Category Archives: Tea

Kanaya Tea Festival 2014

The Kanaya Tea Festival is the more important for being held only every two years!
It is held on the second week end of April for two days, meaning that the ladies and girls of the whole town parade no less than 4 times during that time!

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I arrived at Kanaya Station on Sunday and although the parade is held a bit away from it you knew what was going on!

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The welcoming committee!

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Our bunch of 7 visitors, including 6 expats, was duly invited to pose with the welcoming party for the official photo album!

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All ladies from the town participated to the whole festival!

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As for the little ones, they did need some help!

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A small dance party of cha musume was on show in front of the Station all day!

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No less than three generations!

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Participants, especially adults, were busy with preparations of the floats for the evening. Unfortunately Shizuoka City is quite a long way and I couldn’t stay at night… Probably for the best as I would have had to stay overnight with all that drinking going on! LOL

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Busy, busy, busy!

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Fixing the lanterns to light up the night!

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Last practice!

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Well, these hadn’t waited to practice drinking!

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And those veterans definitely enjoyed the respite!

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All under the watchful eyes of the organizers?

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Cha Musume Pageant!

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Alright, ladies! Get ready!

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Let me help with those knots!

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So cute!

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Not the way the dancers were carrying their belongings!

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Over 1,000 dancers all set!

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during that time onlookers were busy feeding themselves! Takoyaki!

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Okonomiyaki!

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Tea leaves massage!!

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Professional demonstration!

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Dance step 1?

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Dance step 2?

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Dance step 3?

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One little cha musume forgot to turn around!

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Dance step 4?

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Dance step 6?

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Never too young to start!

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In two years time these little girls will be veterans!

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My favorite dancer of the day!

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And I left to the sound of two strong lady drummers!

In two years time I’ll make sure to stay there all nigh!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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Shizuoka Green Tea & Wagashi Cake at Shizuoka JR Station: KIssa Issa Tea Cafe!

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Service: Extremely kind and hospitable
Facilities and Equipment: Spotless clean. Entirely non-smiking!
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Green tea fro Shizuoka City only. Choice of three different teas offered every week. Local wagashi cakes!

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4 years ago, in June exactly, Shizuoka JR Station was completely renovated and the basement linking the city to the north exit saw the birth of some very interesting shops!
If you arrive directly at Shizuoka JR Station take thes tairs down and you will find Kissa Issa Tea cafe on your left. You will find it on your right if you reach the station from the basement pasageway!

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You are graciously invited to taste Shizuoka City Green Tea!
This cute little cafe was the idea behind a collaboration project between the Shizuoka City Tea Growers Association and the Municipal Government of Shizuoka City!

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A great range of green tea bags for a very reasonable price!
Bear in mind that Shizuoka Prefecture produces more than 45% of all green tea in Japan and that Shizuoka City is one of the main growing areas!

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The whole list of Green Tea Growers and Companies in Shizuoka City!

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You can also buy take-out hot green tea (but consume it on site. This is not Starbucks!)!

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Green is the color of tea!
Closed on Wednesdays only, but always open on week-ends and national Holidays for the pleasure of the many visitors!

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Smokers, keep out if you please!

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More green teas on sale inside!

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The Tea Cafe!

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Great staff!

SN3O0333The menu!

Written in Japanese, but the staff will try their best to explain it!

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The three teas proposed on the menu every week are also displayed for purchase near the cash register!

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There were two different Japanese wagashi cakes available made by Friand Kadoya in Inagawa Cho, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City, south of the JR Station!
The one I chose is a kinton and sweetmeat/anko cake named Na no Hana/rapeseed flower!

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And the tea I chose was a Tamachi No Aji Ichiban (made with first tea crop leaves)!

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my set!
The staff prpepare the first cup of tea and serve a pot of water for the next cups!

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The first cup of green tea!

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The brown pot contains enough hot water for the second and third cups of tea.
For the second cup of tea you pour water into the green pot first and then into the small tea pot filled with leaves.
This way your tea will be at the right temperature.
As for the third cup you pour directly the water form the brown pot into the small tea pot as the temperature will just right inside the brown pot by then!

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The wagshi cake, a little jewel!

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It is supposed to represent the shape of rape seed flowers!

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Filled with sweetmeat!
And it’s vegan!
made by Arian Kadoya (see below for details!)!

KISSA ISSA/一茶
Shizuoka JR Station, North Exit, Basement Square
Tel.: 054-253-0030
Opening hours: 10:00~19:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Entirely non-smoking!

FRIAND KADOYA Western and Wagashi Cakes
422-8062 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Inagawa, 1-2-29
Tel.: 054-285-6860
Fax: 054-284-7037
Opening hours: 09:00~19:00
Closed on Mondays and some holidays in January and August

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Kanaya Green Tea Festival (April 12th~13th)!

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On April 12th (Saturday) and 13th (Sunday) a festival dear to all lovers of green tea in Shizuoka Prefecture will be held in Kanaya, Shimada City! The Kanaya Green Tea Festival!
Posters can already be seen in most of the railway stations in the Prefecture!

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The poster inside Shizuoka JR Station!

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this festival is held only 2 years, so don’t miss it!
As for the access ride the Tokaido Railway Line and get down at Kanaya Station.
People coming for afar can take the Shinkansen until Kakegawa Station or Shizuoka Station first and then board a Tokaido Railway train.

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The Festival also include festival chariots and Japanese drums!
These will be held between 15:45 and 21:00!

SN3O0054Don’t miss the tea girls dance!

The tea girls dance will be held between 13:15 and 14:45 by thousands of them!
It will be held 400 meters away from Kanaya Station, but I will check!

