24
500 yen
7-11
88
abalone
aging population
allegheny college
allergy
Ameagari no yozora ni
asakusa
baru
Beach
beiju
birthday
black and white
bookstores
Brasserie Bec
Carpenters
cedar pollen
cellphone
Chikara Saito
Chinese Lantern Plant
chorus
colorful
conservation
construction
conti et mer
Convenience
culture
cutie honey
dai-ichi life
delivery
DIY
Doki-doki Camp
doppler
Drop
drugstore
earthquake
eiken
elections
emergency house
Emperor Meiji
English
Engrish
evacuation area
experiment
Facebook
fiberglass mascot
Folk
food
free
freespot
French
Gadgets
gaijin
Gargling
George Kano
Getting Around
glasses
glenn wurst
global warming
Goroawase
Gov't of Japan
gumisawa totsuka
Gyaru
haiku
hay fever
Health
hinanjo
hiroo
Hitotsu Yane no Shita
Horror
hozuki
humor
Humoresque
Ichiro Ozawa
imamiya
Imperial
Informa
Insurance
Interpretation
intestines
iphone
iPhone Case
Isojin
Italian
Jack Bauer
japan
Japan Holidays
Japan Rail
Japanese
japanese tv
JR
kafunsho
Kakaki
Kakuei Tanaka
kamakura
kamogawa
kamogawa-kan
Kanako Yanagihara
Kazuo Zaitsu
kenkoshindan
kinataro-ame
kinokuniya
kintaro
Kiosk
Kiyoshiro Imawano
Koji Suzuki
Language
leisure
living
Living in Japan
local shop
Lockheed
Manners Posters
Marine Day
maruzen
matsuri
megane drug
metro
Mezamashi TV
MHLW
miniskirt
Mixi
mizkan
monochrome
Music
Musicians
Nakamise
New Years
newbie
NHK
nihonjinron
niigata
nissan figaro
no smoking
nobiru
novartis
Ocean
Odakyu Line
omikuji
One Coin
Oshogatsu
OTC drugs
PAL
passions
photography
pillars
poetry
ponyo
post office
prime minister
proficiency
Pronunciation
Ray-Out
restaurants
retro
Reunion
Review
RIP
robataya
roppongi
RT-P1LC4/B
ryokan
Saboten no Hana
Salaryman Neo
Salaryman Taiso
sandwiches
sarasen
satire
School Songs
Seashore
Senryu
senryuu
settai
Shinjuku
shishamo
signage
siren
smoke-free
snow
SNS
softbank
sound
Sousuke Kawamoto
spectacles
Street Jazz
Street Performers
subway
suica
Swine Flu
tapas
Thierry de Baillon
Toilet Paper
tokyo
Tokyo Metro
Tokyo Rail and Subway Map
tokyo university
totsuka
Trains
Trends
Tulip
Twitter
Ugai
Umi no Hi
uniqueness
us military fukaya communications base
Vendor
vinegar
virgin adventures
Vollmer Design
wanseg
waterless urinal
Welcome
wicket
wifi
wired
wireless
yaesu book center
yakuza ramen
Yoyogi-Uehara
yuuri
zaditen
zoff
zushi
キオスク
レイアウト
ワン コイン
人間ドック
海の日

Archives:


Japan Cyclists: Aten-hut!

Recently Japan law regarding bicycles has been strengthened, and it is a popular topic on TV "wide shows" (variety shows) as I write this, in Autumn 2011.The scapegoat being used by the media is "fixies" or the fashionable piste-style bikes that usually have a friction brake in the hub. I haven't ridden a friction brake bike since the 6th grade, but the way it works is you stop by reverse-pedaling,
Read More....
Comments (1)

Japan Girl Talk - The Secret Code 2011

The creatures called "gyaru" (teenage girls who hang out in the youth spots in Tokyo) have their own slang language that morphs rapidly. Nobody, even them, can keep up with it. Morning TV had a special segment about the latest "gyaru-go" language trends, which I thought were worth sharing:"Itsumen" - いつメンFrom itsumo-no-menbaa いつものメンバー. The usual group we hang out with."kamacho"
Read More....
Comments

Yanagihara Kanako Senryu Haiku

Kanako Yanagihara is so popular these days, that shop assistants are starting to impersonate her right back! I heard a shop full of assistants doing their best Kanako schtick, so a senryu haiku came to mind: 君は今 kimi wa ima 加奈子さんより kanako san yori 柳原 yanagihara What I mean is, "you're more Yanagihara than Yanagihara Kanako".
Read More....
Comments

