Monday, June 20, 2022

Updates on the Tokyo Stroll supplement.


I've added additional entries to most of the Tokyo Stroll Supplement pages related to specific chapters in the book. This started out when I decided to add the Yayoiken Asakusa Tawaramachi restaurant to the Asakusa page. Friends and I are planning a trip for the spring of 2023 and that Yayoiken location shall be our designated meeting place for breakfast so I wanted it to be bookmarked in MapsMe. Then I decided to add the other restaurants of this chain that fit on other supplement pages for the book chapters.

This  work resulted in the creation of two new pages one for Nihonbashi North and the other for Ueno.

Working on those additions led to me evaluate the look of the pages and I decided to alter the layout to make it easier to scan them. This is nothing dramatic just changing some of the paragraph structure and adding horizontal lines between entries. I think it is much easier on the eye than before. I also included a note after the title of each item entry indicating where it is in relation to the detail maps of that chapter.

Now to continue adding to the pages in anticipation of Tokyo Stroll being released in August.


EDIT:
I just added two more pages. One for the Meguro Station Area, the other for Shibamata.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Marunouchi To Nagatachō page created plus updated map bookmarks

 I have created a new page for the web supplement to Tokyo Stroll for the Marunouchi To Nagatachō chapter. Presently it only has one new entry for the Tokyo Station Gallery, an art gallery in the station building.

The TokyoSuppl.kmz bookmarks file for Maps.Me and Google Maps has been updated with the addition of this location and is available for download.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Tokyo Stroll bookmarks updated

 I have just uploaded the updated the bookmark files for the MapsMe and Google Maps applications to the Tokyo Stroll web supplement.

You can download the bookmark files, find explanations, and instructions on how to import them into your preferred app at the following web page:

http://www.koyagi.com/TokyoStroll/TSMaps.html


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hibiya Matsumotorō

There is a new addition for the Tokyo Stroll supplement. A page for the Imperial Palace / Kōkyo chapter.

The first entry for this supplement page is for Hibiya Matsumotorō. A long established restaurant that is a Tokyo landmark with an interesting history including a connection connection with Sun Yat-sen.



Monday, April 11, 2022

Not Love But Delicious Foods

 Not Love But Delicious Foods 

by Yoshinaga Fumi

https://yenpress.com/not-love-but-delicious-foods-make-me-so-happy/


Yoshinaga Fumi is one of my favorite mangaka. I don't care what the subject matter is, if she wrote it I will buy it. While her range of stories has broadened Yoshinaga started out as a writer of Boys Love (BL) works and that history is folded into this title. The protagonist of Not Love But Delicious Foods makes a living writing BL. Each chapter is her and her assistant going about their daily work and ends with a meal at a restaurant where they discuss the food. The final page is information as to the location of the restaurant. Manga where a real restaurant is part of each story is not unique to this title but this is the first such work to be translated into English. Once Japan starts allowing tourists in again I'll try to check some of these places out.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

The Untold History of Ramen

 Solt, George

The Untold History of Ramen: How Political Crisis in Japan Spawned a Global Food Craze

Berkeley: University of California Press 2014

 

Rāmen is one of the most recognized Japanese foods worldwide. However, did you know rāmen has its roots in a Chinese dish served in 19th century restaurants in Yokohama, that the first reman restaurant was established by a former Japanese civil servant in Asakusa Tokyo with a kitchen staff of Chinese cooks, that rāmen was once called Shina soba (even though it has no buckwheat in it) until restaurant owners in Sapporo started calling it rāmen, that it was considered poor person's food until the late 20th century? 

 

That information and much much more can be found in this excellent history of the humble hand pulled wheat noodle that evolved into something very different. If you like rāmen, are curious about Japanese cuisine in general, or even just interested in the history of post Edo Period Japan, this book will be informative.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Trails to Oishii Tokyo

 I am one of the moderators of the Japanese Food group on Facebook and will be posting each weekend about food resources such as books, web sites, and even anime or manga. I have quite a list and once I am done going through it I will make a PDF file of all I have posted and update it regularly.


This week's post follows.

