Today I made a very un-Japanese apple pie. Meri Kurisumasu from me to you, on this winter day! • Read a novel set in Tokyo
Lines stretch around the block at every KFC in Tokyo on Christmas Eve, as household minions are dispatched to pick up the traditional holiday fare, but this year they have a … Continue Reading Traditional KFC Christmas Dinner, Now With Seaweed!
Gourmet food trucks: sooo last year! Bring on the cocktail truck! What could be more festive than a van dispensing libations to thirsty holiday shoppers on the streets of Shibuya? … Continue Reading The Cocktail Truck
I’d have to say that going on a two-day bus tour to the Ise Shrine has to rank right up there with staying overnight at a comic book café and … Continue Reading The Japanese Bus Tour: A Cultural Experience of Epic Proportions
If you can’t lie face down on the rug, the train station platform is the next best thing. And at least at Korakuen Station, you can pass out on a … Continue Reading Why, Japan, Why?
In Japan, sadly, one of the most classic ways to say, “Goodbye, cruel world” is to throw oneself in front of a train. But this not only traumatizes your family … Continue Reading Are Meguro Line Sardines Really More Depressed Than Toyoko Line Sardines?
Wandering the grounds at Hikone Castle, I came across this curious little box on a post. It had cards, it had a writing shelf, it had a slot for depositing … Continue Reading Break Glass In Case Of Poetry
Naturally I considered all the deadly possibilities when I was working on the plot for Idolmaker, but I hope you won’t be disappointed if I reveal that the murder weapon … Continue Reading Murder, J-Style!
Nork, Nork, come here! I found a box of earthling foodstuff! See? Universal Translator says it’s a “banana fruit.” No, Derp, you dope. A Diamond Banana is made of pure … Continue Reading Aliens Analyze Japanese Condom Packaging
I guess all over the world, little islands of warmth and light attract the nighthawks for a cuppa and some companionship. I chanced across this Hopper-esque scene while taking pictures … Continue Reading Tokyo Nighthawks
After putting in a long day destroying Tokyo, Godzilla and his fellow kaiju can take a short stroll to Chiba and order their whisky & sodas at the Katsuura fish market, where … Continue Reading Godzilla’s Ice Cube
Weather reports in Japan are far more useful than weather reports where I come from: they tell you whether you ought to do laundry or not. Because few people have … Continue Reading Rain, With A Chance Of Laundry
The baggage sling under the stroller belonging to the family I saw on the train the other day wasn’t carrying diapers or baby food or extra clothes or toys. Just … Continue Reading Emergency Parenting Supplies
OMG. Did we order THAT? We did. I didn’t expect the Cream Puff Tower to be so…towering Or feature so many tiny pirate swords. How do … Continue Reading Try Eating THIS After Three Beers
Okay, this sign actually reads “Don’t Give Food To The Pigeons!” but it goes on to give a rather elaborate rationale for withholding bread crumbs from the little beggars. It … Continue Reading Pooping On Laundry Prohibited!
Check this out. I totally have the cleanest trash in all the land. If I lived in America, (this would be some weird parallel universe America that has the same … Continue Reading My Beautiful Handwashed Trash
See those guys in blue uniforms? Their job is to stand there like human bollards until the massive crush dies down, making sure the mob getting off the inhumanly packed … Continue Reading Wanted: Human Shield And Occasional Apologizer
Yessiree, right now, every train station and airport is thronged with flocks of schoolkids, going on class trips to distant educational hot spots! Peak season for these multi-day Educational Experiences … Continue Reading It’s Raining Schoolkids!
Required apparel for all oddjobs. • Read a novel set in Tokyo
Yes, it would appear that all over the world, people are people, and cats are cats. I recently went to the Calico Cat Cafe in Shinjuku with two of my … Continue Reading More Heart-Stopping Thrills At The Cat Café
I usually try not to bother my blog readers with news about my books, but WOO HOO, the second book in my Only In Tokyo mystery series is coming out … Continue Reading Love Hotels, Host Clubs & Deadly Family Secrets!
When I first moved to my neighborhood, I marveled at how the commuter bikes near my train station were all lined up at a perfect 30 degree angle, with no … Continue Reading Bike Parking Vigilantes
So you get to the Ginza Mitsukoshi department store food hall bright and early to nab a coveted bunch of First Grapes Of The Season before they’re sold out, then … Continue Reading Shop ‘n Chill
Ooo, looky, looky, a new kind of manjū! Why didn’t anybody ever think of this before? Gooey sweet mochi folded around fresh strawberries and chocolate! Yu-u-u-u-u-u-u-m! Oh no! Aieeee! How long … Continue Reading It’s A Trap
Madame, your toilet is served! When you’ve finally made it to the head of the line in the ladies room at Maihama Station, this nifty light-up board discreetly tells you … Continue Reading Toilet Butler
It looks like an apartment building. It is an apartment building. But up on the 7th floor, there’s a secret restaurant that opens its doors to serve only one table … Continue Reading I Could Show You How To Get To This Secret Restaurant, But Then I Would Have To Kill You
So, remember my shock and amazement when I discovered how Japanese streets clean themselves without benefit of municipal street sweepers? Well guess what? – that’s how they shovel and plow … Continue Reading Snow That…Shovels Itself?
