Mar 30 2017

LGBT & Japan

Category: A + Japanese Dating,Japanese Girls,World FriendsIchiban @ 9:36 am

fruits in suits tokyo facebook page

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Mar 10 2015

Tokyo St Patrick’s Day Parade 2015

Category: Japan RelatedIchiban @ 9:49 am

The Festival is held in conjunction with St.Patrick’s Day Parade held by Irish Network Japan Tokyo in Omotesando. This year they mark the 23rd parade! See below the video of last year’s parade. Visit there website from here to check out the details!

Guinness time…

Thanks to Diageo(Guinness, Kilkenny, Baileys), Dubliners, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, IJCC, Shannons, Finn McCools, The Hub, DCU, Harman, H&K and many more for making all this possible.
Enquiries : English Japanese
Japanese : Website in Japanese

★St. Patrick’s Day Parades 2015 around Japan★ Save the Date !
今年ももうすぐ「アイルランド・フェスティバル」の季節がやってきます。今年もイベント情報を本ページで発信していきますので、よろしくお願いいたします。 全国各地のセント・パトリックス・デー・パレード、第2回アイ・ラブ・アイルランド・フェスティバルの開催予定は以下の通りです。今から予定を空けておいてくださいね!
★St. Patrick’s Day Parades 2015 around Japan★

Saturday, 14 March 3月14日(土)
Yokohama 横浜
Nagoya 名古屋
Kumamoto 熊本
Sunday, 15 March 3月15日(日)
Tokyo 東京
Fukuoka 福岡
Okinawa 沖縄
Saturday, 21 March 3月21日(土・祝)
Chiba 千葉
Takamatsu 高松
Ireland Festival in Osaka 2015
March 22, 2015 (Sun)
Nanba Dotonbori Tonbori Riverwalk
Sponsored by INJ Osaka Festival Executive Committee
★I Love Ireland Festival 2015★
Sunday, 15 March 3月15日(日)
10:00 – 18:00
at Yoyogi Park, Tokyo 東京・代々木公園イベント広場


Contact us
Facebook :
English (General Japan and Tokyo) :
Shikoku :
Embassy Ireland Festival site
Also on Twitter @IrishEmbJapan
Thanks again to Diageo(Guinness, Kilkenny, Baileys), Dubliners, Jameson, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, IJCC, Shannons, Finn McCools, The Hub, Hard Rock Cafe, Hobgoblin, DCU and many more for making all this possible.

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Mar 10 2015


Category: Tokyo FoodIchiban @ 8:55 am

Our friends at I Love Cheese are having another ….

Cheese tasting party at Dining Bar BBC, Akasaka

4 April at 17:00

Dining BAR BBC              Facebook page here:





























don’t be an April fool wait till the 4th and get your wine and cheese on!



by Julian Ryall  Original article here:

UK firms take slice of tough Japan market

The proud noses of our friends across the English Channel have been out of joint ever since it was revealed that the approximately 400 different types of cheese produced in France is a pale shadow of the more than 700 varieties now made in the UK.

Moreover, a renaissance in demand for top-quality, niche British cheeses means that figure is still growing.

While we may not produce the most in terms of volume—the Americans take that particular title, thanks to their vast appetite for processed and mass-produced mozzarella and cheddar—or consume the most per head—the average French person eats a whopping 26.3kg of cheese every year—British cheese-makers are at the top of the craft when it comes to taste, texture and variety.

This makes it even more annoying for Brits in Japan to be confronted by a limited range of limp and lifeless processed cheese in an average Japanese supermarket.

“I couldn’t claim that we had any experience when we set the company up three years ago. We were just enthusiastic and massive consumers [of cheese]”, said Sean Brophy, managing director of I Love Cheese Co., Ltd. “And I couldn’t get what I wanted here”.

After starting on a limited scale, the firm is now importing up to 60kg of top-quality, artisan cheeses from the UK every month, said Stephen Davies, president.

Sourced from specialist makers covering the highlands of Scotland to Cornwall, I Love Cheese is selling to individuals through its website, and increasingly building contacts with restaurants throughout Tokyo to stock British dairy products.

“The business grew out of a conversation I had with Stephen about four years ago. We initially talked about opening a specialist shop for British cheese, but when we looked into it more closely, the costs were simply prohibitive”, said 54-year-old Brophy, a freelance technical translator who is originally from Coventry but has been in Japan for 24 years.

There followed a fairly steep learning curve on British cheeses, the local market here, and forging relationships with manufacturers in the UK.

The pair also had to figure out the complicated process of importing what the Japanese tax authorities consider to be a luxury foodstuff, on which they impose heavy duties.

“It has been tricky”, admits 43-year-old Davies, from Bromsgrove in the West Midlands, who balances the cheese business with his job in a specialist travel agency.

