Hey, I was visiting the Togenuki Jizo and I got you a present.
Wow, thanks. What is it?
Oh no. On second thought, I don’t want it. It’s something weird, I just know it.
It’s not weird! I swear, after you try it, you won’t be able to live without it.
What’s this writing on the end? It says “Harada’s Utricularia bifida species of bladderwort.”
What? Give me that. You idiot, you’ve been overstudying your kanji again. That’s the most obscure reading ever. It says “Harada’s Ear Pick.”
Ear pick? You mean you use it to…ewww, gross!
You won’t say that after you try it. In fact, you’re going to beg me to tell you where I bought it, so you can buy them as presents for everyone you know back home. Go on, give it a try.
Well, okay, I’ll be right back…
…So, what did you think?
Where can I buy more?
If you want to visit the ear pick carver or see other delights such as The Honorable Duck Butt of Sugamo or the Big Red Underwear store the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map to Koshinzuka Street are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.
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!