Category Archives: Why, Japan, Why?

April 04

Can Foreigners Get Into A Host Club?

It’s possible, but it it’s not quite as simple as walking up to the doorman and asking to come in. Why? Isn’t my money as good as the next girl’s? Well, for starters, there’s a bit of a language issue. While there might be a few hosts who speak languages other than Japanese, most guys […]

February 14

Why Do Only Men Get Chocolate On Valentine’s Day?

So, you know how in Japan, women don’t get any chocolate or roses or 600 carat diamond necklaces on Valentines Day? On the contrary, they’re supposed to fork over chocolate to men, even male co-workers who might erroneously take it as a sign that the woman wishes to receive the gift of sexual harassment in […]

January 18

Garbage Police Of The Gods

Don’t even think of tossing your Daruma figures, dolls or stuffed animals in the Divine Trash Bin! The very existence of this sign on the collection point outside the Meiji Shrine suggests there’s a major issue with people chronically flinging the Wrong Sort Of Stuff into the sacred  New Year’s bonfires: grubby Pikachus, dolls that have […]

October 07

King Of Tattoo Returns!

The King Of Tattoo ink-o-rama is going on all weekend here in Tokyo, and this year the artists and crowd were even more spectacular than last year’s extravaganza! Nearly all the attendees – both men and women – had art over more than 50% of their bodies, and a lot of it was of subject matter […]

September 24

Is It Headless Character Trash Day Yet?

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 empties. The Garbage Powers That Be evidently decided that this cranium-challenged miss was made of suspiciously unrecyclable plastic, because she was still standing there when […]

June 29

The Scene Of The Crime

I get to Shibuya Station a little early to meet a friend, and suddenly I’m so hungry I think I’m going to die. Whipping inside the handy Tokyu store, I buy a miniature bag of chocolate cookies to wolf down before my friend arrives. Nom, nom, whew, ravenous feeling assuaged. Oh no, unanticipated pitfall! Now […]

June 04

Tattoo Disguise

From this display at a trendy shop near Nakano Broadway, you’d think there was an epidemic of tennis elbow going around the yanqi-ish young men prone to wearing leopard fur accessories and clothing emblazoned with Our Lady of Rude Kustoms. In fact, this particular demographic tends to have something to hide, especially in summertime. Tattoos. During […]