We’ve rounded up some of our favorite concoctions to help you maximize your enjoyment of one of our favorite seasons. While not necessarily conventional, each of these gems is easy to make and uses ingredients that are readily available in Tokyo.
1. Umeshu Cooler
Umeshu, or Japanese plum liqueur, is delicious both on the rocks and mixed with soda, but it’s not a common ingredient in cocktails, despite how inexpensive and readily available it is here. This drink is a nice alternative to the more run-of-the-mill umeshu sour and umeshu soda, and it’s a very refreshing way to enjoy an afternoon or end a long week. The sweetness of the umeshu is balanced nicely by the tartness of the lemon.
What You Need
1 shot of umeshu
2 shots of high-quality sparkling lemonade (you can make your own with freshly squeezed lemon juice and sparkling water for even better flavor)
Lemon slices (for garnish)
What to Do
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour the umeshu over the ice, then top off with lemonade. Give it a stir and garnish with a lemon wheel. If you want to be really fancy you could even drop one of the plums from the umeshu bottle into the bottom of the glass.
2. Strawberry Litchi Martini
Japan seems to have some of the most beautiful, flavorful and sweet strawberries I’ve ever seen, making them particularly well-suited for cocktails. This delicious martini combines strawberries with another favorite fruit, the litchi. Litchi juice can usually be found at import supermarkets like Nissin in Azabu Juban or National Azabu in Hiroo, but you could also substitute a splash of litchi liqueur and a few extra strawberries for sweetness.
The presidency of Donald Trump must go down as one of the most extraordinary in American history. Diplomacy in the conduct of international relations was replaced by unrestrained economic warfare and destabilisation of alliance relationships. Bluster and bullying were favoured over dialogue and reasoning to persuade others, notably but not only China, as a path to resolve well-founded complaints that might better serve both their and US global interests.
After the Second World War, the United States was pre-eminent among the powers that made the international rules. Others followed, not only persuaded by the overwhelming weight of US power but also by the universal moral force of US leadership. During Trump’s four years in the White House that habit somehow outlasted US adherence to the principles that underpinned the global order it had created. US adherence to the rules was in tatters. But the idea of US-sanctioned global rules continued to inspire those that kept the faith despite their better judgment, mainly because other options appeared more desperate, particularly as anxieties grew about where China might be heading.
In the US conduct of relations with China, every hostile act was met with a hostile Chinese reaction. Nowhere is this dynamic seen more clearly than in Australia’s treatment as its surrogate big-power posturing got ahead of its middle-power status in the conduct of the relationship with China.
While President Joe Biden has wound back the psychology that came to dominate under the Trump administration — an instinct to contain or, at the extreme, to pre-emptively cripple China if the pretext could be manufactured — US alarm about the potential of China to outcompete it economically and technologically is now nationally entrenched and bipartisan.
Dimmed Southeast Asian perceptions of the United States as a partner are vividly reflected in the ISEAS-Yusok Ishak Institute’s<a target=_blank …continue reading
According to REINS, a total of 3,587 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across greater Tokyo in February, up 3.1% from the previous month but down 4.3% from last year. The Tokyo metropolitan area saw an 8.8% year-on-year drop in transactions, while Saitama Prefecture saw transactions up 5.2%.
The average sale price in the Tokyo metropolitan area was 774,000 Yen/sqm, up 0.4% from the previous month and up 7.9% from last year. This is the 10th month in a row to see a year-on-year increase. The average apartment size was 61.08 sqm, down slightly from the average of 61.67 sqm seen in February 2020.
The number of new listings across greater Tokyo was down 24.3% from this time last year. This is the 18th month in a row to see a year-on-year drop. New listings were down 23.2% in the Tokyo metropolitan area, while Kanagawa Prefecture saw a 29.0% drop.
Remaining inventory across greater Tokyo was down 23.4% from last year. This is the 15th month in a row to see a year-on-year drop in inventory.
Although the Tokyo metropolitan area as a whole saw a drop in transactions, central Tokyo’s 3 wards of Chiyoda, Chuo and Minato saw transactions increase by 21.5% from January and 3.4% from February 2020. A total of 243 apartments were reported to have sold. This is the highest number for the month of February since REINS began recording data on central Tokyo in 2008.
The average apartment price was 1,205,700 Yen/sqm, down 8.7% from the previous month but up 3.2% from last year. The average apartment size was 56.14 sqm, down from 58.25 sqm in February 2020.
New listings were down 18.1% from last year while remaining inventory was down 18.9%.
On 10 March, the Funabashi City Board of Education in Chiba Prefecture announced it had disciplined a number of staff for leaving the office two minutes early. Staff say they left early because they wanted to get an earlier bus home.
The Board of Education found 316 incidences of early departures from May 2019 to January 2021, involving seven staff members. The ringleader was found to be a 59-year-old woman in charge of attendance management, who was working at a counsellor level in the Lifelong Learning Department.
The counsellor was disciplined for taking the initiative in defrauding timecards, which recorded departure times as 5:15 p.m., although she and other staff were leaving at 5:13 p.m. in order to catch the 5:17 p.m. bus.
Other habitual offenders included a 27-year-old male director and a woman in her 60s, both employed this fiscal year, who received written reprimands. Four other staff members, also employed this fiscal year, were given strict cautions for punching out early.
The time-swindling ringleader has been punished with a one-tenth reduction in salary for three months. This salary cut is expected to reimburse the Board of Education with approximately 137,000 yen (US$1,260) to cover the unreported leave accumulated.
According to the Board of Education, when asked why they had knocked off before their assigned finishing time, staff said they “wanted to go home early.” If they missed the bus at 5:17, the next bus wouldn’t arrive until 30 minutes later, at 5:47 p.m.
People in Japan expressed sympathy for the plight of the workers, saying:
“How many companies pay properly on a minute-by-minute basis? If that were the case, then staff who work one …continue reading
Not surprisingly, Tokyo is the most popular, and I presume people were mostly voting for the main metropolitan area, not the suburbs. Hokkaido being second is not a surprise either, although the winters are too harsh for my tastes. Kanagawa, in particular the prefectural capital of Yokohama, is the best of the top three for me. The photo above is apparently from Yokohama, although a bit before my time.
If I had been brought up in Japan, I’d want it to have been Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture (9th here), as it’s a compact city with easy access to the countryside, and for a long time has been very international.
If you had been born in Japan, where you would you choose?
Q: Which prefecture do you wish you had been born and brought up in? (Sample size=2,775)
Between the 14th and the 28th of May 2020 2,775 visits to goo Ranking services completed a public questionnaire. No further demographics were given.
Author: Paul Heer, Center for the National Interest
President Joe Biden has much repair and restoration work to do in East Asia. Donald Trump seriously degraded the United States’ role in the region, helping Beijing to escalate the most hostile and confrontational US–China relationship in 50 years. Simultaneously, Trump undermined US credibility with the allies and partners that Biden will rely on to confront the strategic challenge of China.
Even before the Trump era, East Asian nations had started reassessing their policies in the wake of historic shifts in the regional balance of power and growing doubts about the substance and sustainability of Washington’s commitment to the region. Trump exacerbated this with his confrontational approach to Beijing and his inconsistent and reckless approach towards US allies.
Biden will revive a more pragmatic and attentive posture towards the Asia Pacific. Many members of his foreign policy team — especially Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Indo-Pacific policy coordinator Kurt Campbell — have ample experience in the region from working in the Obama administration and earlier. But they know they cannot simply revert to Obama-era policies — the world has changed dramatically in the past four years. Washington needs new strategies and tactics, and some reassessment of its goals and aspirations in East Asia.
This recalibration will take time, especially given urgent domestic priorities, including controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and healing the country’s deep political divisions. Nor can he immediately reverse all of Trump’s East Asia policy initiatives. For example, domestic US politics will influence how quickly Biden can defuse the trade war with China, which also depends on reciprocal concessions from Beijing.
Biden will not retreat to a posture of complacency towards China or simply ‘engagement’; there is too …continue reading
Travel. It leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller” ~ Ibn Battua. Why spend 2 weeks in Japan? If you’ve read my article explaining the reasons to visit Japan, you may have been inspired to make it happen! For first-timers, 2 weeks in Japan is the perfect introduction to this beautiful country’s unique history, […]
This delicious bittersweet drink will satisfy all your cravings!
We love Starbucks’ Frappuccinos, but sometimes we just can’t afford to be spending 600-800 yen (US$5.53 to $7.38) every time we want a tasty drink, thank you very much. That’s why we also love McDonald’s version of cold, blended coffee drinks, known as Frappes. They come in just as much variety, with just as many seasonal flavors, and they’re usually much cheaper than Starbucks! Win-win all around.
Their latest seasonal item, in fact, is a delightfully decadent dessert drink that we can’t wait to try: The Coffee Jelly Pudding Frappe. Newly released on March 10, this limited-time-only drink is sure to satisfy both your sweet tooth and your craving for the bitterness of coffee.
The main player in this drink is the lusciously thick custard pudding-flavored (or purin-flavored, to use the pudding’s Japanese name) Frappe mix, which you know will be scintillatingly sweet. To compliment that are the plentiful, moderately bitter coffee jelly cubes, which well help reset your palate when the drink gets too sweet. With a topping of whipped cream and bittersweet caramel sauce, all with a cherry on top, this drink combines a various array of flavors and textures that all work together to make each sip a different experience.
The Coffee Jelly Pudding Frappe is now available in a medium size for 490 yen at McDonald’s restaurants that also have an in-store sub-brand McCafe by Barista cafe. There are 139 McCafe by Barista McDonald’s throughout Japan, so hopefully there’s one near you, and you can try this Coffee …continue reading
A quick update that today is my Birthday once again. But, I’ll be mostly quitting on posting about anime episodes and other certain content.
The reason is that after I got infected from COVID last year (and fully recovered), my life perspectives got changed. Life is too short, and I just don’t want to stick with anime episodic blogging forever. My main goal is now shifting to music production and vocaloid. Feel free to check out my Twitter for my music production updates. I’ll also be posting on Fleets content on Twitter.