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Seasonal Secret: When the small and humble come together to become magnificent and mighty

Tunnel of bush clover hagi at Mukojima Hyakka-en in Tokyo

When I started thinking about what’s so special about September in Japan, the first things that came to mind were three obscure flowers that are nobody’s favorite. By themselves, they’re utterly small and forgettable. You might even be a little insulted to receive a bouquet of them on your birthday…read more

Beyond Tokyo: Tanuki Town: Let’s go to Shigaraki and meet all manner of tricksters

Tanuki art figures on the streets of Shigaraki

This month we’re going to an ancient hamlet that’s deep in the mountains near Kyoto, where Japan’s most legendary trickster is born. Come with me as we wander through the town, and let’s see if we can spot all the ways local artists are teaching the old prankster new tricks…read more

Japanese Home Cooking for September: Japanese Summer Rice Bowl

Japanese rice bowl with miso-sauced poached salmon, peppery marinated mushrooms and snow peas with soy-lemon dressing

This dish of harmonious flavor bombs can be made in less time than it takes to cook the rice! No-mess, no-smell, poached salmon with spicy miso topping teams up with chilled snow peas in soy-lemon dressing and peppery marinated mushrooms to make the perfect late summer meal…read more

Why, Japan, Why?: Japanese beauty goals: Tall noses, small faces, and big feet

Japanese beauty aid to train your nose to be taller

To Western ears, compliments in Japan often sound like anything but. Standards of beauty differ all over the world, but none are as quirky as Japan’s odd love of…read more

“An immersive page-turner, meticulously researched and perfectly plotted. Without question, the best book I have read all year.” —Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori mysteries and CLIMB

Two women from opposite sides of the globe are desperate to possess a tea bowl that’s been missing since before they were born, but they soon discover that neither can get their hands on it without the other’s more

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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