Category Archives: Just another day in Japan

November 11

Gateway To Chrysanthemum Bliss?

Okay, what do you think THIS floral designer got in trouble for drawing in the margins of his schoolbooks…? If I’d come in through this portal, I might never have made it to the annual Shinjuku National Garden chrysanthemum displays, because I’d have died laughing, so it’s a good thing I entered from the other […]

November 07

Remote Control Hell At The Traditional Inn

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 specialties, but when I got to my room I found…this.   I mean, what the heckin’ heck? Five remotes to control a tatami-floored room at […]

June 26

Funeral For A…What?

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 funerals is going down, so they’re branching out into…pet funerals. Yes, for about $350, you can have a real priest chant real sutras over your […]

March 18

Jobs I Do Not Want To Have When I Grow Up

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 windbreaker, picking up soggy cigarette butts with industrial-sized tongs. • Jonelle Patrick tries to avoid all gainful employment by writing novels set in Tokyo When Detective […]

February 25

Things I Never Envisioned Myself Owning

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 off: the fact that I actually went out and bought this is a testament to the truth that no toilet seat is as cold as […]

January 06

More Hilarious Haiku About The Small Mysteries Of Modern Life

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 you who (like me) are not exactly goddess-like at reading handwritten Japanese, here are a few choice ones in translation! May it perk up your […]

December 27

Are Ya Feelin’ Lucky?

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 challenged, and visiting your closest shrine would involve a butt-numbing plane flight, here are some dai-kichi (best luck ever) fortunes you can toss into a […]