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  • Thumbnail for Sushi:  chirashi
    Sushi: chirashi

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office: Jihan 1
    Post Office: Jihan 1

    A post-card and stamp machine in Hokkaido.

  • Thumbnail for No Smoking
    No Smoking

    A sign in a post office reminds its occupants not to smoke.

  • Thumbnail for Fusuma

    A beautiful door at a traditional Japanese bar

  • Thumbnail for Post Office:  Jihan 3
    Post Office: Jihan 3

    A closer look at the post-card/stamp machine.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office: Jihan 2
    Post Office: Jihan 2

    A closer look at a post-card/stamp machine.

  • Thumbnail for Post Office Sign
    Post Office Sign

    The Japanese symbol for Post Office

  • Thumbnail for Sushi:  nigiri
    Sushi: nigiri

    Three types of nigiri sushi: salmon (saamon), tuna (maguro), and mackerel (saba)

  • Thumbnail for Vegetables

    Vegetables prepared the traditional way.

  • Thumbnail for Pigeons

    Fat pigeons sit near a lake in Kyoto, while a heron sits in the background.

  • Thumbnail for Refrigerators

    Some overly complex refrigerators on display.

  • Thumbnail for Grocery Store Display:   Pocky Two Kinds
    Grocery Store Display: Pocky Two Kinds

    Two kinds of Pocky: Men's (with dark chocolate) and original.

  • Thumbnail for Street sign:  exit only
    Street sign: exit only

    An exit ramp carries a warning.

  • Thumbnail for One-eyed and One-armed Role
    One-eyed and One-armed Role

    Actor Okochi Denjiro playing Tange Sazen, the one-eyed and one-armed killer, made a tremendous hit on movie-going audiences.

  • Thumbnail for Mukkuri

    Traditional instrument of the Ainu people of Hokkaido. Sound is made by pulling on strings attached to a thin bamboo board. The mouth is used to add resonance.

  • Thumbnail for Nagasaki Shrine
    Nagasaki Shrine

    A building at a shrine in Nagasaki. Note the traditional rice-rope decoration hanging above the doorway.

  • Thumbnail for Miss Universe, Kojima Akiko
    Miss Universe, Kojima Akiko

    Kojima Akiko was crowned Miss Universe 1960. The first Japanese woman to hold that title.

  • Thumbnail for Kimono Shop:  Obi price
    Kimono Shop: Obi price

    This obi costs about $180.

  • Thumbnail for Embarkation Card
    Embarkation Card

    An example of an embarkation card, which everyone entering Japan must fill out.

  • Thumbnail for Geisha

    Andrea Ritland and Emily Wiedenhoeft take time out from shopping in Asakusa to pose for a picture with a modern-day geisha.

  • Thumbnail for Geisha, 2
    Geisha, 2

    Andy Bernard, St Olaf student, takes some time out from shopping to get his picture taken with a geisha.

  • Thumbnail for Engakuji Shrine
    Engakuji Shrine

    Keeping with tradition, this shrine building has a roof made of hay or thatch.

  • Thumbnail for Cosmetics

    Fingernail polish and lipstick for sale.

  • Thumbnail for Vendor selling crabs
    Vendor selling crabs

    A man stands by his shop, selling fresh crab.

  • Thumbnail for Couple at Coffeehouse
    Couple at Coffeehouse

    A couple enjoys their morning coffee and donuts.