Love’s Eternal Flame

Okay, actually it’s eleven waiters bearing blazing baked Alaskas into the banquet hall at the excellent wedding I went to yesterday. At all the Japanese weddings I’ve been to, the photo op “wedding cake” is made of plaster. It’s always perfect for the picture, no messy cutting and distributing, no temptation to smash the newContinue reading “Love’s Eternal Flame”

Pikachu, Wedding Crasher

Today I went to the most excellent Japanese wedding ever. In addition to the usual Japanese wedding reception elements – the announcements to get out the video cameras because a precious moment was about to happen, the cutting of the plaster cake, the lengthy toasts by bosses and other worthies, the professional-quality video resumes –Continue reading “Pikachu, Wedding Crasher”

Little Red Riding Colonel

In Akihabara, apparently even Colonel Sanders is into cosplay. This is a somewhat homemade-crafty-looking attempt to draw attention to KFC’s current apple pie promotion. Must check my other favorite life-sized Colonel in Hiroo to see how widespread this little costume is! He always dons a Santa suit in December at the Hiroo branch, but I’veContinue reading “Little Red Riding Colonel”

Need. Wooden. Keyboard.

Saw this in the window of a shop at the Aki-Oka artists’ colony under the train tracks in Akihabara. Hacoa specializes in beautiful modern things made of wood: computer stuff (keyboards, mice), iPhone covers, pens and more. If you’d like to visit Aki-Oka Artisan the next time you’re in Tokyo, visit my website, The Tokyo GuideContinue reading “Need. Wooden. Keyboard.”

Personal Size Incinerator

Last night this was: four slices of fish past their eat-by date, a banana peel, three used teabags, two handfuls of soybean pods, an eggshell, and various don’t-look-too-close flotsam caught by the kitchen sink strainer. This morning: dry, crumbly compost, suitable for feeding to your plants or storing until next week when the day rollsContinue reading “Personal Size Incinerator”

Pizza Taco

Sometimes “foreign food” is REALLY foreign in Japan. Like “Mayo Con Beef Tacos.” Or, even more mysterious, “Egg Feeling Tacos.” Basically: Anything in a folded tortilla? It’s a taco! A first I was puzzled by why “pizza” was mentioned – since it seems to be missing from the menu altogether – but I bet they’reContinue reading “Pizza Taco”

Failing at Putting Out The Trash

Foreigners are legendary at garbage fail in Japan, but anxiety about Doing Trash Right runs deep here, even among native-born Nihon-jin. In a Japanese soap opera I watched recently, one housewife mercilessly bullies her neighbor by sneaking The Wrong Kind Of Trash into her bags once they’d been put out at the curb, causing themContinue reading “Failing at Putting Out The Trash”

Canine Dining At The Dog Café!

After cavorting at the Dog Petit Resort Joker, Yoko and I took Fuki and Sala to their favorite Odaiba lunch spot: the Puppies Café. Every table comes equipped with a water dish for the dogs and a canine menu. While we ate indifferent “American style” salads, dogs all around us were dining on gourmet steakContinue reading “Canine Dining At The Dog Café!”

The Most Expensive Bonito Guts I Ever Ate

In case you didn’t immediately recognize the gourmet tidbits in the lovely dishes above, the one on the left is “Shrimp and udo plants dressed with salted and fermented bonito guts” and the one in the center is “Hairy crab and butterbur dressed with egg yolk and vinegar.” This was the auspicious first course inContinue reading “The Most Expensive Bonito Guts I Ever Ate”

Bottle of Dom, Anyone?

Got to bed last night at 2:00 after passively breathing in about two packs-worth of cigarette smoke at a most excellent host club. These days in Kabuki-chō, it’s illegal to smoke out on the street, but inside a club? Fire ‘em up! It was pouring rain and freezing cold outside. I thought it’d be aContinue reading “Bottle of Dom, Anyone?”

Host Club 101

I’m happy to report that the geisha world is alive and well in Kabuki-chō…only these days it’s populated by gorgeous young guys decked out in visual-kei style whose job it is to entertain women like the princesses we wish we were. When I first started researching Fallen Angel, I discovered just how hard it is for a foreigner toContinue reading “Host Club 101”