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Japanese Culture | Hot Spots | Products | Food

FREE Jul. 2015


Traditional Japanese dishes to satisfy your cravings >>Page 10 Sendai’s striking architecture and summery festivities >>Page 24


Wagyu Mind-blowing beef that’s buttery-smooth

Get a taste for yourself




JULY 2015


July 2015 Vol. 05



04 Melt-in-your-mouth sensational Wagyu

12 Featured products

Evenly distributed fat that’s rich in flavour is what gives Wagyu its silky finish. It’s a must-try delicacy for meat lovers!

10 Truly traditional eats Nami’s assortment of unfailingly fresh fish, gorgeously grilled meats and oh-soshareable soups is traditional Japanese cuisine at its best.

Treat yourself to Wagyu in the city

Gear up for some fun summer days and relaxing summer nights with this month’s featured products.


14 Natural comforts: 7 organic cotton products

24 Featured destination: Sendai

We checked out MUJI’s spring-summer 2015 collection and picked our favourite products made with all-natural organic cotton.

The Tohoku region’s greatest metropolis offers mouthwatering local delicacies, striking feudal architecture and a vivid spirit of resilience.

16 Fully electric, zero tailpipe emissions

20 The magnificent Japanese citrus It may take ages to cultivate this fruit, but its versatile flavours are well worth waiting for.

22 Refreshing summer sake If you’re looking for some summer refreshment, try Kikusui’s Junmai Ginjo—a premium sake from a brewery with mythical inspiration.


32 One-of-a-kind dining

Why this little electric car is the smartest choice.

Does the idea of watching barely clad, enormous men wrestling each other not make you hungry? Don’t let that deter you….

38 Local events Celebrate Japanese culture in your own backyard.

Culture 30 Only in Japan

40 Beauty Find your style at Chura Hair Salon.

Munch on affordable mini-meals and joyfully imbibe the night away with your most boisterous buddies.

44 Japanese dining series Remember, it’s not just about eating what gets served. Each dish is art on its own, like edible poetry.

36 Film focus

45 Unwind and indulge at Sushiya

With rich, glowing visuals and a timeless quality, When Marnie Was There is a film for children of all ages.


Feast on delectably fresh sushi options from the land and the sea —at incredibly reasonable prices.

Would you wait 18 years for these guys?

42 Memoir Summer in Japan means getting up close and personal with nature’s creatures.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter


Nina Hoeschele

Summer entertainment, from festivals to edibles If there’s anything that appeals to me at this time of year, it’s (1) travelling and (2) eating. And this issue will motivate you to do both! For anyone journeying to Japan, visit Sendai (p. 24) for a spectacular summer festival. Or, if you find yourself in Tokyo, try the restaurant where you can watch live sumo wrestling while you feast (p. 32). Finally, after a long day, seek out a cosy izakaya (p. 30) and unwind with endless refreshments and long conversation.

Editors Nina Hoeschele, Yumi Nishio Editorial coordinator Kathleen O’Hagan Writers Ariel Litteljohn, James Heron, Jenny McKechnie, Junko Mita, Kathleen O’Hagan, M Crowson, Mark Hashimoto, Sarah Dickson, Sheena Kirkbride, Shelley Suzuki, Stephen Choi, Yumi Nishio

Of course, not everyone has the time or the means for summer travel—but for those pursuing option #2 (eating) here in Canada, the best of Japan is still on the table. Take Wagyu, a.k.a. the highestquality beef Japan has to offer. We tell you what makes it so special (p. 4)—then show you where to sample some in the city (p. 6). Just don’t forget to wash it down with some refreshing sake (p. 22).

Designers Chiyako Mukai, Reiko Ema, Chieko Watanabe Web designer Hiroyuki Azuma Photographers Kazu Maruyama, Hiroyuki Azuma Production assistants Stephen Choi, Rondie Li, Michelle Kurotaki

Whether vacationing or “staycationing,” here’s to a wonderful summer!

Marketing administrator Emma Gao Publisher Kazu Maruyama

Bento Box Communication Inc.


600 Bay St. Suite 410, Toronto ON M5G 1M6


Phone: 416-847-6799




JULY 2015



食べ方いろいろ、絶品和牛。 ジューシーで柔らかい肉質が特長。

Wagyu ‫޿ߒ޿߅ ޣ‬๺ ‐ ․ 㓸 ‫ޤ‬

By Ariel Litteljohn

Melt-in-your-mouth sensational Wagyu Short Loin

Rib Chuck



Evenly distributed fat that’s rich in flavour is what gives Wagyu its silky finish. It’s a soft fat with a low melting point.

Brisket & SShank h nk

Rich and silky, Wagyu beef is a must-try delicacy for meat lovers!

For the best taste, take care to not overcook or overseason the beef.


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Wagyu Japanese Black

Japanese Brown

Japanese Polled

Japanese Shorthorn

Kuroge Washu

Akage Washu

Mukaku Washu

Nihon Tankaku Washu

Flavour that’s both delicate and rich

When shopping for Wagyu, the savvy customer will notice that there are many different options—from the highest-grade beef imported from Japan to cows raised in Australia, the USA and also right here at home. A delicacy once only to be found in Japan, Wagyu was first brought over to farms in Ontario in the 1990s. What sets Wagyu apart from other cows? Wagyu cattle are raised with one goal in mind: supreme flavour. And big flavour comes from the high amount and quality of fat, which takes a combination of nature and nurture to achieve—upwards of 30 months of love compared to 20 months for non-Wagyu animals. Rumour even has it that, to keep the cattle eating during the hot summer months, some Wagyu breeders feed their prized cows beer! If you are concerned with the high fat content of Wagyu, you can feel better knowing that the fat is the “good stuff”—monounsaturated and chock-full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Besides, Wagyu is both too costly and rich in taste for the average person to eat any potentially health-affecting amount. Japanese Wagyu has a 70–80 per cent fat content ... try chewing on that! There are four distinct groups of Japanese Wagyu: Black, which comprises close to 90 per cent of Wagyu cattle; Brown/Red, the

second most popular outside of Japan; Shorthorn; and Polled. Each animal comes from a pure and traceable bloodline. In Japan, the National Livestock Breeding Center (NLBC) keeps detailed information about each cow, including a record of ancestry, birthplace and fattening days. As such, restaurants and butchers have a 10-digit tracking number for each animal that links back to the NLBC database! Moreover, there is a grading system that assigns each animal with a Yield Grade (A–C, with A being the highest) and a numerical Quality Grade (1–5, with 5 being the highest), based on marbling, quality of fat, firmness/texture and colour. Unlike other breeds of cattle, Wagyu yields high-quality beef from most parts of the cow. Why is Wagyu popular? A lot of it comes down to mouthfeel, which for Wagyu is silky, rich and satisfying. With most beef, you can really taste the texture of the meat in your mouth. Wagyu, on the other hand, has a silky texture that almost melts in your mouth like butter. Now, it’s time to eat your exquisitely marbled piece of beef. There are a number of different ways one can cook Wagyu at home, from throwing it on the barbecue to making dumplings, “swish-swish-ing” (shabu shabu) finely cut pieces of Wagyu in a hot pot of seaweed broth, enjoying sweet Wagyu sukiyaki or even going the most minimalist route and making Wagyu tartare. Some farmers’ markets also sell Wagyu hotdogs! However you choose to cook it, you’ll want to have some dipping sauces on the table. Popular choices include a sesame sauce, ponzu-citrus sauce or miso sauce.

If you’d rather not experience anxiety-related sweats as you fire up the barbecue holding a $60 steak, there are a number of fine Toronto restaurants serving up unique and mouthwatering Wagyu dishes.

Shimofuri ‫ޤࠅ߽߰ߒޣ‬

和 牛

霜 降 り Photo by © Tomo. Yun

Wagyu, literally meaning Japanese cow, is the cream of the crop, the caviar of the cow kingdom. Silky. Buttery. Rich. Tender. Savoury. Umami.

Wagyu’s defining feature is its extensive and intense intramuscular marbling. Shimofuri, the evenly distributed web of fat, is what gives Wagyu its rich, buttery flavour and makes the meat appear almost white.

JULY 2015



in the city

Mouth watering? Stomach rumbling? Here are some options sure to satisfy.


You’ll find that most restaurants favour Wagyu preparation methods that really let the flavours of the beef take centre stage—no overwhelming sauces or sides.



Danny McCallum, chef at Jacobs & Co., describes Wagyu as a meat like no other: “It’s beyond a steak. It’s like meaty butter. It’s magical stuff.” Wagyu’s regional differences make it truly unique, McCallum says. Whether the cows drink the Kanto region’s mineral-rich waters or snack on Okinawa’s fruits, you can taste it in the meat. McCallum keeps his Wagyu simple—a touch of salt, a sprinkling of pepper. It’s then seared and sliced into thin pieces to be shared, sometimes with a citrus-ginger soy sauce. McCallum wants people to taste the individuality of the meat and recommends avoiding any overpowering sides—maybe a sip of water between bites. Right now on the menu: a shareable 50-oz. Japanese Wagyu steak from Nagasaki. Price: $1,112! Hours:Ê-՘q/ÕiÃÊxÊ«“q£ä\ÎäÊ«“ÊUÊ7i`q->ÌÊxÊ«“q££Ê«“Ê Contact: £ÓÊ À>˜ÌÊ-Ì°]Ê/œÀœ˜ÌœÊUÊ{£È‡ÎÈȇäÓääÊUÊÜÜÜ°>VœLÃÃÌi>Ž…œÕÃi°Vœ“



The recently opened Kasa Moto restaurant is serving up a number of tasty Wagyu offerings: a robata dish, striploin, skirt steak and a soy butter fried rice dish. Chef Michael Parubocki cooks the Wagyu on a robata grill that was imported from Japan. This special grill runs extremely hot and uses binchotan charcoal, the highestquality charcoal available. According to Parubocki, Wagyu should be treated with care, and is best served medium rare. Parubocki believes that there is no need to “mask” Wagyu with a heavy sauce, and that it is best served on its own, with the kitchen’s house-made steak spice. Price: -œÞÊLÕÌÌiÀÊvÀˆi`ÊÀˆViÊf™ÊUÊ,œL>Ì>‡}Àˆi`Ê7>}ÞÕÊf£xÊ 7>}ÞÕÊLiivÊV>À«>VVˆœÊfÓ{ÊUÊ7>}ÞÕÊÃÌÀˆ«œˆ˜Êf£ÓäÊ­£{ʜⰮ Hours: Mon–Sun 11 am–close Contact: ££xÊ9œÀŽÛˆiÊÛi°]Ê/œÀœ˜ÌœÊUÊÈ{LJÎ{n‡ÇäääÊ


