Those of us who’ve been under quarantine for a month have stood in enough lines by now that we’ve probably got a pretty good eye for the “six foot” (two … Continue Reading How To Measure Social Distance, J-Style
Elderly uncle buying sake. Do I really have to Check his ID? • This odd store. I’ve never seen a customer here, Yet, it survives. • The forecast changes To … Continue Reading More Haiku Musings On The Ironies Of Modern Life
As the old year draws to a close (and we say good riddance to all that was disappointing and discouraging), and a new year is about to begin (along with … Continue Reading The One Word Saint
Are ya feelin’ lucky? Because this vending machine dispenses fortunes, just like the ones you can buy at Japanese shrines! But that’s not all – it’s delivered by a little … Continue Reading The Shrine Maiden Vending Machine
I had to go check to make sure that the best-dressed nude statue in Tokyo made it through the typhoon safely. And he did! Not only that, he already knows … Continue Reading This Year’s Burning October Question: What’s The Peeing Statue Wearing For Halloween?
Today when I woke up, it was hot and sunny. It didn’t seem possible that twelve hours ago, the biggest typhoon in sixty years was raging through Tokyo. So I … Continue Reading Typhoon Aftermath
FRIDAY Pre-typhoon festivities: At Meidi-ya (the swanky “Japanese” supermarket): Lines fifteen deep with bulging baskets as every Japanese person in my neighborhood panic-buys foods that still qualify as gourmet without … Continue Reading In Which We Report On Being Hammered By Typhoon Hagibis In Tokyo
In what has to be the weirdest creative medium next to the Seed Art Pavilion at the Minnesosta State Fair, Japanese farmers have taken to making large-scale art by planting … Continue Reading Rice Field Art
I’ve got to hand it to the fearless players of Takurazuka – they might be the only women in the world who regularly get up on stage and play the … Continue Reading Viva la Revolućion…Diva Style
I was in Kamakura today, happily waiting for the arrival of my sesame soba and a mountain of crispy burdock root… …when they delivered my beer along with the usual unwanted … Continue Reading Nemesis, Thy Name Is Squid Guts
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 … Continue Reading How Superheros Find Their Perfect Match
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 … Continue Reading Subway Manners…For Ghosts
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 … Continue Reading The Scourge Of The Orange Jacket
…this. • When not craving sushi delivery, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo
The only thing in all of Japan that might be cuter than huskies in kimonos is a parade of shiba inus in kimono. Shibas are well-known for making like the Petrified … Continue Reading Dogs In Kimonos: Shiba Edition!
Seriously. The fear is real. New Year’s is one of those times in Japan when it’s a real liability to be thousands of miles away from people who might loan … Continue Reading How To Survive New Year’s In Japan
“I just couldn’t put it down…a ‘must read’.” Okay, what do you think THIS floral designer got in trouble for drawing in the margins of his schoolbooks…? If I’d come … Continue Reading Gateway To Chrysanthemum Bliss?
On Tuesday I arrived at a fabulous onsen in Tateshima, expecting to simmer in their hot spring, gaze at splendid autumn leaves in luxurious quietude, and stuff myself with regional … Continue Reading Remote Control Hell At The Traditional Inn
So, I was walking through the stately Ikegami Hongan-ji temple grounds this spring, and I saw this sign. I guess with the shrinking population and all, the number of regular … Continue Reading Funeral For A…What?
Walking back from the Nezu Museum this week, I was crossing the street behind this official government worker. Yes, his job is to walk around my neighborhood in a flourescent yellow … Continue Reading Jobs I Do Not Want To Have When I Grow Up
Yes, it’s exactly what it looks like. A fuzzy green polka-dot toilet seat cover. Because Japan delivers a whole new level of hurt to the concept of freezing your butt … Continue Reading Things I Never Envisioned Myself Owning
I know you’ve just been WAITING for more amusing observations and subtly ironic drawings about modern life from Yamada Zenjido (the artist who goes by y_haiku), so for those of … Continue Reading More Hilarious Haiku About The Small Mysteries Of Modern Life
Ah, New Year’s, when everyone in Japan visits their local kami-sama for the first time and gets a glimpse of their fortune for the coming year! But if you’re geographically … Continue Reading Are Ya Feelin’ Lucky?
That’s what you call this in Japan. It’s an experience that looks way better shared on social media than in real life. But I gotta say, Japan is genius at … Continue Reading Instabae
In the land where nannies are nearly as scarce as chimney sweeps, this all-Japanese celebration of bygone British privilege is about to hit the stage. It’s too bad they don’t … Continue Reading Poppins-san
This insidious Halloween snowman’s got a world-class #xmasmissioncreep game going on, but I’m going to choose not to be reminded that the Japanese Christmas glitter bomb is poised to hit us … Continue Reading Hallowrong
• @seishonagon A latecomer pushes in front of you at a festival and holds up his huge ipad to take pictures #hatefulthings @seishonagon Someone wearing a bright orange jacket is … Continue Reading Modern Day Tweets From The Pillow Book
Who can say they never clutched the fence at their local zoo’s lemur exhibit and didn’t long to sneak over the top just for a few minutes (or, okay, in … Continue Reading Mobbed By Lemurs At The Exotic Animal Petting Zoo!
