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

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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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