Category Archives: Why, Japan, Why?

November 13

Stars Wars X Christmas Mash-up NOOOOOO

I love chocolate. And I love mushrooms. But not together. Which is why, even if these displays hadn’t reared their blatantly commercial heads on the freakin’ day after Halloween, it will always be #toosoon for this logo-bedizened Star Wars X Christmas mash-up. I mean, except for the tannenbaum-ish shape, I think you’ll agree that there […]

November 08

One Fried Noodle Sandwich, Please

From the land that junk food shame forgot, this. A yakisoba sandwich is basically the Japanese equivalent of cold pizza for breakfast, on a bun. This is what frugal Japanese fry up for breakfast if one of their fridge leftovers happens to be noodles, so it was rare to find this homely item for sale […]

September 04

I Saw Another New Wild Animal In Tokyo!

There I was, drinking in the serene green at the Kiyosumi Garden… …when I nearly stepped on this. It’s (weirdly) classified as “invasive” (because China) and “threatened.” Which shouldn’t surprised me, after hearing what Japanese visitors talk about at the aquarium. In these here parts, this unlikely snack is better known as suppon. • When not […]

August 28

The Tool For All Your Chrome-plated Outdoor Needs

The must be the tool you’d need when pulling into the glamping spot in your pristine 4-wheel drive, to, I dunno…shovel a few more steaks onto the barbie? Return your cocktail garnishes to the earth from whence they came? Bury bodies above your pay grade? • Are you as delighted by all things Japan as […]

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. […]

April 01

The Scourge Of The Orange Jacket

Okay, I know you think I’m a whiner because I went off on this guy wearing an orange jacket, sitting right in the middle of a shot I wanted to take during cherry blossom season at Shinjuku Gyōen. I mean, one guy, minding his own business – so what if his head’s inside his phone […]

March 05

Soft Drink Flavors I Do Not Want To Try

This yogurt-banana mash-up surfs in on the enduring popularity of the local favorite soft drink, Calpis, which inexplicably established sweetened sour milk as a delightful flavor in Japan. Peach Coke is just a blatant season grab. Here, eating “seasonal” fruits and vegetables delivers wave after wave of short-term binge buying on the part of consumers, […]