Tag Archives: Korea

McDonalds “World Cup” menu

29 May

Do you know the FIFA soccer “World Cup“? Do you watch it?

It’s like the Olympics or “Super Bowl” for soccer.

I remember when Korea and Japan co-hosted the World Cup in 2002 and many matches were held in the Tokyo area. I tried to get interested in the event. I watched the games that Japan played, as well as the games that America played.

But, if I’m honest, I find soccer pretty boring.

I guess I’m in the minority with that opinion though because soccer, especially the World Cup, is very popular around the world.
In Japan, too.

It wasn’t always like that. When I first came to Japan, soccer wasn’t very popular here. Baseball was by far the most popular sport in Japan then.
When Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup, soccer-fever took off in Japan. And it’s been very popular here since.

Anyways, in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup, which will be hosted by Brazil from 2014 June 12th – July 13th, McDonalds in Japan is offering a special “World Cup” menu.

It says 「一番ウマい国はどこだ。」 (“Which country is the best?”)

They offer a Brazilian BBQ burger, German pork sandwich, Italian Risotto balls, Chicken McNuggets with Italian Basil and Cheese dip, JapaneseRamune” floats, and more.

Is McDonalds doing a World Cup campaign like this in your country too?

2014 Olympics have ended

24 Feb

Yesterday was the closing ceremony of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Did you watch it? It began after 1:00AM Japan Time…so I didn’t stay up to watch. Was it good?

On the medal count, Russia came in first place after all. America was fourth, and Japan 17th place.

Here’s a list of the top 20 countries by medal count at the 2014 Olympics:

olympics

The gold, silver, and bronze medals winners in Women’s Figure Skating: Korea (center), Japan (left), and Canada (right), respectively.

Fermented beans and pickled cabbage

14 Nov

A visitor to my blog asked me to do a post about what I eat for dinner since my wife is Japanese and I’ve been living in Japan for most of my life now.

So, I’m writing this post about a unique and healthy dish that I had for dinner yesterday. Rather than explain the side-dishes that I had, as well…I’m just going to focus on the one dish.

This particular Japanese dish is extremely unpopular with most foreigners in Japan.
It’s called 「納豆」 (nattou) and is fermented soybeans.
Nattou is very sticky and stringy and has a very unpleasant odor…but it’s healthy and it actually tastes good.

I’ll admit that the first time that I tried natto I was repulsed by it’s appearance and smell…and I didn’t like it’s taste either. But I gave it a second chance because I noticed that my kids liked it even when they were young—“if kids can eat it, then so can I”, I thought.
So…even if you’ve tried natto before and didn’t like it—give it another shot. Especially the way I had it yesterday.

DSC_0053

Japanese natto and Korean kimuchi over rice…better than it looks!

My favorite way to eat 納豆 (natto) is over rice with キムチ (Korean kimuchi) on top.
Kimuchi is a staple of the Korean diet…spicy pickled cabbage. And it goes great with natto and rice!

It’s a delicious and healthy dish!

Give it a try!

Japan: East Asian Soccer Champions

29 Jul

I’m not really a big soccer fan.  But yesterday Japan and Korea played the championship game of the East Asian (Soccer) Cup.

So I watched their soccer games on TV yesterday,

Japanese and Korean sports teams have a rivalry…so people in both countries really want their team to win every time these two countries compete.

Countries that play in the East Asian Cup are: Japan, South Korea, North Korea, China, Taipei, Hong Kong, Australia, Guam, Macau, and the North Mariana Islands.

(South) Korea and Japan made it to the final round. They played the championship game in Korea yesterday.

First the women’s teams played.  The South Korean women’s soccer team beat the 「なでしこジャパン」 (Japan women’s soccer team) with a score of 2-1.

But in the men’s championship match, the “Samurai Blue” (Japan men’s soccer team) beat the South Korean men’s soccer team with the same score (2-1).

So, now the Japan men’s soccer team are the 2013 East Asian Cup champions.

soccer

Did you watch the games?

Silly political games again …

16 Aug

Yesterday (2012 August 15), was the 67th anniversary of the end of World War II.

And, as is done every August 15th in Tokyo, some Japanese politicans went to the 靖国神社 (Yasukuni Shrine)… which is the shrine in Japan that honors all who died defending Japan in war… to pay tribute.

All who died in Japan’s defense are enshrined there … including those who were found guilty of war crimes by the U.S. war tribunals.

For that reason, many of Japan’s neighboring countries don’t like Yasukuni Shrine … and get upset when Japanese politicans visit it.

But really, the shrine doesn’t exclude war dead based on another country’s war court verdict … in the same way that all of America’s soldiers who die in battle can be buried at Arlington Cemetary, all of Japan’s soldiers are honored at Yasukuni Shrine.

But that isn’t the only political debate neighboring countries have with Japan.
China, Russia and South Korea have border disputes with Japan.

After their victory over the Japanese team at the Olympics,  a player on South Korea’s Olympic soccer team held up a sign declaring that the disputed Takeshima Island is Korean territory.  The Korean team almost lost their medal because of that.
Then, the South Korean president visited the island – – unannounced visits to disputed land by a political leader isn’t probably a wise move.
And then, yesterday … the anniversary of the end of World War II, some Korean men attempted to swim to the island. They didn’t make it there, so Japan didn’t need to take any action … but their attempt made the news.

And then yesterday, a Chinese boat was intercepted by the Japanese Coast Guard as it tried to head to the Senkaku Islands … which is disputed land between Japan and China.
The Chinese people onboard are currently in a Japanese jail. China is demanding that they be freed.

This seems to happen every year at this time.

Towers around the world to be illuminated for Japan

4 Apr

Towers and skyscrapers around the world will be illuminated in white and red to show their country’s support for Japan’s recovery from the disaster of 2011 March 11.

At sunset tonight (Monday, 2011 April 4) in each country’s local time, the Empire State Building in New York City, America, the Sky Tower in New Zealand, the Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower in Malayasia, the North Tower in South Korea, the CN Tower in Canada, the Macau Tower in China, the John Hancock Observatory in America and the Spinnaker Tower in England will all be lit up in the colors of the Japanese flag.

the Empire State Building in NYC, America illuminated in the colors of Japan's flag.

Do you live near any of these towers? Did you know they will be illuminated in white and red for Japan today?

Top news stories of 2010

11 Dec

It’s almost 2011. It seems that 2010 just flew by! But maybe it only feels that way because I’m getting older. 😉
What would you say were the biggest news stories of 2010?
Which stories were covered by the news media extensively where you live? Which stories affected you the most?

As for me, I think I’d say that 2010’s biggest headlines were:

  • North Korea attacked South Korea in November 2010.
    I live in Japan and Korea is the nearest country to us. So if the Korean War were to restart, it could affect Japan.

    Norea Korea bombed South Korea, Nov. 2010
  • Haiti Earthquake
    On 2010 January 12, a major earthquake struck the country of Haiti. Over 90,000 people died.
    Japan is an earthquake-prone country. I think they are the worst of the natural disasters since they can strike anytime without warning.

  • Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
    In April 2010, a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused over 4 million barrels of oil to pollute the water and cause immense damage to the eco-system.
    I grew up on the Gulf coast of Florida.

Which news stories do you think were 2010’s biggest?