Sake Gumi
Umami Map

Spotlight on Shiga Regional Foods

I have lived in Tokyo in the past for about 10 years of my life, but I admit my knowledge of Japanese geography is really limited. Limited not only to Tokyo proper, but more specifically to Western Tokyo, where pretty much everyone...

Spotlight

Make It An Onsen Hygge Spa Day

We're all about hygge (pronounced hooga) here this season, a Danish term describing coziness and contentment. There's nothing that reflects hygge to us like a deep soak in an outdoor onsen in the mountains of Japan. We've brought in several products to celebrate the onsen lifestyle so...

Postcards from Japan, V: Soy Shabu

The cold weather, as Yoko just talked about, could only mean one thing: HOT POT TIME! Look at that thinly sliced, luscious piece of scarlet red cow flesh. How ever so privileged we are.This is an individual-sized...

Mizu-Yokan Sandwich

Here's a fun accompaniment to U N I F O R M B E H A V I O R's flan choux discovery. One morning my mom enthusiastically proclaimed to me, "Kayo, try this now, it's delicious." I...

In Japan Now: Buffet Breakfast

Just got to Tokyo late on Monday, and my aunt swooped my away immediately to Atami, a sea-side town just an hour out of the city. We relaxed there for a night bathing in the hot springs and went to a cheesy jazz band dinner show (where the food was...

A White Christmas Two Months Late

What: Mid-winter ryokan getaway tripWhere: Seiryuusou ryokan, Shimonita, Gunma Prefecture (about 3 hours from Shinjuku station)When: Saturday February 9 to Sunday February 10, 2008Why: Thaw out, eat, wash away the grub of TokyoThe food:In general, the food was unpretentious...

Shabu Shabu Heaven in Hakone

While I was in Tokyo, we went down to Hakone. Hakone is sort of like Hamptons for New Yorkers. About 90 minutes from Tokyo, easy getaway, and instead of ocean, there are tons of onsens (hot springs).Ryokans (traditional inns) are famous for their 13 course dinners, which you eat in...

Onsen Report

Despite the year's first and hardest raining typhoon hitting on the same day as the first day of our one-night onsen trip to Yugawara, we got to the ryokan in one piece (after a lot of wrong turns - Japanese maps do NOT...

When in Monterey...

I'm from Monterey, California (home of the world-famous -- and deservedly so -- Monterey Bay Aquarium) which is one of the most beautiful places on earth (the breathtaking landscape was featured in Hitchcock's masterpiece Vertigo), but the problem with the beautiful places on earth are...