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Why, Japan, Why?: Tiny pants, the garbage police, and the more friends you have, the lonelier you might be

Garbage left out at the curb in Tokyo

There are some things that nobody who moves to Japan wants to learn. But sometimes it’s these unwelcome lessons that unlock all kinds of other mysteries…read more

Beyond Tokyo: Holy log-riding, a secret castle garden, and a fire-breathing stone dragon

Autumn leaves in the garden at Takashima Castle in Suwa City

This month we’re heading to Suwa City, a place that has probably never been on your Japan trip list, but it should be! It’s home to a festival where people ride killer logs down a mountainside, a castle that hides a gorgeous garden inside its walls, and the best sake you’ll ever taste…read more

Japanese Home Cooking for September: The Ninth Attachment Cocktail/Mocktail

The Ninth Attachment apple ginger sparkling cocktail or mocktail

These apple-ginger sours—with a name that will make you laugh when you read The Last Tea Bowl Thief—have a secret ingredient which turns it into one of the tastiest Japanese-flavored bevvies you’ll ever sip, with or without the alcohol…read more

Book Review: The Tale of Murasaki

Cover of The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby

Written by Liza Dalby, who lived and researched for a year in a Kyoto geisha house before writing her acclaimed books Geisha and KimonoThe Tale of Murasaki vividly imagines 11th-century court life through the eyes of of Murasaki Shikubu, the Imperial lady-in-waiting who wrote the epic novel, The Tale of Genjiclick here

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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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