Author Archives: Jonelle Patrick

BlueCheesePizzaSM July 13

When I Said I Wanted Cheese Pizza, I Didn’t Mean THAT Kind Of Cheese!

I thought I’d seen the pinnacle of Unclear On The Concept when wedges of Camembert started showing up on Japanese pizza, but that was before I spotted this one topped with, yes, blue cheese. Mmm, mmm, little veins of smelly melted moldy bits, paired with tomatoes and that perennial Italian favorite, broccoli. Jonelle Patrick is the […]

ShibaBlessing4 July 10

The Dog Blessing Shrine

  Japan isn’t short on shrines that cure warts, protect your electronics from the forces of eviltude, and jumpstart your career as a manga artist, but this is the first one I’ve heard of that has a ceremony for blessing your dog! Shrines and temples do a booming business banishing bad luck from people mired in their periodic three-year-long yakudoshi (“bad luck years”), but […]

BeerSando1 July 08

Beer Sandwich

Brewskie on a bun! At first glance, this latest candidate for Strange Sandwiches Of Japan promises to deliver the punch of a nice cold one, but on closer examination, there’s an unfortunate amount of beef curry diluting the beer. Dang. Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.

EarFloss July 06

Ear Floss

In the Solution Looking For A Problem sweepstakes, this has gotta be a contender. Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix. If you’re in desperate need of something to roto-rooter your piercings, you can stock on up ear floss at (where else?) Tokyu Hands.

YakanBeer July 03

Pass The Fish Guts And The Teapot Of Beer, Please

It’s summertime, and that means the cool, refreshing beer you just ordered might arrive in a teapot, accompanied by crisp cucumbers, a dollop of mayo to dip them in and…fish guts. Salty fish guts. And yeah – I think I’m getting better at this living in Japan thing, because I knew not to ask what they were […]

KabukiMaskSM June 29

This Is Supposed To Make Me Cuter?

Somehow, Kabuki Villain Face never really whispered “adorable” in my ear, but it could be pretty entertaining to scare the bejeezus out of unsuspecting visitors while also attaining new levels of softer, smoother skin. And if the miracle-potion-soaked cutout inside doesn’t manage to make me drop-dead gorgeous, I suppose I can always snatch up my trusty katana to finish the job. […]

SaltJizoSM June 27

The Wart Shrine

Warts. Just hearing their name makes you want to get rid of them faster than pronto. And what easier way, than to visit the Wart-Be-Gone Jizo at Nishiarai Daishi temple? Just toss a coin in the box and take a pinch of the sacred pile-o-salt to rub on the offending carbuncle, and this benevolent bodhisattva will cure what […]

MarlboroughsFeat June 25

I Hope You Wanted Marlboros

This vending machine offers you a choice between Marlboros and…Marlboros. It could be a glimpse of some horrible apocalyptic future in which the only beer left on Earth is Miller Light and the only mayo is Miracle Whip, or it could be the latest example of a popular Japanese advertising trend: make the product stand out on the shelf by…buying up all the shelves. This is the first time I’ve seen […]

ShoeCar June 21

My Next Car

…is definitely going to be a Shoe Car. I hope they come in pink. Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.

ShavedCat2 June 18

Shaved Cats

Okay, I know it’s summertime, and in Japan that means we all wish we could go around without fur, but how weird is it that there are whole sections in Japanese cat magazines devoted to fashionable fur-cuts? Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.

That stone thing crossing the river is one of the most famous historical constructions in Japan, immortalized in countless woodblock prints, haiku and works of literary genius. June 16

Mortal Sins Of Urban Planning

So, can you even believe this? If someone came to Sister Jonelle’s Confessional and admitted that they’d OKed building a honkin’ big expressway right over the Nihonbashi Bridge, I’d pretty much tell them that it’s unlikely they’ll live long enough to say the number of Hail Marys necessary to atone for this grievous sin. Even Our Lady Of Rude Kustoms does […]

Scumstache3 June 14

Moustaches I Would Regret

Or should I say scumstaches? What these wispy ghosts of fake beards/moustaches lack in identity concealment, they more than make up for in believability. Japanese men are not generally candidates for Unibrow Intervention or Bushiest Beard contest winning, so even a goatee-ette of this magnitude might take weeks of careful cultivating. Much faster to get your manhood on with […]

Nicotine June 13

Love, Peace, Death &…

Nicotine! Neither skulls nor snakes nor screaming eagles will deter the proud owner of this Black Flame jacket from consuming his daily pack of smokes. Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.

