10/29/09

The Office

Early sunset from the window of my office in Roppongi.

10/27/09

Panty Ball Machine?


Ohhh... What's in this gumball machine? Hmm... It must be something good, because its costs around $5.
..........
Lets see the Katakana reads: Ranjieri Gachya Gachya. Ranjieri, wait that sounds like lingerie. Really? Could this be a lingerie gumball machine? Wait, yes those are indeed panties inside those plastic balls.
..........
Japan you have done it again. You have taken something from my childhood and made it useful in my adult life as well. Now, should buy this or the pillowcase girlfriend. Sorry, that's right dear readers, I have not told you about that one yet...

10/26/09

The Uyoku Dantai

Bellow are pictures of an extreme right-wing Japanese nationalist group, collectively known as the Uyoku Dantai, demonstrating outside of Shinjuku Station.

Their campaigning centers around increasing Japan’s military, kicking foreigners out, and restoring power to the Emperor. They are also known to have connections with the Yakuza.




10/20/09

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower as seen from Roppongi.

Cross stand

I have a habit of crossing against the light, its something I picked up while living in New York City. Though time saving, it’s a custom Japanese people tend to shy away from.

Thus while crossing the street against the light this evening, the sound of a phone ringing in the middle of the intersection naturally caught my attention. What Japanese person in their right mind would be in the middle of the street when a taxi was threatening to barrel through the intersection I wondered?

Turning towards the sound, the first thing I saw out of the corner of my right eye was a baby carriage, then two miniature Dachshunds, and finally an old lady. However something was wrong. The おばちやん did not appear to be walking. A millisecond more of observation made it clear that she had stopped in the middle of intersection and was proceeded to pull out her mobile phone, which was still ringing. I was dumbfounded. Here in the middle of Roppongi rush hour traffic was an old Japanese woman with her two dogs and a baby carriage, who was seemingly unaware that she was about pulverized in to Okonomiyaki.

Confident that there was a disaster in the making, I turned to watch the spectacle. But nothing happened, the taxi swerved, the light turned green, and the old women remained in the middle of the intersection chatting away.

10/13/09

Unagi

Last month while my mother was in Japan, she took some friends of ours and I out to an unagi (fresh water eel) restaurant in Yokohama. Unlike most unagi restaurant's, we were shown our unagi before it was grilled. As the chief explained the menu, the unagi kept trying to get away. A few times one of them managed to make it onto the table and floor, causing a bit of excitement among a few of the female diners
Before our unagi came out, we were served an appetizer of sushi. To grind the wasabi, the chief used a piece of sharks skin as a grater. The sushi also came with a little surprise. What at first glance seemed to be some sake, turned out to be the still beating hearts of our unagi inside sake cups. We were instructed to pour warm sake into the glass and then drink it all at once.
Not surprisingly nearly everyone, aside from myself and a friend of mine, declined to try it. The sake tasted rather sweet with a slight tint of blood. The raw heart itself was quite soft and had a strong blood like taste to it, which covered my entire palate. The taste was really a rather unusual one. So rather than let everyone else's sake and unagi heart go to waste, I helped myself to a couple more glasses.

Why?

When buying a T-shirt for a loved one, please make sure you know what it says.

10/8/09

Blue Sky Typhoon


The view of this weeks typhoon as seen from the roof of my apartment building. Have to say, nothing seems to clean a cities air better than 45mph winds do.

Cat's Eye


All in One

Just a sink, right? Wait there is an automatic soap dispenser on the left, a faucet to the right, and a hand dryer on the back of the sink. However this sink was not found on board a space ship, rather it was found in a Japanese library.

14 Hours of Tokyo Disney

Imagine 14 hours of Tokyo Disney. From 8AM to 10PM the world was Mickey Mouse, endless flavors of popcorn, and ride after ride. By five in the evening giant erupting volcanoes, human sized cartoon characters, and endless fun was reality.

It all reminded me of another place. A place where Mickey Mouse’s name is Kim, where there is no Coca Cola, and where pictures are usually not allowed. Yes most would say the two are nothing alike, but then again most couldn’t sit at the top of Splash Mountain and remember how similar it felt at peak of Mt. Geumgangsan.