Singapore Bah Kut Teh in Tokyo’s Akasaka

Bah Kut Teh (meat bone tea) is one of those dishes that I often ate at the hawker centre growing up. It’s a pork rib soup slow cooked in a broth of herbs and spices. Despite the name, Bah Kut Teh has no tea in the soup and is a reference to the oolong tea which is ordinarily served alongside the soup. The older generations believed that it cancels out all the fat in the soup. Hmm… about that…

Tokyo: an unexpected love affair

I was hell bent on never living in Tokyo. I’d heard in the grapevine that people here are rude, that it’s overpopulated and that people are racist towards foreigners. Now that I’ve spent a lot of time in Tokyo for both work and pleasure – I must say – that the rumours in the grapevine are false.

Seppuku, Samurai and the Suit of Swords

Cutting the belly – seppuku or harakiri – is a form of Japanese ritual suicide originally reserved for the samurai: the medieval military class. The purpose of Seppuku was to achieve an honourable death. The practise was sometimes used to die voluntarily rather than fall into the hands of their enemies – and likely suffer torture. At other times, it was used as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offences or had brought shame to themselves.

Kyudo: the Wildwood Archer

At over two metres tall – the bow is heavier and more imposing than I thought it would be. It isn’t the first time I’ve held a weapon in my hand, but there’s something about the kyudo experience that scares some primal part me. I’m wearing a three fingered glove on my right hand. The yugake is a glove with a hardened thumb and a pre-made groove that’s designed to pull the string.

Akasaka: Tokyo’s Expat Neighbourhood

Akasaka has quickly become my favourite neighbourhood in Tokyo. It has all of the international amenities and none of the annoying tourists. The streets are full of restaurants from all over the world. The bars are chic and woman-friendly. I’ve been coming to this area for work and I LOVE it. There isn’t much to see or do as such – but if you’re a foreigner that’s been in Japan for a while and are longing to feel at ‘home’ – Akasaka will sort you out.