Some of the cool things we found on a trip to LA (to watch the Warriors play in the NBA Finals on TV). Kinokuniya is definitely a good stop if you’re close to Little Tokyo. It’s the biggest store in the LA area, as most of their branches in the OC have closed. Anyway, everytime we go there we find a few cool things to check out.
Lonely Planet specializes in travel books, and we admit to owning more than a few of them, but this one is 100% visual—and all the pictures are square (Insta influence?). Lots of great snaps of places to go all over the country.
Traveling (or moving) to Japan is unique for a million different reasons, but at the top of the list is the feeling of leaving your home country—it’s language, and nonverbal communication—behind and walking into an entirely new world. Everyone visiting should definitely bring a phrase book to at least attempt to meet and greet the natives in their native tongue—don’t be the ugly American, for sure. The lesser considered element of communication is the gestures and nonverbal cues. This book is from 2016, but it’s basically timeless on this subject. It collects all of the most common gestures and shows visually how they are used, and describes what they mean. If you’re brand new to Japanese, this book will at least keep you minimally in the know as you settle into your new experience in Japan.
This is also a few years old, but do we really need some trendy new recipes muddying up the age-old rice and nori classic—I think not. What this collects are the basics in a broad and comprehensive way. You’ll be familiar with a few of the versions here, but there are definitely a few new spins you can put on your mama-san’s classic version—perhaps from another prefecture, or another age altogether.
This one I have not read yet. It slipped by me late last year, I have read the first book and enjoyed it, so I have this on my list of things to do this summer. It’s shouldn’t be lost on anyone that we here at Japanifornia love the blending of Japan and the United States, and so we’re 100% behind the idea of the United States of Japan.