JULY 2015



At Katsura, you have two choices from the regular menu: a 5-oz. Wagyu steak featured as part of the six-course Kiritsubo omakase meal, and a 5.5-oz., premium-grade (A4, marble level 9) Wagyu striploin, served with wasabi and soy sauce. Over on the popular teppanyaki side of the restaurant, you can feast on teppanyaki Wagyu beef and vegetables cooked right in front of your eyes. Ginger-garlic and white-wine mustard soy sauces are served for dipping. Price: 7>}ĂžĂ•ĂŠĂƒĂŒĂ€ÂˆÂŤÂ?ÂœÂˆÂ˜ĂŠfĂˆ{ĂŠUĂŠ/iÂŤÂŤiÂ˜Ăž>ÂŽÂˆĂŠfĂˆ{ĂŠUĂŠÂˆĂ€ÂˆĂŒĂƒĂ•LÂœĂŠÂœÂ“>ÂŽ>Ăƒiʓi>Â?ĂŠf£Óä Hours: -Ă•Â˜qÂœÂ˜ĂŠx\Îäʍ“q™Ê“ÊUĂŠ/Ă•iĂƒqĂ€ÂˆĂŠÂŁĂ“ĂŠÂŤÂ“qĂ“\Îäʍ“]ĂŠx\Îäʍ“q£äʍ“Ê ->ĂŒĂŠx\Îäʍ“q£äʍ“ Contact: ™ääÊ9ÂœĂ€ÂŽĂŠˆÂ?Â?ĂƒĂŠ,`°]ĂŠ/ÂœĂ€ÂœÂ˜ĂŒÂœĂŠÂ­>ĂŒĂŠĂŒÂ…iĂŠ7iĂƒĂŒÂˆÂ˜ĂŠ*Ă€ÂˆÂ˜ViĂŠÂœĂŒiÂ?ÂŽĂŠUĂŠ{ÂŁĂˆÂ‡{{{‡ÓxÂŁÂŁĂŠÂœĂ€ĂŠ Ăˆ{LJÓx™‡ÎÓÎäÊUĂŠĂœĂœĂœÂ°ÂŽ>ĂŒĂƒĂ•Ă€>Ă€iĂƒĂŒ>Ă•Ă€>Â˜ĂŒÂ°Vœ“


These skewers are grilled to perfection on a charcoal grill using natural Japanese charcoal. The beautifully marbled American Kobe Wagyu is best grilled to medium rare where it is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It is served with a side of homemade Oropon sauce, which is a grated radish and citrus sauce that adds a fresh, tangy avour. Zakkushi also offers a charcoal-grilled Wagyu steak for those looking to make a full meal of Wagyu beef. Price: *Ă€iÂ“ÂˆĂ•Â“ĂŠ7>}ÞÕÊLiivĂŠĂƒÂŽiĂœiĂ€ĂŠĂœÂˆĂŒÂ…ĂŠ"Ă€ÂœÂŤÂœÂ˜ĂŠĂƒ>Ă•ViĂŠfĂˆÂ°nä Hours: -Ă•Â˜q/Â…Ă•ĂŠx\Îäʍ“qÂŁĂŠ>“Ê­Â?>ĂƒĂŒĂŠV>Â?Â?\ĂŠÂŁĂ“ĂŠ>“Ž Ă€Âˆq->ĂŒĂŠx\Îäʍ“qĂ“ĂŠ>“Ê­Â?>ĂƒĂŒĂŠV>Â?Â?\ĂŠÂŁĂŠ>“Ž Contact: £™ÎÊ >Ă€Â?ĂŒÂœÂ˜ĂŠ-ĂŒÂ°]ĂŠ/ÂœĂ€ÂœÂ˜ĂŒÂœĂŠUĂŠĂˆ{LJÎxӇ™{xxĂŠUĂŠĂœĂœĂœÂ°Ă˘>ÂŽÂŽĂ•ĂƒÂ…ÂˆÂ°VÂœÂ“Ă‰V>Ă€Â?ĂŒÂœÂ˜




At Kingyo Toronto, there are two Wagyu options. From the menu, you can choose Wagyu grilled on a hot stone (“stone grilled Kobe beef�), where customers literally grill their beef on a large, hot stone right at their table! This dish is served with Japanese-style BBQ and salty lemon sauces, sliced lemon and greens. Though it’s not on the menu, you can also sometimes dine on Wagyu steak. Inquire if interested.

Sushi Bar Sushiya is your destination if you’re wanting to try Wagyu sashimi or sushi. It’s currently being offered as a monthly special for June and July. Each order is served with a homemade soy sauce, some spicy wasabi and an Oropon (or oroshi ponzu) sauce, which is ponzu sauce made with grated radish and onion. Sushiya sources their Wagyu from the United States.

Price: -ĂŒÂœÂ˜iĂŠ}Ă€ÂˆÂ?Â?i`ĂŠÂœLiĂŠLiivĂŠfә Hours: -Ă•Â˜q/Â…Ă•Ă€ĂƒĂŠÂŁÂŁ\ÎäÊ>“qÎʍ“]ĂŠx\Îäʍ“qÂŁÂŁ\Îäʍ“Ê Ă€Âˆq->ĂŒĂŠÂŁÂŁ\ÎäÊ>“qÎʍ“]ĂŠx\Îäʍ“qÂŁĂ“ĂŠ>“ Contact: xÂŁ ĂŠ7ˆ˜VÂ…iĂƒĂŒiÀÊ-ĂŒÂ°]ĂŠ/ÂœĂ€ÂœÂ˜ĂŒÂœĂŠUĂŠĂˆ{LJÇ{n‡Ó£Ó£ÊUĂŠĂœĂœĂœÂ°ÂŽÂˆÂ˜}ĂžÂœĂŒÂœĂ€ÂœÂ˜ĂŒÂœÂ°V>


B u tc h e r


FĂŁMu, “the only Japanese butcher in Toronto,â€? stocks a wide selection of Wagyu from around the world, which it often supplies to high-end Toronto restaurants. FĂŁMu offers various cuts of Wagyu as well as full Wagyu meals to take home and cook. There are two basic meal options: ďŹ rst, shabu shabu, which comes with kelp to make the broth at home, fresh veggies, house-made organic noodles and dipping sauces. Second, the sukiyaki option comes with organic noodles, vegetables and sukiyaki sauce. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t sweat—there are plenty of helpful video tutorials online to guide you through the meal preparation! Price: -Â…>LĂ•ĂŠĂƒÂ…>LĂ•ĂŠĂƒiĂŒĂƒĂŠvĂ€ÂœÂ“ĂŠfĂˆĂ¤ĂŠUĂŠ-Ă•ÂŽÂˆĂž>ÂŽÂˆĂŠĂƒiĂŒĂƒĂŠvĂ€ÂœÂ“ĂŠfxx Hours: /Ă•iĂƒq->ĂŒĂŠÂŁĂ¤ĂŠ>“qÇʍ“ÊUĂŠ-Ă•Â˜ĂŠÂŁÂŁĂŠ>“qĂˆĂŠÂŤÂ“ĂŠUĂŠÂœÂ˜ĂŠVÂ?ÂœĂƒi` Contact:ĂŠ1Â˜ÂˆĂŒĂŠn]ĂŠĂŽÂŁĂˆĂ¤ĂŠ-ĂŒiiÂ?iĂƒĂŠĂ›i°Ê °]ĂŠ>ÀŽ…>Â“ĂŠÂ­ÂˆÂ˜ĂŠĂŒÂ…iĂŠ‡/ÂœĂœÂ˜ĂŠ ÂŤÂ?>â>ÂŽĂŠUʙäx‡{Çx‡xääxĂŠUĂŠĂœĂœĂœÂ°v>“Õ°V>

JULY 2015


銀座のステーキ All-you-can-eat A5-class Wagyu beef

Premium steak that makes the grade %-B;A>@;< =A-85@E.112-@5:F-%@1-7 &;7E;p?ŋ:1?@ all-you-can-eat steakhouse. There’s no shortage of steakhouses in Japan, but Tokyo’s Ginza Steak serves up something truly unique. This all-you-can eat restaurant specializes in preparing various cuts of A5grade black Wagyu (Japanese beef). All Wagyu is meticulously graded based on its marbling, its colour, the firmness and overall texture of its meat, and the quality of its fat—with only the best-quality beef achieving a rating of A5. Ginza Steak serves up its A5 Wagyu in a variety of styles, including Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki and Teppanyaki, with all Teppanyaki orders being cooked and served in the traditional

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tableside method. The most highly recommended course is the Gokujou (finest) Wagyu course (¥9,800 before tax), which includes an appetizer, soup, salad, foie gras and hot plate vegetables, followed by a selection of tenderloin, sirloin and shank Teppanyaki. A Teppanyaki meal always begins with the chef’s selection of the day’s best meat, after which you can order any meat you choose—as much as your stomach can handle. After the Teppanyaki, you also have your choice of rice, stew and dessert, that is, if you still have room for it. With this much food, you might want to have a light lunch to prepare yourself!

Ginza Steak’s premium beef is complemented by an extensive wine list, selected from the award-winning wine catalogue My Wine Club and published by Belluna, their parent company. Head Chef Yoshiharu Kanazawa has been working in the culinary industry for over 25 years, and ever since he took the helm at Ginza Steak, the restaurant has been flourishing. With the original restaurant expanding plus a second location opening this fall, it’s evident that Ginza Steak has found their niche balancing quality and quantity, all within a reasonable price point—one mouthwatering dish at a time.


Ginza Steak TEL: 03-3569-2291 Granbell Ginza ʗ 8F, 1-5-5 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo "«i˜\Êœ˜q->ÌÊ{Ê«“q££Ê«“ÊUÊ-՘ÊVœÃi` All photos: courtesy of Ginza Steak


JULY 2015

JULY 2015


Toronto’s latest hot spot

By Kathleen O’Hagan Restaurant

Fresh from the waves From fatty toro to ocean trout, this beautifully presented sashimi is full of flavour and thickly sliced. So deliciously fresh you’ll wonder if these fish were caught the same day.

Truly traditional eats Nami’s assortment of unfailingly fresh fish, gorgeously grilled meats and oh-so-shareable soups is traditional Japanese cuisine at its best.


JULY 2015

Hungry for more? Let’s dig in!

When you first walk into Nami, you might be fooled into thinking it’s one of the many newly opened Japanese restaurants across the city. The immaculate counter of ice housing the restaurant’s most prized possessions (fish!); the sushi bar so tidy you’d barely believe there were chefs hard at work; the perfectly pristine interior with surfaces so clean they practically shine. It must have just opened yesterday … right?

Traditional in every sense of the word, Nami is definitely a treat for Japanese expats missing home as well as Japanophiles who’ve never set foot on the island. From a house-made wasabi you can’t help but love, to menu options like sukiyaki that are reminiscent of a home-cooked meal, to tatami rooms with sliding doors adorned by Japanese art, Nami offers a truly authentic taste of Japan.

Wrong! Believe it or not, Nami has been a fixture on Adelaide Street East since 1984, with general manager/executive chef Tadashi Takinami creating delectable dishes for over 20 years. And after recently undergoing a mini makeover, Nami has refined its menu—rather than featuring just about everything, it now offers a more thoughtful selection of dishes considered the best of the very best.

And with an assortment of fish (many of which travel all the way from Japan), it’s no surprise that nami means “wave” in Japanese. When you bite into fish this fresh, it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine a lone fisherman, working in silence as the waves carry his boat off to sea.


Robata Course Dinner From succulent scallops to a miso-flavoured fish worth fighting over, this is the ideal dinner for those who want to try it all.

Medley of mushrooms

Grilled to perfection

Swimming in a tastebud-pleasing butter, soy sauce and sake marinade, this medley of Japanese mushrooms might just be the definition of umami.

These chicken yakitori (grilled skewers) are lightly covered in a delightfully sweet teriyaki sauce that is made in-house. Bet you can’t eat just one!

