Making Sense of Shinto and Buddhism in Japan is Confucing

According to one source, 90% of the Japanese say they practice Shinto, 90% say they practice Buddhism, and 90% say they aren’t religious. Other sources dispute this, attributing statistics like these to birth records and a longstanding practice of officially associating a family line with a local Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine. Add to the mix that the Japanese implemented Confucianism…

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Eating in Japan

We’ve been eating and eating in Japan and it’s been getting better and better. Well, except for the big orange (paint ball-ish) fish eggs. Before eating in Japan, you say “itadakimasu” (“I gratefully receive”), and then “gochisosama (deshita)” (“Thank you for the meal”) after finishing the meal. Well, we don’t say that, but one should. When drinking beer, wine or…

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Walking Some Tokyo Neighborhoods

Sharing a pictorial post of our walks through Tokyo neighborhoods. Because of space limitations, many people have “personal” gardens outside their door. Japanese canned coffee “BOSS” commercial series. Tommy Lee Jones acts as an alien (from outer space) who came to the earth to study the life of its inhabitants. Awesome commercial.

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You Say Syrah, I Say Shiraz

When the Syrah (See-ra) grape was introduced from France into Australia in 1832, it flourished so quickly that it spread across the nation and established a home in virtually every wine region. In Australia it became known as Shiraz (Shih-RAHZ) and soon became the favorite grape. As much Shiraz is produced in the country today as every other red variety…

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Mind Your Beeswax and You’ll Get More Wine

About 100,000 beehives are trucked from the east coast to South Australia during the almond blossom season annually because bees have been proven to increase almond yields. So when Cullen wineries wanted to improve the reliability of the chardonnay yields from its Margaret River vineyard, their winemaker thought that bees might provide the solution. A hive was installed on site…

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How Old is Wine?

Quiz for today: Who was drinking wine first? Egyptians? Armenians? Chinese? Margaret River-ites? Well, not to say future discoveries couldn’t shed new light on the subject, but the evidence so far points to the Chinese. In 2004, wine residue was found in 9,000 year old pottery in China (see Patrick Edward McGovern “the Indiana Jones of…

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First Stop Australia

A big thanks to our Aussie friends, James and Kate, for directing us to head to the Margaret River Wine Region straightaway after landing in Perth… we’ve had a lovely few days here.   First a little geography… Australia is almost the same size as the contiguous U.S.   AU (2.97 million sq mi) versus contiguous US (3.12 million…

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Around The World, Take 2

Welcome to the ‘new and improved’ Two and Fro travel blog. With the help of my new friend, Derek Freal (travel blogger/designer/programmer extraordinaire), I’ve attempted to make our blog a little more organized and easy on the eyes. Hope you like it. So, our latest trip. We’ve been referring to it as…

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