January 24, 2013

UM Recession: Ikaho Onsen

by Yoko Kumano

I woke up on January 1, 2013 ready to shred on the tatami mats at my husband’s parent’s house in western Tokyo. After a great workout I took a walk and saw Mt. Fuji in clear view. It was a memorable Jan 1 already. At 12 o’clock, my in-laws and I all piled into a […]

November 5, 2009

Postcards from Japan, V: Soy Shabu

by Kayoko Akabori

The cold weather, as Yoko just talked about, could only mean one thing: HOT POT TIME! Look at that thinly sliced, luscious piece of scarlet red cow flesh. How ever so privileged we are. This is an individual-sized shabu-shabu nabe (hotpot) we got at our ryokan (Japanese-style hotel) in the coastal town of Izu. Instead […]

August 8, 2009

Mizu-Yokan Sandwich

by Kayoko Akabori

Here’s a fun accompaniment to U N I F O R M B E H A V I O R’s flan choux discovery. One morning my mom enthusiastically proclaimed to me, “Kayo, try this now, it’s delicious.” I admit this frightened me a bit, as my mother is never so apparently excited about anything, let […]

November 5, 2008

In Japan Now: Buffet Breakfast

by Kayoko Akabori

Just got to Tokyo late on Monday, and my aunt swooped my away immediately to Atami, a sea-side town just an hour out of the city. We relaxed there for a night bathing in the hot springs and went to a cheesy jazz band dinner show (where the food was terribly bad). Above all else, […]

July 21, 2008

A Spa Night with Cold Noodles (Palisades Park)

by Kayoko Akabori

To celebrate the end of our film festival last week, my coworkers Ryo, Chisa and I bolted onto a 20 minute bus ride out of Manhattan to King Spa Sauna in New Jersey for a night of hot tub relaxation. It mainly caters to a Korean clientele, and for about $100, you get a hard-core […]

May 12, 2008

It’s Alive! (Shioyu Ryokan, Karatsu)

by Yoko Kumano

Live Yobuko squid cut up and staring at you while you eat it. Tentacles periodically lash out at you. This guy was just beautiful and the best squid I have ever had. Culinary gold – my precious awabi simmered to its death in front of my eyes. Its resemblance to a vagina is uncanny. The […]

February 12, 2008

A White Christmas Two Months Late

by Yoko Kumano

What: Mid-winter ryokan getaway tripWhere: Seiryuusou ryokan, Shimonita, Gunma Prefecture (about 3 hours from Shinjuku station)When: Saturday February 9 to Sunday February 10, 2008Why: Thaw out, eat, wash away the grub of Tokyo The food:In general, the food was unpretentious and featured local ingredients native to the region – big, thick, sweet green onions, mountain […]

January 17, 2008

Shabu Shabu Heaven in Hakone

by Moto Yamamoto

While I was in Tokyo, we went down to Hakone. Hakone is sort of like Hamptons for New Yorkers. About 90 minutes from Tokyo, easy getaway, and instead of ocean, there are tons of onsens (hot springs). Ryokans (traditional inns) are famous for their 13 course dinners, which you eat in your room. It’s prix […]

August 3, 2007

Onsen Report

by Yoko Kumano

Despite the year’s first and hardest raining typhoon hitting on the same day as the first day of our one-night onsen trip to Yugawara, we got to the ryokan in one piece (after a lot of wrong turns – Japanese maps do NOT help in any way, also given that they don’t name the goddamn […]

May 4, 2007

When in Monterey…

by Aya Ogawa

I’m from Monterey, California (home of the world-famous — and deservedly so — Monterey Bay Aquarium) which is one of the most beautiful places on earth (the breathtaking landscape was featured in Hitchcock’s masterpiece Vertigo), but the problem with the beautiful places on earth are that they are usually turned into tourist traps — everything […]