Hot wine? Mulled wine?

  "Hot wine" seems to be Japanese English. I should say "mulled wine". Mulled wine is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various spices and raisins. It is served hot or warm and may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. It is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween.
Port and claret are popular choices for mulled wine. But, white wine is also used like the photo.
On Wikipedia, there is an explanation "In France, vin chaud ("hot wine") typically consists of cheap red wine mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon. It must not be too sweet."  So, saying "hot wine" is not wrong?

The chef had a training in France and opened a French curry restaurant "SPOON" in Nishiogikubo Tokyo. The restaurant is usually crowded with the locals.

Mulled wine




The best electric tooth brush


 What is the best electric tooth brush? I believe Filips Sonicare is the best. The experiment is comparison among Filips Sonicare, Braun Oral-B, and Panasonic Doltz. Filips Sonicare looks the most powerful.
 Another research ranked Sonicare HX6920/02 as AA, Doltz EW-DE40 as A and Braun Oral-B 4000 D275365X as B. They were reviewed in 4 factors, effectiveness in removing plaque, easiness in handling, noisiness of vibration, and battery's endurance.



 Oyako means parents and children in Japanese, and oyakodon is a traditional Japanese rice bowl topped with simmered chicken and egg.

 Sliced scallion (or sometimes regular onions), and other ingredients are all simmered together in a sauce and then served on top of a large bowl of rice. The name of the dish is a poetic reflection of the fact that both chicken and egg are used in the dish.
The simmering sauce varies according to season, ingredients, region, and taste. A typical sauce might consist of dashi flavored with soy sauce and mirin. Proportions vary, but usually there is three to four times as much dashi as soy sauce and mirin.

 The photo is Oyakodon at the restaurant "Hinaiya" in Kichijoji Tokyo. The price is 880yen in lunch time, including iced coffee.


 Each restaurant has their own secret recipe. Please enjoy the wide variety of taste of Oyakodon in various restaurants in Japan.


Hayman, Great Barrier reef, Australia

 There are many native English teachers in Japan. I had one who came from Australia. He was very friendly and potent in teaching English. When he went back to his home country, he gave me the book about Aussie's unique expressions which are different from UK's and US's.
 Yesterday, he gave me a mail for the first time in 3 years. He said he is working at a travel agency and provided me his status quo and some information of Australia.

 20 years ago, I went to Hayman island in Great Barrier reef. I enjoyed not only marine sports but also "The chef's table". The chef's table is the event where participating guests are invited to backstage into the main kitchen. The experience was as much an education as it was a wonderful gourmet experience. The Chefs provide commentary, explain food pairing concepts and themes, and answer questions from guests throughout the event.
  Some guests asked me my occupation and some questions about dentistry in Japan. An lady from Sydney said " The Chef's English is not so good. If you can't understand his comment, I will explain. Interpretation from local to standard English. haha."
 We shared stories and started new friendships among the guests.
According to its HP, some restaurants seemed to change in their style. I asked my former teacher to give information about the tour to Hayman island.

I want to feel young.....

the captain of the cruiser
only transportaion connects between the island and the continent
He was cool!

how relaxing!

Socialism in liberalism: Agony of Japanese dentists

 The moment when I see smile of my patients after treatment is the happiest one as a dentist. 10 years ago, a physician came to my dental office. His chief complaint was pain and swelling in the gum around his upper front tooth. After careful root canal treatment, his symptoms disappeared. I could see his smile in the end. Since then, there has been no troubles for a decade. X-ray showed good prognosis so far. But..........

 The cost of dental treatment in Japan is the lowest in the world (bar graph). Health ministry regulates the fee badly in Japanese medical insurance system. Furthermore, the fee of an experienced and skilled dentist is the same as that of an inexperienced and poorly skilled dentist. It's socialism in a liberal country. The more we treat in the system, the more we become in red. The red is compensated with some treatments which are not covered by insurance, such as ceramic crown, orthodontic treatment and implant. Treatment covered by insurance is like volunteer work. It's the agony of dentists in Japan.
before my treatment: note gray area (inflamation) around the tip of the root
already treated somewhere, but failure with swelling and pain

10 years after my treatment: note shrinkage of inflamation around the root tip
no symptoms since the treatment


Dental implants: 10 years after sinus floor elevation

 My friend's back teeth were lost due to decay. (He is a brain surgeon.) To carry out dental implants for him, I had to learn the way to generate bone in his sinus. An egg is a good material for practicing sinus floor elevation. I learned the technique in Michigan 10 years ago. Dentists who had the skill in Japan were rare in those days. Whenever I have patients who need the surgery, I make it a rule to practice with eggs before actual performance.

