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From inside Japan



Maria 610

Posted by: Maria

Hello all!

Do you know Haribo? It's a German confectionery producer and is the biggest gummy and jelly producer in the world!
The staff here at Sakura Hotel ALL LOVE Haribo products! 


So we decided to add them to our "World Snacks" collection!


The bags are so cute! And cheap! Only 50 yen! 
Haribo is really expensive in Japan, so being able to eat it even a little brightens up my day!

My personal favourite Haribo gummy are:

Fizzy Cola Bottles!!


I just love the sour tangy cola taste! And the feeling you get in your mouth if you eat too many of them!

My other favourite is...



It's such a beautiful mix of all the Haribo stars! I particularly like the egg and heart (I like foam :)) But if I eat too many of these, I tend to feel a bit sick... But they're worth it!

So there! Eat Haribo and be HAPPY!!!

Until next time.

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Halloween preparations!

Maria 609

Posted by: Maria

Hello all!

As you know, September is coming to an end. And Halloween is just around the corner!

We here at Sakura Cafe Jimbocho decided to experiment with some Halloween sweets!
We made

Pumpkin cookies!!!!


Aren't they adorable!
The taste wasn't too bad, but they needed some work.

From next month we will be giving out Halloween treats to participants of our Halloween quiz!
So keep your eyes open!!

Until next time.

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Linn 608

Posted by: Linn

Today I thought I would take the time to tell everyone about Jimbocho, the area in which our humble hotel and cafe is located. I personally, am also new to this area and so I thought I would take this opportunity to do a little research for myself as well.


Though not often featured in Tokyo tourism books and pamphlets as much as say, Roppongi or Shibuya, Jimbocho is a quaint town close to major neighbourhoods that comes with the advantage of having a great decrease from human traffic. Jimbocho is a town that is most famous for books. Buying books, selling books, discussing books, publishing books. You can see this by walking down any street-- store after store of family owned and second-hand bookshops. It seems appropriate that Jimbocho is home to the most famous publishing companies such as Shueisha and Shogakukan, as well as a number of major Japanese universities.

Jimbocho is also filled with enough of a variety of places to eat to please any hungry visitor. Since the year 2000, curry restaurants are especially popular in this neighbourhood. Those who are yet to try curry in Japan, I strongly urge you to do so. I believe that after years and years of developing curry to Japanese people`s tastes it has evolved into something completely different from its equally delicious Indian original. Those who find Indian curry too spicy or the taste too strong will most probably find curry in Japan to be milder and easier to eat. Please feel free to ask the staff at Sakura Hotel Jimbocho and we will point you to our most recommended curry stores in the area, all within walking distance. 

Besides curry, by walking along the Suzuran Doori street in Jimbocho, you can find little pathways from the main street that lead to a bunch of different restaurants from every ethnic origin you can think of as well as Japanese style dining bars and cafes. Foodies will enjoy exploring this area to see the many different restaurants there are to offer, most places offering a menu that you can take a peek at at the entrance. 

Jimbocho is also within walking distance to the Tokyo Imperial Palace which is open to visitors year-round except for Mondays, Fridays, New Year`s, and other public vacation days. The palace is also surrounded by a moat and beautiful scenery and running is a popular recreational sport practised in this area. 

Surrounding the Jimbocho area, you have easy access to Tokyo station (where you can easily catch the bullet train to the next leg of your trip), Akihabara station (electric town for those interested in otaku culture), Ochanomizu station (home to musical instrument shops and snow boarding/skiing fanatics), Kudanshita station (where you can find the Nippon Budokan and the beautiful Yasukuni Shrine) and Suidobashi station (close to the Tokyo Dome and Tokyo Dome City). 

That`s it for today, I hope that you were able to get an idea of this great neighbourhood in Tokyo. Thanks for reading!

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Today's aphorism

Maria 607

Posted by: Maria

Hello all!

Today I looked at our aphorism calendar and felt slightly moved by what it had to say.


It says 「涙は口をきかない悲しみの言葉である」 which means something in the lines of:

"Tears are the silent words of sadness".

This is very nice and poetic, but it also made me think about why we shed tears.
Not all tears are of sadness, right!

So...I Wikied it!
Tears are not only there to lubricate our eyes, they are connected to all kinds of different emotions. 

Tears of joy!


Tears of deep emotion.


Tears of frustration...

and so on...

 To quote Wikipedia correctly
"A neuronal connection between the lacrimal gland and  the areas of the human brain involved with emotion has been established".

In other words humans have emotions, therefore we cry.

To shed tears is not necessarily a bad thing. To cry can help you relieve stress, help you think clearer or be a sing of being deeply moved.

All in all, I had a good think about tears today and I felt like sharing!


Until next time


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Happy hour!

Maria 606

Posted by: Maria

Hello all!

As Autumn is lurking around the corner, we have decided to warm you all up and treat you to some drinks!
We will be starting Happy Hour soon where all drinks are 300yen (cocktails and draft beer)!
Here are some of the cocktails on the menu:

Tequila Sunrise 


Campari Apple (one of the Campari series) 


Basil Mojito (Original cocktail!!!)


There are some classics as well as originals on the menu, so please have a go our cocktails!


Until next time.

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Tofu Lovin`

Linn 605

Posted by: Linn

Today we had a visitor from the United States who was a vegetarian raved to us about all the great vegetarian food options in Japan. I had to agree, Japan is home to a number of vegetable-based dishes that are both innovative and delicious. And so I asked her what her favourite dish was and without she hesitating, she mentioned Tofu!