And try to find the time to visit the Tea Museum/Cha no Sato in Kanaya</strong>!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Green Tea Processing at Marufuku Tea Factory

Mr. Bunji Itoh/伊藤文治 and his daughter Asami/麻美 at Marufuku Tea Factory/丸福造者株式j会社 were kind enough to show me twice the mechanical part of processing green tea as well as explain the various kinds of tea they make.
Bear in mind this the mechanical part of green tea which takes place after picking, steaming and massaging the fresh leaves.

The basic first step is hi-ire/火入れ/roasting which can be done with two different machines:

A comparatively small roasting drum-style machine which can roast green tea at 120~135 degrees Celsius from 10 kg in 20 minutes.

A larger and more elaborate roasting machine which can take care of 300 kg in an hour.

The second step will involve separation according to quality into 5 basic teas I will describe later.

But more than one type of machine is used to produce tea according to the demands and preferences of clients.

Some of quality tea has to be treated by hand!

But the machines certainly make the job easier!

Tea also has to go through other apparatuses to take out unwanted particles, especially metallic powder with magnets.

Finally after the tea has been processed satisfactorily it will have to be put into packs of various sizes.

The tea packs will be then put into larger boxes for delivery!

Basic types of green tea:

Arai-cha/荒い茶/ Coarse Tea

For a closer view of the same.

Boo-cha/棒茶/ Stick tea

For a closer view of the same.

Me cha/芽茶/ Bud tea, the best quality

For a closer view of the same.

Yanagi Cha/柳茶/ Willow Tea, called so because the the roasted leaves look like willow leaves. Also commonly called Ban cha/番茶/ Number Tea

For a closer view of the same.

Kona cha/粉茶/ Powder Tea

For a closer view of the same.

Marufuku Seishya Co. Ltd. (Mr. Bunji Itoh)
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu Cho, 25
Tel.: 054-271-2011
Fax: 054-271-2010

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Organic Tea: Honyama Tea by Bunji Itoh at Marufuku Tea Co. Ltd.

Mr. Bunji Itoh/伊藤文治 in his fields in Hirano/平野, Shizuoka City

“Organic Tea will become a new norm within the next 10 years.”
Organic tea is still rare in Shizuoka Prefecture which produces no less than 45% of the total tea crop in Japan.
The Prefecture counts many famous brands, one of which is Honyama/本山 grown along the Abe/安部 and Warashina/藁科 Rivers across Shizuoka city up to the Japan Southern Alps.

Entrance sign in front of Bunji Itoh’s registered organic tea fields in Hirano

Bunji Itoh is the 3rd generation of a tea growing family and the 2nd generation at their company, Marufuku Tea Co. Ltd./丸福製茶株式会社.
10 years ago he pioneered organic tea in one of his tea fields in Hirano, up the Abe River near Utougi/有東木, the birthplace of wasabi.
Last year the Shizuoka Prefecture decided to promote its tea in Europe and Bunji Itoh was awarded an Official Organic Tea Recognition Licence in Germany for two kinds of organic tea!

So the other saw a real expedition of ours ride all the way to his fields located at almost 1,000 meters height!
The members of our expedition were (on the picture not featuring me):
Aya Itoh/伊藤彩, his younger daughter, Asami Itoh/伊藤麻実 his older daughter who, besides helping her father, runs her own business at Saiko Chyaen/彩香茶園, Mr. Bunji Itoh/伊藤文治 himself, Mr. Chaminda Jayawardana, a Sri Lankan Tea Merchant and Grower at Lumbini Tea Factory (PVT) Ltd. who had come at the International Tea Event held in Granship, Shizuoka City and who had been invited to join us all by my friend Nahoko Imai/今井奈保子, owner of Teebom Co..
Interestingly enough, except for Mr. Itoh, everyone was fluent in English!

It was actually a great drive along the Abe River and along the wasabi fields!

You quickly understood that the culture was organic as the lane sanking between the tea trees was covered with very healthy moss!

Mr. Itoh grows two kinds of organic tea, Yabukita/やぶきた which is cultivated from grafts and Zairai/在来種 which is grown form the seeds.
The whole area covers 60 ha at high altitude at foot of the Japan Southern Alps.

Stupendous vista from the same fields.
These are not clouds but mist, a major reason for the quality of the tea.

Flowers could be seen (they are of the same family as the camelias) blossoming from the base of the trees.
Chaminda remarked that they would never let them grow back in Sri Lanka where leaves are basically picked all year round, whereas here in Shizuoka they are picked only four times a year.

The area is replete with streams and falls providing clear and pure water not only to keep the fields wet but also to keep the insects away (the trees are watered three times a week to make all insects drop to the ground where they will become organic fertilizer!).
As for fertilizer, Mr. Itoh utilizes only organic matter, mainly composed of grass mowed on abandoned golf courses and let to ferment for three years before being spread between the trees.

There are plenty of damage on the leaves proving that the culture is organic!
The above picture shows downy mildew/炭素病.

Blister Blight/ブリスタ・ブライト.

For a closer view.

Fungi/カビ.

All these problems have to be taken care of in a natural manner.
No wonder a lot of farmers opt for the easy way.
But although Mr. Itoh grows other tea with a minimum of pesticides and artificial fertilizer, he believes he is on the right path with organic tea!

On our way back to Marufuku Tea Co. Ltd. in Wakamatu/若松 in Shizuoka City (see above sign),

we spent a long time observing the manufacture of tea,

and sampling it.
But as I need another visit to properly report on the manufacture it will have to wait until the next article!

Marufuku Seishya Co. Ltd. (Mr. Bunji Itoh)
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu Cho, 25
Tel.: 054-271-2011
Fax: 054-271-2010

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery