Love this article about the Japanese taking foreign imports and improving upon it. Nothing takes my breath away more than seeing or hearing about dignity in work.
In many cities around the world, hotels cater to so many foreigners that it matters most to deliver high-level, albeit generic international hospitality. But the Peninsula, with a client base that is now about 60 percent Japanese, was forced to adopt native customs. The formality of Japanese culture takes a subtle yet distinctive form at the hotel. Upon seeing a guest returning from a run, a doorman outside radios in so that just as he crosses the threshold, the runner is greeted with a bottle of water and a hand towel. “That’s omotenashi,” Thompson explains, “a kind of hospitality that involves anticipating what your guest needs.” Which is the simplest explanation of what a great hotel is supposed to do.
Of course, one can argue that this is all really unnecessary and superfluous in one’s busy day, but if you’re in a position where you can’t find time in your day to enjoy a carefully brewed cup of coffee served by a barista who trained for a year before even being able to handle an expresso machine, then I think you need to reevaluate your life.
and he’s eating masterfully made soba in Hokkaido. My god, watching the soba master make the noodles… OH. What an experience, and I’m merely watching it from the lens of the Travel Channel! My favorite part of any noodle-making is when the dough is getting cut and the “No Reservations” crew did not disappoint. Those close-up shots, even Bourdain knew he had to shut up. Just. So. Sexy.
I feel like I need a cigarette after that.
And sadly, live with the realization that no man will ever have the same effect on me as food.
A touching music video directed by Hayao Miyazaki from 1995 for Japanese rock duo Chage & Aska.
I know that whenever I feel not myself, I can be comforted by Miyazaki’s imaginative and touching films. With what is currently going on in Japan, I only wish there was a way I could return the kindness. Though I can never give back in the same capacity that Miyazaki’s works have given to me, every little bit can help.
A cute Japanese café with a social experiment. When you order, you actually get what the person before you ordered and the next person gets what you ordered. It’s interesting to see the how people react to this set-up. Really cute story at the source!