Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu ramen is a specialty from Fukuoka, Kyushu. It is famous for its thick, pale broth made from pork bones and its rich flavour. Back in another life, Keith used to refer to it as “dog breath ramen” when passing by the kitchen vents in Kyoto. (He doesn’t call it that any more, as you’ll read in a post to come later.)

The chef at Gonta Nagahama-Style Ramen makes it his daily mission to serve the best, most authentic tonkotsu ramen in south Osaka. He wouldn’t let us take a photo of his broth pot, but we can tell you it was filled with big bones and murky liquid and had clearly been cooking for a long time.

Click through to see the chef make his signature dish, served with diced green onions, ginger and a couple of slices of fatty pork. Continue reading “Tonkotsu Ramen”

Florida Fauna: Cats

Our last Florida Fauna post, wherein we show you cats that we met. Or almost met.

Florida Fauna: Pinchy

Sometimes it’s “pinch or get pinched”.

Can’t believe we don’t have a photo of the pinchos we ate in Culebra. This is the perfect post for them!*

*Edit: found pics of the pinchos:

Oh, the Huge Manatee!

A good friend in Japan is mad for manatees, but hasn’t managed a trip to Florida yet. So we went looking for some on her behalf. We found a place in  Crystal River on the west coast of Florida that knows where the manatees hang out and they let us swim around with them. Big grey sausages with elephant skin and half the energy of a tired sloth (the manatees, not us).

As amazing as it was to snorkel with these world champion nappers, it turns out that manatees are not that hard to come by in Florida. They love shallow canals, and if there is one out back of your b&b you can just walk down after breakfast and see ’em.

Click through for video of manatees frolicking most un-slothfully.

Continue reading “Oh, the Huge Manatee!”

Specially Preserved Extravagance

Japanese English (sometimes called Japlish) is not new anymore, but it can still be surprising. Sometimes it is merely delightfully naive, but often it over-reaches, yearning for grandiosity and ending up bewilderingly senseless. And it is simply maddening when basic mistakes slip past a “proofreader” and end up on a billboard or all over a line of products.

Why there is a never-ending stream of it (and where it comes from) is a constant source of fascination for native English speakers in Japan. Here are two recent examples that caught us by surprise and made us laugh.

Continue reading “Specially Preserved Extravagance”