Blogging In Japan

Easy and Healthy Ochazuke

It’s warm, savory, and creamy; it’s the perfect dish for a cold morning. It’s the very definition of comfort food. This dish is perfect because nearly anything can go with it! If you have leftover fish in the refrigerator that needs to be eaten or leftover vegetables you don’t know what to do with, you can sprinkle them on top of ochazuke for a quick and easy breakfast.

The Gem of Lake Hamana

The shrine is small, tucked away among the rocks, and canopied by a leaning pine tree. It’s exactly how you would imagine a traditional Japanese shrine to be. It’s a respectful union of nature and mankind.

My Favorite Japanese Folktale

Legend has it that 700 hundreds of years ago, Iwata was plagued by evil demons. Once a year, Iwata held Naki Matsuri, a Crying Festival. A white-feathered arrow would fly into the roof of an unsuspecting villager’s home. This arrow symbolized the next daughter to be sacrificed to the demons. The villagers, afraid of the demon’s curse, begrudgingly put the daughter in a coffin and left it outside for the demons to carry away.


I’m Aspen Kumagai, an American living in Japan. Over four years ago, I made the craziest and best decision of my life. I hopped on a plane to chase my dreams and met the love of my life. Now I spend my days traveling across Japan, searching for my next favorite dish, and desperately trying to read the Japanese directions on the back of my face cleanser. Thank god for google translate.

Whether in the kitchen or on a mountaintop, I’m here to inspire you with home-cooked recipes, travel tips, and lifestyle hacks. I share my adventures (and my many mistakes) about living in a foreign country.

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