So today I would like to take time to introduce popular ways that tofu is prepared in Japan and hope that everyone will be inspired to take time to have some fun in the kitchen and have their way with a nice block of tofu. 


Tofu hot pot, or nabe, is a popular dish to keep warm in the winter. Cooked in a subtle broth, you can add your favorite vegetables and enjoy the tofu with ponzu, a citrusy, soy-based sauce. 


Agedashi tofu is a great dish when you are craving for something deep fried but are still looking for something relatively healthy. The tofu is patted down with a bit of cornstarch or flour and is in and out of the fryer very quickly. To cut the oil, it is served with a sweet soy sauce-based sauce and garnished with grated daikon radishes and ginger for a kick.


To enjoy tofu in a way where it doesn`t jiggle or wiggle, you can find deep fried tofu skins ready to eat in grocery stores. By cooking this in a light broth and stuffing it with sweet-vinegar flavored rice (or any other fillings you prefer!), you get Inari sushi. This is a wonderful food to have on the go as it tastes great warm, cold, and even room temperature.


This last dish is mostly enjoyed in the summer. It is served cold and features tofu that is silky  and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Normally it is served with soy sauce, ginger, and scallions but the variations are endless-- myoga (ginger bud), natto (fermented soy beans), boiled and sliced okra, sesame seed oil, and so on. My personal favorite way to eat this dish is with a bit ponzu and rayu (a red chili oil,) with scallions to garnish.

That`s it for today! I hope that everyone takes time to rediscover tofu and have a great time experimenting with some new dishes.

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It`s getting cold out there...

Linn 604

Posted by: Linn

Early this morning I wake up and take a step outside to realize how freezing it is in the mornings. When did it get this cold? What happened to summer? 

Oh yes. It`s September already. Almost October actually. I should have figured.

So for those of you who are pulling out sweaters and woolly socks from the back of your closet, I  would like to introduce my favorite way of warming up in the cold weather in Japan. 


Hot Drinks!

Around this time of year convenience stores around the country start to open a hot drink corner. You can find a huge variety of hot drinks to keep you warm and is especially great for those who are sightseeing outdoors. Even if you don`t drink it right away, just holding it in your hands is much warmer (and cheaper) then a pair of mittens. And delicious! Hot chocolate.. hot green tea... hot cafe au lait..


Although coffee is probably the most obvious and popular choice, my personal favourite is this hot espresso tea. Also available cold, espresso tea is a recent development by a famous beverage company. Not to be fooled by the name, it is actually tea (not coffee) with a bit of milk that is much stronger then tea you would normally drink. It`s a great pick me up in the mornings and perfect for those who are in need for a bit of caffeine in their systems but not too keen on the taste of coffee. 


Another recommended hot drink is this hugely popular and delicious corn soup. Many of our overseas visitors are very surprised by the idea of having soup from a beverage can, but this is actually a really convenient snack option. There are even plump little kernels of corn in the can! By pairing this with perhaps some bread from a bakery, it actually makes for a decent and very cheap lunch on the run. 

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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A holiday filled week!

Maria 603

Posted by: Maria

Hello all!

Today is yet another public holiday in Japan!
It's the Autumn Equinox Day (秋分の日), where night and day are the same length. Officially I guess this is the first day of Autumn! 

Finally you have come. I was waiting for you!

After the Typhoon a couple of days ago the weather has been distinctively cooler and it is starting to feel more and more like summer has passed. I don't know if I would be able to handle any more heat and humidity! 

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons in Japan! Why?

THE FOOD!!! Oh, and the beautiful scenery :) 


(Changing leaves at the Imperial Palace)


 Pacific saury, さんま

Japanese pear, 梨

images (1).jpg

 Sweet potato, さつま芋 (One of my favourite sweets base EVER!) 

Shiitake mushroom, 椎茸

Ahhh, I can smell it in the air already! 
Autumn is one of the best times to come to Japan to enjoy the rich, beautiful cuisine of the Japanese.

Until next time.

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Maria 602

Posted by: Maria

Hello all.

Yesterday a big typhoon hit the Tokyo area. It has slowly but steadily swooped along the borders of Japan over the past few days. 


I was stuck in Shibuya yesterday where it was chaos! Look at all the people!


And this is just for the buses! The trains were crazy!
It took me about four hours to get back home (normally a 40min ride) but I got home safe and sound.

I came to work this morning and to my great surprise, even Jimbocho had had a rough night it seemed!


Leaves, plastic bags and umbrellas EVERYWHERE!


Even a tree had been torn from the roots in front of Tully's!!

Nature is scary.

But we're all safe. A bit shook up and wet, but safe :) 

Until next time.

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"Across the Universe"

kuwahara 601

Posted by: kuwahara


   "Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
      They slither while they pass they slip away across the universe
         Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind,
     Possessing and caressing me.
     Jai guru deva,,om 
     Nothing's gonna change my world, 
     Nothing's gonna change my world.
     Nothing's gonna change my world.
     Nothing's gonna change my world."

I was listening to Beatles' "Across the Universe" on my way to work this morning.
These lyrics are so beautiful and meaningful which makes my heart relaxed,
even on a such stormy like today (as we currently are having a big typhoon...).

Hope the typhoon will go away soon!

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