Yatai are small food stalls selling a variety of delicious Japanese street food including Ramen, Oden and Yakitori. They were once popular throughout Japan but are nowadays more prevalent in the city of Fukuoka. One of the most popular places to eat Yatai food is along the Naka river where the photos shown here were taken. Perhaps the best way to enjoy Yatai is to move from one cart to the other for a chance to sample a diversity of Japanese delicacies.
A Japanese mansion, pronounced manshon, is not a large and expensive house the name would suggest. Mansion is used in Japanese to describe a typical apartment complex. Interestingly, individual apartments at mansions are usually accessed from outside through a balcony running along the building. Although everyone has access to this balcony, it lacks privacy and seems rarely used to enjoy nice weather or eat outside. The latter is not popular in Japan and terraces at restaurants are practically nonexistent. The mansion is well adapted to the Japanese climate, which rarely justifies the necessity of access corridors to protect inhabitants from the cold.
The Kaikaro Teahouse is located in Kanazawa’s Higashi Chaya (East Teahouse) district. Japanese teahouses are traditional establishments where guests may be entertained by Geishas. While most of those establishments are exclusive, the Kaikaro Teahouse is open to the public. The teahouse features many lavishly decorated rooms on the second floor. The visit includes tea and a traditional Japanese desert (Kuzukiri) where noodles made of Kuzu starch are dipped in a sweet syrup covered by a thin gold leaf.
The Japanese hot spring Inn we stayed at in Sado Island offered a traditional dance show in the evening: a unique opportunity to enjoy Japanese culture after soaking in the bath and a generous seafood dinner including a copious amount of Japanese beer and sake.
A group of traditional dancers and singers came to the hotel’s lobby and gave a warm performance of a traditional dance from Sado island along the Okesa Song. The Okesa song, which is a dialog between two lovers, is thought to have been brought to Sado island by seamen navigating the sea of Japan. It is now an important cultural heritage to Sado island.
Taking the ferry in Japan is a peculiar experience. Ferries are typically divided in different classes. All classes share the common characteristic that most Japanese try to sleep during the trip, even if it takes only a few hours during daytime. Upper level classes consist in large rooms filled with individual and fully horizontal mattresses on which customers can sleep. Few first class rooms akin to hotel rooms are sometimes available on the upper deck.
I was in the lower class, which is more rudimentary. It consists in carpeted floor area where one can lie down. Customers seemed to consider the carpets dirty since the best majority sleep on old journal paper. While older folks take a nap or watch baseball while lying down, kids feed the marine birds with potato crackers. I personally choose to eat a warm bowl of ramen noodles and to document in photos this interesting experience of Japanese culture.
The Kabukiza is a famous Kabuki theater in Ginza district at the heart of Tokyo. Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theater where tales of feudal lords, samurai warriors and divinities are told. The Kabukiza was fully renovated recently Continue reading Kabukiza, traditional Japanese Kabuki theater