Daniel Menini


Originally from the Lorraine region. His first contact with Japanese culture came when he left school and trained for a year in an organic restaurant school under the orders of the venerable chef Hiroshi Hayashi.
More than 35 years later, Daniel remains just as passionate about the Japan he knows – ingenious, discreet, efficient, respectful to others and in love with good taste and good tastes.

His/Her background

Daniel studied the Japanese language and then oriental medicine in Tokyo from 1980 until 1986. When he returned to France, he worked as an interpreter for eight years at Lycée Seijô in Alsace and then taught Japanese language and history at the University of Toulouse, while continuing to practice and teach shiatsu massage.
Resident in Japan again since 2012, he is more inspired than ever to study the thousand-and-one advantages of the Japanese way of life!

His/Her advice for you

Must-see :

On the 4th, 14th and 24th of the month, the Sugamo (on the peripheral Yamanote Line) street market takes place in the Jizô-dôri shopping street, where the patron saint “who removes thorns”, Togenuki-Jizô, is worshipped. The atmosphere of the countryside can be found right in Tokyo: tasty products from yesteryear and a friendly atmosphere are guaranteed. / Every day, the Ameyoko street market, between Ueno Station and Okachimachi Station (on the peripheral Yamanote Line): a delightful souk full of conviviality, colours and delicious smells.

To bring back with you :

noren, small, decorative, fabric curtain of variable height, it can be easily hung from a bamboo pole to create a charming separation between two rooms or to reduce light. Kinako-bô sticks, a simple form of confectionery made from grilled soybean flour.

Things to do :

Enjoy a session of shiatsu (traditional massage using finger pressure over light clothing) in a specialised parlour to recharge your batteries.

Words to Know :

At least two or three expressions to communicate with the local population!
Konnichi wa! = Hello! / Arigatô! = Thankyou! / Sumimasen! = Sorry!

Dishes to Try :

Buckwheat noodles (as many as possible being made by hand: teuchi-soba) which should be dipped, mouthful by mouthful, in a broth (soba-tsuyu) which can be spiced up with a spot of wasabi.

Traps to avoid :

Crowded restaurants at lunchtime. Avoid the stress of this situation by arriving just a few minutes before midday (opening time is generally at 11;30am). / Don’t pour soy sauce (shôyu) onto rice. In general, the rice and the accompanying dish should mix together in the mouth, not on the plate or in the bowl.