NHK, Japan's public broadcaster, has several TV shows about food broadcast in multiple languages. This is one of those shows, in time I will cover them all.

Trails to Oishii Tokyo focusses on ingredients readily available in Japan's capital. Each program is devoted to one food item covering it from the farm to the kitchen. Even if you think you know Japanese food you will discover many ingredients you never knew existed.

Do note the on demand shows eventually expire so I recommend you start with the oldest and work your way to the most recent.


Trails to Oishii Tokyo

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/oishii/

Saturday, March 19, 2022

A Dictionary of Japanese Food

Hosking, Richard

A Dictionary of Japanese Food: ingredients & culture

Rutland, Vt.: Charles E. Tuttle Co., c1996.


Many years ago a professor at the university I worked at came into the library with a question for me. You see she was going to be teaching in Tokyo for a term and knowing of my knowledge of Japan wanted to know what book to buy. I did not hesitate I immediately took her to the reference section and pulled out our copy of this title. She had been expecting a travel book. I explained that she could peruse several at the public library to gain some useful tips and compare which were the most informative. I stated that the dictionary would be a far better choice.

After her return she took me out for a very nice lunch at a private club and thanked me. She said she kept the book in her purse and put it to use in dining out and shopping on a regular basis.

For anyone interested in Japanese food or traveling to Japan this is a book I recommend. One advantage is that it includes kanji and kana which can be an asset in communication with locals who may not understand your language.

I purchased my copy in the late 1990s, recently I also bought the e-book version to have at hand on my iPhone and iPad for quick lookups.

Monday, March 7, 2022

The Stories Clothes Tell

Horikiri Tatsuichi

The Stories Clothes Tell: Voices of Working-Class Japan 

Lanham: Lexinton Books, 2016



One of the frustrations of researching cultural minutia in Japanese entertainment is the lack of information on traditional clothing.

Books on traditional Japanese clothing are almost always about formal kimono that only a very small percentage of the population would have worn. I find this frustrating as while there are excellent kimono books with good solid information finding out about the clothing worn by farmers and laborers is almost impossible. This book is a strong exception as it is about working people's clothing.

Originally published as magazine and newspaper articles the volume covers a large range of types of clothing, and other cloth items, that the author collected. Not only were the items themselves collected the tales behind them were also gathered. Anyone interested in the social history of the poor, of clothing, and more in Japan will find this one a rewarding read.

https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442265103/The-Stories-Clothes-Tell-Voices-of-Working-Class-Japan


Saturday, March 5, 2022

Wakako Zake

Wakako Zake

When Wakako gets off work she loves to find a place to eat and have a drink to unwind from the day. She carefully makes her choices as the food and drink must be paired well. However this is not pretentious high cuisine, she eats at neighborhood places, the kind you can drop into on a whim. Each chapter of the manga is short, only a few pages, but manages to fold in a good story without any fluff.

Then there is an anime, which is also short, each episode is just a few minutes of delight.

Then there is the live action drama, the episodes are regular length but still preserve the fun of the original manga. There are six seasons of the drama, I hope to see all of it.

The manga is distributed by Media Do and is available as an e-book on several sites, I get mine from Apple.

The anime is on Crunchyroll:

https://beta.crunchyroll.com/series/GRGG9K1PR/wakakozake

The drama is also on Crunchyroll:

https://beta.crunchyroll.com/series/GYK5X214R/wakakozake-drama

Thanks go to to Deb Aoki who recommended this title in the Mangasplaining podcast. Without that recommendation I may have never seen it.

For more on the podcast see:

https://www.mangasplaining.com


Saturday, January 1, 2022

Additions to the Tokyo Events and Festivals page

 Happy New Year

This week I added the following events to the Tokyo Stroll Supplement: Regular Events and Festivals page.


January:

Daikoku Matsuri

Hatsu (Opening) Basho


April:

Edo Yoshiwara Oiran Dochu

Nakizumo / Crying Baby Festival


May:

Natsu (Summer) Basho


June:

Sanno Matsuri


September:

Aki (Autumn/Fall) Basho


I also have added the romanized Japanese names for many events.