Category Archives: Why, Japan, Why?

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 […]

October 19

November Can’t Come Too Soon

Somehow, charcoal-flavored cocoa is a vice I’ve managed to avoid acquiring until now, and I feel it’s in my best interests to keep it that way…. • When not avoiding parallel universes where chocolate and charcoal are a desirable combination, Jonelle Patrick writes  novels set in Tokyo…

September 22

Failed Rock Gardens Of Japan

Nobody’s going to deny that rock gardens are one of the great art forms of Japan. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy an exquisitely designed miniature landscape of meticulously raked gravel… …swirling around a few mindfully placed boulders? Plus, compared to even your most basic Japanese garden, they’re really low-maintenance. I mean, once you plant a […]

April 24

Japanese Invent A New Way For VIP Visits To Annoy The Populace

You know how it goes when a VIP comes to town: streets unexpectedly blocked, swarms of shifty-eyed men in dark suits with little curly wires in their ears, cavalcades of unnecessarily long dark cars swanning through the streets? Annoying, right? Well, in Japan, everybody takes the subway, so you’d think these irritating VIP visits would be […]

December 14

At The Ise Shrine, Everything New Is Old

The god of rice’s building at the Ise Shrine sits next to a vacant lot. Or, actually, a construction site. Because every twenty years, a replica of the rice god’s shrine is lovingly built right next door. In the twentieth year, the god of rice is moved from the old shrine to the new, and […]

June 15

My Beautiful Handwashed Trash

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 insane garbage rules as Japan, which require that recyclables be CLEAN before they are put out for collection on the appointed day), I’d have put […]

April 24

What’s With The Tiny Door?

Wow, people were totally troll-size back in the days before homogenized vitamin D milk! Check out the tiny gate in this old wall! No, wait. Then why is there an eensy-weensy gate next to the car entrance at this temple in Daimon? It was built after the war, when hamburgers and milk had already invaded […]