Looking for a drink in Japan?
A bottle of sake or a few pints of a domestic beer are the most obvious choices, but wine drinkers should give the local grape, the Koshu, a chance.
Koshu wine is produced by about 80 vineyards in the Yamanashi prefecture at the base of Mount Fuji.
Ayana Misawa, winemaker at Grace Vineyard, describes the variety as charming, with a crisp acidity and low alcohol level.
“Koshu has a very elegant smell," she says. "Aromas like citrus, white flowers."
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Who do you think set a world record for most new Facebook fans in 24 hours? No, not Charlie Sheen back when he was winning. And not The Avengers movie either, though that’s a good guess.
In fact it was a potato chip. Last April, Frito-Lay’s Facebook page got over 1.5 million new "likes" in one day. That’s a lot of instantaneous fans.
And maybe it’s not such a mind-blowing number if you look at the mind-blowing new flavors capturing the attention of chip fans worldwide. Recently, the New York Daily News highlighted Russia’s affection for Red Caviar potato chips (it’s especially popular in Moscow, where they love their caviar).
Here are some other snack food flavors that you probably never would have dreamed of. You just have to guess what country is chowing down on them. Hint: If you’re lazy and want to answer "Japan" for all questions, you’ll be right a lot of the time. Scroll down to the bottom for the answers.
Being waited on hand and foot now comes at an affordable price in Tokyo. A new butler-themed cafe in the Japanese capital is proving a hit with young females in search for a relaxing afternoon, an English lesson and just as importantly the chance to interact with friendly foreign men.
Shibuya's "Butler Cafe" in the heart of the city has surroundings that bring to mind a Victorian grandmother’s sitting room, with classical music, ample accents of lace and more hearts and roses adorning the furniture than can possibly be counted.
A chopstick making company has whittled down broken baseball bats so sushi can be shoveled with a swing.
Hyozaemon specializes in traditional hand-crafted eating utensils and in 2000 introduced their "kattobashi" chopsticks. The name is a play on words combining the Japanese word for chopsticks, "hashi," with a familiar chant heard at Japanese baseball games.
About 20,000 bats, used and abused by pro and amateur players, turn up at Hyozaemon's workshop each year. So it's a good bet the bats of Godzilla himself, Hideki Matsui, in his pre-Major League Baseball days, will have ended up on a Japanese dining table at some point over the years.
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