The Giant Gundam is finally back! And it does not disappoint! I was super sad when I heard that the old giant robot outside the DiverCity shopping mall in Odaiba … Continue Reading Giant Gundam Is BACK!
It’s not often that I walk through an art show where each piece is more surprising and delightful than the last, but Jason Freeny’s “Plastic Surgeon” exhibit at the Megumi … Continue Reading The Secret Innards Of The Catbus And Other Shocking Revelations
Last week I discovered Yamada Zenjido, an artist who pens haiku-like truisms paired with pitch-perfect drawings, and they are SO FUNNY…if you can read handwritten Japanese, that is. Fortunately, I … Continue Reading Hilarious Haiku About The Small Embarrassments Of Modern Life
So, everyone knows you can get kicked out of hot springs, public swimming pools, and water parks in Japan if you’ve got visible ink, even if it’s a teeny, tiny, … Continue Reading Why Are Tattoos Still Taboo In Japan? (Spoiler: It’s not because they think you’re a gangster)
I have to admit I was just the teensiest bit disappointed that the bowling salon actually only offers, well, bowling. I was all ready to sign up for “Mani-Pedi & … Continue Reading The Bowling Salon
Because what nuptial event could possibly be complete without… • Read a novel set in Tokyo
But isn’t this the best fire escape EVER? I mean, it’s a SLIDE. (And a fast one too. I know. I was a childhood slide junkie.) If I lived here, I’d … Continue Reading I Never Thought I’d Be Excited About A Fire Escape
Kawanabe Kyosai. He’d have had the best instagram ever. Of course, these are just a small appetizer – the show is HUGE, and so full of great stuff, it took me … Continue Reading Why I’d Totally Follow This Guy’s Instagram If He Hadn’t Died In 1889
It’s always reassuring to know that the Tokyo subways are state-of-the-art. • Read a novel set in Tokyo
High on top of a snowy mountain in Chichibu – so far from any train station that you’ll be eligible for a senior citizen discount by the time you get … Continue Reading The Werewolf Shrine
I have to admit, I was powerless to resist going to a thing where hundreds of people dressed more or less as cats pranced down the street, some of them raucously performing musical … Continue Reading At The Crazy Cat Parade
Inside this telephone booth of yore lies the Miroku Stone. For hundreds of years (since the time of the venerable Kobo Daishi*) it has been known that if a virtuous … Continue Reading In Which An 8th Century Monk Trolls Us All
It was the last day of the DMM Planets attraction out in Odaiba today, but if you missed your chance to roll up your pants & wade around in a cloud-like sea of … Continue Reading Wading Through A Sea Of Stars & Flowers
I have a confession to make. Although my job is to write about ingenious ways people commit murder and mayhem, when it comes to obsessing about how I’d commit the perfect crime, … Continue Reading Hydrangeas: Gateway To A Life Of Crime
In Japan, neko and temples go together like fish guts and beer, and every graveyard attracts a cadre of cats to guard the departed. At first I tried not to think about what … Continue Reading Temple Cats, With Attitude
Sometimes you’re trudging home and dreading getting on a crowded train, then you find THIS! How great is it that they have a peeing boy statue smack in the middle … Continue Reading The Best Dressed Nude Statue In All Of Tokyo
Because seriously, unless you were raised by Mechagodzilla, how could you not know that headbutting a station employee, grabbing him by his necktie and drunk-pitching your beer in his face are not exactly … Continue Reading Subway Manners…For Aliens
Because even the construction cones… • Although she’s occasionally AWOL near Mt. Fuji, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo “A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, … Continue Reading How To Tell You’re Near Mt. Fuji
If I were Queen Of The World, there would be a Japanese Complaints Choir* and they would sing about this. If anyone’s ever invented a more feeble excuse for a … Continue Reading Every Japanese Room I’ve Ever Lived In
I’d heard about the Boroichi Flea Market for ages, but never made it to one until today. Yikes, it filled every street and alleyway for BLOCKS! In classic flea market style, there … Continue Reading Setagaya Boroichi: The Grand Pooh-bah Of All Flea Markets
The kopi luwat civet poops coffee. Or, to be more precise, it climbs to the top of coffee trees, eats the ripest beans, digests the fruity bits around the seed and, … Continue Reading How About A Nice Cup Of Civet Poop Coffee?
I was cutting through my favorite crazy pet store in Odaiba, when I spotted what I thought was a deli counter where pet owners who had become famished while stocking up on camouflage dog strollers … Continue Reading The Deli For Dogs