European curry sounds strange, doesn’t it?

I laughed many times seeing curries sold in Japan as “European curry.” What a ridiculous idea, like a Swedish taco. I later learned that this term refers to the original curry in Japan, imported by way of Britain during the Meiji period. You can find it in many nostalgic 1970s style “western” restaurants that are distinctly Japanese, and it’s also evolved into many supermarket take-home mixes and fast food joints. The Muji label makes this comfort food seem somehow modern and new. This one scores just 3 out of 5 chiles, and is beef based.

RIP, Farrah Fawcett

RIP, Farrah Fawcett

One of the 1970s’ brightest lights is no longer with us. This image on a small throw pillow is one of the clearest memories I have of my adolescent bedroom. The husband had the same image on a poster on his wall in Tokyo. The globe was momentarily united by this one piece bathing suit, the amazing mane which still seems to inspire Japanese men’s hair, and that blinding smile. Her death is another reminder of the importance of the HPV vaccine.

Sakura season

Sakura at the Broadway arcade in Nakano

We are lucky to arrive at the start of cherry blossom season, called “sakura.” Beautifully pruned trees across the city explode in blush pink petals, inspiring teens, families, co-workers, and seniors to picnic below them, and to get very drunk.

Near the Nakano train station, there are big pink lanterns. And in the main shopping arcade called Broadway, there’s this gorgeous seasonal display in the photo. The arcade was constructed in the 1970s, and it is preserved completely intact. This is common for this area, which has not seen the redevelopment that has transformed other parts of Tokyo into more of a futuristic environment.