Japan and Its People are Unique

At least that is what they tell me! I like Japan and have had some interesting, enjoyable and indeed unique experiences here, otherwise I would not have stayed in this country since 1987. But over the years, I've had an earful of people telling me directly or indirectly how unique Japan and its people are, and I've had to burst more than one person's bubble. Sometimes incorrectly. A couple examples
Read More....
Comments (13)

Street Jazz from Kano, Saito, Kawamoto

I've seen this good, energetic "Street Jazz" trio at JR Shinjuku before, but today I waited for a good moment and got some materials from them. The musicians were George Kano on drums, Chikara Saito on Alto Sax, and (probably) Sousuke Kawamoto on upright bass. The flyers I got were pretty clear on who the sax and drum players were, but I'm not so sure about the bass player. Either way, they are all
Read More....
Comments

Family Reunion Sad

Every year, we have a family reunion during the New Year holiday "oshogatsu". The photo in this post is of the 2009 edition. This is A Big Deal for the family here, and they do it without fail. Missing it is also A Big Deal, so I think we've missed it once in the past 15 years. I gather it's an Asian thing to have these big family gatherings, but I always feel like the odd man out, when the conversation
Read More....
Comments

Thierry de Baillon's Article on Social Media in Japan

Thierry de Baillon wrote an article about Japan and social media acceptance, which I thought I'd comment on. I agree that Social Networking Service acceptance, or lack thereof, is not a simple matter of Japanese being "shy". Just go to Shibuya, Harajuku, or Kabukicho to prove otherwise! I think SNS acceptance is driven by the marketing of the SNS, by whether it "feels right" and "fits right" for
Read More....
Comments

Japan Virgin Adventures

A conversation the other day prompted me to recount some experiences of my first days in Japan, so I thought I would share. What? No NEX? When I was "fresh off the boat" at Narita way back in 1987, I gathered up my suitcases, met one of the daughters of my host family, and schlepped my too-heavy stuff onto the JR Yokosuka line, which was already full. Japan Rail had no Narita Express yet, so it was
Read More....
Comments

Novartis Zaditen Allergy Medicine Available in Japan

"Zaditen", an allergy medicine from Novartis, is now available over-the-counter in Japan. Last year it was by prescription only, but I'm blogging about it because it works for me where little else did. It's about 1800 yen for a 20 capsule pack, which seems expensive but "welcome to Japan" eh? Its main ingredient seems to be Ketotifen, and I noticed it makes me a little sleepy, but at least I am not
Read More....
Comments

Rick's New Zoff Glasses

Here's an isight snap via Photo Booth of my new specs from Zoff. The old ones were getting pretty crusty, so I made the excursion to Ofuna to Zoff, an inexpensive eyeglasses chain something like LensCrafters in the US, I would gather.
Read More....
Comments

Station Kiosks - the Hubs of Modern Japan

The Kiosks at Japan railway and metro stations are little stalls like US "News Stands" with two sides open, and two sides closed with storage. They have a refrigerator and a drink heater, as well as all manner of convenient articles - you can get drinks (alcoholic and soft), snacks (candy, bread, squid (yes!)), newspapers, magazines, novels, umbrellas, lighters, batteries, phone cards, neckties, handkerchiefs
Read More....
Comments (1)

Asakusa Nakamise during Hozuki Matsuri

Asakusa is a popular tourist destination and fun for those of us who live here too. This was taken in the "nakamise" street (nakamise is something like central shops) which is the shopping area leading up to the Sensoji temple. It was a beautiful hot evening during the Hozuki Chinese Lantern Plant festival. An incredible number of people show up for this.
Read More....
Comments

Japan is Mascot Land

There's no shortage of cute mascots in Japan. They look like they are made of fiberglass, and are in front of storefronts here and there. The one pictured here is the Megane Drug mascot, who has a peach on his headband, leading me to think it might be Momotaro, he of childrens' story fame. The thumb below is his back, with the kanji for trust "shinrai". Search Flickr for fiberglass Mascots and there
Read More....
Comments

Totsuka Construction - Big Pillars

There are these huge pillars being built near Totsuka station, on the Hitachi Software side of the main road, and these struck me as being an interesting photo. The 40 km speed limit seems to apply to the slow pace of the construction! Click on the photo to explore my photo sets on Flickr, or see my Totsuka Construction photos.
Read More....
Comments

