Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
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Feb 28, 2013

Book Talk: A family dinner, fraught with dark secrets

TOKYO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Two brothers and their wives meet
for dinner in Amsterdam. One brother is a politician, the other
a former history teacher who seethes with resentment that he
hides behind manners.

But as the meal in Dutch writer Herman Koch’s novel “The
Dinner” goes on, the masks come off and knives come out as the
two families’ sons are revealed to share a dark secret – and
each family tries to protect its own.

Feb 14, 2013

Book Talk: Jim Crace says last novel a generous gift

TOKYO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – According to author Jim Crace, his
latest book will be his last novel. But “Harvest” came about
largely by chance, and wouldn’t exist at all if a work in
progress hadn’t failed.

Inspired by a painting and a train trip he took in
frustration soon after deciding to abandon roughly 100 pages of
a novel that just didn’t work, “Harvest” is an elegiac look at
an English village that has a jarring collision with progress.

Feb 7, 2013

Canadian pens erotic answer to “Fifty Shades” as a dare

TOKYO (Reuters) – Canadian novelist Lisa Gabriele never felt she was especially good at writing sex scenes, but when an editor dared her to write an erotic novel to rival the wildly popular global hit “Fifty Shades of Grey,” she took up the challenge.

A week later she had some 40 pages written on “S.E.C.R.E.T.”, the just-published story of an underground society that helps women realize their wildest sexual dreams.

Jan 23, 2013

Singapore resto Iggy’s loses longtime Asian dining crown

TOKYO, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Singapore restaurant Iggy’s fell
from first place as the top dining spot in Asia after holding
the crown for two straight years, while a Japanese restaurant in
the city state soared to second place in a regional dining
guide.

Celebrity chef Joel Robuchon saw his Macau restaurant
Robuchon au Dome, previously known as Robuchon a Galera, top the
list of Asia’s 20 best restaurants in The Miele Guide 2013, the
guide’s fifth edition, while L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong
Kong took third place.

Jan 18, 2013

Author paints dark, satiric portrait of Vancouver in stories

TOKYO, Jan 18 (Reuters) – A Vancouver neighbourhood of men
who drink fig-infused martinis and eat fiddleheads on skewers
faces a crisis when a beer-swilling, barbecue-loving truck
driver moves in. An Olympic mascot marmot kidnaps a young boy
from his parents.

These are just a few of the tales in “Better Living Through
Plastic Explosives,” a book of short stories by Canadian author
Zsuzsi Gartner that brings to life a dark, satiric Vancouver set
just a few years into the future.

Jan 11, 2013

48 Hours in Morioka, capital of “Japan’s Tibet”

MORIOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Once viewed as a backward part of northeast Japan, so snowy it was known as “Japan’s Tibet,” the city of Morioka and surrounding Iwate prefecture came into their own 30 years ago, when the superfast Shinkansen train began running up north.

Just 2.5 hours from Tokyo, Morioka and its laid-back lifestyle, surrounded by mountains ideal for hiking in summer and skiing in winter, makes a good weekend getaway for anyone tired of the bustle of Tokyo.

Jan 11, 2013

Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Morioka, capital of “Japan’s Tibet”

MORIOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Once viewed as a backward part of northeast Japan, so snowy it was known as “Japan’s Tibet,” the city of Morioka and surrounding Iwate prefecture came into their own 30 years ago, when the superfast Shinkansen train began running up north.

Just 2.5 hours from Tokyo, Morioka and its laid-back lifestyle, surrounded by mountains ideal for hiking in summer and skiing in winter, makes a good weekend getaway for anyone tired of the bustle of Tokyo.

Dec 21, 2012

48 Hours in Tokyo around New Year’s

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo is one of the world’s most crowded and bustling cities, but anyone who travels there around New Year’s will be able to see a far different face as workaholic Japan takes its longest holiday of the year.

Christmas, which is a normal work day, is mainly a retail event, with Japan devoting all its energy to “Oshogatsu,” the New Year period extending roughly from Dec 29 to Jan 3 – the first part in frantic preparation, the second in enjoyment.

Dec 21, 2012

Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Tokyo around New Year’s

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo is one of the world’s most crowded and bustling cities, but anyone who travels there around New Year’s will be able to see a far different face as workaholic Japan takes its longest holiday of the year.

Christmas, which is a normal work day, is mainly a retail event, with Japan devoting all its energy to “Oshogatsu,” the New Year period extending roughly from Dec 29 to Jan 3 – the first part in frantic preparation, the second in enjoyment.

Dec 20, 2012

Book Talk: The sin of envy on a small Greek island

TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) – After a Greek bride is abandoned
at the altar and her prospective bridegroom is found blinded
from an acid attack, local villagers are baffled until Hermes
Diaktoras, a portly man in white tennis shoes, arrives to help.

So begins “The Doctor of Thessaly,” the third in a series of
detective stories by British-born author Anne Zouroudi that
feature Hermes, who even as he works to unravel the crime has
more than a hint of mystery about himself.