That’s the name of a town in Kyrgyzstan. It’s unusual to have a name with no vowels, in English, anyway.

This article from Roads & Kingdoms describes a Muslim minority group, called the Dungans, who live in this part of the world.

The article is about more than food — we learn about their agriculture based society, as opposed to the traditional Kyrgyz culture which is nomadic for example, and we learn that the Dungan tradition is to marry only other Dungans, but that has changed recently to ensure their survival — but some of the quotes I liked best are about the food culture:

“(They) consider cooking to be a work of art, the dining table a blank canvas that must be completely filled, always with an even number of dishes.”

“The greatest insult you can give a Dungan women is to call her food untidy.”


A day in Kyoto

Summer vacation is coming soon. Do you have travel plans? Do you make an itinerary, or do you just wing it?

Here’s one person’s travelogue of a day in Kyoto. It’s more meaningful to me because I’ve been there. Have you? Did you do any of the same things she did?

“What to do with one day in Kyoto”

(from Tofugu)

That’s my photo, not one from the article. It’s one of my favorite photos from my last trip to Kyoto. I kept imagining just one crazy bee buzzing around. (Students, do you get why this sign is funny to native English speakers?)

One thought about the article: this may sound too critical, but it seems to me that if you’re in Kyoto for just a day, you should skip the falafel and eat tofu. Kyoto has some really, really amazing tofu shops and restaurants, and it’s much more of a “When in Rome” expierence. But to each her own.

Totoro to neighboring Nagoya

Well, Nagoya isn’t “neighboring” Tokyo, but it’s closer than USJ in Osaka, and the movie is called “My Neighbor Totoro”, so… (actually, Tokyo Disneyland isn’t really in Tokyo, but neighboring Chiba).

The BBC reports that a Totoro theme park is being built in Nagoya, to open by 2020. Someplace to go before or after the Olympics, perhaps.

Read the article to find out more. There are related links, too, so you can get lots of English input about this topic.

Within the article:

At the end:


Vlogging Japan

This is a short advertisement/visual travelogue/vlog (video log) for the “Diamond Route” in northern Japan: Ibaraki, Tochigi and Fukushima prefectures. What do you think? Especially those of you who are from that area. Does it represent your home prefecture accurately?

It’s very much of a mini-movie, isn’t it? Definitely influenced by Hollywood-style “samurai movies”. It was a bit dizzying, too.

Here’s another in the series:

I like this one better because of all the food. 🍜

See more here.

Creative project: What kind of tourist ad or vlog would you make for your hometown? Your university? Tokyo or Kyoto or another city? Japan in general?