Japan Rail Kudos - an amazing record

I ride the Japan Rail trains daily in Japan, and sometimes take it for granted that they will be on time. Occassionally there is a problem and a delay, but there's amazingly always an alternative route and always a clear announcement (er, incessant announcements?). Japan Rail - here's to your professional approach and to getting people to where they need to go. Amazing years of basically accident
Read More....
Comments

Support the Local Stores - Imamiya

This is our local store "Imamiya", which is not as cheap as the local giant chain, but has a certain charm. It has been in business for quite a long time, but recently seems like it is a little bit run down. These places get driven out of business by the big guys, so I like to shop there when I can. Support your local store!
Read More....
Comments

Japanese Evacuation Centers are Well-Marked

Japan is obviously prone to earthquakes, so there are designated evacuation areas or "hinanjo" here and there, usually in parks or stadiums (stadia?). This one says it is down in the US Military Fukaya Communications Base "tsushintai" in Japanese under the words "EVACUATION AREA". If you live here, keep and eye out for these markers, because that is where most people will proceed in the event of a
Read More....
Comments

Aging Population in Japan Needs Drugstores

Japan's society is aging, so you see more and more pharmacies and drug stores popping up. This one is in Odoriba, near Totsuka Japan, and has the bases covered by selling typical household goods as well as pharmaceuticals. The colors struck me as I was walking by. Taken with a Nikon D90 and 60mm Micro Nikkor.
Read More....
Comments

Retro-looking Nissan Figaro, Gumisawa Totsuka Japan

This is a rather retro Nissan "Figaro", parked at its nest in Gumisawa Totsuka Japan. I saw it while cycling around, and compositionally liked the play of the sun below, and the angles of the ferro-concrete house. I took this shot with a Nikon D90, using the Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 Macro.
Read More....
Comments

Kintaro-ame by anzyAprico on Flickr

This is typical Kintaro-ame next to kompeito. Originally uploaded to Flickr by anzyAprico
Read More....
Comments

"Kintaro Ame" Chopstick Stand at Robataya

Went to Robataya in Roppongi last night, and got this shot of some ceramic chopstick stands that look like "Kintaro-ame" candy. Kintaro's the guy on the right, and he is said to be Sakata no Kintoki, a Heian Period samurai. There is a traditional story about him that Japanese children learn, in which Kintaro, born with great strength, goes on to conquer a group of "oni" or demons. Kintaro-ame is a
Read More....
Comments

Kamogawa-kan - Beautiful Ryokan in Chiba

I took my family to Kamogawa-kan in Chiba for a couple days to relax in the onsen hotspring spa and sunbathe. Here's the brochure and general look of the place. All Cypress wood and quite beautiful inside. The below is a look at the front gate, and the menus for the kaiseki dinners (partial only). As well as a coaster with an artwork they own, of an "ama" diver gathering abalone, which was featured
Read More....
Comments

Brush Me Sign

This sign on a door says "brush me" or "touch me" - "furete kudasai". Little sensors near the sign on the door frame respond to your light touch, and the door opens. I must have some kind of special gaikokujin aura, because I can never get the things to work - I have to literally touch the sensor itself and not just the sign. The newfangled Japan Rail touchpads on the ticket machines don't work for
Read More....
Comments

Baru Tapas in Hiroo, Tokyo

Baru is a great Tapas place in Tokyo's Hiroo district between Tengenji and Platinum Street. Great Tapas and wine, and it is always packed with good-looking ladies (unless a certain Jason is there :). The master is a personable guy, who speaks a little English and a little Spanish. Go. You won't regret it.
Read More....
Comments (2)

Jack, Anna, Phil and Rick Tour Kamakura

Jack, Anna (pictured), Phil and I tried our hand at "omikuji" at the big Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura. Omikuji are fortunes that you draw by shaking a box of numbered sticks, the number corresponding to a white piece of paper with the fortune written on it. You can pray to improve your fortunes by folding and tying the omikuji paper onto a contraption shrines have, with horizontal wires.
Read More....
Comments

Japan Post Office

Japan Post Office Originally uploaded by Rick Cogley A snap of the Japan Post Office logo, on our local post office's door. The sign you will see for the PO, or "yuubin kyoku" is a red T with two horizontal bars on the top. Lately, the PO has been marketing hard to better compete with private services - they have come round the office a couple of times to try to hawk their services. Much better
Read More....
Comments
Older Posts...