The culture of beer in the UK and Japan

July 18, 2011

English beer has a long history and traditions. There are two types of beer, ale and lager, and in Japan we usually drink lager. Ale was born in the UK, and English beer has a long history and tradition.

The difference between ale and lager is the brewing process. The process makes beer taste different, so ale is sweet and fruity. On the other hand lager is bitter and subtle.

The style of drinking beer is also different. People usually don’t eat food much, only crisps or nuts in UK when they drink beer. They occasionally eat jacked potato and chips. However, in Japan, we usually eat dinner or something light when we drink beer. Therefore, Japanese beer has a clean finish to fit food.

Here is a table showing consumption for one person including in Japan and Britain.








































Anyway, we love beer.


UK / Japan: Table Manners

June 2, 2011

【UK】”Ladies First”

In UK, the  “Ladies First” concept is always regarded as important. As for restaurants, men should let ladies go into the restaurant, and also let ladies sit, before men.

Here are some examples of etiquette at restaurants.

When you eat soup, you need to move your soup spoon from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock, or from your side to the other side.

Also, when you finish eating your soup, tilt your bowl away from you.

When you finish eating, you are supposed to leave your spoon, knife or fork like the picture below.

【Japan】”Elders First”

Since Japan is a seniority-based society, it is very important to respect elder people when you eat. As the picture below shows, elders sit away from the door in order not to be bothered.

Just as there are rules using knives and forks in UK, so there are some rules when you use chop-sticks. Here are some examples of rude ways to use chop-sticks.

Namida-Bashi : food dripping from the tip of chop-sticks

Hashi-Watashi : Holding one food item with 2 pairs of chop-sticks, which action reminds us how we treat bones at a funeral.

There is even a polite way to split “Wari-Bashi” or disposable wooden chop-sticks.

Can you guess how you are supposed to split “Wari-Bashi”?

Breakfast in England

June 1, 2011

When asked, “What is a typical  English dish?”, fish and chips or roast beef or potatoes may be the typical answer. Yes true, but there is a lot more to English food. Pork chops, lamb chops, Yorkshire pudding, and dishes with unique names like Toad-in-the-hole or black pudding are also some of the popular traditional British dishes. However, dishes listed above are all something that is likely eaten for lunch or dinner. The question is, what do English people eat for breakfast?

Breakfast in England nowadays is more likely to be a bowl of cereal and toast, with orange juice or a cup of coffee. porridge is also popular, especially in the winter time. However the ‘Full English’ is considered the traditional English breakfast. This dish consists of eggs, bacon, sausage, fried bread, baked beans and mushrooms. Not many people eat this traditional dish anymore, but it is always served in hotels or guest houses.

I myself usually have a slice of toast and yogurt with vegetable juice for breakfast, completely different from what is considered the ‘Japanese traditional breakfast’. As for me, I am very interested in trying the Full English.

Are you interested in trying the ‘Full English’? Also, what other traditional English dishes are you interested in trying?

← The ‘Full English’

How to Make “A Full English”!

May 31, 2011

This is a great guide to making “A Full English.”

However, there are one or two things I do differently.

1.  Rest the bacon on kitchen paper  in order to reduce fat.

2. Cook the mushrooms in the bacon fat.  Don’t add butter and unnecessary fat!

3. Grill the tomatoes, don’t fry them!

4. Poach the eggs, don’t fry them…much healthier!

5. Fried bread is delicious,  but I don’t eat it…too fatty!

6. If possible, serve with hot strong English tea and the essential magic ingredient…HP Sauce!

TEA style!

May 30, 2011

The UK and Japan each have a particular tea culture.

In the UK….

Once filled, holding a handled teacup correctly ensures grace while avoiding spilling hot tea. One’s fingers are placed to the front and back of the handle with the pinkie finger tilted slightly up for balance. It is rude to loop fingers through the handle or to hold the body of the cup with the palm of the hand. Tea should always be sipped with elegance to show good manners.Practicing at home before attending a public party might be a wise choice when one is unfamiliar with having afternoon tea.

In Japan…

You sit in the seiza position if everyone else does, although you may be told you can sit in a more relaxed position. The tea bowl is handed to you with its most beautiful side facing you. Pick it up and briefly admire this front face of the bowl and then rotate it 180 degrees in two turns of 90 degrees each so that the front now faces the tea server before you drink. Drink the tea slowly in three sips with a short pause between each one to savor the taste. After drinking, you should say “Kekko na o-temae,”(means it was delicious, you are a good cook. ) then wipe the place on the rim that you drank from with your index and middle fingers, and then wipe them on a folded handkerchief-like cloth you prepared in advance.


Did you know this manner?

Would you like to hold a tea party in our class?

The Difference Between Premier League and J LEAGUE

May 29, 2011

Yesterday there was the final match of UEFA Champions League 2010-11. It was FC Barcelona VS Manchester United. The game ended up with 3-1 and FC Barcelona became the champion.

Manchester United belongs in Premier League (England), which is one of the most popular soccer league in the world. I think most of you have heard or know about Premier League. It is said that over 1 billion people watch premier league in the world. FA Premier League was established in 1992 and Premier League became a big sports business. They earn money from broadcast right, tickets, shop gifts, sponsors and player’s transfer fee. Especially broadcast right take over 40% of the revenue. The biggest difference about managing system between Premier League and J LEAGUE is that, in premier league each club has their own right to conclude a contract with sponsor and broadcast right. As a result, Premier League earned over 200 billion yen  just by the broadcast right in 2008-09. J LEAGUE could only earn 5 billion yen by broadcast right. It’s the total amount from 3 companies  for 5 years. In J LEAGUE, the company J LEAGUE has the broadcast right and right to decide the sponsors. So, each club gets the same revenue for broadcast right and from the sponsors. J LEAGUE took this system to prevent clubs from being finacial woes.

Do you think J LEAGUE will be successful like Premier League if they take that system?

Where would you rather live, the UK or Japan?

May 29, 2011

Last Friday,I gave a presentation about “natural disasters” in the UK and Japan.

In the UK, natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, heat waves and tornadoes hardly ever happen. Floods happen about once a year.

By contrast, natural disasters often happen in Japan. In particular, earthquakes, floods and typhoons happen almost every year.

According to the Global Peace Index Rankings in 2010, Japan is in 3rd place and the UK is in 31st place. The Rankings include internal situations like violence and crime and  external situations like wars and military operations.

Where would you rather live, the UK or Japan?

What kind of country do you want to live in?