Category Archives: Just another day in Japan

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 […]

November 19

Instabae

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 it. But even though they did a pretty decent job of selling orange as the new amber, this team gets a certain number of #instabae […]