I have been back from my US mini-book tour for a week now. I’m still rather jetlagged, but I’m really happy to have met so many wonderful people! I only got to visit New York and Seattle, and wish I could have done more, but considering that this was my First Book Tour Ever, and that before I embarked on it I was frankly scared to death, I think it went really well.
(Incidentally, the book has been out of stock for ages on Amazon, but is now back in stock again ! Go go go before it sells out again! ^__^;)
So, here are just a few photos - all taken by the indefatigable Guy. I couldn’t have done the tour without his help. (For that I will have to pay him back with numerous chicken kijiyaki/tamagoyaki/kabocha bentos….)
This was the first event, a talk and signing at Kinokuniya in NYC. I had some trouble remembering to keep the microphone in my face - the problem was that I had the mike in my hand, but I tend to ‘talk’ a lot with my hands! - but all in all I think it went okay. About 30 people showed up on a freezing cold day! (The photo below made it to this week’s email newsletter of the prestigious Publisher’s Weekly !)
We gave away two filled bento boxes at the event. This one is one layer of a Pikachu bento box, with bunny shaped carrot and tamagoyaki. The boxes were from Kinokuniya’s gift department (which has a much expanded bento box selection from when I checked it out a year ago).
This is from a party-event for bloggers hosted by the lovely Viv of Seattle Bon Vivant . Viv knows absolutely everyone in Seattle, and she’s hosted book events in the past for such food world luminaries as Dorie Greenspan and Amanda Hesser. I was not worthy! We had such fun in any case. I made chicken karaage (with lots of help from The Guy), broccoli with wasabi sauce, apple bunnies (note to self: Red Delicious apples are nice and red but do not taste good), and onigiri. I think the onigiri were the most popular.
Here I am signing books and talking to someone at the party. See those jazz hands - I do talk with my hands, a lot! To the right you can see Aimee of SmileFelt  - she gave me some of her really cute ribbon-adorned bento bands! They’re available from her Etsy shop . Besides the Book, we also had the too-cute-for-words Norio onigiri box  (seen in front of me), supplied by Bento&co , at which everyone squee-ed in delight. (Merci Thomas!)
I met so many other bloggers too, such as Shirley of Lovely Lanvin , Tara of Tea and Cookies , Lisa of Gluten Free Foodies , Matthew of the Spilled Milk Podcast , and Luuvu of Luuvu ! Lisa (if you have a blog let me know!) brought me some of Seattle’s famous Fran’s Salt Chocolate Caramels - thank you so much Lisa!
Here’s my second event in Seattle, an evening talk-and-signing at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park . Third Place Books is a wonderful independent bookstore, as you can see from that shelf of used/vintage books behind me. This was a wonderful, mellow hour. Afterwards we wandered around the store, trying not to do too much damage to our cash balance. (We didn’t, but it was touch-and-go there for a bit.)
Then the final event was hosted by Kinokuniya again, this time the Seattle store, which is attached to Uwajimaya, the family run Japanese grocery chain. I was esconced behind the takeout-bento counter of Uwajimaya, right in front of the Kinokuniya store entrance. It was super-busy due to the Chinese New Year. People kept asking me for store directions! Neverthless it was another successful event, with lots of people stopping buy, some just to say hi, and many others to buy and get their books signed! I met more bloggers here too, especially Ms. Sonoma Bento , who was up in Seattle to visit family. Daniel stopped by and gave me a beautiful sock knitting kit! Thanks Daniel!!
Tara and Viv stopped by to see me again, both bearing gifts of…food! Such wonderful ladies both.
This is me at the end of a hectic two hours. I’ve obviously lost the plot.
Thank you, thank you to everyone who came to see me, who bought books, who helped clean up after some events, and so on… it was such a pleasure. Special thanks go to Viv of course (anyone who wants to have an event in Seattle should contact her first!), and to Sumi-san and the ever patient sales and marketing director at Kodansha America, Laura-san. Hontou ni osewa ni narimashita!
Now, to get rid of this jetlag and back to bento-making ^_^;