Tadashi’s favourite

Sukiyaki-licious! Mildly sweet, yet rich in flavour, you’ll be glad your meal isn’t over when you’ve emptied the pot’s delicious contents. At meal’s end, throw some udon noodles in and start all over again.

When it comes to uni (sea urchin), diners either love it or hate it. But Nami’s general manager/executive chef Tadashi Takinami sure loves it—with good reason. This “caviar” of seafood is imported all the way from Hokkaido, and it’s a steal at only $9 apiece. But hurry, this jewel from the sea is limited in quantity and goes fast. Get it before it’s gone!

Nami Japanese Restaurant TEL: 416-362-7373 55 Adelaide St. E., Toronto Mon–Fri 11:45 am–2 pm, 5:30 pm–10 pm ->ÌÊx\ÎäÊ«“q£äÊ«“ÊUÊ-՘ÊVœÃi`

JULY 2015






PRODUCTS Gear up for some fun summer days and relaxing summer nights with this month’s featured products.


Honma Golf Clubs Hit the course this summer with artisan golf clubs.

As legendary golfer Arnold Palmer once said, “Feel is the most perplexing part of golf, and probably the most important.” Having the right feel in golf is all about finding the perfect golf clubs, and that’s not an easy thing to do these days with the myriad of options that are available on the market. One simple way to start your search is by focusing on the highest-end clubs made from the best materials and crafted by the most highly skilled artisans. Established in 1959, Honma takes clubmaking to a completely different level than most other golf product companies. Each club is made to order and meticulously crafted by hand at their factory (which resembles more of an art studio) in northern Japan, and it is said that by the time they’re done, each product has gone through the hands and eyes of 100 craftsmen.

Honma’s latest HT-02 series integrates new materials and crafting techniques to add power, accuracy and finesse to golfers’ swings. The face of the driver was designed with internal weights at the lowest centre of gravity for less spin and more stability. The Fairway Wood club also has a low centre of gravity to reduce backspin and promote higher trajectories. The irons maximize the club face for wider sweet spots and higher repulsion. Soft but accurate, these clubs are a dream come true for novices and professionals alike. The beautiful blend of gold and silver give it a classy but modern look and will draw envy from your golfing buddies.

The brand new HT-02 drivers are made with KS120 titanium alloy that was specifically engineered by Kobe Steel for lighter weight and higher tensile ductility and durability. The utility clubs are made with 17-4 stainless steel that is stronger and lighter than previous clubs.

More info HONMA GOLF Both men’s and women’s clubs available at FUJII GOLF 3160 Steeles Ave. E., Markham ™äx‡™{ä‡{ÈxÎÊUÊvՍˆˆ}œv°Vœ“

The clubs of champions


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The highest-ranked professional golfer from China, Liang Wen-Chong, won the Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup Shishido Hills this year while playing with Honma’s TW727 golf clubs. New for 2015, the TW727 Tour World driver series has added four drivers. The 430 comes with a smaller head and is designed for strong and aggressive players. The 455 is the lightest with a bigger sweet spot. The 455s has a slightly higher spin design for players who need a little forgiveness, and the 460 is the most forgiving driver with the best ease of use.

02 The perfect summer drink Cool down and get a boost from a superior caffeinated beverage. Matcha is all the rage these days, and for good reason. The powdered green tea contains 10 times the polyphenols and antioxidants of regular teas and has very gentle yet potent caffeine properties that release slowly over a few hours (compared to espresso or coffee, where it all gets released at once), enhancing focus and concentration without the unpleasant jitters. Traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, matcha has long been a difficult commodity for most people to get their hands on, but Maeda-en’s new MatchaBooster series now provides an easy way for anyone to enjoy the benefits and flavours of matcha without hassle. Maeda-en offers a variety of flavours to choose from, including yuzu matcha, a unique and tasty blend of citrus and green tea. You can even mix it into cocktails or smoothies to give your summer drink a boost.

MatchaBooster Yuzu




Genmai (Roasted Rice)

A therapeutic bubble bath Get refreshed in a bubbly and zesty soak.

There is no better way to rejuvenate your tired body at the end of a hot and exhausting day than a warm bath—and now, with Kao’s bath tablets, you can transform your ordinary bath into a decadent healing place. When the tablet is added to water, the carbonated gas is released into fine bubbles that wrap around your body to improve blood flow and reduce the fatigue that can accumulate, especially after sitting in a stale air-conditioned office all day. The bubbles also work magically to relax tired muscles and ease backaches. The fragrant and unique yuzu scent is instantly relaxing and refreshing, so you can lie back, relax and declutter your mind before going to bed. More info

More info Maeda-en |

ya Enjo onated carb m bath war

These bath tablets were painstakingly engineered so that the carbonated gas dissolves at the bottom of the tub to disperse its bubbles evenly and most effectively. These tablets are perfect for summer soaks in warm baths as low as 38 degrees Celsius.

Kao | (Japanese only)

JULY 2015


Special lifestyle feature

Natural comforts: 7 organic cotton products What makes organic cotton special? It comes from raw cotton that is grown on farms for over three years without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. At MUJI, over 83 per cent of their cotton clothes are made using organic cotton. Since the release of the 2015 springsummer collection, this has included their denim jeans, T-shirts and womenswear. Take a look at this list for some great products in all-natural organic cotton.


Broad Short-Sleeve Shirt: MUJI’s most popular shirt.

Choos this short-sleeved, softChoose washed shirt for a stylish piece wash that always a looks good—even without ironing. Thanks to w and shiny organic Xinjiang’s beautiful be cott cotton, this shirt is extra smooth and extra comfortable. $39.95


Strong Twisted V-neck Cardigan: The hottest item from the 2015 spring-summer collection.

This is the perfect accessory for a summer day or a cool, breezy night. Made from sun-protective, strong, twisted organic cotton, this wonderful cardigan both protects your skin from the sun’s UV rays and keeps you comfortable when the A/C gets too chilly. $49.95 14

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Tapered Ankle-Length Jeans: Where fashion meets comfort.

Try this amazing pair of 100 per cent organic cotton denim jeans. They are fitted perfectly to flatter your shape and are both ultracomfortable and longlasting. The fabric is indigo-dyed, giving it a natural texture. $59.95


Short-Sleeve T-shirt (Crew Neck/V-neck): Simple but special.


This shirt is made from soft, smooth, Indian organic cott cotton. With a super-comfortable tag-free label and r reinforced neck, you’ll want to wear it every day. And whether you plan to wear this T-shirt alone or as an undershirt, it’s the perfect weight— not too thick, not too thin. It also comes in a variety of colours. $14.95

Soft Face Towel & Turkish Bath Towel: Make your bath feel like a luxury spa.

Have trouble finding a H go towel? Then this good Turkish organic cotton towel Turki is for you. yo It’s available in two different ttextures to please everyone’s taste: “soft towels” for those who love a gentle touch and “solid towels” for those seeking a thicker option. The strong Turkish organic cotton makes these towels very durable. Face towel $9.00 | Bath towel $25.00



The carefully selected natural fabric will quickly make these your favourite underwear. The waist is just tight enough to be form-fitting without sacrificing any comfort. $10.95


Jersey Fitted Sheet & Pillowcase Bringing you a good night’s sleep.

For more information: MUJI Atrium Treat yourself to these luxurious sh sheets and pillowcases! We spend a third of our lives in bed, so it’s important to find the best bed linen. These soft-textured items will ensure that you get a deep and sound sleep. Pillowcase $15.00 | Sheets $45.00–109.00 Pocket Coil Mattress with Legs: Twin $650 | Full $950

Atrium 20 Dundas St. W., C-03, Toronto Tel. 416-591-2233 Store Hours: Mon–Fri 10 am– 8 pm ->ÌÊ£äÊ>“qÇÊ«“ÊUÊ-՘ʣ£Ê>“qxÊ«“

JULY 2015


Tech spotlight

Fully electric, zero tailpipe emissions Why this little electric car is the smartest choice. Meet the i-MiEV. A five-door hatchback, fully electric car produced by Mitsubishi Motors. With this electric vehicle, you’ll reduce your environmental footprint—and, best of all, you’ll never have to visit a gas station again (unless it’s for a pack of gum). 16

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Electric vehicles are a relatively new concept in the automobile industry, but we are starting to see more and more electric and hybrid cars on the streets these days. According to CAA, there are seven brands of fully electric vehicles available to purchase in Canada, and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is one of them. This month, Bento Box visited Mitsubishi Motors in Mississauga and asked Mr. Shawn Bryan, EV manager of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, about the electric car’s benefits that conventional combustion-engineonly vehicles just can’t offer, as well as the challenges facing this eco-friendly technology. Bento Box: Can you give us the basic rundown of the i-MiEV? Mr. Bryan: This is the first electric vehicle that Mitsubishi has offered in Canada. Full electric. And it can travel up to 155 kilometres on a full

The i-MiEV has three driving modes: D, Eco and B on the gearshift panel. Eco mode limits power consumption and maximizes driving range, while B mode increases regenerative braking.

This subcompact car is the most affordable fourseat electric car sold in Canada. It may look small, but with tires positioned for maximum cabin space, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how roomy it actually is inside.

charge, under ideal conditions. You might’ve noticed I said “under ideal conditions”; this is because the heating system and air conditioning also run off of the drive battery. So, if you have the heater on or the air conditioning on, or if you are a very aggressive driver, you will not get the full 155 km. BB: So, the i-MiEV is more suited for commuting, running errands and casual driving in and around town? It is designed for an urban community and is very, very efficient in stop-and-go driving in the city. The i-MiEV is highway capable and can go up to 130 km/hour, so it is not restricted to city streets. Yet it is more efficient in stop-and-go driving and for short commutes. Whereas an internal combustion engine vehicle is the opposite of that. An internal combustion engine vehicle is more efficient on the highway and over long distances than it is for stop-and-go driving. So, that makes the i-MiEV an ideal urban commuting vehicle. BB: What are the advantages of driving an electric vehicle? In the province of Ontario, when you license the vehicle, you can license it with a green-lettered plate as opposed to a blue-lettered plate. When you have a green-lettered plate on a full electric vehicle, or on a plug-in hybrid, it allows you to be a single occupant in a vehicle and still use a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. Also, some parking lots [for instance, at stores like IKEA] offer priority parking [for hybrids and fuel-efficient cars]. The Ontario government is also trying to promote the sale of electric vehicles to cut down on [the use of regular vehicles]. BB: How environmentally friendly are electric cars? What level of greenhouse gas emissions does the i-MiEV create?

