Japanese hot sento guide

Japanese hot sento guide

A great pleasure can be derived by taking a soothing hot sento bath which temporarily washes away all your depressing work troubles after a hard day at the office. Sento are dying a slow death and rare outlets can be found outside of the cities. Only a few baths can be found around central Tokyo which makes them more unique and appreciated. Sento are usually patronized by local Japanese, and this article will explain the dos and don'ts when visiting a sento to avoid any embarrassment from the naked eyes of the seasoned sento visitors. Make sure to bring the essentials which will be explained.

First rule in sento is that you will be completely naked once inside the bath. Always have one or two small towels for covering you private parts. It is essentially the most important item and makes other kit secondary. Sento does not provide any shampoo or soap for free, and they come at a price, so be sure to pack some toiletries before heading to one. Avoid bringing along valuable items and do not be afraid of stares if you have tattoo all over your naked body. Local Japanese may very well be more afraid as they associate tattooed bodies with yakuza members. You can bath well in peace if you do not have any.

There are different sento packages ranging from common baths to Tokyo's super high class sento. Shoes can be stored at the locker facilities. Payment for entrance fee of around 450 yen is paid to and old lady manning the ticket counter or paid to vending machine which will duly spit out tokens for entry.

Be sure to enter the right bath for the correct gender as separate baths are made for male as well as female respectively. There will be a changing room where you can store your belongings in a locker. Next would be to undress all your clothes and cover your private parts with a small towel. Locker bracelet is worn around you hand for safekeeping. A sliding door separates the baths and the changing room. Cross over and you are well on your way for a tranquil bath.

Baths are large enough for many customers soaking at once. Try to speak softly as possible to keep the atmosphere peaceful and quiet. Shower cubicles can be found beside the baths. A small stool facing a blank wall can be used to wash up. The water is warm and temperature just nice. Baths cannot be used for cleaning yourself. Always ensure you are well washed before soaking in. Toilets can be accessed anytime whenever the need arises.

You must be completely naked to enter the bath. If you belong to the shy type, cover using your small towel and remove right before entering. Some baths have lightning symbol boards to signify possible experience of electric shocks. The shocks are mild which enables you muscles to contract and provides a soothing feeling. Some baths have higher temperature so be wary of the heat. Test the heat by starting with a hot bath. Relax and ignore the other bathers for a relaxing time. Think of peaceful scenery that you have visited and all your sorrows will be thrown wide out for the moment of extreme peace.

Once you are done with hot bath, enter the cold icy bath to wake you up from slumber land. Good sento comes with mineral bath filled with rich water black in cola color. Once you have done the entire above, step out to clean yourself on the all facing stool, and repeat another round of bath. You have just completed the sento ritual passed down since centuries ago. The final bath should be in the mineral water bath. Immediately put on your pyjamas for an authentic Japanese style sento bath. Warm your inner body with a hot milk and slowly stroll back your comfy bed and get ready for one good slumber.

Discovering 10 Washoku in Japan

Discovering 10 Washoku in Japan

Culinary from Japan are also as familiar as French cuisine in the world. It is approved by Japanese Cuisine (Washoku in the Japanese language) to be added to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. This makes Japanese cuisine in the same position with French cuisine, which is honored for its traditionalism. If you want to try the original taste of washoku in Japan, you should come and check this place with its own specialty washoku.


The famous fish market called Tsukiji is located in Tokyo. Sushi is the most recognizable Japanese Cuisine in the world- with the fresh raw meat cut in special shape upside the vinegar rice. Since it is very fresh, you can taste the sweet and the juicy meat. Right here in Tokyo, sushi is being made for the first time in Japan. At first, sushi called Edomae-zushi, following the word Edo, the old name for Tokyo. You can find the freshest sushi at the stall at Tsukiji Market.


Your culinary experience of washoku won't be completed without eating Kaiseki-ryori. Kaiseki-ryori is a traditional meal, usually for dinner, contains multi-course dish. It is containing the seasonal food and often arranged artistically in one tray. Nakamura-ro restaurant in Gion serves Kaiseki-ryori for 400 years. Its traditionalist can be seen from the dinnerware; it's made from the furnished wooden tray and the food served in Chinese bowl. If you're a vegetarian, you can also find this shojin-ryori, the vegetarian version of the kaiseki-ryori in Isuzen, near the Temple Daiji-in.


