Boxes of curry, a very popular food in Japan.
Frozen shrimp (ebi).
A closer look at a Japanese ATM.
With the variety of vending machines on the street, to live in Japan you'd never have to step foot inside of a store. Here is a row of vending machines offering beer and liquor.
Three boys enjoying their time between classes.
A closer look at a Japanese ATM.
An exit sign warns cars not to enter.
Meals at ryokan (traditional inns, or "guest houses") are elaborate and delicious.
Picture of the yin-yang symbol, which represents the two opposing forces in the universe.
Ingredients 2 cups prepared sushi rice 3 Tbs. Mirin 3 Tbs. Sugar 4 Tbs. Soy sauce 1-1/4 cup Dashi (fish stock) 1/4 cup Shredded par-boiled carrot Salt 4 Deep-fried tofu cakes (aburage)* or 8 Canned tofu pouches *Aburage can be bought canned or frozen at many Asian food markets. The canned variety are already seasoned and sliced; if using these, plan on three or four pouches per person. Method Bring the prepared sushi rice to room temperature. (If using canned aburage, skip this next step) Pour boiling water over the deep-fried tofu cakes to remove oil. Cool, then slice each tofu cake in half lengthwise to make eight tofu pouches. In a small saucepan, combine the mirin, sugar, soy sauce and dashi together. Simmer over low heat until hot. Drain gourd strips, then add the gourd strips and tofu pouches into the stock. Heat to boil. Cover, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Squeeze the tofu pouches and gourd strips dry. Set aside.
Chirashi sushi is unlike all other kinds of sushi. Even though it consists of rice with fish and vegetables, the preparation and presentation is different. All other types of sushi are somehow pressed together, either by hand, with a rolling mat, or in a mold. All other types are also served in individual pieces, usually meant to be eaten in a single bite. Chirashi on the other hand is never squeezed or pressed; the sushi meshi is scooped into a bowl. The fish and vegetables are spread out on top of the rice. Chirashi means to scatter, and the first time someone outside of Japan sees chirashizushi he or she will likely think it is a rice salad. Chirashi can be served in individual bowls (most common at a restaurant), or in one large bowl to be shared by everyone at the table (more common at home). To eat chirashi, you may either dip the pieces of fish in shoyu and eat as sashimi or put the fish back in the bowl, scooping up some rice to eat it together with the fish. This is an easier way to serve sushi to a group of people, as the cook doesn't have to take the time to make individual pieces for everyone.
A close-up of some cheeses in a Japanese grocery store.
Apples (ringo), packed in foam and plastic have no chance for escape.
Shopping carts in a grocery store in Hokkaido are actually a basket and cart in one.
Two kinds of Pocky: Men's (with dark chocolate) and original.
Ram cards usher in the new year.
Some high tech rice cookers.
Mochi (rice cakes) looking very delicious.
During my homestay I snapped a picture of my room for posterity. Note the tatami mats, futon, space heater, and "desk".
Brendan Eagan enjoys a dinner of sushi at a "rolling sushi" restaurant (the food comes to you on a conveyer belt) with his host family in Nagasaki.
A flowershop in Hokkaido.
A clear waterfall at a shrine in Nagasaki.
A selection of beautiful obi, to be used with kimonos.
People sit on a subway car, waiting for their ride to begin.
An excerpt from Lee Magazine shows fashion-wise Japanese ladies in their natural habitats.