“We are taxed under CIF [Cost, Insurance and Freight], which means that the rate is determined by combining what we paid for the cheese plus the freight costs”, said Davies. “And that obviously makes our costs higher and the price for the consumer higher.

“What we find puzzling is that the tax authorities do not use the same calculation for other goods that might be considered luxury items”, he said.

British beer and wine, for example, are exempt. Equally, cheese that is imported in bulk from some of the largest manufacturers, such as Australia and New Zealand, is also exempt from all taxes if it is to be used in other types of processed food here.

“The high taxes obviously mean that there is a limit on how low we can go on our prices, but we are hopeful that something positive might come out of the international trade agreement that is being discussed between Japan and the European Union”, Brophy added.

Around 80% of the people who purchase on-line are British expats who would simply not otherwise be able to get their hands on something like a Berkswell Artisan ewes’ milk cheese, coated in its distinctive thick rind, or a Yarg that has been wrapped in the leaves of nettles.

The remaining 20% are Japanese, said Davies. The business partners are aiming to build up a solid base of expat customers at the same time as sharing their love for British cheese with more Japanese people.

In time, they anticipate that the split will be reversed, with perhaps even 90% of their business coming from high-end restaurants across Japan.

One method of doing that is by holding regular cheese-tasting events at bars and restaurants around Tokyo. The I Love Cheese roadshow made an appearance at The White Fox restaurant near Oji Station, opened by classically trained British chef Trevor Blyth in 2006.

“It has always been quite difficult to get good British cheese because there is one major importer of top-quality European cheeses, but they focus on French and Italian makers, and have a very limited selection of British cheeses”, said Blyth. “And they’re expensive.

“The food we serve here is tapas-style, a fusion of French and Japanese cooking, but it also fits very well with British cheeses and wines, and our sales of UK cheese varieties are doing very well now”, he said. “We are even finding that some older Japanese people are stopping in here as they change trains on their way home and having a glass of wine and a selection of cheese”.

Arrayed on his counter are just some of the I Love Cheese offerings, including a dark and crumbly Aged Leicestershire Red, a round of the very popular Capricorn Somerset goat’s cheese and a Lincolnshire Poacher. Veins course through the dark orange of a Blue Shropshire, while the Sage Derby is flecked with green.

“I really believe there is a great deal of potential demand for these sorts of cheeses here”, Blyth said, adding that new scientific research is helping, as it is debunking some of the myths about cheese being unhealthy.

Cheese that is made in a traditional way and only contains natural fat is actually good for the human digestive system, according to studies, although the stabilised fat typically found in processed cheese is a different matter.

The Alvis family, owners of Lye Cross Farm in Somerset, have already made substantial inroads into the South Korean market with their hand-made West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, and are looking to build on the contacts they have in Japan.

“We have found that one of the difficulties is that the channels to market are very heavily structured”, Tim Harrap, head of collaboration for the firm, told BCCJ ACUMEN. “They have been in place for so many years that the distribution networks are pretty rigid and difficult to break out from”.

Harrap took part in a three-day trade mission to Japan with Dacian Ciolo, European commissioner for agriculture and rural development.

The aim was to promote Lye Cross Farm’s organic cheeses and its Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese, a label that indicates a foodstuff that originates in a specific town or region, which has characteristics linked to that place and is produced in a defined geographical area. Lye Cross Farm’s production facilities are a mere 10km from the village of Cheddar.

“I went on a similar trade mission to China a few years ago and it proved successful”, Harrap said. “We are now doing a lot of business with our PDO cheese in South Korea and we would like to develop other markets, such as Japan.

“I’m hoping this trip helps to build our credibility in the market, builds the profile of Lye Cross Farm, and that we can take things forward from there”, he explained.

While cheese has traditionally been considered a French speciality among Japanese consumers, Blyth believes a new generation of cheese-lovers here might be favouring imports from the UK.

“Until now, a lot of Japanese didn’t even realise that Britain makes cheese—and that it can be so good”, he said.

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Mar 10 2015

Kozue Kuriyama Jazz Pianist

Category: Japan EntertainmentIchiban @ 6:51 am

If you love great jazz, you’ll love Kozue. Check out her site and download some of her songs here or from itunes if you can!
Go and see her play April 5th and 15th at Roppongi’s Softwind!

A versatile pianist and composer, Kozue Kuriyama has performed with Dave Liebman, Victor Mendoza, Fernando Huergo, Winston Maccow, Rick Overton, Artem Chirkov, Pasha Tseitlin, Jeffery Nicholson and Emi Kuriyama.

Kozue was born and raised in Chiba, Japan. She began playing piano at the age of three, and composed her first piece at sixteen. Since then, she has developed her own unique playing and composing sound.




