Tono Sushi

By Talia Zitner

Tono Sushi offers classic Japanese and Asian cuisine, and a cultural experience for patrons. Our class was lucky enough to get to have lunch there last Saturday, and to practice our Japanese. Before we left for the restaurant, we practiced ordering in Japanese and proper restaurant etiquette. For example, did you know that in Japan it is considered polite to slurp your soup while pouring your own drink is not? The restaurant itself was comfortable and open, with dark green carpeting and a wooden sushi bar. The service was efficient and the staff was very polite, extremely reflective of Japanese culture. I definitely was able to practice saying arigatōgozaimashita (thank you very much)! The food was quick, and delicious. I had ordered tonkatsu (fried pork), miso shiru (miso soup), and gohan (rice). We also were presented with different ice cream options, and I chose green tea ice cream, which was fantastic. Overall, the experience was a success, culinary and culturally.

Sakuramen review

By Talia Zitner

Sakuramen is perfect for anyone looking for authentic Japanese flavor with a local twist. Four o’clock on a Friday afternoon is a great time to stop by the small restaurant in Adams Morgan. It was practically empty when we arrived, and the service was friendly and efficient. There was a really fun playlist going in the background (that even the staff was jamming out to). I ordered the DC miso, which was with chashu, menma, green onion, cheese, naruto, and nori. The ramen noodles themselves were thick and curly (make sure you have lots of practice with chopsticks!) and the broth had a chicken stock and miso base. Overall the ramen was delicious, or “Oishī” in Japanese! Each bowl goes for around $12-13, which is the typical going rate for the DMV, and it’s definitely worth it.

Sakuramen is accessible by the Adams Morgan/National Zoo metro stop, and is just a short walk over the bridge. Grab some friends and some ramen and enjoy!


How to make your own Matcha tea

By Talia Zitner

After watching the Japanese exchange students show us the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, I decided to recreate it in my own kitchen. Using the tea cup the students gave to us as a gift and Matcha powder from Japan, I set to work trying to replicate the unique flavor of the tea.

Step 1: Set up your tea and powder. Matcha is is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea.


Step 2: Boil your water and pour the powder into the teacup.


Step 3: Pour in water and whisk with fork or other utensil (unlike other tea, instead of steeping the powder. is dissolved by mixing!)

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Step 4: Once tea is dissolved, hold in left palm and rotate clockwise twice in order to admire the design on the cup!

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Step 5: Enjoy!


Who Was Hiroshige?

By Talia Zitner

Back in November, we were lucky enough to visit an exhibit at George Washington University about Japanese artist, Hiroshige. I didn’t fully understand how big of a deal this guy really was until we started studying him in my AP world history class. Known for his colorful woodblock prints, Hiroshige can perhaps be considered one of the most important artists of the Edo period.

Born in 1797, Hiroshige (born Ando Hiroshige) lived in Edo, Japan, which is now Tokyo. He was the son of the warden of the Edo fire brigade, and the job was eventually passed down to him after his father resigned following the death of his mother, all while Hiroshige was around 12 years old. However, his father died shortly after as well, and Hiroshige began to pursue his passion for art. He entered the school of the ukiyo-e master Utagawa Toyohiro. After gaining his school license at age 15, Hiroshige would not be recognized for his work until six years later, in 1818.

Eventually, Hiroshige passed his position as fire warden onto his own son. He devoted himself to his art. His work can be divided into three categories:

  • The Student Period (1811-1830): Hiroshige followed the work of others, mainly focusing on figure prints of girls, actors, samurai, and warriors.
  • The Landscape Period (1830-1844): He created his own ideal of landscape design, including many bird-and-flower prints. This culminated in perhaps his most famous venture, Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, and other Japanese landscapes.
  • Last Period (1844 to 1858): This was his later period focused on landscapes and figure-with-landscapes prints. Unfortunately, overpopularity and overproduction diminished the value of his work.

Hiroshige is credited with over 5,000 prints, and as many as 10,000 copies made of his woodblocks. In 1832 he made a trip between Edo and Kyōto along the highway called the Tōkaidō. He stayed at the 53 overnight stations along the road and made numerous sketches of everything he saw. These sketches eventually were made into prints known as the Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō. The success of this series was immediate and made Hiroshige one of the most popular artists of all time. Hiroshige died on October 12th, 1858. He died in the midst of a Cholera epidemic.

The photos included below are from the exhibit we attended, and they are scenes from Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō. The exhibit was really interesting because I had not been exposed to this type of art before, and it was really cool to see it up close and in person!

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Talia Hiroshige-1