I saw this gashapon vending machine in Akihabara the other night, and stopped dead in my tracks, trying to imagine what kind of kid would pester his mom for $4.00 to try for a little plastic statue with a piece of gum stuck to its head.
Turns out, a Japanese movie with the catchy title “Thermae Romae” is in theatres right now, and because the time traveling “Roman” (played, of course by popular Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe) suddenly pops up in a modern-day Japanese bath, the promo items feature statues with onsen-style washcloths balanced on their heads, washing their hair with faces protected by Japanese lather shields, or mysteriously carting around koi fish.
Mommy, pleeeeeeez?! All my friends have one!
Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!