Taken on an iPhone but still good quality…

A 2009 graduate of the Tokyo College of Music, Kozue was exposed to a wide variety of music while attending school. She studied classical piano performance with Atsuko Okada and Masahiro Kawakami, and jazz theory and improvisation with Rick Overton. After participating in the International Music Festival 2008 and 2009 in Portugal, her passion for jazz was awoken and she made the decision to trust it. After graduating, she continued performing with her sister, vocalist Emi Kuriyama. They recorded their first album together, “Power,” in the summer of 2009, for which Kozue composed and performed.

Kozue graduated from The Berklee College of Music in 2011, where she was
immersed in jazz and contemporary music. She studied with legendary musicians, including Nando Michellin, Leo Blanco, Ross Ramsay, Jeff Covel, Winston Maccow, David Fiuczynski and Victor Mendoza. She received a number of scholarship awards, including the Classical Performance Award in 2010 and the MBNA Professional Music Award in 2011, and several of her compositions were presented at various showcase concerts held at the Berklee Performance Center in 2011.

Now she leads her group, named the Kozue Kuriyama Jazz Quartet, where she is joined by Zac Zinger(Sop/Alt Sax), Kozue(Pno), Alejandro Zorrilla(Bs), and Oscar Suchanek(Ds). The group has been playing together for over a year, and it is currently recording its first album, with an expected June release date.

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Jan 30 2015

All aboard

Category: Japan NewsIchiban @ 4:06 am

All aboard! Never gets old.

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Jan 06 2015

Abenomics Tokyo Homeless

Category: Japan News,Japan RelatedIchiban @ 12:57 pm

This video was made back in 2011 but not much has changed.

Abenomics has done very little to stimulate the economy. Higher taxes make it harder for people to pay their bills.

The result? more homeless.

Abenomics refers to the economic policies advocated by Shinzō Abe since the December 2012 general election, which elected Abe to his second term as prime minister of Japan. Abenomics is based upon “three arrows” of fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms.[1] The Economist characterized the program as a “mix of reflation, government spending and a growth strategy designed to jolt the economy out of suspended animation that has gripped it for more than two decades.”[2]

The term “Abenomics” is a portmanteau of Abe and economics, and follows previous political neologisms for economic policies linked to specific leaders, such as Reaganomics, Clintonomics and Rogernomics.

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Apr 25 2014

Justin Bieber attempts to start World War Three

Category: Chinese Pops,Japan NewsIchiban @ 5:53 am

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber apologized via Instagram after China fans were outraged he visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan’s fallen during World War II, including some who committed mass atrocities.


Did Justin Bieber honor the memory of some of Japan’s worst war criminals during his recent trip to Tokyo? You better belieb it!

According to the international pop sensation’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, Bieber dropped by the notorious Yasukuni Shrine this week, where he paid his respects to Japan’s war dead, including former military leaders from the country’s imperial army who committed mass atrocities across Asia and the Pacific during World War II.

“Thank you for your blessings,” tweeted Bieber, which garnered more than 666,000 likes on Instagram and tens of thousands of retweets before the singer suddenly removed the image from his account.

Thank you for your blessings.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) April 22, 2014
But Bieber’s China fans were less than impressed by the visit, urging him on social media to remove the picture out of respect for the dead. Bieber eventually responded to the controversy caused by the incident with an Instagram post on Wednesday of TIME’s story on the upset:

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Mar 18 2011

Messages From Japan

Category: Earthquake,Japan News,Japan Related,News WorldIchiban @ 12:31 am

Messages from Japan
I was just sent a block of Japanese messages submitted by people throughout the country. I needed to share these, as they brought tears to my eyes, so here is my best translation. It is sad to say but you would never see this type of behavior in so much of America these days. I want Americans to see what America could be (and perhaps used to be)! -ben —–

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Mar 15 2011

Fukushima Radiation Levels

Category: Earthquake,Japan News,Japan Related,News WorldIchiban @ 7:03 am

Status of damage reports

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Jan 06 2011

What to do in Tokyo

Category: Japan TourismIchiban @ 2:30 am

Let Hikosaemon tell you the best spots to go to in and around Tokyo and then check out his Youtube channel.

All in this map: MAP
Must See Places in Tokyo:
Ueno (Ameyoko Markets)
Asakusa (Sensoji Temple)

Hiko’s Favorite Spots in Tokyo
Shimo Kitazawa

Recommended Restaurants in Kagurazaka/Iidabashi

A kind of Japanese/Italian fusion in an old fashioned Japanese home.
In a bit of a backstreet, but GREAT food

French Dining
Iidabashi french food – good prices, good food

Yves Terrace
French again, but specializes in grilled rotisserie chicken and food

Dj Esoph – Xilopsycho Beat
Album Beat Source vol.1

You can also follow Hikosaemon here:
Hiko’s Blog:

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