partially cut the shell without damage membrane inside

peel membrane from the shell without breaking

bone grafting

partially cut the bone without damage membrane inside

peel membrane without breaking

bone grafting and implant


10 years after


Memory of Michigan

When sorting out photos in PC, I found some in Ann Arbor. It's 10 years ago when I went there to study dental implant skills using cadaver at University of Michigan School of Dentistry. In Japan, education using cadaver is prohibited. Whenever Japanese dentists want to learn new techniques, models and pig jaws are only materials. Dr. Wong who is the first Asian professor in dentistry of US university opened the door to us Japanese. The seminar was designed to satisfy my thirst for knowledge and experience. When the tour to Ann Arbor was announced, I applied at the drop of hat. I was impressed to the fact that University of Michigan was like a small town, having various shops and crossroads. Japan does not have such a huge university. The dental course? It was very useful, of course! I wish I went back someday.
Detroit airport

University of Michigan is like a small town.

lecture by prof. Wong


Maruzen bookstore cafe

 Maruzen bookstore in Nihonbashi deals with foreign books. It is 5 minutes walk from Shouohkai dental office. There is a cafe on 3rd floor. The cafe is famous for omuhayashi.

 Omuhayashi is a combination of omurice and hayashi rice. Hayashi rice is a Western-style dish which is very popular in Japan. It’s a thick demi-glace sauce which often contains red wine, tomato sauce, beef, onions and button mushrooms.

 You can enjoy cherry blossoms in early spring from the cafe. Personally, time with books there is fabulous.


Yakitori(skewer grilled chicken) restaurant in Nishi-Ogikubo

  I had dinner with my high school era's friend who lives in west Tokyo. He took me to a yakitori restaurant "Donn" in Nishi-Ogikubo along Chuo line.
 The average yakitori is made from several bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, or chicken offal, skewered on a bamboo skewer and grilled, usually over charcoal.
Diners ordering yakitori usually have a choice of having it cooked with salt (shio) or with tare sauce, which is generally made up of mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar. The sauce is applied to the skewered meat and is grilled until delicately cooked.
 Quality of cuisine of this restaurant is excellent. The price is reasonable (around 3000yen per person). It really hits the spot!

chicken thigh and scallion(left) chicken meatball(right)

chicken thigh cooked with apricot, miso, etc


Basic English pronunciation training class in Shinjuku Tokyo 2

 A lot of Japanese can't distinguish pronunciation between "sea" and "she". Especially, "sea" is often pronounced as "she". So, when they want to say "Sit down.", they say "Shit down"! Awful!
 There is a tongue twister "She sells seashells by the seashore. The shells that she sells are seashells I'm sure." This is our good practice sentence to make precise pronunciation of "sea" and "she".
 Last Thursday, I attended the basic English pronunciation training class, after work. The class master gave a knack of tongue position, form of lips and breath. It is said that there are 43 sounds in English vowels and consonants. The number of common sounds in Japanese is only 5 to 6, meaning Japanese are not familiar with about 90% of English sounds.
 I have subscribed "The Economist" for 3 years since my English teacher from UK recommended, however, I can hear the voice "Back to the basics" in my mind.

Tokyo Opera City

 Tokyo Opera City is located in Shinjuku Tokyo. The huge monument in front of the building looked stunning.

There are food market including restaurants, cafes, etc, on B1,3rd and 33th floor. It's office space between 4th to 32th. Opera house is on the 1st and 2nd floor.

 Today, I attended a seminar at Apple's hall on 32th floor. A dental software company "Planet", cooperated with Apple, made an announcement of its new software.
 I have to catch up the technology and use this type of gizmo in order to make a lucid explanation to my patients and  provide efficiency in the system of the dental office. Unfortunately, I'm not a computer geek and am a Windows user. I sometimes have to ask younger staff about manipulation of Apple. The young dental hygienists all have i-phones and i-pads!


Ise Shinto Grand Shrine

 I was brought up in a Christian family, Protestant. But, I occasionally feel relieved when I see a Shinto shrine. Probably because of education in Japan? The grandness and beauty of Ise Grand Shrine made me feel "Before coming here, I was in a rut and was running low. Oh,dear! My mind, damaged by stress in daily life, is now on the mend."
  Ise Grand Shrine has been rebuilt every 20 years to keep in good condition and it costs the earth. This year is just for the transition.
 My holiday in Ise was just the ticket because I felt back on my feet and refreshed.


