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J.J. O'Donoghue

For J.J. O'Donoghue's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Beef served big and loud at Buff

| Feb 24, 2015

Beef served big and loud at Buff

Highway FM is possibly the worst radio station ever, unless you like your music country and each song laced with messages of patriotism, a work hard, play hard mantra or neighborly love. Sometimes a bit too much love. At Buff, a steak restaurant near ...

Nothing drawn out about Kappo Yamashita

| Feb 10, 2015

Nothing drawn out about Kappo Yamashita

This might be the year of kappo dining for me. Recently, I have often found myself seated at sparse counters opposite small teams of industrious chefs, synchronized by their movements: cutting, peeling, grating, stirring, broiling, searing, tasting and fielding questions from patrons. The more ...

No kitsch tag for Kitahama Retro's delight

| Jan 27, 2015

No kitsch tag for Kitahama Retro's delight

If in some yet-to-be-explained plot twist the British TV show “Downton Abbey” winds up in Osaka, expect Kitahama Retro to play a starring role. It’s period perfect — right down to the maid in her pinafore, the linen curtains, silver-service tea sets and giant ...

The City that Silk Built

Jan 17, 2015

The City that Silk Built

Kyoto has long been generous to its writers, stretching from Murasaki Shikibu, with “The Tale of Genji,” right through to Yukio Mishima, with “The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.” The poet Matsuo Basho also penned several memorable haiku while decamped here. The City that ...

Eat Osaka teaches you how to cook like a local

Jan 13, 2015

Eat Osaka teaches you how to cook like a local

Here’s a joke unlikely to be endorsed by the Osaka Government Tourism Bureau: “There are three great reasons to visit Osaka: great people, great food and because Kyoto doesn’t have an airport.” The truth hurts, even if it’s also mildly humorous. Osaka, a much ...