Zero! No engine, no tailpipe, so zero emissions while driving. BB: That sounds great! But how about the price tag? The manufacturer’s suggested price on the 2016 i-MiEV is $27,998. The Ontario government, as I said before, is trying to promote the use of electric vehicles on Ontario roads, so the government is offering an incentive for people to purchase electric vehicles. The incentive is based on the size of the battery, and currently it is $8,231. (The battery of the i-MiEV is lithium-ion and 16 kilowatts.) So, if you were to go to the authorized Mitsubishi i-MiEV dealer, you can drive out for a low $20,000. This is for the semi-compact car that you never have to take to the gas station—unless you want a car wash or a pack of gum—and you only have to service it once a year (at a certified i-MiEV dealer). So, two more advantages: no cost for gasoline, and very, very low maintenance costs. Very economical to run. BB: Instead of visiting gas stations, drivers will have to charge the car. How difficult is this? There are three ways to charge the i-MiEV. We have all three options here at Mitsubishi Motors and we are offering them free of charge to all electric models, not just Mitsubishi-made models. But everybody definitely has the first one. It is your wall outlet plug. The one everybody has in the house or on the side of the garage. BB: Is 110V enough to charge a car? This is called level one charging. And, if the vehicle is empty of energy, if you plug it in and recharge just by plugging it into the wall, it will take 22 hours to recharge to full. We realize that this is a long period of time, but, if you

know more energy can be pulled out of the wall socket, [you can push a button, increase the amperage and cut the charging time] from 22 hours down to 14 hours. But as a consumer and as a homeowner, you’ll need to make sure that the wall outlet can have [that amount of] energy coming out of it. The second way, level two, is 240V charging. [A 240V plug] is what your clothes dryer is run out of. And if you charge the i-MiEV at 240V, from empty to full, we can reduce the charge time down to seven hours. Now we are talking about something that happens overnight. In Ontario right now, [the cost on your electricity bill for] off-peak hours [7 pm to 7 am] is 12 cents per kilowatt hour. That means the cost of recharging the i-MiEV to full capacity is less than two dollars. The benefits of driving electric cars are getting clearer to the people who have decided to switch. BB: Is there any quicker way to charge the i-MiEV? Yes, there is the third way to charge the i-MiEV, and it is called DC quick charge, DC stands for Direct Current. If you plug the i-MiEV into a DC charger, there is 440V, pretty much double what level two was, and this can charge the i-MiEV from zero to 80 per cent in less than 30 minutes. Our record here at the office is 26 minutes. The reason why I only said 80 per cent, not 100 per cent, is that on the DC quick charge, so much energy goes into the battery and this creates lots of heat. If we let it go all the way to 100 per cent, it will damage the battery. So, we capped it at 80 per cent. The DC quick charger knows when the i-MiEV is at 80 per cent, and shuts off. Then, we can change the quick charger from 440V, by pressing a button, to a lowered-down 240V, and you can charge the remaining 20 per cent at 240V.

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Tech spotlight

Mr. Bryan holding a charging connector. Recharging the i-MiEV is super easy: open the charging port door and plug in the connector, pushing it into the charging plug until you hear a “click.”

With its smooth and quiet ride, the i-MiEV provides an incredible driving experience. BB: Is it easy to find a charging station when you are on the road? Yes! There is an app called PlugShare. [With this app,] you can check for the nearest charger. What PlugShare does is show the GPS location of the charging stations across North America. DC quick chargers are little more expensive to install, so level two chargers are most often found, especially in Quebec. Rona hardware stores, Metro grocery stores and St. Hubert chicken restaurants all have level two chargers. More and more level two chargers are popping up all the time. Some are level one—it might be somebody’s home. If I own an electric car, then I can invite [the driver] in for a coffee while offering a charge. BB: How long does the battery usually last? The warranty of the i-MiEV battery is eight years. So if anything happens to the battery, we will replace it free of charge under warranty. There have been some concerns in the general public about battery degradation. But since December of 2011, when we started selling the i-MiEV in Canada, as far as I know we haven’t have any battery degradation issues. The battery 18

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is in its own protective packaging that doesn’t allow any water in, and doesn’t allow any dirt or debris in the unit. If the vehicle is ever involved in an accident, it is very well protected. BB: Lastly, we would like to know: what are the challenges of making electric cars? All car manufacturers who offer full electric or plug-in hybrids are governed by the battery technology. If there was a breakthrough in battery technology tomorrow, all car manufacturers would embrace the new technology. We want batteries that are lighter, smaller and more energy-dense. The advantages [of a lighter battery] are that weight takes away from driving distance, so obviously we want batteries lighter, [and we want them to be] smaller because we want more room for people and cargo. And [more energy-dense batteries would mean we could] improve upon the maximum distance of the i-MiEV. If you could get a lighter, smaller and more energy-dense battery, then that will be an advancement. Not only for the i-MiEV, but also for the entire industry. BB: And, hopefully, it will continue to get cheaper?

The i-MiEV was introduced for $32,995 originally. We have reduced that down to $27,998. We can see the vehicle [becoming] more palatable or accessible to the general population who want to drive electric. So … would you like to go and test drive the i-MiEV? BB: Definitely!

Mitsubishi EV manager Shawn Bryan and marketing specialist Naoko Mongeon.

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc. 2090 Matheson Blvd. E., Mississauga TEL: 1-866-843-2845

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Flavour of the month

By Sheena Kirkbride Ingredient

健康や美容にも大活躍。 柚子は日本を代表する柑橘食品。

A little

taste of

yuzu Yuzu famously takes a long time to grow from seed. As the old saying goes: “3 years for peaches and chestnuts, 18 years for stupid old yuzu.” It is thought that the yuzu plant was brought from China around AD 592, but yuzu is virtually non-existent in modernday Chinese cuisine.


The vitamin C in yuzu supports stress relief, while the limonene scent also stimulates your cerebrum for a relaxing effect.



The magnificent Japanese citrus It may take ages to cultivate this fruit, but its versatile flavours are well worth waiting for. This ancient Japanese fruit is finally entering the global spotlight where it belongs. A citrus that is mainly cultivated during the wintertime, the yuzu grows to billiard-ball sizes—but it takes years of care before the plant finally yields its fruit. When it’s ready for harvest, the entire fruit is used, including the rinds. These rinds are powerfully fragrant, with less tartness than other citruses, which makes this fruit highly versatile and complementary to almost all foods, as it’s able to draw out their natural flavours. And it’s this versatility that makes yuzu the secret ingredient behind the newest craze in Japanese cuisine. After so many meals on this planet, it’s rare to have the opportunity to say, “I’ve never tasted anything like this before!” For those of you who want to introduce your palate to a unique zing and zest that will make you obsessed, meet yuzu kosho—a fermented paste made from yuzu peel, salt and chili peppers. It hails from Kyushu, the southern island of Japan, where it is as commonly found on tabletops as ketchup is in Canada. There are two main varieties of yuzu kosho: one made from unripe yuzu and green chilies, and 20

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one made from ripe yuzu and red chilies, with the green one being more common. (These peppers are also historically grown in Kyushu—in fact, while the word kosho usually means “black pepper,” in this case it’s an old word for “chili” that comes from the Kyushu area.) The condiment has been steadily gaining popularity across all of Japan in the past few decades, and it’s creeping into the spotlight of mainstream and upscale cuisine alike—it’s now almost as ubiquitous as soy sauce. Yuzu kosho is most typically paired with foods like ramen, hot pots (nabe) and sashimi, but can be used with virtually anything to add a nice punch to your meal. Beyond its delicious taste, yuzu kosho boasts some great nutritional benefits. The yuzu fruit has triple the amount of vitamin C compared to lemons, as well as loads of calcium, potassium and citric acid. Yuzu is known to be effective in improving digestion, skin, fatigue and high blood pressure. Because of its versatility, yuzu can be found in many different forms, ranging from an accent in winter soups, to an ingredient in teas or liquors, to the main flavour in salad dressing—or even included in bath salts for its refreshing smell.

Yuzu trees have sharp thorns, so protective gear is worn when they are being harvested. Ponzu sauce, a quintessential sauce for Japanese cooking, is made from yuzu juice and soy sauce. Although its juices are used in cooking, because of its hardness, the yuzu fruit cannot be consumed by itself the way you might eat an orange.

The flavour of yuzu is so loved in Japan that you can also find yuzu-flavoured ice cream, potato chips and Kit-Kats. The benefits only multiply when the fruit’s rinds are fermented to make yuzu kosho, with healthy enzymes and additional vitamins. Although the salt content in yuzu kosho means it’s high in sodium, the powerful flavour makes a little bit go a long way, so it keeps you from overindulging. Next time you want to add some spunk to your meal for your dinner guests, there are few garnishes that are as reliable as yuzu. Try adding a bit of yuzu kosho to grilled meat or a pasta dish, or add some yuzu zest to a salad. You’re almost guaranteed to get some surprised and happy stomachs.

JULY 2015


Drink up!

By Sheena Kirkbride Sake

Serve it up

肥沃な大地と清らかな伏流水に 育まれた純米吟醸。

Kikusui 菊水


Refreshing summer sake If you’re looking for some summer refreshment, try Kikusui’s Junmai Ginjo—a premium sake from a brewery with mythical inspiration.

ikusui’s name originates from an ancient Noh play about a man who goes into the mountains and comes across another man who had been exiled 700 years earlier by the king of the kingdom. The exiled man had been condemned to write verses of a sutra on chrysanthemum leaves, but when he drank the dew that had formed on the leaves, he discovered eternal youth. Thus, kikusui (or chrysanthemum mist) is a symbol of eternal youth that is meant to provide longevity to its drinkers.


Kikusui’s award-winning brewery is located in Niigata Prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan, where the finest sakes in the world are produced. Each year, a massive amount of snow melts from the mountaintops and creates a run-off that seeps into the rice paddies where sake rice is grown. The


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Is Kikusui Junmai Ginjo really the fountain of youth? Only one way to find out! Here are some tips to help you enjoy.

1 2 3

As with all premium sake, the Kikusui Junmai Ginjo is best served chilled at around 10 degrees Celsius to get an optimal taste of the delicate fragrances. The new 720-mL bottle is the perfect size for sharing with family and friends. It also comes in a lovely gift box. Kikusui Junmai Ginjo is available at the LCBO for a limited time at a reasonable price of $27.95.

pristine water creates the optimal environment for both the rice to grow and for brewing premium sake, and this has put Niigata on the map for sake connoisseurs. Kikusui is a family business that was established here in 1881, which is relatively young as far as sake breweries go, but the fifth generation of the family continues to exhibit their true commitment and love for sake—and Kikusui has quickly climbed to the upper echelon of sake breweries. These days, Kikusui is a name that is increasingly known across the globe. Among Kikusui’s top-selling bottles is Junmai Ginjo, which is the most popular Japanese Jizake (artisan craft sake) imported in the United States. Less than 6 per cent of sake that is available in Canada qualifies as Junmai Ginjo, which is considered premium and highly milled (at least 50 per cent) sake. The amount of skill and dedication that is required to make truly qualified sake is difficult for most breweries to achieve. Made with just three pure ingredients—water, rice and koji— and with a 55 per cent polishing rate, Junmai Ginjo is created with traditional techniques, producing an exquisitely smooth and light finish that does not diminish in cold temperatures. Dry with a gradually thickening viscosity that ends in sweet fruit tones reminiscent of mandarin oranges, the Junmai Ginjo is a versatile sake that pairs wonder-

fully with a range of cuisines and dishes or tastes delicious by itself. The Junmai Ginjo is fermented completely with gohyakumangoku rice, which is rice that is specifically made for sake brewing, and the fermenting process is extended for a long time to draw out the elegant and fruity finish. Free of any sulfites, additives and preservatives, this sake is completely natural and easier on the stomach and body than beers or wines. Ready to sample some of this refreshing drink for yourself? Kikusui’s Junmai Ginjo comes in a beautiful, cool blue bottle that represents the drink’s perfect suitability for hot summer days. Pour yourself a glass and take a load off!

