Juicy Health Benefits Seen As Path To Reversing Decline In Fruit Consumption In Japan

Juicy health benefits seen as path to reversing decline in fruit consumption in Japan

At the Komaba Festival at the University of Tokyo's Komaba campus in late November 2017, a line of people at a mandarin tasting event sponsored by the university's Mikan Fan Club extended out into the corridor. Students explained the origins of different varieties of "mikan," as the fruit is known in Japanese, and their various taste characteristics. Participants tried six different types of mandarin and then tried to guess the variety.

Among the participants was a group of four women in their 40s and 50s. "I think this is a Mie Prefecture mandarin," "This is sweet, isn't it?" the women remarked as they eagerly sampled the fruit. In the past, they said, they used to buy mandarins by the box, but now they just buy nets containing only a few mandarins each. There are various reasons for this.

Supporters Offer After-school Care For Children In Poverty

Supporters offer after-school care for children in poverty

Local municipalities and support groups are offering after-school care for children who are alone at home because their parents have to work long hours or at late at night due to low income.

The supporters help them build good habits such as washing their hands and doing household tasks, as children from poor households often lack knowledge of everyday hygiene or households chores.

Tiger's Thermos Bottles Provide The Feeling Of Japanese Crafts

Tiger's thermos bottles provide the feeling of Japanese crafts

With tourists from abroad in mind, Tiger Corp. is offering stainless steel thermos bottles featuring patterns based on traditional Japanese crafts, including "kiriko" cut glass, kimono robes and tatami straw mats.

The thermoses are sold at duty-free counters at department stores and mass retailers and elsewhere.

A Fairly Swift New Year's Dish Of Simmered Chicken Wings

A fairly swift New Year's dish of simmered chicken wings

The passing of Christmas Day usually marks the end of the year's business for Masahiro Kasahara, proprietor of the Japanese cuisine restaurant Sanpi-Ryoron in Tokyo's Ebisu district. But his work in the kitchen does not stop there.

Over five days, he makes about 120 "osechi-ryori," sets of traditional Japanese New Year's dishes that keep well. He presents them to people to convey his gratitude.

Tulip-shaped Fried Chicken From Chef With His Dad's Secrets

Tulip-shaped fried chicken from chef with his dad's secrets

Chef Masahiro Kasahara's father, Ken, once ran a yakitori restaurant in a shopping street in Musashi-Koyama, an area in Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward.

In his childhood, Kasahara, who is now the proprietor of the Japanese cuisine restaurant Sanpi-Ryoron in Tokyo's Ebisu district, would finish his homework in a corner of the place and eat his father's cooking.

Traditional Tokyo-style Miso Stands The Taste Test Of Time

Traditional Tokyo-style miso stands the taste test of time

Once upon a time, the most popular type of miso in Tokyo was something called "Edo sweet miso."

With a proud history dating back to the Edo period, Edo sweet miso is an essential component of Edo-style dishes such as Yanagawa nabe, a hot pot dish made with pond loach. Even now, it is cherished by miso afficionados such as professional chefs, despite the dominant presence of miso from the Shinshu region in today's market.

Roasted Tea A Hit For Its Mild Flavor, Aroma

Roasted tea a hit for its mild flavor, aroma

By Miho Saeki / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterBeverages, sweets and other products flavored with hojicha, or Japanese roasted green tea, have become a common sight in stores these days.

Hojicha's mild flavor and aroma have brought new popularity to existing products. Increasing health consciousness among consumers has also fueled the trend.

Oishii / Cheerful Meat Loaf A Cozy Year-end Dish

OISHII / Cheerful meat loaf a cozy year-end dishIn this column, chefs and cooking experts share recipes that are easy to prepare at home.

In Japan, meat loaf is sometimes presented as a year-end gift. If you serve a meat loaf that you have made yourself, you’ll have even more to talk about at the dinner table.

For Those Cold Winter Evenings, A Chicken-ball Hot Pot

For those cold winter evenings, a chicken-ball hot pot

Masahiro Kasahara, proprietor of Japanese cuisine restaurant Sanpi-Ryoron in Tokyo's Ebisu district, had an initial goal of turning just 10 percent of his customers into die-hard fans.

The popularity of his dishes has soared. And the 45-year-old chef continues to communicate the joy of cooking through television, radio and magazines.

Rich And Gentle Cottage Cheese Tart Gives A Taste Of Scandinavia

Rich and gentle cottage cheese tart gives a taste of Scandinavia

Takashi Tsumagari not only runs Cake House Tsumagari in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, but also acts as an "ingredient hunter" for his confectionery, seeking the finest ingredients.

The 67-year-old pastry chef uses milk from free-range cows kept in a coastal area of the Tohoku region, spring water from Mie Prefecture and almonds from Sicily.

Not Your Average Christmas Log Cake

Not your average Christmas log cake

Customers who step into "Cake House Tsumagari" when the shop opens in the morning call out to the 66-year-old proprietor, Takashi Tsumagari, as if they were relatives.

The scene has been replayed daily for about 30 years since the shop opened.