“This is Japan” is a weekly blog post where I talk a little about my life here.

It’s a place where I can share some of the strange, funny, or thought-provoking stories from my week. You can learn a little about what it is like to live in Japan and some of the weird and wonderful things here.

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Happy Canada Day, to any fellow Canadians reading this!

Canada Day is tomorrow (July 1st), but today is my blog post day, so I’m writing this a day earlier. To celebrate Canada Day this year, I made a classy Canadian delicacy, poutine.

I forgot to put on a Canada shirt for the photo op.


If you are not familiar with poutine, it is french fries and cheese covered in gravy. And it’s divine. I introduced a few of my school friends to poutine a couple years ago.

There is a sports bar in Nagoya that sometimes sells poutine around this time of year, but I had something more special at home. I had a package of gravy from Swiss Chalet, a Canadian chicken restaurant. It’s probably the best restaurant gravy, so I wanted to use the last package to make poutine.

I invited the same friends from a couple years ago. We stopped at McDonalds on the way to my house to pick up fries and burgers. Then we came home, and I whipped up the gravy on the stove. It also sounded good to throw some bacon pieces on top, so I fried those up too.

We dumped all the fries on a plate, topped it with bacon, sprinkled cheese, and poured the gravy over all of it. If you have ever had Swiss Chalet gravy, you will know how good it is. Everything tasted so yurmy combined, and the bacon really took it to the next level.

Read: This is Japan 10: Japanese nationalism

Here it is before the gravy


And here is the final masterpiece


It turned out perfect, and I was very happy with the result. I think my friends were too. I saved some of the gravy so I can eat poutine with my husband later. He will be happy too.

In other news,

I have not been to Canada this year, nor do I expect that I will. But I have heard that in honour of 150 years of Canada, there is a pass that allows you free entry into all national parks run by Parks Canada. The pass is called the Discovery Pass, and it is free to get and can be used by many people. It seems like a really good deal, so I wish I could go to Banff National Park or something.

If anyone is in Canada now or will go later this year and is thinking about going to a national park, I suggest they check out the Discovery Pass and save themselves the entrance fees.

Read: Why Todaiji is my favourite attraction in Japan

That’s all from me today on this Canada Day Eve. Now if only I had an Iced Capp and a chocolate glazed doughnut from Tim Hortons…

How do you celebrate your country’s holidays when you are in a different country?

Comment below, like this post, and follow my blog, eh?

Making Poutine to Celebrate Canada Day

Read: Amphawa Floating Market in Thailand


  1. Poutine is the answer to lots of problems! I am a vegetarian but have come across some divine non-meat gravies that were outstanding. Yes, the Discovery Pass is a great way to see parks for free. And yes, Banff National Park is amazing 🙂

    • I’m glad you could find a poutine that you could enjoy. It would be nice to make use of the Discovery Pass right now. I think I have driven through Banff a few time as a kid, but never actually paid entry to the park. It would be nice some to see it someday though.

  2. That looks so delicious!! You must miss home so much Jennifer. I spent a couple years in Canada, loved it. Such friendly people! I’ve never seen a Like button on your site.

    • It’s really yummy. Have you had poutine before when you were in Canada? I don’t actually miss Canada too much. I mean, yeah I miss my family, and I love my country, but I’m enjoying living in Japan with my husband right now. It’s kind of nice to appreciate Canada from afar, then when I go back home all the little things I’d been looking forward to are more special 🙂 There is a like button on my site, not the Reader. It is not the WordPress like button. It’s a little heart beside the share icons.

      • Oh, OK. I’ll have to go see. No, I don’t recall eating that but have had fries with gravy. Not the same I suppose. I would be super homesick. But living in Las Vegas for four years now I’m not likely to move back up there. Love the desert life!

        • Next time you have fries and gravy, try and add some cheese to it if you can. Your photos of the desert make it look like a very pretty place.

          • Thanks for the tip Jennifer. Our Mojave is such an exquisite desert, So much life here if you look deep.

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