages, fields and rice paddies. It’s a liaison between art, people and nature…

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Taruzake Sake – cedar difference – travel review

Taruzake Sake – cedar difference – travel review

Sure, the world of sake is new and mysterious to most of us. Japan’s national beverage is made of few ingredients but there are many styles and each one has its own history and its own character. We are being offered a wider range of sake in Japanese restaurants but it’s a shame that non-Japanese…

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