Author Archives: Jonelle Patrick

May 18

How Superheros Find Their Perfect Match

I had to laugh when I saw these ads on the subway for the Partner Agent dating service. It features famous manga characters who ordinarily would never meet because they occupy totally different Japanese comic book series. She’s a villain named Doronjo, known for being smart, take-charge, and vain. He’s an renegade medical mercenary, who […]

April 19

Azalea Pilgrimage 2019

I know you’re exhausted after elbowing your way through the crazy crowds instagramming the cherry blossoms, which is why you should take a deep breath and go see the azaleas. Like cherry blossoms, the all-flowers-all-the-time spectacle will knock your socks off, but unlike the famous fluffy things, you can enjoy them in blissful near-solitude. Here […]

April 13

Subway Manners…For Ghosts

I’m afraid this subway manners poster isn’t going to do much to convince Things That Go Bump In The Night to stop harassing passengers – in fact, it’ll probably infuriate them to learn that they are merely as annoying as a wet umbrella or an overstuffed backpack, thus triggering a supernatural reign of terror. Don’t […]

April 03

The Best Places To See Pink Rivers of Cherry Blossom Petals

The leaves are greening, hangovers cured, blue tarps furled, the madness over. Right? Wrong! Because as soon as the petals begin to fall, it’s hana-ikada season: “rafts of flowers” that float atop cherry tree-lined bodies of water, turning them into pink rivers! It’s a little trickier to catch the magic of the fallen petals than […]

April 01

The Scourge Of The Orange Jacket

Okay, I know you think I’m a whiner because I went off on this guy wearing an orange jacket, sitting right in the middle of a shot I wanted to take during cherry blossom season at Shinjuku Gyōen. I mean, one guy, minding his own business – so what if his head’s inside his phone […]

March 06

Hacking Hanami: How To Get Yourself Invited To A Cherry Blossom Party

Kicking back under clouds of pink blossoms in the warm spring sun, eating a picnic and drinking with friends – it’s something you always dreamed of doing in Japan, isn’t it? And then you get here, and you discover that unless you’re a member of a work group that puts on a hanami party, you’ll be […]

March 05

Soft Drink Flavors I Do Not Want To Try

This yogurt-banana mash-up surfs in on the enduring popularity of the local favorite soft drink, Calpis, which inexplicably established sweetened sour milk as a delightful flavor in Japan. Peach Coke is just a blatant season grab. Here, eating “seasonal” fruits and vegetables delivers wave after wave of short-term binge buying on the part of consumers, […]