Thursday, December 20, 2012

A small Shinto Shrine

This little Shinto Shrine lies out of the way, on the moat of Matsuyama Castle. It is nestled in downtown Matsuyama surrounded by traffic, children going to school and cars, trucks, buses and the local train known as “Botchan.” Shrines and Temples are all over the place and sometimes in the least likely spot imaginable.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Torisho - Yakitori Restaurant in Matsuyama

Yakitori is anything grilled over charcoal (or a fire) on a stick. Japanese yakitori is everyone’s favorite. In downtown Matsuyama, near the Dogo Onsen district lies a small, out of the way yakitori restaurant, Torisho. Torisho is a family run restaurant. The owner is partially retired and works the restaurant during the day (lunch time). In the evening, the son takes over. The family run restaurant is small and familiar. It is a local place known for good food and reasonable prices.

The restaurant is small on the inside, which is typical of family run restaurants in Japan. If planning on going with a group, you should call in advance and make a reservation for a table. The restaurant will accommodate late comers if they can but if you want to be sure of seating and service, it is best to call ahead. If the place is full, they will tell visitors that they are full and to come back later. Torisho makes sure that they can take care of the guests they have.

The yakitori is cooked over a small charcoal grill inside the cooking area. The food is prepared ahead of time but put on the grill as ordered. Typical grill selections are chicken and beef but you can order other selections of liver, chicken gizzards, chicken meatballs, and chicken skin (very good), pork belly, vegetables, scallions and anything else they brought from the local market.

You can order beer with your meal or tea will be served. Torisho will serve a bowl of cabbage leaves to clean your palate in between orders. yakitori is to be ordered as you want. It is typical to spend the evening eating yakitori, talking with friends and thinking of what they will prepare for you next. The chef will send something over he thinks the customer may want to try. You can also order from a menu. The menu features pictures of their selection and the menu is priced by the piece you order. When you are done with your dinner, they will total the amount and give you a check. There is no tipping (in Japan, in general, tips are frowned upon).

The restaurant makes their own sauce for the yakitori. The food is mildly seasoned and cooked just right. The chef takes care to monitor each skewer of food on the grill. It is fun to watch them cook. The bar around the cooking area is full of people eating, talking and drinking a beer and enjoying the warmth of the fire and each others company as well as the food.

The seating inside the restaurant is usually full so if you have to get up and use the bathroom (just one for men and women) you will have to politely navigate your way along the wall. As usual, the Japanese are very polite and will let you pass.

Torisho - 3-2-5 Sanban-cho - Matsuyama, Ehime 7900003 - Tel: 089-921-1288

Name in Japanese 鳥匠 — torishō — Torisho

Sumo Wrestlers wearing their keshō-mawashi

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ehime University

Next door to the Red Cross Hospital is Ehime University. An attractive campus and a seat of serious learning.

Welcome to Ehime University

Welcome to Ehime University
Campus store
Campus mascot "Mikan" (Mandarin Orange)
Inside the campus store
Ehime University manufactures their own beer and saki. They teach it, they make it.
Biography of Steve Jobs in the campus bookstore
iPad 2 for 34,800 Yen - not a bad price
Inside the campus cafeteria
The library is reinforced in case of earthquakes
Campus lecture hall

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Matsuyama Red Cross Hospital

Healthcare in Japan is quite good. In many aspects, it is better than American healthcare. The Japanese do have universal healthcare. The healthcare experience in Japan is different from the west in that after the diagnosis, the entire family will sit with the doctor and patient and discuss the health of the patient and what recommendations the doctor has. Family members can discuss their concerns with the doctor. The doctors are quite frank and open. It is more family oriented than western healthcare.

One thing you do see at Japanese clinics is acupuncture. Acupuncture is considered a medical practice and it is part of Japanese patient treatment.

A brief biographical backgrond on the life of Florence Nightingale

Panomoria location of Matsuyama Red Cross Hospital

Florence Nightingale is revered in Japanese Medicine