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Featured destination

By M Crowson Travel

七夕まつりで盛り上がる夏の仙台。 七 七夕 夕まつ 夕 まつ つり りで盛り上がる夏の仙台 で盛り上 上がる夏の の仙台。 台。 壮 大な自然と牛 壮大 と牛 牛タングルメを タングルメを ングル ング グルメ ルメを を満 喫。 壮大な自然と牛タングルメを満喫しよう。

Sendai City of doomed love and decadent tongues The Tohoku region’s greatest metropolis offers mouthwatering local delicacies, striking feudal architecture and a vivid spirit of resilience.

A brilliant rainbow of handmade streamers decorates the city’s thoroughfares between August 6 and 8, just one element of the magnificent Star Festival.


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Come celebrate an ancient myth

Sendai 【仙台】



elcome to Sendai, the Tohoku region’s very own metropolis. With a population of about one million, Sendai ranks as one of Japan’s 15 largest urban centres. Established in 1600 by Date Masamune, the modern city is dotted with impressive memorials and tributes to the founder, including a statue of Masamune overlooking the city on horseback. Not far from the statue is a reconstruction of Aoba Castle, as well as the castle museum. To continue paying your respects to the big boss, head to the Zuihoden Mausoleum, where Masamune is entombed. Check out the nearby museum to see some family heirlooms, and even bits of feudal hair and bone. For a less morbid homage to the Date clan, be sure to enjoy one of the local specialty foods, the Sasa-kamaboko, a fish loaf made from puréed whitefish. The fish is baked into loaves shaped to look like bamboo leaves in honor of the Date family crest. But of all the things you must see and do, the most exciting is the Tanabata festival. If you’re familiar with East Asian mythology, you may already know of Tanabata, literally “evening of the

seventh,” though it’s usually called the Star Festival in English. Tanabata was adapted from China’s twomillennia-old Qixi Festival and has been celebrated in Japan since feudal times. The festival honours the only night of the year when two mythical lovers—Orihime, the celestial weaver girl, and Hikoboshi, the earthly cowherd—are allowed to meet. Tanabata is celebrated nationwide, but Sendai is home to the biggest, most colourful festivities. Though the festival is held on July 7 throughout Japan, the Sendai Tanabata festival is held each year between August 6 and 8, in keeping with the original lunar calendar celebration. The wonderful spectacle of Sendai’s Tanabata began more than four centuries ago, but it only achieved its current style during the 1928 Tohoku Industrial Exposition. Visited by over two million tourists each year, the festival blooms colour throughout the entire city. Thousands of colourful streamers

and gorgeous bamboo decorations stretch from Sendai Station and Chuo Avenue to Ichibancho Arcade. The streamers—which represent Orihime’s weaving threads—are handcrafted by local shops and community groups, and you can partake in the craftiness at local workshops. Traditionally, festival-goers also write their wishes on tanzaku, colourful strips of paper which are then hung on bamboo branches. The festival also features traditional dances, live music and performances, illuminations, and delicious cuisine. Those who arrive early are in for a brilliant fireworks display along the bank of the Hirose River, held on the evening of August 5. In addition to summer spectacle, Sendai is a thriving city with many attractions year-round, including plenty of shopping options. For a fresh taste of everything the city has to offer, try delving into the Sendai Farmer’s Market. Visitors can also check out the Iroha Yokocho, a bustling set of alleyways lined with shops and vendors of all

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Festive fun and natural beauty

Tourism PR character of Sendai, Miyagi

ŠSendai Miyagi tourist campaign promotion Council 27084

&& ă&#x20AC;? ă &#x201D; ĺ˝&#x201C; ĺ&#x153;° ă&#x201A;­ă&#x192;Łă&#x192;Š ă&#x20AC;&#x2018; His face is a big rice ball made from Miyagi rice. He wears traditional warriorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s armour, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friendly and loveable, and he loves to eat sanma.

sorts. First established after air raids destroyed the centre of Sendai in 1945, this shopping arcade has since grown into a favoured spot of Sendai locals, offering a wide array of goods with a hint of nostalgia. Travellers heading to Sendai from Tokyo can catch the JR Tohoku Shinkansen. The trip takes about 100 minutes on one of three trains (either the Hayabusa, Hayate or Komachi), all of which are covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Travellers on a tighter budget with a more ďŹ&#x201A;exible schedule can take a 6-hour highway bus for around ÂĽ3,500. Upon arrival, purchase an all-day pass for ÂĽ620 and take the Loople Sendai bus, which stops at all the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major sights. Continues on page 28



äť&#x2122;ĺ?° A cityscape fringed by brilliant greenery

The 55-metre Akiu Waterfall is counted among Japanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top three gushers. Visitors can take photos from the viewing deck and visit the nearby temple.


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The Zelkova tree-lined Jouzenji Street is the venue for the September jazz festival. Visitors should also check out the gleaming Mediatheque library.

- is a lovely, sedate Just north of downtown, Rinno-ji Buddhist temple with an impressive little garden and pagoda.

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Sendaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eats and treats

Mabo yakisoba Two-in-one comfort food

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ç&#x2030;&#x203A;ă&#x201A;żă&#x192;ł Tongue of the town T S Sendai is the original home of gyutan, thinly sliced beef ttongue perfectly cooked over a charcoal grill. You can ďŹ nd it everywhere from fast-food joints to upscale marďŹ kkets, and even in novelty foods like gyutan-ďŹ&#x201A;avoured iice cream and potato chips. In fact, the city boasts over 100 restaurants specializing in cow tongue. 1

Mabo yakisoba: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the love child of two of Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most delightful comfort foods. First, mabo tofu is a Chinese dish of tofu simmered in a savoury beef sauce. Yakisoba, on the other hand, is a Japanese dish made up of fried noodles, veggies and a choice of meat, sometimes garnished with pickled ginger or topped with one perfectly fried egg. In the Sendai version, these two dishes are fused together: using local ingredients, the hot yakisoba noodles are slathered with spicy mabo goodness. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the cosiest belly bomb youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll eat all week.

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3   Sendai is also home to some signature sweets, like the zunda mochi. This sweet soybean paste tips its hat to Lord Date, who was rumoured to prep for battle by eating soybeans crushed with a battle sword.

ă &#x160;ă żă&#x201A;&#x201E;ă &#x2019; Souvenirs Sendaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous omiyage (souvenir) is gyutan, hands down, but there is a range of other goodies to choose from, including simple, bite-sized sweets and adorable wooden dolls. The spirit of Sendai omiyage is often homey and approachable, in part because many of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s distinctive gifts were ďŹ rst created centuries ago by common folk who toiled in the ďŹ elds all day to feed their families and pay their taxes. While the Sendai warrior class could afford leisure and luxury, commoners had to get creative with the few resources at hand. These omiyage reďŹ&#x201A;ect that spirit of simple celebration.

Courtesy of Sunnyday Inc.

Courtesy of Hitachi-ya

Kokeshi dolls

S Sendai d id dagashi hi

Rural Tohoku is rumoured to be the birthplace of kokeshi dolls, charming wooden ďŹ gurines with brightly painted garb. These kokeshi from Sunnyday Inc. are called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tabi Koyomiâ&#x20AC;? (travel calendar), representing the 12 trips you can take in and around Sendai.

A popular regional omiyage is Sendai dagashi, or â&#x20AC;&#x153;cheap sweets.â&#x20AC;? Originally made over four centuries ago by poor farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wives in the dark, freezing winter months, these local goodies continue to be handmade and naturally sweetened. All photos Š Sendai Tourism, Convention and International Association unless otherwise noted


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Cultural curiosity

By M Crowson Only in Japan

Izakaya: Stay and drink a while Munch on affordable mini-meals and joyfully imbibe the night away with your most boisterous buddies. 海外でも人気上昇中! 居酒屋良いとこ、 1度はおいで∼。 Twenty years ago, the North American vision of Japanese food was all sticky-sweet teriyaki chicken and highfalutin’ sushi nibbles. But times have changed, and English-speaking epicureans are finally finding opportunities to explore the phenomenon known as the izakaya (居酒屋). Literally a “stayand-drink shop,” the izakaya is often called Japan’s answer to the pub, or even to the tapas restaurant. But the izakaya is neither bar nor restaurant. It’s an experience all its own. The concept first appeared in the Tokugawa era, when common folk began to attain financial stability. Workers would wander into one of these tiny, red-lantern-lit shops after a long day’s work to slake their thirst and munch on simple side dishes. Thus the izakaya was born. The modern-day izakaya can be found all over Japan, from small towns to mega metropolises. It can be sleek and trendy or homey and downto-earth, but regardless of décor, you can always identify an izakaya by its essential qualities.


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you can find it. And this izakaya fare is made for sharing— so don’t come looking for slabs of steak or hamburgers with fries. Instead, expect tasters like octopus bites and pickle dishes. There’s no main course here, so be prepared to dive into this culinary journey with your nearest and dearest. The vibrant variety is meant to stimulate a boisterous and sociable environment. In a society with a rigid social and professional structure, the izakaya is a crucial refuge, a place to let loose and get loud as you hop from dish to dish. First of all, drinks are central to the izakaya experience. These venues beckon you into the warmth of that first post-work beverage, so start by ordering a tall draft beer. Not a beer drinker? Izakayas also have a variety of clear and cloudy sakes, and cocktails with signature Japanese flavours. Let your booze-attuned tastebuds play around in this liquid wonderland. But drinks are not the only essential item on the menu. Izakayas are all about variety, and their chefs create a dazzling array of small dishes to complement whatever you choose to swig. Whether it’s salty, spicy or savoury, deep-fried or ocean-fresh,

The third thing that distinguishes the izakaya from your run-of-the-mill bar is price and duration. Forget “happy hour,” because the izakaya invites you to stay a while. The emphasis on drinks and savouring many small dishes means that your visit could stretch luxuriously to two hours and beyond. And while Western happy hours are designed to lure in the after-work crowd with temporary discounts, traditional izakayas are reasonably priced all day long. Even the slickest locations leave you satisfied without giving you sticker shock at the end of the night. So don’t let a modest pocketbook keep you from this experience.

Make sure you know the izakaya DOs and DON’Ts

KEY CUSTOMS FOR IZAKAYA CUSTOMERS Don’t be the Rude Dude or the Silly Sally who walks into an izakaya expecting an exclusive sushi restaurant or a greasy fish-’n-chips pub. To fully enjoy your evening, follow these three simple rules.

Do NOT come here for a candlelit date night.

Do NOT chug before you cheers.

You might bring your honey to an izakaya if you already get lots of one-on-one time, but don’t expect quiet conversation. Group dates, however, are A-OK.

No matter how deep your thirst, don’t let your lips touch that cup until everyone raises their drinks. All together now: “Kampai!”

