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Showing posts from September 14, 2014

1200th Post - Sake Tasting in Daimon

I am not a big drinker, and before I came to Japan I had only had sake (pronounced sar-kay) hot. Over here there are Tabehoudai restaurants where you pay to go for, say, 90 minutes and during that time you can eat as many things on skewers as you want and also drink beer or sake to a reasonable extent along with it. Not drinking beer, the first time I went I opted for sake and it was served ice cold. Suddenly, I was liking sake a whole lot more. This discovery ultimately led to yesterday's outing to Nihon-shu, a sake tasting venue near Daimon station.
This is the kind of place we don't have in the uk. It was halfway between a bar and an off license, without being remotely like either. We went in and the staff were very nice with enough english to work it all out. You basically choose three bottles from the 100+ in there. Each one has a label in both japanese and english giving the price per glass and per bottle, the acidity, the sake meter reading (basically how sweet or dry i…

Teacher Byrne #2

My original bit of teaching for another organisation didn't work out as no one signed up. I have therefore branched out on my own and created a meetup group called "Tokyo Craft". So far I have listed a tour of the craft shops in Shinjuku, learn to knit, make a kanzashi flower and sashiko for beginners - and I have people signed up for each one! I thought I'd have a practise for the Kanzashi one and whipped up these.
The tweedy one is using traditional japanese fabrics while the other ones are patchwork off cuts. All have vintage button centres.
Two brooches and a pendant/charm. Those all use the same petal shape, and the one I think is the prettiest, but I've also been looking at the more delicate ones made differently using satin and silk. There are some beautiful examples and good tutorials on Pinterest. I've collected some here in case anyone wants them.

2014 Dohyo Matsuri, Sumo Tournament Opening Ceremony

Last Saturday was the opening ceremony of the current Sumo tournament. There are 6 each year - 3 in Tokyo and 3 in other major Japanese cities. I missed the June one so as soon as the tickets went on sale for this month I was online. Pooch and I are going this weekend so this opening ceremony was a kind of warm up for me! The venue is next to Ryogoku station, which is therefore suitably decked out with the appropriate face cut out.
The venue itself is surrounded by these very brightly coloured flags, fluttering in the breeze.
Once we got inside it is a bit like any big stadium - lots of muddy coloured corridors with snack vendors dotted about and then double doors taking you into the main arena. Wow! It was pretty impressive.
The roof suspended over the ring resembles a Shinto shrine, emphasising the serious nature of the event. This isn't just fat guys grappling - this is a serious profession with many spiritual elements.
As the place filled up the ringside seats were taken by ve…