Welcome to the November 2010 edition of the Japan Blog Matsuri! First of all, if you still haven't checked out the October Matsuri (Japan Highlights) over at Todd's Wanderings, please do!
And now, November's theme:
"Fall is the season for eating", roughly translated from an actual Japanese saying: 食欲の秋 (shokuyoku no aki).
I'm really excited to introduce all these fantastic entries to you, but before we get started, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated. I hope everyone reading finds these posts just as interesting as I have!
Warning: Before you continue, you may want to read these on a full stomach or at least have a snack nearby - I take no responsibility for any ensuing hunger pains or uncontrollable cravings.
Let the festivities begin!
How do YOU do Thanksgiving in Japan? Aimee of Tokyo Writer writes about how she celebrates this traditional American holiday as an expat living in Japan:
Thanksgiving in Japan
Did you catch any moon-viewing festivals this year? nezumi iro examines the tradition of tsukimi (moon-viewing) with some helpful tips on how to make dango, a customary treat for that particular time of Fall:
Miso is known for its many health benefits (and deliciousness!), and is a great food to eat in the Fall (or all year round). Japan Dave gives us a nice overview of miso, particularly hatcho miso, with one of his fabulous HDR photos:
What is Miso and How to Make It
See that picture of oden up above? Are some of the items mysterious looking to you? Tokyo Bounce has a detailed chart to help you figure out what was in that bowl, or your bowl the next time you decide to dig out of the steaming pots at your local konbini (or elsewhere, of course):
Oden field guide - know your fish paste
For the expats out there living in Japan (or have lived in Japan), what kind of images pop into your mind when you think of Fall? Goodandbadjapan looks at what Japanese might think of when they think of Fall - and also what things, as an expat in Japan, mean Autumn to him:
I have to say, I love gyoza, and just ate some for dinner last night! Anna over at Budget Trouble takes us on a tour of Utsunomiya's famous Gyoza Festival, held in early November, complete with great pictures and a video for your viewing pleasure. If you love gyoza too, you'll want to click here:
Utsunomiya Gyoza Matsuri - when a dumpling has its own festival
When the weather gets cold, you know you want to eat something hot! And in this case, spicy hot does the trick. Through Eyes From Afar introduces us to kimuchi pork, a Japanese version of the traditional Korean kimchi:
Francois au Japon discovered kuzumochi, a Japanese treat, on a recent Fall trip to Nara, Japan, and tells us all about it, including how to eat it, in this post:
Do you know kuzumochi?
Dango isn't the only thing you can eat during tsukimi. Lonelee Planet shares with us the special burger McDonald's sells for moon-viewing, for 20 years now. (There's some helpful info about tsukimi as well):
If you haven't tried Japanese "pumpkin" yet, otherwise known as kabocha, you definitely should. Fukuoka Dreaming wrote up a nice recipe for Pumpkin (kabocha) Pudding. So if you have a sweet tooth, and love to bake, here you go:
Pumpkin Pudding (かぼちゃのプリン Kabocha no purin)
Thoughts of Fall in Japan conjure up a variety of images, and Ali of Haikugirl's Japan gives us a yummy peek at a variety, including persimmons, oden, and some fun seasonal ice cream and Kit Kats, to name a few. I know you want to know what kind of Kit Kats!:
The season of hearty appetites (食欲の秋)
Of course, some food is delicious all year-round, no matter what season it is (I can tell you I always crave curry in the summer as well as winter...), and Todd over at Todd's Wanderings looks at some top foods to try here in Japan, whether Fall or not:
Top 5 Foods to Eat and Experience in Japan
Did you know that some fish are best caught in certain seasons? The Soul of Japan tells us about the Japanese mackerel and its prime seasons for eating, depending on your particular tastes:
Ah, ramen - the dish we all know so well, whether in a small foam cup or a giant ceramic bowl. Eaten in your home, in chinese restaurant chains, in quirky mom-and-pop shops in unassuming alleys, but what about, on a bus? Ichigoichielove shows us the Bus Ramen shop in her neighborhood, complete with steering wheel:
Bus Ramen!? バスラーメンって！？
I'll leave off with some lovely photos by Japan Dish of an oden dinner - are you hungry yet?
Oden for Dinner
Check 'em out, leave comments, and share your thoughts! Happy Fall everyone! (And a Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans!)
P.S. If you'd like to be involved in the Japan blog matsuri next month (and in the future), or want to read more about it, please check out the FAQ, found here.