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JULY 2020


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Beyond Tokyo: We journey to a vast and serene lotus garden grown from 3,000-year-old seeds

Lotus blooming at Gyoda Ancient Lotus park Gyoda Hasuen

Since time immemorial, these ancient symbols of “pure beauty that flowers from the muckiest mud” have uplifted the human spirit, so it’s fitting that even in these grim times, we can still wander beneath their glowing green parasols and marvel as their pink perfection unfurls at the break of day…read more

This month’s book review & giveaway: Shinjū

Cover of Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland

What’s especially enjoyable about this mystery is that it drops us straight into the intricate and treacherous structure of samurai-era Japan. Riding along with the shōgun’s personal investigator, Sano Ichirō, we encounter unexpected dead ends based on politeness, failure to secure the right introduction, and other aspects of Japanese society that still, amazingly enough, exist today.read more

Japanese Home Cooking for May: Eggplant with Sweet & Salty Miso Sauce

Grilled eggplant with miso sauce Nasu dengaku

Dengaku sauce is one of those tasty toppings that makes even people who “don’t like Japanese food” beg for seconds. Everything from eggplant to slices of pork tenderloin to skewers of grilled chicken will disappear in record time if slathered in Dengaku…read more

Seasonal Secret: Souvenirs NOT to buy in July

O-bon lanterns for sale in Inari-cho

The ultimate souvenir not only reminds you of the place where you bought it, it also reminds you of the joys of being in Japan during that season. Which is why you might be tempted to bring home one of these lovely handpainted flower lamps that are only sold during July and Augustread more

Why, Japan, Why?: Why did NHK try to Japansplain the global anti-racism protests with this excruciatingly embarrassing video?

Screen shot from NHK video explaining protests about racism

You don’t have to understand Japanese to instantly grasp that this video produced and aired by NHK (the Japanese equivalent of the BBC) is exactly how NOT to explain why anti-racism protests have exploded across America and the world...read more

If you love Japan and love a good mystery, don’t forget to check out The Last Tea Bowl Thief!

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

For three hundred years, a missing masterpiece passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, indelibly altering the lives of all who possess itread more

Here’s a sample

Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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