Gaijin on Getas Blog

Posts in the ‘samurai tours’ Category

10 Ways to Save Money While Dining Out in Japan

Posted on April 21st, 2012 by Mike Roberts

 One of the biggest misconceptions about Japan we run into commonly is the idea that food in Japan is very expensive. While some things such as fruit are much more expensive (but usually much better), there are many things that are not. And there are many things you can do to save money dining out while you are in Japan. After all, you’ve got to ask yourself: the per capita income in Japan is a little lower than in America. If food was so expensive, how could the Japanese live on that income. (Then again, maybe that’s why there are so many thin Japanese.) But seriously, there are things you can do to cut costs, and still enjoy the wonderful Japanese food. The secret is simple: do as the Japanese do. Read the full post »

Kurosawa Movie One-Liners

Posted on March 25th, 2012 by Mike Roberts

 As a movie lover, it is interesting to see how some lines from a movie are able to entrench themselves into a culture. For example, who has not heard the lines “We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto”, “Go ahead, make my day”, “I’ll be back” and “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” to name just a few. I find myself using these and many other movie-one liners in my everyday conversations. Well, the same thing happens in Japan with Japanese movies as well of course. While maybe a little more difficult for westerners to understand, many of them are worthwhile listing here. Because he is the master, I will focus on Kurosawa in ths blog. We will concentrate on other film makers in a later blog. Read the full post »

Arima Onsen

Posted on February 28th, 2012 by Takako "Tammy" Ota

Arima Spa in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture is one of the oldest and best hot spring resorts in Japan along with Dogo Onsen Spar in Ehime Prefecture and Shirahama Onsen in Wakayama Prefecture. Arima is about one hour bus ride from Umeda (Osaka), the traffic center of North Osaka. It’s known as an oasis of Osaka and about 1.6 million people visit Arima Onsen every year. 

Arima Onsen

Arima Onsen

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Instant Ramen Museum

Posted on February 3rd, 2012 by Mike Roberts

 

Instant Ramen Museum

Instant Ramen Museum

According to a poll taken in the year 2000, the Japanese believe their best invention of the 20th century was instant noodles (the second best was the Walkman). In 2010, it is estimated approximately 95 billion servings of instant noodles were eaten worldwide. It all started in the sleepy town of Ikeda located in northern Osaka. In 1958 Momofuku Ando of Nissin Foods, introduced the first instant noodle dish known as “Chicken Ramen”. In 1971, he introduced the even more popular “Cup of Noodles”, an instant ramen dish prepared by adding boiling water to a polystyrene cup to cook the noodles and other ingredients.  Read the full post »

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Posted on February 2nd, 2012 by Mike Roberts

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Its picture can be found in many travel brochures, and it has even appeared in movies such as Memoirs of a Geisha. And even though it is only a short 5 minute train ride from the always busy Kyoto Train station, few people make the journey to Fushimi Inari Shrine. Often thought of as the headquarters of the more than 20,000 Inari Shrines located throughout Japan, this shrine can provide a quiet respite to a busy itinerary.

In Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan, Inari is the goddess of cereal, or in other words, rice. So as you might guess, both the goddess and the shrines are very important. It is said the very name Inari, is derived from the words Ine, meaning rice, and Naru meaning to grow. Read the full post »

Sake Brewing in Fushimi, Kyoto

Posted on January 24th, 2012 by Takako "Tammy" Ota

Gekkeikan Sake Brewery

Gekkeikan Sake Brewery

Sake making began about two thousand years ago when rice planting was introduced to Japan. Fushimi is one of the biggest sake producing areas in Japan. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the lord of Osaka Castle, built Fushimi Casle in the late sixteenth century, the sake industry in the surrounding city of Fushimi flourished. Many sake breweries including Gekkeikan started brewing sake here during the Edo Period. Today there are about 20 sake breweries in Fushimi. When you walk around Fushimi the fragrant smell of sake floats on the wind. Read the full post »

New Years Dishes

Posted on January 15th, 2012 by Takako "Tammy" Ota

Herring Roe and Black Beans

Herring Roe and Black Beans

Osechi Ryori, (New Year’s dishes) are specially prepared to be eaten during the first three days of January. They are cooked and  preserved for three days so that housewives don’t have to cook during that period. The yellow in the grey dish is herring roe representing fertility. Bean in Japanese is ‘mame’ which has the same sound of ‘working hard’. So the black beans in the yellow dish reflect our wish to stay healthy and to work hard. Each of the dishes has some auspicious meaning which reflects people’s wishes such as longevity, prosperity and fertility.  Read the full post »

New Years Decorations

Posted on January 5th, 2012 by Takako "Tammy" Ota

New Years Decorations

New Years Decorations

Happy New Year! Akemashite Omedetou in Japanese!

Christmas displays at department stores, grocery stores and train and subway stations are changed to New Year displays over night. The changes are made quickly but thorough. To the righ, you can see a display where various colored chrysanthemums and plum branches are put into bamboo stems, and placed on red carpeting in front of a gold screen. Gold and red are regarded as a happy color representing a lighthearted atmosphere for a new year. Read the full post »