Takoyaki, as famous as sushi and ramen, a ball-form of batter contains octopus and veggies. The recipe comes from Osaka, as the known as a place for takoyaki. Okonomiyaki also the best-known come from the Osaka. With a very delicious pancake-like-batter, contains meat and vegetables on top, with brown sauce, mayonnaise, dried bonito flakes and powdered dry seaweed. The taste of the mixture of it like blow out in your mouth, creating an umami taste.


Hakodate is one of the tourism culinary destination. It is famous for its ramen, and also the jingisukan (lamb barbecue). It is named so after Genghis Khan because the table for grilling this meal shaped like Mongolian helmet. The most wanted of Hakodate are also the seafood, especially the crab and the salmon. You can find the freshest seafood at Asa-ichi, the fish market in the morning.


Nagoya is famous for its unagi, or the grilled eel. The sweet sauce infiltrates the soft eel meat perfectly. Atsuta Horaiken Restaurant at Nagoya dish out this unagi named hitsumabushi. It is served in 3 ways to eat : First, eat it plain (already has a sweet taste) with a bowl of rice. Second, with sprinkles of spring onion, seaweed, and wasabi (very spicy horseradish paste). Third, soak it in the soup.


Located in Nagano prefecture, this place known for its handmade soba, or the cold noodle. Nomugi is one of the famous vendors. For its very famous reputation, the customer has to line up from the morning. It closes at 2 pm or before it if the soba all sold out. Or, if you want something different, try basashi at Kura Restaurant. It is a raw horsemeat sliced thin.


Located at the Central of Japan, it is known for the sake. Suzuya Restaurant in Takayama is the famous one serving sansai-hyori, a dish made from mountain veggies, fern, and wild plants. Hoba miso usually eaten along with it. Hoba miso is a mix of beef or vegetable with miso paste roasted with charcoal on top of Magnolia leaf.


Located on the southern island of Kyushu. Famous for its fugu, or blowfish. This fish is very poisonous, so the chef who cut it should have passed the test to get the certificate. You can find it during winter time. Tonkatsu ramen or Hakata ramen is also the best- the ramen with a rich pork broth. Anything can't be tastier than this. You can find this on the small stall of atyatai which spread all over Fukuoka.


This place known for its Sanuki Udon, which is the big noodle made from wheat, serve with the separately soup and wasabi. One of the best place to try it is Waraya restaurant, outside Takamatsu a little, near Shikoku Mura.


Located in Okinawa Prefecture. All of the pig's part are cooked here. From ear to trotters. Doesn't like pork? You can eat seafood too. Find the stall which sells it at Dai-Ichi Kosetsu Makishi Ichiba.

Beautiful Japan

Beautiful Japan

The city of Tokyo is more famous for its technology and fashion. There is a lot more to this city including its history. If you are planning to visit the country there are a few place you might want to visit if you are interested in knowing about the city's history.

The first destination is the Edo-Tokyo Museum. You will get the complete history of the city from the time it began to the city as it is now. To enter the exhibition hall of the museum you will have to cross the Nihonbashi Bridge replica. The elderly guides here are one of the delights, sharing tear jerking stories of the past they experienced. The Kabuki-style stage boasting several cultural pieces and you should make sure to get a glimpse of the very detailed model of Edo.

Little Edo is located approximately half an hour outside the center of Tokyo. This town is the best place to get the authentic Japanese culture outside the city. The town if in Saitama Prefecture. Some of the place to visit in the town are places such as Penny Candy Alley along Kashiya Yokosho that has a nineteenth century feel and design. The alley intersects with Kurazuki Street that still has some buildings that date all the way back to the seventeenth century. Most of these buildings are today used as locations for restaurants with the Toki ni Kane bell tower chiming every hour on the hour. Fifteen minutes outside this district sits the Honmaru Goten, the residence of the Lord. This is the only remaining remanence of the Kawagoe Castle. Used today as a museum, this building was the last addition to the fourteenth century castle in the eighteenth century. This location provides the atmosphere and ambiance of a traditional castle.