Kashikojima Hojoen Japanese Inn

 Kashikojima Hojoen is a Japanese Inn, locates in Mie prefecture, 2 hours from Nagoya station by super express. Views are spectacular, but the most enjoyable moment may be dinner. I believe every foodie will be impressed.


Occlusion seminar in the weekend

 Last weekend was my debut as an instructor in a dental occulusion seminar, which was held near Tokyo station.To be all set as an instructor of the seminar, I reviewed my notebook of past lectures. It was fine weekend and good for recreation. Should I blow off  my responsibility and go for a leisure? I blew off the temptation.
 Some occlusion theories are frumpy and filled with a real Catch-22. You can get the 411 on the renovated occlusion theory proposed by Dr.Haruhiko Abe. Dr.Abe approached occlusion theory proactively and swam upstream. How to fix plaster models of jaws in an articulator to visualize an ideal occlusal plane is low-hanging fruit, if you use devices which Dr.Abe invented. The apparatuses are artisan. Some evil-minded dentists imitate and make bogus and tacky devices. They sell them illegally! I believe they will become bottom feeders in the end. They are dead wood.
  The seminar was held in a small pop-up room due to under construction of the building we had used before. But, attendees were eager. Dr.Abe talks turkey. I like the seminar's vibe.


the charm in making full dentures

* Dental implant information and technique has widely spread through various seminars held in all over the world and dental implant is one of hot topics in dentistry. However, about 20 years ago, the most popular theme of dental seminars was full denture.
 How do we make dentures with which patients can use comfortably? There are no natural teeth in full denture’s cases’ patients. Therefore, how to provide ideal relation between upper and lower jaw and the effective occlusion composed of artificial teeth, where should artificial teeth locate in a denture, where should a denture cover in the jaw (the border of the denture) are the problems. Many dentists in those days rushed for such seminars. In fact, I had not been good at making full dentures for several years since I graduated from Tokyo medical and dental university.
 While miscellaneous theories and methods were introduced, I attended various seminars and sometimes was confused with wide difference among theories. It took time until I got knack and had confidence in making dentures. Because of my mentor who patiently taught me and my patients who contributed to my experience, now, I feel interested in making dentures with almost no stress, even excited!
 Since last month, I have been designated as an instructor of the occlusion seminar where my mentor demonstrates steps using a real patient. Whether patients accept dentures in their mouth mainly depends on dentist’s diagnosing ability and skills. When a patient can’t use his or her denture because of poor skills of his or her dentist, he or she can give up and go to another dentist unlike a patient who was treated with dental implants. In that sense, making comfortable full dentures is one of the most challenging fields in dentistry. I think I have improved my skills, but want to be more advanced in technique, to elicit smile from my patient.


English pronunciation lesson in Shinjuku Tokyo

 On April 4th, I attended the English pronunciation class held in Shinjuku Tokyo.

 One of the elements which prevents Japanese from improving English is the difference between Japanese and English pronunciation. It is said that Japanese feels challenging in distinguishing R and L sound. However, Kiyoshi Matsuzawa, the leader of the class, says S sound is the most difficult to pronounce properly for Japanese. In general, S sound of Japanese is too weak, so we Japanese should be more conscious of stronger and clearer S sound in speaking English.

  The goal of the class is getting natural pronunciation which doesn't make natives feel stress. Mr.Matsuzawa says English learning is like a sport. We should care about the position of tongue and the way we breathe, at first, so that we can master the natural English sounds. Practice makes perfect. That reminds me of the saying by Tommy Lasorda " Practice, practice and practice"

Shima Kanko (sightseeing) Hotel in Mie-prefecture Japan

Last week, I stayed at Shima Kanko Hotel with my family. It is one of the most famous hotels in Japan. The place is the stage of a novel " Brilliant family" by Toyoko Yamazaki, describing the world of finance. Decayed moral in banking culture. It's a popular business novel in Japan.

We enjoyed abalone steak which can be tried only in this place. I don't like shellfishes basically, however the tast of the abalone steak was gorgeous, beyond my imagination. The view from our room was spectacular and you can enjoy the beauty of complicated coastline. Shima is located in Mie-prefecture, 90 minutes by train from Nagoya.
sun set view from the hotel

You can see laver culture rafts.