Nooooo! How could it be Monday morning already? If I hide my head under the pillow, will it go away? Ugh, even through the pillow, I can hear the rain. … Continue Reading Stealth Holidays Of Japan
What is with you people?! It says right here, RIGHT ON THE RECYCLING BIN, in the kind of phonetic letters ANY SIX-YEAR-OLD should be able to handle: P A P … Continue Reading Just Try To Toss Your Round Garbage Into My Square Garbage Bin NOW!
Um, and just what kind of emergencies ARE they saving this road for? A plague of toads? A horde of locusts? Virulent sunspots? Attack from the planet Krypton? An infestation … Continue Reading The Quasi-Emergency Road
I’m walking down the little shopping street in my neighborhood on my way to catch the train and I see something weird in the gutter up ahead. What is that, … Continue Reading Streets That…Clean Themselves?
No smoking on the train platform. No smoking on the street. No smoking at the construction site. No smoking in the boss’s truck. Damn, what’s a guy to do when the … Continue Reading Pop-Up Man Cave
Although they fail to mention it in the operating instructions, this convenient Japanese appliance makes a perfect cuppa tea and also doubles as a Weapon of Mass Cockroach Destruction! This … Continue Reading For All Your Tea-Brewing and Cockroach-Annihilating Needs
Which would you rather fight, one horse-sized cockroach or a hundred cockroach-sized horses? Before I had a chance to answer that burning question, heart attack on toast! Horse-sized cockroach scuttles out of … Continue Reading Hating On Japanese Bugs, Round II
Maybe it’s because we’d just finished watching The Matrix, and the post-movie izakaya conversation is all about comparing the worldview of the Wachowski Bros to the Buddhist concept that all … Continue Reading Try Not To Think About The Sizzling Fish Brain
You know how in America some serious steak restaurants have honkin’ big showcases of marbled beef displayed near the front door? Well, this is the equivalent come-hither to dine at … Continue Reading The Fish Bone Restaurant
I was standing on my train home the other night, idly trying to read the ad on the doors and swaying with the six other people occupying my square meter … Continue Reading Suddenly Cursed With X-Ray Vision!
The Spitfire demon’s evil twin has donned a suit and volunteered to show commuters what not to do on Japanese trains. Hint #1: Do not bully schoolboys about their pink … Continue Reading What Not To Do On Japanese Trains
I paused while walking through Jiyugaoka recently to check out the offerings at this little sidewalk shrine to a pair of Jizo-samas. I understand how the gods might want a … Continue Reading Stalker Of The Gods
I had to stop and count the zeros, because I can honestly say that even in Japan, I’ve never seen a number of that size attached to a piece of … Continue Reading Special today! $300 Mushrooms!
I spotted the Headless Horseman’s Younger Sister out at the curb last Friday on Recyclable Trash Day among the ho-hum bags of beer cans, plastic water bottles and onesie-twosie hard liquor … Continue Reading Is It Headless Character Trash Day Yet?
Look, another missive from my favorite street artist/philosopher! This one’s a bit dark, innit? “Every time I hear the news that someone has been killed, I vow to live each … Continue Reading Another Cryptic Message From The Guerilla Philosopher
San Francisco does not have bugs. Japan has bugs. No, make that Bugs – You Know The Difference. I HATE bugs. Especially: see above. Here they’re called gokiburi, but a cockroach … Continue Reading Hating On Japanese Bugs
It looked like a mild-mannered plate of spaghetti, but it was PURE EVIL. I was halfway through this cherry tomato carbonara, when I realized those delightful crunchy bits I was … Continue Reading Garlic Emergency!
It was 2:30 in the morning on a rainy Shibuya night. Not a cab in sight. And if there had been, chances are, one of the hundreds of other people … Continue Reading Sleepover at the Comic Book Cafe
…is because instead of Chevy vans, they have Chevy bikes. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Summer’s here, and if you don’t want to be propositioned by every mutt in the dog run, smart pooches say, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” with a pair of … Continue Reading Doggie Shades
This is the most famous skatedog in Yoyogi Park. (Yeah, there’s more than one!) Most of them just sort of ride, with all four feet on the board, but this … Continue Reading Skate Beagle
I guess that only leaves the namby-pamby souls destined to spend several millennia in Purgatory… • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
This time of year, I don’t have to check the weather report to find out if I might need an umbrella, because the answer is always at least 40% yes. … Continue Reading Umbrella Vacuum