author

 
 

Meta

Yukari Sakamoto
For Yukari Sakamoto's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / EARLY START
Jan 6, 2017
Have breakfast in Tokyo where time has frozen, but the coffee's hot
Visiting one of Japan traditional coffee shops, known as kissaten, is a unique way to start to the day.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / EARLY START
Dec 2, 2016
'Ochazuke': Where to get a breakfast of steaming tea-soaked rice in Tokyo
It's one of Japan's most comforting of comfort foods: a bowl of rice with a hot pot of tea poured on top. Ochazuke, literally "steeped in tea", is typically served at the end of meal or a night out, but it can also make for a quick and light Japanese breakfast. The dish can be traced back to the Heian Period (794-1185), when it took the form of hot water poured over cold rice. Tea replaced hot water during the Edo Period (1603-1868), and the dish evolved again in the 1950s when Nagatanien started selling "instant" ochazuke packets containing powdered tea and kombu (kelp). Ochazuke has continued to change; nowadays, it is possible to find it served with an umami-rich seafood dashi.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / EARLY START
Nov 4, 2016
Enjoying soba, udon and ramen — for breakfast?
If eating noodles first thing in the morning doesn’t wake you up, the sound of other diners slurping certainly will. Soba buckwheat noodles and udon (chunky white wheat noodles) date back to the Nara (710-794) and Heian (794-1185) periods; ramen was introduced from China in the 1880s.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / EARLY START
Sep 30, 2016
Okayu: The Japanese alternative to porridge
The thick rice porridge known as okayu has been eaten in Japan for around 1,000 years. However, the early versions were less watery — it wasn't until the Edo Period (1603-1868) that the dish evolved into a semi-liquid dish. In the Kanto region it was traditionally eaten when someone was not feeling well; in Kansai it was typically eaten for breakfast.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / EARLY START
Sep 2, 2016
The 'onigiri': Japan's perfect morning meal
The humble onigiri is a sandwich-like rice ball with savory fillings that makes for a quick breakfast. Rounded out with miso soup, an omelet and some vegetables, it becomes a great morning meal.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / EARLY START
Aug 5, 2016
Start your morning with a serving of tradition at these breakfast joints
The Japanese breakfast provides a healthy start to the day. It's rich in vegetables — from both land and sea — often includes fermented foods such as miso soup and pickles, and is rounded out with rice and grilled seafood. Though, it hasn't always been this way.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Nov 13, 2015
No reservations about eating in Tokyo
We arrive a little before the soba shop opens and wait in the rain. A waitress slides the door to one side and hangs up a noren, a traditional curtain used to indicate that a shop is open. She looks at us — two Americans — and says in Japanese that the restaurant is a member's only shop and that we would not be able to dine there.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jan 7, 2014
Winter is the tastiest time to visit Tsukiji fish market
January is a delicious time for local seafood, as fish naturally fatten up to survive in icy waters. A visit to Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo's Chuo Ward will give you a first-hand view of winter seasonal seafood, as well as a chance to savor it in the area's restaurants. Here's a guide on what to look for and where to eat at the world's largest seafood market — before it changes location to Toyosu in Koto Ward sometime in the next couple of years.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jun 24, 2009
Stomach peko peko? Dig into these Japanese food words
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Japanese cuisine is how it stimulates the senses: exquisite presentation, delicious taste, enticing aroma, distinctive texture and unique sound.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
May 20, 2009
Fish kanji help you hook the perfect meal
Japan is blessed with an abundance of fish — drawn from the deep ocean to the coastal shores, lakes, rivers and streams. Making yourself familiar with the many kanji for different species of fish helps you get by when you run into all this slippery fare at a local restaurant, sushi counter or supermarket. Fish names, as they are spoken, existed before the introduction of kanji to Japan (beginning from the middle of the sixth century). The kanji names were chosen based on the characteristics of the fish — its appearance, how it swims, where it is found or when it is harvested — and bear no relation to the spoken form — for which the meaning has long been lost.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
May 20, 2009
Fish kanji help you hook the perfect meal
Japan is blessed with an abundance of fish — drawn from the deep ocean to the coastal shores, lakes, rivers and streams. Making yourself familiar with the many kanji for different species of fish helps you get by when you run into all this slippery fare at a local restaurant, sushi counter or supermarket. Fish names, as they are spoken, existed before the introduction of kanji to Japan (beginning from the middle of the sixth century). The kanji names were chosen based on the characteristics of the fish — its appearance, how it swims, where it is found or when it is harvested — and bear no relation to the spoken form — for which the meaning has long been lost.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation