Woman is Fickle as…

“Autumn weather” instead of “April weather” in Japanese. (“Onna gokoro wa aki no sora.“)

Interestingly, it is said that the subject of this proverb was “man” instead of “woman” in old times…

Autumn, especially from the end of August to the beginning of October is the one of the biggest rainy season here, and some areas have much more rainfalls than “tsuyu (rainy season in Japan)”.

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Today it’s raining very heavily because of the typhoon…please be careful if you reside or travel in Japan now.

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Homemade Instant Miso Soup in One Minute

According to Reuters,

Norwegian men pitch in the most with housework and related chores while Japanese men do the least in a survey released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ahead of International Women’s Day on Saturday.

Japanese men, who are the most unhelpful in this regard, spend 62 minutes a day on unpaid chores while their spouses devote almost 300 minutes a day.

‘Norwegian men most helpful with housework, OECD survey finds’ – Reuters, Mar 6, 2014

Besides advocating women’s rights in the society, making housework efficient at home is the key to reduce unwanted stress in daily life!

So today’s recipe is homemade instant miso soup you can make within 1 minute 🙂
I came to make this inspired by an Okinawan local soup called “Kachu-yu”.
There are lots of commercial instant miso soup available at stores, but homemade one is cost-saving, free from chemical seasoning and additives, and tastes much milder.


1. Boil water.

2. Add a spoonful of katsuobushi (sliced dried bonito), dried wakame (brown seaweed) and miso paste in an empty soup bowl.

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3. Pour hot water and stir well.

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That’s it!

Instead of / in addition to wakame, you can add lots of different ingredients, such as mitsuba (Japanese honewort), shiso (perilla), chopped welsh onions, small mount of umeboshi (dried plum) or even natto.

With this, frozen cooked rice, pickled vegetables and raw / grilled fish, it is possible to prepare a simple, healthy Japanese meal in 15 minutes!

Mugicha – The Best Japanese Beverage for Hot Days

It was extremely hot this summer in Japan.

This year, I rediscovered how wonderful mugicha – Japanese barley tea – is to keep good health and survive a torrid summer.

While most people buy iced tea or sodas in pet bottles at convenience stores and from vending machines, some bring their favorite drink in their own bottles.

My husband and I have been the latter since we decided to improve our physical conditions. We reviewed our eating and drinking habits.

I decide to eat and drink like the time when I was small – when our diet was not yet fully westernized. I had tried lots of different methods like macrobiotics and caloric restriction, but they didn’t last. I gradually come to think “back-to-basics” should be more important.

One of the simplest efforts was switching from consuming trendy, convenient drink to classic mugicha. It’s sugar & caffeine free, easy to make, and extremely cheap – less than 200 – 300 yen (approx. $1.5 – 2.5) for one package which contain around 30 tea bags. Moreover, it tastes great – mild and aromatic and can be taken any time.

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Simply soak one tea bag in cold water and keep it in a fridge for a while. At home I microwave it for 1.5 min, as I’m trying to avoid cold drink as much as possible.

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When  I go out, I always bring it in my favorite Tiger’s “Mujuryoku” bottle, which helps me keep away from the temptation of Starbucks. By the way this bottle is super light and practical! If you are seeking for any good gift / souvenir in Japan, it’s definitely one of my recommendations.

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Since we started changing our diet, both my husband and I succeeded in reducing weights, and I came to think that mugicha might be one of the factors that supported it.

I never imagined this common and non-trendy tea has so many effects and was amazed to learn it. According to the mugicha industry’s website, it helps protect the inner wall of the stomach and prevent diabetes-related disease, includes p−coumaric acid, improves blood circulation and has antioxidative effect.

Looking into the Japanese history, it has been consumed before green tea. It is said that “mugiyu” (original mugicha) already existed in the Heian Period (794-1185). It had been a drink for high-class people before the Edo period (1603-1867) when young girls become to selling mugiyu on the streets. These mugiyu shops were very popular until the Meiji period (1868-1912).

Nowadays, mugicha is rarely served in the restaurants but still very popular as summer drink in the households. You can buy the tea bags and pet bottled products are available in the super markets.