DO wear your fancy socks. Traditional izakayas come with tatami mats and a strict shoes-off policy. Imagine the look on everyone’s face if you were to wear your threadbare throwaways. Illustrations by Chieko Watanabe

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One-of-a-kind dining

By Jenny McKechnie Restaurant in Tokyo

本物の土俵が店内に? 今、話題の相撲レストラン。

k Gra b a tdarki ne an d W D DVHÉ

Sumo with a side of sashimi

This restaurant brings together Japan’s well-known sporting event with some delectable dining! At first thought, watching barely clad, enormous, hulking men engaged in an ancient battle of pure force may not bring on the tingling feeling of hunger in your stomach. But let’s not allow that to deter us. As part of an ongoing mission to educate the masses on the wondrous world of Japan’s extraordinary theme restaurants, Hananomai earns a rightful spot on the list of must-sees. For the interested traveller, this izakaya (or bar-like stop) combines elements of one of Japan’s most famous sports, sumo wrestling, with a mix of Japanese and Western-style dishes—providing culture and some great nosh all in one go. An ideal setting for a group of friends looking to share a few dishes, or even the solo traveller looking for some good food and an atmosphere with 32

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an energetic vibe, this izakaya makes for a fun stop. Not only does the menu have some great traditional dishes, including sashimi, sushi and chanko nabe (a kind of sumo wrestlers’ stew), there’s a good selection of veggie dishes (a must-have for the vegetarian diner) and noodle dishes as well as some really yummy desserts. Black sesame ice cream— yes, please! For the traveller who is a bit shy of trying out the local cuisine, Hananomai offers up a selection of fries, pizzas and cheesecovered dishes to tempt even the most cautious of tastebuds. Certainly, if your goal is to work towards becoming a sumo wrestler, there’s an adequate amount of food here to do it! Aside from the variety of food options, this izakaya also delivers a pretty serious drink menu. Along with a number of standard alcoholic

Tackle a delicious meal

Sumo for beginners Thinking about taking up the sport? Here are some things to know:

The life of the sumo wrestler is pretty strict, with diet, training and even clothing choices steeped in tradition Sumo wrestlers reside in what are referred to as sumo stables, where they live and train together The Sumo Association is the guiding body governing sumo wrestlers throughout Japan A sumo ring is called a dohyo and spans 4.55 metres in diameter

Today’s five assorted sashimi

Chicken chanko nabe

few modifications to the and non-alcoholic family room and an inflatbeverages, there is able sumo suit!). also a lengthy list el r of shochu options. e k ac tka m In terms of price, compared to most And what better place Grilled a of Tokyo’s wild theme restaurants, Hananomai’s is there to explore the world prices are actually quite competitive. In addition of shochu than a table looking out over a tournato sumo events, the izakaya offers up regular ment of sumo wrestlers? music and drumming performances. And, for the traveller who likes to plan ahead, the food And it’s here where this theme restaurant really and drink menus are available online—and in makes it mark. The izakaya is centred around a English. That being said, if you are hoping for replica of a traditional sumo wrestling ring. Durseats with a good view, you may want to get ing the course of the day, wrestlers enter the there early. Latecomers may be relegated to ring and engage in the powerful dance that is more intimate booths, a bit farther away from sumo wrestling. For the average traveller, seeing all of the action. an actual sumo event, steeped in all of its tradition, isn’t always possible. The opportunity to So, if you are looking for a lighter side to the watch demonstrations of the sport while sipping world of sumo, Hananomai may be just what a cold beverage and nibbling on some tasty food you are after. The lively atmosphere makes it a is a good compromise. Plus, with your newfound great locale for friends and family alike. And the sumo knowledge, you will be able to educate added sumo action gives this izakaya a definite your friends upon your return home (picture ancient-sports-bar feel like no other! the fun dinner party you could throw with a

The rules are simple: push the sumo wrestler out of the ring, or cause him to fall, and you’ve won The average weight of a sumo wrestler is 148 kg, or 326 lbs (now try pushing him) Chanko nabe is the stew of choice for wrestlers hoping to pack on the pounds (so if you’re on a new no-carbs, no-gluten, no-calorie diet, you may want to avoid this one)

Hananomai Ryogoku Kokugikanmae Ten

Located about a one-minute walk from the JR Ryogoku Station west exit. TEL: 03-5619-4488 1-3-20 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo OPEN HOURS Mon–Fri: 11:30 am–12 am Sat: 11 am–12 am Sun & national holidays: 11 am–11 pm All photos: courtesy of CHIMNEY Co., Ltd.

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o t o g s ’ t e L

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka! ∼ 三鷹の森  ジブリ美術館 ∼

©Museo d’Arte Ghibli

Searching for a place where childhood fantasies like a library of treasures, a magical cat-bus and beautiful mosaics surround you, just as if you’ve been embraced by magic? If this sounds like your ideal place to be, make your next destination the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka!

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, opened in 2001, was designed by famed Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki and is a dreamlike gathering place for his far-reaching fans. Just stepping inside will transport you to wonderland! The museum is like a beautiful maze, adorned with handcrafted stained glass that depicts Ghibli characters and colourful scenes. If you’re looking for animated film gold, you’ll find it here. Big or small, this museum offers something for everyone. Animation fans can check out exclusive behind-the-scenes material. Or try exploring the building’s stunning architecture, dynamic film exhibits, life-sized ‘cat-bus’ and robot-topped terrace. Just make sure to refuel at the café, and take a peek in the one-of-a-kind Ghibli shop!

How to buy tickets outside Japan The popular spot inside the Ghibli Museum

Straw Hat Café Organic food, warm ambience and a big pine tree Ghibli Museum’s Straw Hat Café has a welcoming atmosphere, from its cheerful orange exterior to the outdoor deck, where you can eat in the shade of a beautiful red pine tree. The café specializes in warm, authentic, family-style food, reminiscent of meals lovingly prepared at home. The menu options are simple, but all ingredients are sourced from organic farms, freshly picked and prepared with heart. Those dining in can try the jumbo fried pork cutlet sandwich and the strawberry shortcake, while the take-out options include nutritious hotdogs, fruitfilled sorbet and gelato, beer, barley tea and more. Immerse yourself into the world of Ghibli and savour the season’s best dishes at Straw Hat Café.


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Entrance to the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka is strictly by advance purchase of a reserved ticket which specifies the appointed date of the reservation. You can get reserved tickets at designated local travel agency counters in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, North America, Europe and Australia. Method of purchase In addition to purchasing tickets at JTB International (Canada) Ltd., reservations can be made by telephone or email. *For details, please contact JTB International (Canada) Ltd. Type of ticket Reservation ticket (admission voucher) with designated admission date. *Reservation ticket will be issued by JTB.

Ticket prices (tax included) Adult (Age 19 and over) CAD $13.00 Youth (Age 13–18) CAD $ 9.50 Child (Age 7–12) CAD $ 5.00 Child (Age 4–6) CAD $ 1.50 *Children under 4 are admitted free of charge. *Transaction fee of CAD $5.00 + tax per ticket will be charged. Information Ghibli Museum, Mitaka Address: 1-1-83 Simorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, 181-0013 Website: How to get there? Take the JR Chuo Line to Mitaka Station. Approx. 20 min. from Shinjuku Station. From the Mitaka South Exit, approx. 15 min. walk along the Tamagawa Josui “Waterworks” to the museum. A community bus can be taken from Mitaka Station to the museum.

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Film focus

By James Heron Movie

Ghibli’s swan song is a minor masterpiece With rich, glowing visuals and a timeless quality, When Marnie Was There is a film for children of all ages.

&(/""'( When Marnie Was There (2015)


Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi Voiced by Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura and Nanako Matsushima Screenplay by Keiko Niwa, Masashi Ando and Hiromasa Yonebayashi, based on the novel by Joan G. Robinson

Studio Ghibli

A moving story of the secret bond between two troubled young girls in a village on the Hokkaido seashore. The painful realities of growing up and a supernatural friendship make for a film that will satisfy both children and parents and spark conversation around the family bids dinner table.

farewell with a mature and magical study of the


ast August, the executives of the beloved Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke) announced that the studio planned to close. Japanese film lovers reacted with shock and disbelief. Since that time Studio Ghibli’s co-founder, Toshio Suzuki, has recast his position, stating that the studio is entering a “housecleaning” or “restructuring” phase before beginning future plans. With the future of the studio in limbo, the release of its final film—for now, anyway—is cause for much speculation and anticipation among its legions of fans.

discovers an abandoned anxieties of mansion, the Marsh House— home to Marnie, a mysterious blond girl. The two instantly form a unique, intense bond that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality; a shared solitude that brings a modicum of solace to these two lonely souls. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws the physically diminished and emotionally isolated Anna back to the Secret Garden-like Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend.

Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s previous film, The Secret World of Arrietty, was an adaptation of English novelist Mary Norton’s fantasy work, The Borrowers. With When Marnie Was There, he again looks to English young adult literature for inspiration—this time to British author Joan G. Robinson’s 1967 ghost story—substituting Hokkaido for the novel’s Norfolk setting.

As the story unfolds, tragedy and new revelations fundamentally shake Anna’s sense of family and trust. Young adulthood is not an easy time for most and Marnie is strikingly direct in addressing Anna’s fragile psyche, erratic behaviour and struggle with adolescence as she confronts depression, self-doubt, regret and loss. Other dominant themes include forgiveness and the important but transient nature of family relationships—invoking the elegiac sense of the impermanence of things that informs so much of Japanese culture. Yonebayashi has stated that although this is a children’s film, it’s for children of all ages, “including adults willing to connect with Anna’s innocence and the

Anna Sasaki, an artistically gifted but withdrawn girl recovering from debilitating asthma, is sent from Sapporo to spend the summer convalescing at her aunt and uncle’s home in a sleepy seaside village. While out on a sketching expedition, Anna 36

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expositional journey she experiences.”

While true to the Studio Ghibli esthetic, visually the film lacks Miyazaki’s world-building ambitions; instead Yonebayashi creates his own lavishly coloured, carefully rendered and impeccably executed world. His rich, glowing visuals and attention to detail are more modest in scale but no less powerful. Marnie benefits from a timeless quality, a traditional animation style and Takatsugi Muramastu’s buoyant, weightless piano score. Is Marnie a ghost story? A time-travel fantasy? A journey through an adolescent breakdown? What it is clearly not is a treacly, feel-good Hollywood product. Marnie is a sombre, clear-eyed exploration of the anxieties of young adulthood, and the ultimate uplift, when it is delivered, feels genuine and earned. If, in fact, Marnie proves to be Ghibli’s swan song, then they make their exit on a high. It may not be My Neighbour Totoro, but Marnie is a minor masterpiece. When Marnie Was There will be screened at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre this fall. For updates, visit

G O Let's

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easyJJapanese apanese

What to say at O-bon! July and August are Bon (盆, O-bon お盆) season in Japan. O-bon is a family reunion holiday where people honour the spirits of their ancestors. People go to O-bon festivals (matsuri, 祭り) dressed in light summer kimono (yukata, 浴衣) and enjoy games, food stalls, fireworks and dancing.

Intermediate When is the Bon dance?

Kara-age refers to any fried food, and without specifying is usually chicken. Mada has many meanings; in this sentence, it is used as “still.” Kara-age runs out quickly at our local festivals, so get some while you can!

花火が一番よく見えるおすすめ のスポットを教えてください。

盆おどりはいつですか? Bon odori wa itsu desu ka?

Do you still have fried chicken?

からあげは まだありますか?

Beginner Odori means dance, and itsu is when. The Bon dance is one of the highlights of O-bon festivals, and is often viewed as a way to celebrate with the spirits of your ancestors.

Please tell me if you know the best spot for viewing the fireworks.

Kara-age wa mada arimasu ka?

Hanabi ga ichiban yoku mieru osusume no supotto wo, oshiete kudasai.

Advanced Fireworks are a big part of summer festivals. Fireworks are literally called fire (hi or bi, 火) flowers (hana, 花). The location around fireworks can get really busy, but the locals usually know where to get the best view.

Compiled by Kris Szabo. Brought to you by the Toronto Japanese Language School | | @tjlsca |

Illustration by Reiko Ema

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What’s happening?

