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IMG: Lining up for ramen (lamen) in Paris.

There's an article in Food and Wine called 7 Reasons Why Tokyo Is the New Paris, and a post that follows up on that on the Wall Street Journal's Japan RealTime blog titled Paris vs. Tokyo: Which Has Better Food and Drink?. As a Tokyo native who currently lives in France (although not in Paris), I thought I have some qualifications for adding my 2 cents on the subject. While the focus of both articles is on which city is "better" for an American tourist who is interested in food to visit, I'll like to expand on that a bit.

IMG: sushi counter

I never ran a restaurant myself, so most of my knowledge on this matter is second hand. My mother ran a very successful restaurant in midtown Manhattan called Tsukiji Sushisay. In addition my stepfather was the accountant for several Japanese restaurants in NYC. I did however work the front desk for a few months, and helped out over the years with things like translating legal documents, making brochures, or creating their website. I translated the menu to English, and even taught basic 'sushi-counter customer-service English' to many of the chefs. "I'm sorry, we don't have spicy tuna." is one phrase I remember teaching them.

I also want to note, that I feel OK writing this because the restaurant closed its doors in 2002, and various statutes of limitations or whatever have run out. ^^;

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And it's about time too! The site has been totally redone from the bones up. It should finally look and work like a mid-2015 site rather than a mid-2005 one!

Here are some highlights:

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Weight loss shows on TV show cultural differences.

Yesterday I spent New Years Day with my mother, stepfather, middle sister, her husband and kids. It's the first time in years that I've spent New Years with my mother. It's still hard to get all my family into one place - my husband had to stay back home in France, and my other sister is in Ohio - but it was still a lovely day.

Our osechi (New Years feast) was a mix of Japan, France, England and America - besides traditional food like nishime (simmered winter vegetables), namasu, ozouni and a whole roasted tai (sea bream), we had chicken karaage, meatloaf, brownies, galettes bretonnes (butter cookies) and a Christmas pudding! Whew. It's fun to enjoy tiny morsels of so many different dishes though.

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Keep reading Happy New Year! →

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Butter shortages in post-modern Japan.

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This month's Japan Times column is about the basics of nabe, or hot pots that are usually cooked at the table, with everyone taking what they like from the pot as it cooks.

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A brief history of the hambaagu in Japan.

Japanese kids' favorite foods ranking

What do Japanese kids like to eat? The answer may surprise you.

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Eggs, plus the history of ranking restaurants and food in Japan.

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