Opening A Box Of Japanese Cookies

As I mentioned in a previous post, my wife recently came home from an astronomy meeting in Tokyo and brought back lots of Japanese snacks. One of them was this tempting box of cookies she got at a sweet shop next to the university.

My wife loves Japanese culture. She loves the orderliness and attention to detail, both important traits for a scientist despite media stereotypes, and she loves their exquisite sense of beauty. For some reason Japan has never drawn me. I prefer the ebullient chaos of Africa or the Middle East. I’m more Tangier than Tokyo.

Still, I won’t say no to a box of Japanese cookies, especially when they come so nicely packaged.
The Japanese like putting things into neat, decorated little packages. Once we broke the seal on this box and opened it, we found it sealed on the inside too.

When we opened that up we saw six varieties of cookies awaiting us. All neatly arranged, of course.

The white ones tasted like meringue and the green ones tasted like green tea. As for the four other flavors, well. . .I have no idea. My wife says she experienced lots of flavors she couldn’t identify during her week in Japan.

The cookies came with a handy leaflet explaining them all, but that was in Japanese!

New eco-friendly destination for 2012: Yoyogi Village, Japan

While the existence of the Yoyogi Village in Tokyo, Japan, is nothing new, it has never been much of a tourist destination. Aside from Yoyogi Park, one of the largest parks in Tokyo, there has never been too much there to draw the attention of visitors. That has all changed this past November, as the rarely-noticed area has been completely remodeled to be an eco-friendly hub of activity.

The project is one of many for innovative thinker, Takeshi Kobayashi, who has been involved in many initiatives to help people live a more simplistic and natural life. With this latest project, Kobayashi aims to show the enjoyable side of sustainable goods and organic foods.

The new Yoyogi Village is separated into zones that symbolize the balance of enjoyment and ecology. For example, in the Container Zone you can find venues like clothing stores, book shops, a travel agent, and an art gallery, while the Village Zone features a music bar, special VIP room, and an upscale dining facility called Code Kurkku. There is also a holistic mind and body center where you can enjoy reflexology, mind therapy, and aromatherapy.

It isn’t surprising that profits made from the new Yoyogi Village don’t go to board members, but to other farm and restaurant-based businesses to help continue the eco-friendly cycle.

To learn more about Yoyogi Village in Japan, click here.