Category Archives: Just another day in Japan

November 20

The Shrine Maiden Vending Machine

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 animatronic shrine maiden, who fetches if from the inner precincts and deposits it in the offering box for your future-divining pleasure. If you’d like to […]

October 15

This Year’s Burning October Question: What’s The Peeing Statue Wearing For Halloween?

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 what he’s going to be for Halloween. But…huh? As you can see, “witch” costumes in Japan are subject to the same considerable creative interpretation that has […]

October 13

Typhoon Aftermath

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 went out to take a look at one of the places that had been evacuated – a neighborhood next to the Tama River. The top […]

October 11

In Which We Report On Being Hammered By Typhoon Hagibis In Tokyo

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 cooking or refrigeration. Meanwhile, at National Azabu (the “foreign foods” supermarket): Business as usual (except with rather more wine bottles in the baskets ahead of […]

August 04

Rice Field Art

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 some of their fields in different strains of rice. The only problem is, in order to even see what the picture is of, you have […]

July 20

Viva la Revolućion…Diva Style

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 parts of men with iconic beards and legendary moustaches. Their current musical production features everyone’s favorite Cuban revolotionary, who rocks the glam eye makeup a […]

July 10

Nemesis, Thy Name Is Squid Guts

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  (yet always-delivered) “beer snack.” Just my luck, it was my most un-favorite appetizer. Squid guts. All right. Ugh. Don’t be That Foreigner. Get it over with. […]