July 2015 Events Other Natsu Matsuri & Bon Odori Saturday, July 11, 3:30 pm (Bon Odori starts at 7 pm) | Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (6 Garamond Ct., Toronto) More info: > Come and enjoy a lively festival atmosphere with games, great food and spectacular performances. The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre will be hosting the traditional summer festivities of Natsu Matsuri. Visitors can enjoy a Japanese folk dance called Bon Odori. This event will take place outside in the JCCC parking lot. In case of rain, it will be moved inside the JCCC building.

Atomic Lollipop

toe Japanese music group toe is known for its melodic, clean guitar settings. The vast majority of toe’s music is instrumental and features swift and acute drumming. Don’t miss this explosive live performance! *This event is for ages 19+. Monday, July 13, 8 pm | $15 | Mod Club Theatre (722 College St. W., Toronto) | More info:

Film Fantasia International Film Festival Tuesday, July 14–Tuesday, August 4 | $10 & $11 8 venues across Montreal | More info: fantasia > Get ready for three weeks of movie madness in Montreal. Fantasia International Film Festival is one of the largest and most influential genre film festivals in North America and this year’s program includes a very impressive lineup of Japanese films. Among the announced films are the international premiere of Takeshi Kitano’s latest crime comedy Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen starring the screen legend Tatsuya Fuji, a quirky and fantastical comedy Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory and many, many more.

known Japanese pianist, composer, accompanist and singer who will be coming to Burnaby to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sister-City relationship between the City of Kushiro and the City of Burnaby. The concert will feature jazz piano accompanied by guitarist Yujiro Nakajima.

Crossfaith Friday, July 17, 9:20 pm | $40– 50 | Molson Canadian Amphitheatre (909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Toronto) | More info: > Crossfaith will be playing at Vans Warped Tour 2015. This popular Japanese band has an aggressive sound with uniquely structured songs that use both strings and electronica sound effects. Crossfaith is on at 9:20 pm, but the event starts at 1 pm if you want to see other acts.

POKÉMON: Symphonic Evolutions

Performances Kentaro Kihara Concert Friday, July 10 , 7:30 pm | $22 | Michael J. Fox Theatre (7373 Macpherson Ave., Burnaby, British Columbia) | More info: > Appointed as the sightseeing ambassador of Kushiro City, Hokkaido, Kentaro Kihara is a well38

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Friday, August 28, 8 pm | $34.39–119.39 Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (1 Front St. E., Toronto) | More info: > Brought to life by a full orchestra performing all-new arrangements and carefully timed visuals from recent and classic Pokémon video games. This event has become the must-see concert of the year, giving fans and newcomers of all ages a chance to experience the evolution of the Pokémon franchise like never before.

Friday, July 17–Sunday, July 19 | $39.99 & $49.99 One-day pass, $69.99 Weekend pass | Ontario Science Centre (770 Don Mills Rd., Toronto) More info: > Will you play, dance, discover or geek out? Choose your own adventure! Atomic Lollipop is Canada’s premier geek festival, packed with over 300 hours of interactive programming, performances, vendors and guests. Fusing elements of a fan convention, music festival, carnival and circus, Atomic Lollipop is impossible to describe and unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. There will also be lots of Japanese-themed events like the Kigurumi Fight Club, Pokémon Snap Photo Competition, Ramen Eating Contest and Harajuku Fashion Swap & Shop.

Takashi Namikoshi Shiatsu Seminar Friday, July 24, Reception 5:30 pm–6 pm, Seminar 6 pm–9:30 pm | $118.65 (cash only) | Estonian House (958 Broadview Ave., Toronto) More info: 416-466-8780 > Learn the origins of shiatsu from shiatsu master Takashi Namikoshi. The seminar focuses on selfadministered shiatsu which you can apply in your daily life. You will learn how to apply pressure with your thumbs and fingers to shiatsu points for conditions such as a stiff neck, stiff shoulders, insomnia and digestive disorders. The entry fee includes a textbook, exam charge and issuance of the certificate. Participation in this seminar is open to anyone who is interested in shiatsu. The Shiatsu Diffusion Society (S.D.S.) recognizes this seminar as its CEU Category B. There will be an exam at the end. After passing the exam, a certificate will be issued.

Pacific Nations Cup Friday, July 24, Wednesday, July 29, and Monday, August 3 | $25–273.75 | Swangard Stadium (3883 Imperial St., Burnaby, BC), BMO Field (170 Princes’ Blvd., Toronto) | More info: > The 2015 Pacific Nations Cup is an international

Where Canadians can go to celebrate Japanese culture

World Rugby competition held between six Pacific Rim nations: Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga, United States and Canada. The event provides competitive test matches in a tournament format preparing Canada for the upcoming Rugby World Cup. The final match will be at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.

and co-president of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. There will also be performances by flautist Ron Korb, Yakudo Traditional Japanese Drummers, Pax Christi Chorale and Raging Grannies.

Otakuthon Matsuri Toronto Japanese Summer Festival Sunday, July 26, 11 am–9 pm Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas St. E., Toronto) More info: Search “Matsuri Toronto” on Facebook > The Toronto Japanese Summer Festival is a chance to explore Japanese and Japanese-Canadian community. It celebrates Japanese culture, art, cuisine and quality of life through products and services. This year, a Harajuku & cosplay fashion contest will be held along with live music and dance performances. There will also be a market featuring the best of Toronto’s Japanese food. The festival is open to the public and is free for everyone, so all you have to bring is your Japanese spirit!

Powell Street Festival Friday, July 31–Sunday, August 2 Powell Street Area, Vancouver More info: > The Powell Street Festival is an annual celebration of Japanese Canadian arts and culture that features something for everyone, including dance, music, visual arts, martial arts demonstrations, an amateur sumo tournament, craft vendors, delicious Japanese food and much more.

Friday, August 7–Sunday, August 9 | $35–55 Palais des congrès (201 Viger Ave. W., Montreal) More info: > Otakuthon is Quebec’s largest anime convention promoting Japanese anime, manga, gaming and pop culture. Programming consists of cosplay, vendors, an Artists’ Area, panels, workshops, game shows, anime video screenings, dances, karaoke and music concerts. This year, the popular Japanese band FLOW will be playing at the stage on Sunday, August 9.

Rogers Cup Friday, August 7–Sunday, August 16 | Price varies for rounds and seats | Uniprix Stadium (285 Rue GaryCarter, Montreal) | More info: > The biggest names in tennis will be gathering in Montreal and Toronto for the 2015 Rogers Cup. Toronto will be hosting the women’s event, but unfortunately no Japanese players will be in it this year. However, the men’s event in Montreal will include Kei Nishikori, the Japanese phenom ranked number five in the world. His runner-up finish at the 2014 US Open made him the first male player from an Asian country to reach a Grand Slam singles final. Don’t miss this chance to cheer him on his way to his tenth ATP title.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Day Thursday, August 6, 4:30 pm The Church of the Holy Trinity (10 Trinity Sq., Toronto) More info: > Toronto’s Hiroshima Day Coalition presents “Ground Zero to Global Zero: Hope After 70 Years” to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This year’s speaker will be Paul Dewar, MP for Ottawa Centre

Eisa – The Rhythm of Okinawa Saturday, August 15, 3 pm | $20 General, $15 Student/senior | Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (6 Garamond Ct., Toronto) | More info: 416-441-2345 > Following the success of the spectacular Eisa performances over the past two years, JCCC announced that the dynamic Karakoro dance and music performance will be returning this summer.

Eisa is an Okinawan ceremonial dance which has a history that dates back many centuries. The performance pairs soft feminine numbers with dynamic masculine dances and includes the use of various drums, songs and chanting accompanied by the Sanshin (Okinawan musical instrument that is the precursor of Shamisen), as well as colourful and exotic costumes.

JCCC Kiri-e Workshop Sunday August 16, 1 pm | $20 (+HST), $5 materials fee payable to instructor | Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (6 Garamond Ct., Toronto) | More info: 416-441-2345 > The workshop will be taught by Mark Yungblut, an award-winning artist who has been doing paper cutting for over ten years. Participants will learn the basics of paper cutting in this hands-on workshop by creating their own works of art. Knives, cutting mats, stencils and paper will be provided, along with step-by-step instruction, no experience necessary.

Scotiabank Buskerfest Thursday, August 27–Sunday, August 30 Voluntary donation | Downtown Yonge St. neighbourhood (from Queen St. to College St., Yonge-Dundas Square, Trinity Square Park and Gould St. on the Ryerson Campus) | More info: > Come out and enjoy North America’s largest street performer festival! It is organized by the local charitable organization Epilepsy Toronto. Over 120 of the best street performers in over 50 acts from across the country and around the globe, such as Witty Look from Japan, will bring their world-class talents to Canada’s most populous city. There is no advance performance schedule for the festival, rather spontaneity is the order of the day. You just never know when and where someone is likely to pop up! But, rest assured, all the performers conduct numerous shows throughout the weekend, so you’ll have a lot of opportunities to catch your favourite acts.

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Styling tips

By Sarah Dickson Beauty

Find your style at Chura Hair Salon Top-quality Japanese hairstyling in the heart of Kensington Market. Chura Hair Salon is a Japanese-owned and managed hair salon with locations in Tokyo, Vancouver and Toronto. The hairstyling industry in Tokyo is extremely competitive, meaning that Chura’s Japan-trained stylists sharpened their skills with some of the best before bringing their expertise to Toronto. The salon offers Japanese straight perms and digital perms, as well as high-quality cuts, colour and wedding services. Chura’s stylists recognize the importance of individuality. Whether you are there for a simple trim or a bold change, Chura’s stylists work with each client to create a look that complements their individual style. The staff have also worked hard to create a comfortable space that will ensure a positive experience for each and every client.


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Meet Chura’s expert stylists Mizuki Going to a party? You’ll look great with my hairstyling skills! Please come and see me.

Chihiro If you are looking to try the Japanese superstraight perm, leave it to me.

Mayumi If you like chatting, I’m the talkative one. Feel free to come in for a haircut and chat with me!

[Chura’s atmosphere] is fast-paced, with smiles and laughter and close communication with clients about their stylistic needs.” — Hiroyuki Oki, Manager

Chura Hair Salon Toronto 161 Baldwin St. Unit 4, Toronto | TEL: 416-979-5405 Open daily 10 am–8 pm


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Memoir ࡔ ࡕ ࠕ

By Shelley Suzuki fathers in the group climbed to great heights to snatch the hardest-to-reach ones, much to the delight of their sons and daughters. But it wasn’t just live cicadas that were desired. Their moulted exoskeletons left still attached to branches and stems, fences and twigs were also very much collected. More interesting than snakeskin, finding these perfect, empty cicada forms frozen, unmoving, created an almost melancholy image. I watched many of the students happily pluck dozens and dozens of these abandoned shells, collecting them like pretty seashells or glittering stones.

