Japanese SAKE

無題It is getting cold in Japan and time to enjoy Japanese Sake.  Absolutely Sake is very tasty, but tasty is not only fact and it is also good for beauty and health.   Sake actually has been helped Japanese women’s chapped hands or rough skin from long time ago.  Now I introduce the effect of Sake and how to use it efficiently from two aspects of beauty and health.

Beauty

  1.  SAKE contains lots of acetaldehyde which expand blood vessel and adenosine which defend contraction more than other alcohol.  These elements improve the circulation of the blood and make your body comfortably warm.  And it helps to make your skin lustrous.
  2.  Because Kojic acid(麹酸) has an effect on control creating melanin pigment, it helps skin whitening.

Health

  1. Because blood circulation becomes better, it prevents sensitivity to cold, swelling, or stiffness in body.
  2.  Sake kasu(酒粕) which is the left over from sake production helps to lower the level of sugar in the blood, so it prevents diabetes.  Also because of much dietary fiber, it is good to use for cooking.

Rumor says, Japanese actress, Norika Fujiwara soaks in a bathtub with pouring SAKE into the tub.  I found this is one of the secret of her beauty.  You will be able to realize the power of SAKE not only by drinking. (Reference)

Ordynskaya Cave in Russia

The Worlds Greatest Gypsum Cave

The longest beautiful cave under the water in Russia.
This cave was created before human beings born and it took about one million years to be created.  The length is 5m and the depth is 200m.  The temperature in the cave is about -23 and the temperature of water is about 5℃, it is very cold.  Surprisingly, the cave is made by crystal and because the clarity of the water in the cave is very high so the divers look like they are flying.
This cave already got World national heritage site.  Sometimes it appear on TV and be introduced but still minor cave in the world, compared with other places which got World national heritage site.  But you must see very beautiful sight if you visit there such as the fantastic picture below.
Go to see more information
ロシアの西部ウラル地域にあるオルダ洞窟について。
世界最長の水中石膏洞窟と言われています。

Cold Stone Creamery

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I work at Cold Stone Creamery as a part-time job, so let me introduce it!

Cold Stone Creamery is the ice cream shop from America. First shop was opened in Arizona. There are over 1000 stores in America, and there are many stores all over the world now. Japan has about 40 stores now, and the first store is located in Roppongi Hills. It was opened in 2005.

This shop is very famous and popular, because crews sing songs while they mix the icecream and topping on a cold stone. We sing songs in English.

I want to show one new ice cream!
“Winter Mille-feuille Wishes”! The based ice cream is custard one, and mix-in are strawberry, strawberry sauce and pie! It is very delicious and the crunchy texture is fun! I recommend it. We can have it only from November 1 to December 25.

You can feel entertainment in Cold Stone Creamery. You should go if you have never been there.

New Year’s Osechi

Japanese_Osechi_ryouriThis year has only one month and soon New Year will come.  In Japan, we have a custom eating Osechi on the first three days in January.  Osechi usually is prepared in Bento box.  Various kinds of dishes are beautifully prepared in the box.  These dishes usually can be kept for three days so women do not have to cook during the period.  The dishes generally are salted herring roe, mashed sweet potato with sweet chestnuts, black soy beans, konbu rolls and so on.  Each dish has people’s wishes.  For example, herring roe has meaning of prosperity of descendants, mashes sweet potato is represent property or to get money because of the yellow color.  In addition to the meaning, they cook the Osechi to wish good health, long life, a good harvest.  However, according to the research, 60% of Japanese buy Osechi on the market.  We can get Osechi from department, supermarket, and even from Convenience store.  This is sad result so I decide to ask my mother to teach how to Osechi this year!

Touji(冬至)

2012122209163422-1On December 22, 2013 is Touji(冬至), the winter solstice in English. The winter solstice is the word which expresses the shortest day and the longest night in a year. Japan and China has the custom which we take a bathtub with a citron called “Yuzu-yu”. Originally people purified themselves in a bath to invite fortune. If you take a Yuzu-yu, it is said you will never catch a cold for a year. A citron makes blood circulation better and prevents sensitivity to cold. In addition, it makes your skin beautiful and makes you relaxed with the flavor. Taking Yuzu-yu is easy and you only put many cut citrons into the bathtub so let’s try it!

Eating buckwheat noodles on New Year’s Eve

12-31recipiIn relating to the custom of Winter I introduced, Japan has also special custom which we eat buckwheat noodles before New Year begins.  It is called “Toshikoshi Soba(年越しそば)” and it started in middole of Edo Era.  Because of the buckwheat noodles’ feature which is long and thin, people believe their height and life will get longer.  Also because buckwheat noodles are easy to be cut, people eat the noodle like cutting down their suffering or hardship.

In addition, you have to finish eating before New Year begins or you will not be unlucky with money in the next Year.  When you have the buckwheat noodles on New Year’s Eve, appreciate the peaceful days and spend good times with your family.

3.11 Yahoo Donation

imageYahoo donated 10 yen if one person searches the Tohoku great earthquake on March 11th. They did this not to make people forget and they donated all money to Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Initiatives Foundation. Three years have passed since the earthquake happened, people are getting forgotten, even though the Tohoku area haven’t recovered. So, I think what Yahoo had done was great.  We shouldn’t forget people live in Tohoku area are still suffering and they need our help.

If you are hijacked, what would you do?

We definitely need airplanes and ships when we go abroad. However, we can possibly face horrible situations when we are on these kind of vehicles. Hijacking is  the worst case in any other situation.

Currently, a new firm “Captain Philips” was came out. It’s based on a true story that happened in 2009. the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama is hijacked by pirates. this firm shows how captain Philips managed to survive from horrible situation. We can also see his courage to fight against pirates to protect his clues. If you like it, first watch a trailer.

An Old Lady Mickey Mouse

A fake Mickey mouse mickey1with its waist bent appeared, and waved his hand to citizens in a park in China.  There was an old lady (75) inside of the fake Mickey mouse.  She was doing this for her son.  They are so poor that they can’t live without public assistance.  According to the old lady, she didn’t want to hinder her son, so she decided to be the Mickey Mouse to earn money.  When I saw this article, I was so impressed.  I hated that the Chinese would make a fake character costume.  But in this case, I think it is okay to wear fake character costume.

Japanese Kotatsu

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Japanese Traditional Kotatsu

Japanese cannot spend winter without Kotatsu.  Kotatsu is known by some European and American countries, even though they have never used.  It was said as the great invention same as Washlet.  Kotatsu is wooden table with an electric heater underneath covered by a quilt.

Kotatsu is originally invented by Zen priest in Muromachi Era.  The attractive points are the electricity bill is cheaper than air conditioner or floor heating, and it is very comfortable because you can feel warm directly.  So it has been loved for long time by Japanese.  Kotatsu represents Japanese winter and the happy time with family.  A French man, Olivier Caramelle is trying to sell Japanese Kotatsu in Europe.  According to the website, he was studying Japanese furniture for 20 years, and he thinks only 1 of 1000 people understand how Japanese furniture is great.  It sounds like it is difficult to spread this culture, but he says, about half of European people has habit of taking off their shoes in the house.  So he believes it is easy to spread Kotatsu in the world.  It costs lots of money if you buy Kotatsu out of Japan, so I hope it will be easy to get this convenient and great invention.

The video by a man exciting with Kotatsu is interesting, so please watch it!