The once Falconry site of the families of the shogun, the Hama Rikyu Garden is now completely surrounded by high rise buildings and has the feel of the old Japan mix perfectly with the new. This place is best visited in the spring time when the cherry blossoms are in bloom as well as the fields of the yellow rapeseed. Riding the traditional water buses of the Sumida River is still the best and most fun way of getting to the garden. The water vehicles float from Asakusa to Obaiba to Central Tokyo.

The Imperial Palace East Garden is located at the base of a hill in the Imperial Palace. The palace is where the emperor of Japan resides and the only public area of the castle. The garden has a Japanese style design with micro bridges, trees and ponds similar to those of authentic castles. The location offers free bicycles on Sundays between the hours between ten and three pm. This first ones to get to a bicycle is the one to get it. There is also a free walking English speaking tour between the hours of one and three pm.

The Rikugi-en Garden is a eighteenth century style strolling garden that reproduces eighty eight scenes of Japan's history. The garden was built for the comfort of the fifth Tokugawa Shogun. The best time to visit the garden is in the fall season. From November to the early days of December when the maples are changing color from gold to red. The beautiful landscape that circles the moss green ponds that are stocked with white and orange carp. The artificial hill provides an exceptional view of the forested areas and the islets on the pond that accentuates the visuals of the garden. You will be able to make a rest stop at one of the many teahouses that sits on the banks of the northwestern shore on the pond.

Asian Brewing

Asian Brewing

There is really good suds to be had in Asia, from Hong Kong to South Korea. There are breweries here that will that will provide brew that is sure to delight any palate. Japan is the leading craftsmen in this trade. They have been making excellent beer for a long time with their leading beer the standard for Asian brews since the mid nineteen nineties. Tokyo's Popeye stocks mostly Japanese brew among their seventy types and might be a great place to start your visit. The Beer Belly is the also a great place to visit. It is found in Osaka where you can also visit Minoh Brewery that is down the road. The Beer Komachi is found in a hidden alley in Kyoto and the serve all local brews.

Like China's economy their beer craft has increase so much in so little time. This nation has one of the most intriguing beer scenes in the east of Asia. Most of Chinas craft beer small breweries are located in Beijing with Great Leap Brewing number one. The Slow oat Brewery is next in line and the Tipsy Face follows them closely behind. In Chengdu you can find the Beer Nest and the Master Gao in Nanjing. The ideal place to visit may be the Beijing's NBeer Pub that is located on the first floor of the Huguo Xintiandi.

South Korea has some very strange beer laws. By their laws it is literally against the law to operate a micro-brewery. Breweries have found a way around that and do produce and sell their products in taprooms around the country. The brewing here is a unique one thanks to the income levels but have a quality and standard the can easily rival those of higher tier. The place to visit is Itaewon. The Craftsworks Taphouse is located here and the Magpie Brewing Co is down the road. You can get a map of the city's beer craft bars at Seoul Hiomebrew.

Until a few years ago the only beer that was accessible on the Taiwan market was the country's own brew. It was a drinkable beer but had a bad name and was a boring drink. Micro brewing was basically against the law in the country but now the nation's craft beer scene is showing signs of potential. The only drawback that you may find with some of these breweries are that they are still very simple in construction. There is a plus to this though as many of them incorporate some very interesting ingredients in their concoctions. The place to visit would be the Le Ble d'Or if you are looking for the best in local brews. The Jolly Brewery and restaurant along with the brew from the Red point Brewing Company is served at the Beer and Cheese Social House.

There is a problem of space and the overall daily lifestyle of the Hong Kong people and the city seems not too compatible with micro brewing. The Tipping Point Brewing Co. provides a few brews including the Ales that are crafted the way they do in the Americas. The place to visit is The Globe pub, they have a long list of imported brews as their local stock never seems to last any significant time. The HK Brewcraft stocks home brewing equipment for the fast growing business of home brewing. HK also stocks a large selection of home brews themselves. HK Brewcraft is your local homebrew store in Hong Kong. Whether you are a brewmaster, an aspiring homebrewer, or just want to have some fun making your own beer. HK Brewcraft Central is your local homebrew store and bottle shop with 80+ homebrewing ingredients and 60+ homebrewing equipment available for your brewing needs.