Category Archives: FOOD

We eat at Japan’s first-ever ramen restaurant, finally reopened after 44 years

Tasting history at Rairaiken, the restaurant that introduced Japan to ramen over 100 years ago. There are plenty of unique ramen restaurants around Japan that proudly boast unique attributes like Michelin stars, idol singers, and straight-up fire, but only one can lay claim as being the country’s very first ramen restaurant, and that accolade goes […]

…continue reading


Aiming For 45 kg: Disordered Eating Recovery In Japan

In the last few years, in bookstores in Japan, I have often been drawn to the women’s lifestyle section and dieting books. Maybe all of the advertisements on the Yamanote Line when I was in Tokyo in 2018 had pierced my subconscious, but Ishimura Tomomi’s book, ゼロトレ(“Zero Training”), in particular, has recently caught my attention again.

“After trying Tomomi’s exercises, my waist shrank by 7.5 cm in one hour!”

… so it says on the publisher’s website, as well as the ad that I stared at with my daughter strapped to me in a baby carrier on the packed train. It doesn’t attract my interest because it’s an especially interesting idea, however. Rather, it merely reflects one of the biggest weights that I carry—a history of food restriction and disordered thoughts about eating—repackaged in the country I now call home.

My own story with Disordered Eating

By the time I first visited Tokyo, I was in my early twenties and had already spent many years dodging questions about my weight from doctors and mental health professionals in Canada.

Unfortunately, my history with disordered eating, like many women’s goes back far too long: to when I was still in elementary school. I can remember the first time that dieting seemed appealing. It was the late 1990s and I was flipping through a magazine at the dentist’s office. By chance, I came across an article about butter as the “enemy of a slim figure.” Enthralled, I kept reading, strangely attracted to the idea that one could achieve an ideal merely by omitting a simple morning toast topping. And so, I declared my own personal and very quiet war against butter, cutting it out of all of my routines, morning and otherwise. I relished the sense of calm …continue reading


Japanese KitKats are shrinking, Nestlé says previous size may have been “too large” for customers

Twitter user uncovers a case of shrinkflation, and chocolate lovers aren’t happy about it. Nobody does KitKats quite like Japan. Here, they come in all sorts of unique varieties like sakura, sake, and cough drop, and they’re even sold in post offices, where they’re packaged in decorative boxes perfect for sending to relatives and friends. Commonly […]

…continue reading


Muji’s Nuka Paste for Pickling is perfect for making your own Japanese pickles at home

This is a must-have for tsukemono fans! Tsukemono, or Japanese-style pickles, are a staple of traditional Japanese cuisine. They’re often served as an accompaniment to rice, but they’re also a popular drinking snack because they’re crunchy and have a nice sweet and sour or salty flavor, which goes great with alcohol. You can make Japanese […]

…continue reading


We enjoy fast food without human contact by trying out KFC Japan’s new takeout lockers

Could this be the future of takeout? A lot of us have been in this fast-food pickup scenario, haven’t we? You place an order for some tasty fast food only to arrive at the counter and go through this embarrassing rigmarole: Hungry customer: Hello, I’m here to pick up my takeout order. Long-suffering clerk: Fantastic! […]

…continue reading


New opening – Good Luck Curry: Kaigan


Tokyo curry shops generally fall into one of two categories – either brightly lit, spartan counter shops with open kitchens, or more comfortably furnished and attractively decorated cafes with individual tables and hidden kitchens. Good Luck falls squarely into the second category, with art on the walls and a nice panoramic view out over the elevated walkways of Takeshiba’s waterfront office-building district.

Like many cafe-style curry shops they serve original (as opposed to more orthodox Indo- or European-style) curries. The original Ebisu branch soared in popularity after it was featured in an influential magazine-book called “Ultimate Curry.” Their busy-looking curry plates are artfully assembled on colorful pottery, with tiny portions of side ingredients (mushrooms, boiled potato, bits of sliced apple) rather than just curry and rice.

You can order one, two, or all three of the curries of the day on one plate. Optional toppings are limited to soft-boiled egg, cheese, and extra cilantro. Our keema curry had deep, complex flavors, perhaps a bit on the salty side, and heavy on clove and other spices. The coconut-based Super Ebi curry was relatively mild and well-rounded, dotted with plump, tasty shrimp. The side ingredients nicely balanced out the saltiness of the curries and provided textural contrast as well.

Overall, the flavors here are distinctive and original, and the rotating daily menu should reward repeat visits. Daily menus frequently include fish curries, which is something you don’t often see at other Japanese curry shops. Curry plates are priced at Y1,100, Y1,300 and Y1,500 for one, two or three curries, and extra toppings are Y100. Drinks include beer, wine, ginger ale and spiced chai, and there’s a pudding dessert. Take-out is available. …continue reading


Enjoy the sweet taste of autumn with the help of Kirby and pals

Putting an adorable spin on a traditional sweet! If there’s ever a character that can lend itself perfectly to being adorned on cakes and sweets, it’s Kirby. Whether it’s an impressive homemade tribute to the pink superstar or something more professional, adding Kirby to any food will always make it more adorable. (well, almost always). Kirby’s […]

…continue reading


Starbucks adds pumpkin to its autumn Frappuccino for Halloween

Slowly inching closer to Japan’s first pumpkin spice Frappuccino. After closing its stores across Japan in spring due to the coronavirus outbreak, Starbucks’ roster of limited-edition seasonal Frappucinos has sadly slowed down compared to previous years. Things began to pick up pace last month, though, with the introduction of the Daigaku Imo Frappuccino, which shone […]

…continue reading