Illustration by Chieko Watanabe

A brush with the fascinating

Summer in Japan means getting up close and personal with nature’s creatures. “Min-min-min!” I remember the call of the cicada, signalling the end of the damp rainy season and the beginning of the sweltering days of summer to come. I encountered my first cicada soon after I arrived in Japan when it bounced off my shoulder during a tour of Takeshima Island. In my hometown in Alberta, bugs are relatively small, so when a giant, winged creature reminiscent of something out of a Godzilla movie passes very close to your face, it’s freaky! Not to mention they’re loud—one of the loudest insects in the world. Cicadas became less mysterious and more interesting to me once they stopped dropping on my body. In Japan, cicadas have a strong symbolic


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meaning and are the subject of haiku. They even appear in The Tale of Genji, where Hikaru Genji equates them to a woman shedding her shawl. They are a symbol of summer and in my children’s kindergarten, going cicada hunting was a much anticipated and celebrated school event. I was even lucky enough to go along one afternoon. Everyone was armed with a bug net as we walked to a nearby shrine, which had many large trees, perfect for finding the illustrious insects. Children squealed with excitement as they discovered the cicadas’ camouflaged bodies hiding on the bark, their distinctive call giving them away. The kids snapped them up one by one and stuffed them into their bug containers, eager to get back to school to study and admire their clever catch. The

Cicadas are a somewhat tragic insect. They have a lifespan of 2 to 17 years (depending on which of the 1,000 species it is). They live most of their lives 30 centimetres underground, but then get a short time of approximately four weeks above ground to find a mate. They tunnel their way up and leave small, obscure-looking holes in the ground scattered across parks and forests. Little do they know that thousands of children are eagerly awaiting them. I love the closeness that the Japanese have with nature. My children and I are lucky to have spent many years watching the glorious fall colours and eating delicious fall foods, bundling up under a kotatsu and sharing a steaming pot of hot vegetables and fish, picnicking under the beautiful cherry blossoms, wiping sweat off of our brows— and being fascinated by every crawly, fuzzy, shiny, winged or leggy creature we could find. Sometimes an “Aaaargh!” can quickly turn into an “Oooooh! Wow!”

SHELLEY SUZUKI is a long-time teacher of English as a Second Language in Canada and Japan. She currently runs an English school via Skype and is pursuing a teaching career, or whatever other interesting opportunities may come her way. She appeared on the Japanese TV show Okusama wa Gaikokujin (My Wife is a Foreigner). She hopes to become a children’s book writer and illustrator when she grows up.

[PR] Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya


For the love of garlic Need a change of pace from the regular tonkotsu? Try the savoury Garlic Oil Ramen at Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya Ryoji’s Tonkotsu Ramen is known for its slow-simmered pork-bone and vegetable broth. The rich, creamy texture of this Hakata-style ramen is sure to satisfy your tastebuds—just one sip of the broth and you’ll understand why it is the favourite of many ramen lovers. But if you’ve already eaten your share of tonkotsu and would like to try something a bit different, never fear, because there’s more than one way to enjoy this dish. For an adventurous twist on Ryoji’s signature broth, give the Garlic Oil Ramen a try. The Garlic Oil Ramen starts out with the same broth and thin noodles as Ryoji’s

Yuzu Awamori This refreshing awamori mixed with two types of Japanese citrus fruits makes for a perfect dessert drink.

Tonkotsu Ramen, but comes with an addition of blackcoloured garlic oil that you mix into the broth. It completely changes the flavour of the soup, giving it a deep but stimulating taste. Just don’t let the appearance of the black soup throw you off! Even though it looks intense, the taste is mild and savoury. The soup’s black colour comes from the garlic oil’s unique preparation process. Garlic chips are deep-fried to three separate stages of colour: light, medium and dark brown. The three are then mixed together to make the black oil. This process brings out different flavours from the garlic, giving the dish a fuller range of taste.

Garlic Oil Ramen Served with garlic oil, yaki-nori, chashu, bean sprouts, scallions and kikurage mushrooms.

When you finish eating the entire bowl—which will happen before you know it—you can wash down the savoury aftertaste with a glass of awamori, an alcoholic beverage unique to Okinawa. This strong-scented and complexflavoured drink is widely popular in Japan but is hard to come by in Canada. Even better, Ryoji periodically brings in different types of awamori, so you can sample new flavours of this beverage as you feast on Ryoji’s different kinds of ramen.

Ryoji Ramen & I zakaya 690 College St., Toronto | TEL . 416-533-8083

Open Hours: Mon–Thurs 11:30 am–12 am )ULŊ6DWDPŊDPŘ6XQDPŊSP

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Second, ceramics. Some of the servingware may have been passed down for generations, so please treat it with great care. You are being served food on antique dishes, some of which could even be displayed in museums! Feel free to ask your server if your servingware has any special significance.

Japanese dining series 3


Exploring the Kaiseki experience By Mark Hashimoto Kaiseki is a formal dining tradition that provides the very best of what Japanese cooking has to offer: the season’s freshest ingredients, presented in a simple yet sophisticated arrangement. It’s a multicourse meal similar to what you might expect from a Western tasting menu. This time, let’s delve further into what to expect during this spectacular dining experience. Reservations are highly recommended, as there is a great deal of preparation that goes into every Kaiseki meal. It’s also wise to let the restaurant know in advance if you have any food concerns, as this helps to prevent any surprises for the chef during the meal. The courses are presented in a particular order that serves to create a harmonious balance of tastes and textures throughout the meal. Typically, you’ll receive an eight-course meal that consists of the following dishes: appetizer, sashimi (raw fish), wanmono (soup), yakimono (grilled dish, usually fish), takiawase (assortment of simmered/steamed dishes), shiizakana (chef’s special), gohan (rice dish, including miso soup) and mizumono (dessert).


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The Okami-san (proprietress of the restaurant) will usually greet you at the entrance and guide you inside. Once seated, as the meal is already planned, all you need to decide on is your drink. Obviously, sake is the best choice to accompany your meal. Ask your server what their recommendations are for the evening. And remember, it’s not just about eating what gets served. Each dish is art on its own, like edible poetry. Make sure to pay attention not only to what is being served, but also to the way it is presented for a truly exquisite experience. There is some dining etiquette that Kaiseki customers should be aware of. First, the soup course is served in a lacquer bowl with a lid; when lifting the lid, make sure you hold the bowl firmly with one hand. If the lid isn’t coming off easily, give the bowl a light squeeze to release the suction. It’s not considered improper to hold the bowl in your hands, and you are welcome to drink the broth by sipping directly from the bowl.

Lastly, the chef and server pay close attention to the timing and temperature of each dish. Cold dishes are served cold, and warm dishes are served perfectly warm. At times you may get carried away with the conversation at your table, but when a dish is served, try your best to enjoy it right away so you can appreciate it as it was intended.

Kaiseki is truly a highlight of Japanese culinary uliinar naarry arts, displaying Japan’s finest ingredients forr each eac ach ch season. A lot of preparation goes into this ancient ncien ent n tthe he cuisine, and only a few remain who serve it iin Kaisseki traditional fashion. If in doubt, seek out Kaiseki dining in Kyoto. You will not be disappointed. ed.

Remember, it’s not just about eating what gets served. Each dish is art on its own, like edible poetry.

Mark Hashimoto MC and television talent as seen on YTV and Disney’s Japanizi: Going Going Gong! He trained in Japanese hospitality in one of Kyoto’s renowned ryokan (Japanese inns) for three years before coming back to Toronto to assist with his family business, Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto.

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Sushi Bar Sushiya

BEER BLAST Sapporo pitcher $9.99

193 Carlton St. B1 È{LJÎxӇ™{xÈÊUÊÜÜÜ°â>ŽŽÕň°Vœ“ÉÃÕňÞ> "«i˜\Ê/…ÕÀÃqœ˜Êx\ÎäÊ«“q£ÓÊ>“Ê­>ÃÌÊV>Ê££Ê«“®Ê /ÕiÃq7i`ÊVœÃi`Ê On the patio, and in either restaurant on Mondays, enjoy menus from both Sushiya and Zakkushi (yakitori house) upstairs.

JULY 2015


Hakata Ramen

Sho Ryu Ken Come in a group of 3 or more and get a

10% Discount *Please present this coupon upon ordering.

At Sho Ryu Ken, ramen is made in the traditional way it’s done in Hakata—the dish’s birthplace. And with a special pork-bone broth that takes over 12 hours to prepare, you know you’re getting the real deal here. In addition to the signature ramen, diners can treat themselves to delicious homemade gyoza, tender pork and more!

Don’t just read about great Japanese food and culture ... enjoy them yourself! Try these coupons for deals near you.

Ryoji Ramen & Izakaya

Expires July 31st 2015

5321 Yonge St., North York | 416-733-3725 | Open: Tues–Sun £ÓÊ«“qÎÊ«“]ÊxÊ«“ÊqÊ£ä\ÎäÊ«“ÊUÊœ˜ÊVœÃi`

Don Don Izakaya

Free Topping 10 % Discount *Please present this coupon upon ordering.

Expires July 31st 2015

Ryoji Ramen is an Okinawan-style Izakaya in Toronto. They serve a vegetable ramen, so vegetarians can enjoy their delicious ramen too! You can also experience their unique side dishes. They have an Okinawa night, an event with a full evening of Okinawa culture, once a month. 690 College St., Toronto | 416-533-8083 | Open: Mon–Thu 5 pm– £ÓÊ>“ÊUÊÀˆÊxÊ«“qÓÊ>“ÊUÊ->ÌÊ££\ÎäÊ>“q ÓÊ>“ÊUÊ-՘ʣ£\ÎäÊ>“q£ä\ÎäÊ«“

Japanese Seafood Restaurant

Crab Harbour

10% Discount *Please present this coupon upon ordering.

Expires July 31st 2015

Crab Harbour, Richmond Hill’s new high-end Japanese-style crab eatery. Look for the giant crustacean that denotes the entrance. Patrons can choose to indulge in the prix fixe menu or opt for items à la carte. The former is a nine-course ode to all things crab.

JULY 2015

The sounds of drums and the typical welcome cheer of “Irasshaimase!” are the first things you are sure to hear as you visit our highenergy setting at Don Don’s. “Don Don,” which signifies the sounds of Japanese drums, also means a place of ”more” ... a place of more drinks, more food and definitely more fun!

130 Dundas St. W., Toronto | 416-492-5292 | Lunch: Mon–Fri ££\ÎäÊ>“q{Ê«“Ê­>ÃÌÊV>ÊÎ\ÎäÊ«“®UÊ ˆ˜˜iÀ\Ê-՘q Thu 5 pm–12 am (last call 11~11:30 pm) Fri & Sat: 5 pm–1 am (last call 12~12:30 am)

Tokyo Acupuncture and Shiatsu Clinic

$10 off

with regular session(55min)

*First time visit only. *Cannot be used with any other discount coupons. *Mention this coupon when you schedule your massage session.

Since 1991, Tokyo Acupuncture and Shiatsu Clinic has provided various types of treatments and advice to alleviate symptoms and improve natural healing abilities including Japanese-style Shiatsu, Japanesestyle Acupuncture, Swedish Massage, Reflexology and Moxibustion. We are here to help you maximize your own body’s ability to maintain and improve your health. 280 West Beaver Creek Road, Unit 38, Richmond Hill | 905-731-5570 | Open: Mon–Sun 11:30 am –11 pm


*Only dinner time. Cash payment only. *No alcohol included. *Please present this coupon upon ordering.

2350 Yonge St., 2nd Fl., Toronto | 416-488-8414 | Open: Mon– Fri 10 am– 8 pm ->ÌÊ£äÊ>“qÈÊ«“ÊUÊ-՘ʣ£Ê>“qxÊ«“

JULY 2015


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071515 bentobox  

Bento Box Magazine, a Toronto-based Japanese New Concept Magazine, is a publication that strives to provide fresh and exciting content for i...