!!Coming soon!!

Here is the list of the up and coming post on Gaijinlife

Internet and Manga Cafes

An interview with Dan from Japanese castle explorer.com

money gifts gosyugi

skateboarding in Tokyo and Japan

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden in Bunkyo-ku

Tips to understand Japanese’s sense of humor

Many more post coming in the next weeks

Here is the picture of the day

This picture was taken by Guillaume Marcotte form tokyoluv.com

The shibuya crossing


Tempura 天麩羅 or Tonkatsu 豚カツ !?

Tempura 天麩羅 or Tonkatsu 豚カツ !?

Where is Tempura from? Most people would answer Japan with out hesitation. They would be wrong! What is Tonkatsu?

Tempura 天麩羅

In middle of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese landed on Japanese shores. In addition to establishing trade, trying to convert the Japanese to Catholicism, the Portuguese introduced tempura, the technique of dipping fish and vegetables into a batter and frying them. This is one example of Japanese food evolution by incorporating foreign influences.Tempura comes from the Latin word tempora, which refers to Ember Days or quattuor tempora. Ember Days refer to the days when Catholics avoid meat and instead eat fish or vegetables. Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, loved tempura so much that he apparently died after eating too much of it. Could you imagine that—dying from overeating? But of cours it’s not a proven historical fact. Still a funny anecdote.

Personally I love tempura, it’s a considerably light fried food.  On of the best places to eat tempura in my opinion, is around the Senso-ji 浅草寺 temple in the Tokyo district of Asakusa. Impressively tempura is one of the only Japanese dish that you can eat anywhere in America that would taste like in Japan. Of course some sushi restaurants maybe but it is still a debatable subject. In Japan a good Tempura meal run around 12 to 25$ more would be too much.

Tonkatsu 豚カツ

Tonkatsu is another Japanese fried dish, mostly called katsu amongst Japanese. Katsu’ roots are not as old as Tempura but still hold a big place in the Japanese food diet. It was invented in the late 19th century as a Japanese version of European cuisine. Katsu is breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet sliced into bite-sized pieces, generally served with shredded cabbage, rice and miso soup. The meat is usually salted, peppered, dredged lightly in flour, dipped into beaten egg and then coated with panko (breadcrumbs) before being deep fried. Tonkatsu has Japanized over the years, today it is usually served with rice, miso soup and tsukemono in the style of washoku (traditional Japanese food) and eaten with chopsticks. Tonkatsu is also popular as a sandwich filling. These days’ tonkatsu may be made by sandwiching an ingredient like cheese or shiso leaf between the meat, and then breading and frying. Tempura is a light fried dish, but it brother katsu is really heavy in the sumo weigh category. But it is a really desishious dish, now served in a fully traditional Japanese way.

The best Tonkatsu I ever had was in Sapporo as crazy as it sounds. But you can eat and enjoy a good Tonkatsu meal anywhere in Japan for around 15$. Plus normally in most katsu restaurant you can all allyou can eat rice, miso and cabbage.

A trip through history in Asakusa

Asakusa is at the eastern end of the Ginza subway line, about one mile east of the major Ueno station and area. Asakusa is on the banks of the Sumida River. In the 1900’s Asakusa was the major entertainment district in Tokyo. It has now been surpassed by Shinjuku and other colorful areas in the city, in its role as a pleasure district. Personally I love Asakusa it’s a really old part of Tokyo with tones of history. There is a lot of temple and shrines in this area one of which is the Senso-ji 浅草寺. The Senso-ji temple was built in the year 645, it is the oldest temple in Tokyo and one of its most significant. The temple was designated as the tutelary temple of the Tokugawa clan.  This temple is a wonder and a great starting point for Asakusa excurtion.

In the shops all around The sensoji temple you can find a massive amount of omiage(gift)  shop with everything from traditional Japanese sweet’s to yukata and kimonos.  I would not recommend buying gift in that area since there is a really high concentration of tourist but looking around can be a real pleasure. Asakusa also hosts a major cluster of domestic kitchen ware stores on Kappabashi-dori, which is visited by many Tokyoites and travelers alike. Keeping up with the cooking theme Asakusa is pleased to have wide variety of really good restaurant. Good things to eat in Asakusa are Tempura specialty which are particularity exquisite.  For those of you that share a passion for beer this area of Tokyo as something for you too. In walking distance of the Sensoji temple you will find the Asahi Beer Hall. The Beer Hall  is the Asahi Breweries headquarters. The headquarters are a beautiful golden modern building that in my opinion is a must see if your in this area.

I would recommend a one day visit at Asakusa

If you want to put a little bit more planing on your visit to the Asakusa region try to make sure to come during a matsuri.

A matsuri is a festival, Asakusa is the host of many festival year-round.

I would be a great opportunity to witness  and experience Japanese traditions.

Welcome to the Gaijin Life blog

Gaijin life is  my first blog, in this blog I want to share my passion for the wonderful country of the rising sun.

Here you can learn about anyaspect of Japan. Places to visit, dishes to eat , little things that can help you  and personal experiences of my freinds and me.

I hope you will enjoy this blog.

Email: gaijinlife@ymail.com

Twitter: @agaijinlife


I dedicate this blog to all my friends supporting me and to my mom and best friend that past away in 2008 after losing the battle against cancer.