Category Archives: Just another day in Japan

January 08

Dogs In Kimonos: Shiba Edition!

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 Forest and refusing to budge until even the tiniest hint of humiliating costumery is removed, but the noble beasts I caught making their first shrine […]

December 30

How To Survive New Year’s In Japan

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 you embarrassing essentials or feed you in a pinch, because everything – and I do mean everything – shuts down from December 31 to January […]

November 11

Gateway To Chrysanthemum Bliss?

  “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 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 […]

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 […]