August in Japan. One would immediately think of the intense hot and humid Asian heat, everyone fanning themselves to keep cool, sunbrellas out in force and long-sleeved gloves being worn by ladies who are adamant to do whatever it takes to remain youthful, watermelons chilling in the ice cold waters, shaved-ice being served up in pop-up trucks on the side walk, yakuta (summer version of kimono) girls totter towards summer firework displays with 6-pack Asahi beers… Welcome to the GREAT JAPANESE SUMMER!
When you are driving through Tokyo, you just see the beginnings of Spring popping up here and there. The cherry blossoms are budding and starting to show its delicate pinkness to bring dashes of colour to the streets. This is one of the most beautiful times to be in Japan and the food that comes with the change in season is fresh and brings a warm smile to your face.
Japanese culture is bit of a funny one. “Kawaii” means cute, adorable, sweet… referring to anything from girls aesthetics, fashion to products. It has grown from a small subculture to mainstream culture of modern Japan. Today it is a multi-billion industry and one that has gone global to draw foreigners into Japanese culture.
I keep telling myself I need to go to visit more cultural exhibitions but rarely get round to it. That was until I saw an advert in Time Out Tokyo for a foodie exhibition at the very centrally-located Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall called “Japanese Culinary Immersion – L’art de Rosanjin“.
I flew 1.5hrs to get to Nagasaki to visit my mother’s side of the family for a few days. Coming here, feels far removed from the bustle of Tokyo, and everyone enjoys living the quiet country life. Having come here from childhood, the place continues to feels like time has stood still and nothing has really changed.
Mampei Hotel founded in 1984 is one of the most beautiful and well-known hotel in Karuizawa, visited by many prime ministers, celebrities, artists, and the like, who value and appreciate the retention of the old-time architecture and hospitality at one of Japan’s original luxury resort destinations.