UnbrellaSign June 11

Monsoon Season, Lock ‘n Load

It’s tsuyu season in Japan right now, which pretty much means all rain, all the time. (Not to be confused with typhoon season, which is all rain, RIGHT NOW.) Both seasons require industrial strength anti-wetness gear, and what could be more dedicated to staying dry through relentless rain (and the diabolical wind it rode in on) than […]

CatnipTea June 09

One-Stop Partytime Shopping…For Cats

It’s eleven o’clock – do you know where your kitteh is? Unsupervised cats-about-town head for Roppongi Station, where they can load up on CATNIP TEA from this handy partytime vending machine. They don’t even have to flash a fake ID! I badly wanted to test the mood-altering properties of this heady elixir, but with cats costing as much as […]

CupSkeletonSM June 05

Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton Vending Machine

Looking for a dinner companion who will light up when you’re near, even if you’re only eating Cup Noodles by the glow of your computer screen? Look no further, Forever Alones, now that there’s a vending machine that dispenses cute little glow-in-the-dark skeletons designed to cavort along the rim of your glass! A take-off on the wildly popular schoolgirl figures, […]

Lotteria3Burger June 03

I’ll See Your Triple Burger And Raise You A Shrimp Puck

What is Lotteria thinking? Seriously, how could you even bite that thing? I’m not talking about the triple-decker beef-o-rama – I’m eyeing that fried shrimp tower-o-power with the shovelful of tartar sauce just waiting to squish out the other side and all over your shoes (and your socks and your pants and, basically, the shoes of anyone standing within a […]

PeonyNishiarai June 01

Peonies As Big As Dinner Plates!

Not to be outdone by the cherry blossoms, azaleas and wisteria, the peonies of Tokyo come into their glory in May and June! First the big boys, like these at the Hama-Rikyu Garden, then the lovely fragrant ones at Nishiarai Daishi Temple. More Japanese flower goodness here: Hanami Blitz: My Picks For The Best Cherry Blossoms […]

JesusSuit May 30

Wondering Where One Might Wear A Garment Like This…

…but failing. I spotted this, er, striking piece of clothing at the Men’s 109 in Shibuya, at the Wild Party boutique. Maybe Japanese people would be just as surprised if they saw a t-shirt in America emblazoned with that famous painting of The Death Of Buddha, but… Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo […]

NikkoElephants May 27

Furry Elephants. With Claws.

Do you think the artist who carved these beasties had ever actually seen one? I guess it doesn’t matter, as long as the guy who paid the bill hadn’t either. Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix. These elephants are carved on one of the main buildings at the Tōshōgū […]

SpoonVege May 25

Haagen-Dazs Veggie Ice Cream?!

From the land of snacks with tentacles and fish bone crackers comes the latest healthy food disguised as a snack: carrot and tomato ice cream! Haagen-Dazs Japan hit the subways with a “secret” poster campaign this month, introducing the latest way for even the most dedicated junk food addict to get some stealth vegetables. The carrot one is mixed with […]

JellyfishBlue May 23

But Will They Come When You Call?

Behold the latest pet craze to sweep Tokyo! Now you can have your very own jellyfish aquarium, complete with disco lights! You can pick up everything you need at (where else?) Tokyu Hands, including jars with little brown jelly babies. I’m naming mine Spot. Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, […]

GhostOwl May 21

Beware Of Ghost Owls!

I saw this sign, and was quite nervous that Arisugawa Park was suffering from a dangerous infestation of owl ghouls, just waiting to swoop down on unsuspecting walkers’ heads waving their ghostly yuurei hands. While this might be preferable to Inokashira Park’s haunted toilet, I was relieved to discover that this rather cryptic graphic actually warns of falling branches. Jonelle Patrick […]

BlueMilkCoffee May 20

Blue Cafe Latte

Coffee + Milk + BLUE CURACAO? With a LIME on top? I’m still gathering the courage to try the latest entry in this season’s unlikely flavor-combo coffee drinks of Tokyo – partly because I’m frightened of any food that’s BLUE, but also am deeply suspicious of anything I have to google to find out what flavor it is. […]

DrugOnTacos May 18

Taco Dispensary

Where’s my medical taco card when I need it? Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.

PreDingedSuitcase May 16

Pre-Trashed Suitcases

You know that depressing feeling when you spot your brand new suitcase bumping onto the baggage carousel, and after one measly trip through baggage handling hell, it looks like it’s been drop-kicked from Tokyo to San Francisco and clawed by a rabid pack of velociraptors? Well, next time I get a new one, I’m buying one of THESE. […]

WisteriaHuge May 14

Yes, This Is One Plant!

In case you need proof that “the harder a garden is to get to, the more spectacular it is,” look no further than Ashikaga Flower Park. Two solid hours from Tokyo by car (or two and a half hours hopping on and off four different trains), I didn’t believe any flowers could be worth the trip. But as you […]

TomatoWhitener May 13

Red Is The New White

Premium. Tomato. Whitening. Essence. Because if I wanted whiter skin, tomatoes are the first thing I’d think of. Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.

CrosstitchPhonecase May 12

Cross Stitch Yourself A Phone Case!

“Home Sweet Home” samplers – sooo 17th century. Today’s Crafty Craftpern whips up a smartphone case instead. Today at Shibuya Loft I saw needle & thimble-ready cases in eight different colors, ready for you to beaver up your favorite design, from Hello Kitty to  Cuddly Raw Fish Boy. Or you can cheat, and buy yourself one that’s already crocheted! […]


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