Have you ever heard about 'black tea from Shizuoka', Japan? My brother gave me this tea which was grown on the neighbour mountain! As a child, I grew up with the environment of green tea everywhere. However, I have never heard about the black tea from my region. I was not sure about the quality of this black tea... However, it was absolutely delicious! The flavour and smell are gently sweet and I cannot believe the green tea farmers near our house have produced such high quality black tea! I am very impressed. It is a great discovery. Thank you so much my brother!
When visiting the Far East, Japan is a must-see destination. Its combination of historic temples, beautiful National Parks, and bustling cities make it an attractive choice for both backpackers and luxury travellers.
However, the country also has a distinctive culture, with social quirks that may seem a little unusual to visitors. Here are 4 of the main differences you need to be aware of before you arrive!
Having a clean and tidy home is considered a normal part of Japanese culture, and politeness and respect is expected by all visitors. Taking off your shoes and replacing them with house slippers before you enter is commonplace – simply walking indoors with outdoor shoes is viewed as a dirty habit!
Japanese people are also very careful and responsible when it comes to the spreading of germs. Hot towels will typically be used to cleanse hands after meals, while surgical masks are a usual sight – this is generally because the mask wearer has a cold, and they do not wish to spread their germs to others.
It is likely that most visitors will be aware of the Japanese bowing custom before they arrive in the country, and this often makes people nervous in social situations as they are unsure of the appropriate way to act.
A good rule of thumb is to follow the lead of the person you are interacting with – if they bow to you, then simply return the compliment; the lower you bow, the more respect is shown.
Bowing is necessary in these situations:
For Japanese people, food should be consumed either at home, in a cafe, restaurant, or in a designated food eating area such as a canteen. Western style 'eating on the go' is still frowned upon in Japanese society.
It is viewed as disrespectful to other people and unclean to eat while on buses and trains (unless it is a lengthy or overnight journey). Likewise, eating snacks while walking around a city or town is not a normal sight, and tends to be thought of as slobbish behaviour.
If you must eat outdoors, find a bench or a picnic area to consume your food, and be sure to dispose of any rubbish and packaging in a bin.
Unlike the United States and many other countries, tipping a waiter or waitress is not expected and attempting to do so could result in an awkward situation. Tipping is actually viewed as an insult by some people!
Meals in restaurants always have the service charge included in the price, so there is no reason to give any extra cash. Even if the meal and service has been excellent, it is best practice to refrain from offering a tip – the employee will simply return your money and may become uncomfortable at being put in an embarrassing position.
I was very happy to have had this opportunity to make this Japanese style wedding cake with green tea flavour for my student. It was my first time I made a wedding cake! It took two days and the origami cat couple (nekobina) was also my first time I made in my life! He is a big fan of my handmade cake, because I normally make cake for my academy's anniversary celebration and end of year party (bonenkai) with the members of Arai Academy of Japanese Studies. The cake was made of green tea (maccha) sponge and green tea cream with some white cream for the wedding theme. It was so lovely that everyone said the cake was the best! Anyway, I really felt happy that the married couple were absolutely happy with my hand made wedding cake!
酒ソムリエ協会「日本酒入門コース」６月１９日 'Introductory Sake Professional' by SAKE SOMMELIER ACADEMY on 19th of June 2018
My old student is currently doing an internship at SAKE SOMMELIER ACADEMY. 'Introductory Sake Professional' will be held on 19th of June. If you are interested, please see the link below. (£80 for the two hour session)
Lesley Downer is a new member of Arai Academy of Japanese Studies. She is a writer and has a strong passion for writing about Japan to the rest of the world. Especially, she has deep knowledge about Japanese geisha through the historical point of views. She has spent time in geisha district as well as many places in Japan in her life.
She explained about the geisha who was the actual model of one of the most popular opera 'Madam Butterfly' at Royal Opera House and at Proms on BBC. Those her videos are accessible from the link below. https://www.lesleydowner.com/videos/
The list of her books