Daily tips

愛媛: Welcome to Cycling Paradise Ehime!

Ehime Prefecture is located in the northwestern part of Shikoku, the forth largest island of Japan. Ehime is a place of abundant nature surrounded by the Seto Island Sea and the SHikoku mountain range. The climate is warm and mild, and it is rich in nature. In Chinese characters, “Ehime” (愛媛) means “pretty lady”. Seto Inland Sea, or Aegean Sea in Japan, and Mt. Ishizuchi, the highest mountain in western Japan, give Ehime countless gifts in every season. People have woven historical and cultural fabric in such nature’s bounty and developed the tradition of “hospitality” to travelers. Indulge yourself in kindhearted Ehime. But Ehime is also well known for being […]

Japan : Healthy Tatami !

Konnichi wa ! For those of you who are/will be visiting Japan for the first time, one of those little moments you feel “Waoh, I am really in Japan” is when you enter a traditional Japanese house and you step – for the first time maybe – on… a tatami mat ! Tatami 畳 is the floor covering of traditional Japanese houses and temples. Similar to a stray mat, it is made of several rice straw layers, interlaced and compressed, and covered with a thin layer of a rush called 藺草 igusa (Juncus effusus) which is also laced. The edges of the mat are protected with a hem made of […]

Tokyo-style “pancake” : Monjayaki !

Konnichi wa ! The Japanese gastronomy is wide and various, but when seen through foreigners’ eyes, it is often reduced to sushi, sashimi, râmen and okonomiyaki. But there so much much more variety, even among these classics dishes. For example, okonomiyaki : Did you know that this specialty of the Kansai region has a “cousin” in the Kantō region : The Monjayaki ! The Monjayaki (もんじゃ焼き) – often called simply “monja” – is a type of Japanese pan-fried batter with various ingredients. It is similar to okonomiyaki but monjayaki is made with a dough more liquid than is okonomiyaki. The ingrédients (Cabbage, carrots, vegetables, meat, fish, shrimps, mochi, cheese… etc) […]

A giant Samurai found on Roppongi Rooftops?

Tokyo. In the famous Roppongi area, you might have stroll by a strange metal structure on the roof of the ドン · キホーテ (Don Quijote) store. A giant piece of metal giving a rather special look to the building, as a sort of giant samurai helmet (Kabuto) sitting on the roof. See for yourself: It also reminds me of Hikonyan, a former Japanese popular mascot: In 2005, Don Quijote began building a “half-pipe” roller coaster on the roof of its eight story Roppongi store. Roppongi is a heavily populated area in the core of Tokyo, and many residents and businesses were upset with the idea of having a roller coaster […]