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Seasonal Secret: The Japanese art of gift giving

Sake bottles wrapped in japanese furoshiki

If there were medals for gifting, the Japanese would own the gold and the Guinness record for owning the gold…read more

Beyond Tokyo: Millions of twinkling fairy lights, dancing fountain extravaganzas, and glowing cotton candy, all served up on a roller coaster

Yomiuriland Jewelluminations

Yomiuriland outdoes itself this year with all-new glittering lights and fresh spectacles of live dancers performing with choreographed water fountains…read more

Why, Japan, Why?: There’s nothing weirder than Xmas in Japan

Man dressed as sexy Santa t Shibuya Station

Like most things in Japan, they get Christmas exactly, excruciatingly right, and at the same time so very, very wrong. Poinsettias are all the rage, lavishly-trimmed trees abound, and Santa and his helpers are on every corner, except sometimes they’re a little…off…read more

Japanese Home Cooking: Marinated Pork Medallions with Melted Leeks

Marinated pork medallions with melted leeks

Want to try something new that’s guaranteed to have your guests begging for seconds? These marinated medallions of pork tenderloin always get rave reviews, even from people who “don’t like Japanese food.” (Bonus: they’re easy to make and turn out perfect every time)…read more

Book Review: December 6 by Martin Cruz Smith

Cover of December 6 by Martin Cruz Smith

This novel is set in the hours right before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, capturing the moment from inside the world of the attacker. Seen through the eyes of one of the few foreigners in Japan, we watch from within as this tiny, insignificant country thrusts itself onto the world stage…click here

MY PICKS FOR GIFT READS:There’s a book on this list for everyone on YOUR list

Bookshelf in Boise Idaho bookstore

The gift of escapism is at the top of everyone’s list this year, and books are the perfect getaway when we can’t get on a plane ourselves. Here are books that your giftees probably haven’t read yet, in every category…read 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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