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Yuzu Tour and Buntan

Buntan is an additional focus of my Yuzu Tours. Harvest and availability of buntan expand from October to well into Spring over two main varieties.Buntan looks like grapefruit, but that is where similitude ends. Compared with a standard grapefruit, buntan is Champagne where grapefruit is plonk. Buntan is incredibly delicate and tangy, an upscale joy to eat. Peeling the fruit is tricky though and requires some training. Splurging on buntan requires no credentials though. Visits and tasting of buntan in Kôchi orchards are part of the pieces that will make your yuzu, or citrus private tour in Japan a truly unique and memorable experience. Visit nextaroma.com and inquire.
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Your hipster kitsch, my nostalgia

At Dixans, a good and friendly coffee shop monopolized by university students in the not charming district of Suidobashi. Worldwide, a single café can make your day, even when the landscape does not.

Katsuo-no-takaki: rawer than raw

Katsuo-no-tataki is the flagship of Kôchi culinary culture. Kôchi, the department and main city, facing the Pacific ocean on the Shikoku island has not much been impacted by the bridges built up in the 80s to moor the island to Japan's mainland. I feel a sense of fierce insularity each time I visit Kôchi. Regional navel waxing is common, what with solid drinking bouts and festivals. Food as usual and elsewhere in Japan is the most common topic of talks, with the weather, and there is no discussion that food in Kôchi is the best, starting from fish. I will not dare express the slimmest doubt on that matter, but just remind readers of two things:

1. Yuzu (between November and December) and citrus tours (between October and May) are no more focused on gulping down sour juicy fruits and hugging trees - way too slim - than a wine tour in Portugal is about guzzling down vino. In both cases, a key ingredient of agriculture and culture at large is put in the center of the ring called a t…

Ikegami

Ikegami district south-west of Shinagawa is a pocket size territory reminiscent of Kamakura, less the crowd. There is everything there to spend a few hours and have lunch.

Slow in Tokyo: Tram impact

Two streetcar lines are the remnants of what used to be an extensive network of trams in Tokyo. Tram's velocity, the serene speed of a slow mean of transportation, has a considerable impact on the immediate neighborhood it runs through. It is an active element of the slow life and the enduring presence of patches of countryside in the heart of the city. Selective walks more or less along the paths are the sure way to taste this peculiar and charming atmosphere.

With lemon jam from Setouchi

Excellent lemon pound cake last week with a dollop of homemade lemon jam on top, at Uguisu to Kokuu.

Downtown Tokyo village

Showing the way to the lady in kimono

Further north of Hamachomidorido

Hint. Downtown in the backstage of Ningyocho, find the Hamachomidorido green corridor. Near the southern tip, you will find the German bakery Tanne worth a visit and a coffee break with excellent bread. Heading north further, beyond the green corridor, you may still be lucky to witness a block of ancient homes of another era, along what used to be a stream. Final hint: go further north along the same axis on the left side until you find the Citan hostel. Have a coffee break in the basement. You will like the stroll.

Beauty is a selective action

We spent another day of beauty, for there is no other adequate word in Western Tokyo. The heat at this time of the year is not insane as it is in the urban center. It is simply seriously hot. There is a sensible difference in the order of one or two degrees less, but let's be honest about it, maintaining comfort when traveling in Japan during Summer is no marginal but central task. Same goes for entertaining guests with beauty which is the partner of comfort, a tension through the day that is the result of selection, prior to the day, but also along the road. Roads, angles, vistas and panoramas are givens, and there is hardly any proper action but avoidance when beauty is nestled inside the opposite. Or so it seems, for keen itinerary creation shall take into account not only locations but time of the day and the seasons. Some restaurants are visually better fit for a dinner rather than lunch. Same goes with gardens, and even when encountering artists in their homes and atelier. …