Today while I was waiting for my watch to be repaired at Seibu Loft, I spent some time browsing the ever-entertaining household product section. I saw these, and my first … Continue Reading Chair Socks
The next time I want to rob a bank (or stay out a little past the advisable bedtime and wake up with dark circles no coverup can hide and hair … Continue Reading Superhero Hats For Bank Robbers
You know you want these! You’ll merely have to hold up one hand to get out of dishwashing and other odious chores. In a boggling bow to sheer impracticality, the contestants … Continue Reading The Edward Scissorhands School of Nail Art
I have no idea what these dried insect skins are supposed to cure, but whatever it is, I hope I never get it! I saw these in the window of … Continue Reading Can I Please Have The Red-Hot Pincers Instead?
The other day I walked to the mailbox on the corner to drop in some letters I hoped would eventually make their way to San Francisco the old-fashioned way. Stopping … Continue Reading My Corner Emailbox
You can’t help but throw your head back and laugh in amazement when fifteen dogs parade by, dressed in Japanese formalwear. In honor of Hina Matsuri (the doll festival that happens … Continue Reading Dogs In Kimonos
Okay, before you step into that steaming pile of sexist doo-doo, why not? Why shouldn’t men be able to cover up that unfortunate red thing between their eyes, or disguise … Continue Reading Makeup for Men: Hell Yeah!
Floating above Shibuya, with the Yamanote Line trains rocketing by, is Miyashita Park, its carvalicious bowls, ledges, rails, ramps and quarter pipes a skater’s dream. Except for…The Rules. Drinking for enjoyment … Continue Reading Half Nakedness Prohibited
Wait, can I call you back? It’s time to kick back with a big bowl of squid ink popcorn for my favorite show: a relaxing half-hour of partial differential equations! … Continue Reading Math TV
Okay, first of all, a dozen black roses to whoever decided women do all the giving on V-Day in Japan. They tried to band-aid over this egregious error by creating … Continue Reading Happy Obligation Day
Saw these advertised outside an izakaya in Ikebukuro last weekend. For your happy hour entertainment: RED EYE: Beer + tomato juice SHANDY GAFF: Beer + ginger ale DOUBLE BERRY: Beer + … Continue Reading Cola Beer and Other Cocktail Delights
Walking through my local Daiei, I thought there was something a little funny about the display in front of the elementary school book bags. Sure enough, the “girl” in the … Continue Reading I Guess They Ran Out of Girl Mannequins
Yes, it’s a Japanese game show that pits teams of quick-witted experts against each other to see who can be more…HONORIFIC! If you’ve ever studied Japanese, you know this isn’t … Continue Reading Politeness Battle Royale
I’ve always wondered how to use eyelid glue. I knew it was a prime tool in the make-up kits of Japanese gyaru seeking that perfect babydoll look, but never understood … Continue Reading How to Glue Your Eyelids
How could I have been so distracted by the gyoza calling to me from the food street in Namco Namja Town that I completely missed the attraction in which you … Continue Reading Mosquito Repellant Battle-O-Rama
Mom was right: if you want to be a successful criminal, avoid joining an organization that might cut off one of your fingers when you make a blunder. This guy … Continue Reading He Should Have Been More Discerning In His Choice of Friends
I was browsing the meat section at my local super the other night, trying to get some inspiration for dinner, when I noticed it must be shirako season. Have to say, … Continue Reading This Will Never Be On My Grocery List
Even weirder than the trend of wearing black rimmed glasses without any lenses is the phenomenon of young Japanese dyeing their hair gray. I’ve seen most of these in Shibuya, … Continue Reading Gray is the New Blonde
If you’re planning to leave a chopped up body in Lake Biwa, you really ought to take better care of your teeth, so the police can’t feature them as a … Continue Reading He Should Have Brushed His Teeth
So…how DO you get a 300 pound frozen tuna back to your shop on the other side of Tokyo if you don’t have a truck? I guess you can’t really … Continue Reading Tuna Messenger
Tired of running back and forth to the nearest alcohol vending machine when it’s time for another round? If you live near this model in Ningyōchō, you’re in luck! It … Continue Reading Partytime Vending Machine
The Eternal Use Virtual Grave fits a peculiar need in Japan. With fewer people marrying and having children, the number of people who are the last in their family lines is increasing. … Continue Reading The Virtual Cemetery
Yep, it’s actually eel-flavored ice cream. With a handy packet of sanshō pepper on top for your take-out dining pleasure! At the Cup Ice Store you can buy individual servings of … Continue Reading I’ll Have the Eel Sundae with Pepper and a Cherry on Top
It’s the time of year when young Japanese women are shopping for their Christmas Eve outfits, and nothing says “romantic holiday” more eloquently than a bright red, fake fur miniskirt. … Continue Reading Fake Fur Santa Miniskirts
In the land where Christmas isn’t a religious or family holiday – it’s actually second only to Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for romantic dates and marriage proposals – “traditions” … Continue Reading Deck the Halls with Blue Poinsettias
This green-haired, sixpack-flaunting, thong-wearing Santa outside an Asakusa pachinko parlor is the most boggling take on the jolly old elf I’ve seen so far this year. • “Without question, the … Continue Reading Thong Santa
Last night I turned on the TV and was instantly entertained by this dating show, which asks unsuspecting foreign men to pick their dream girl from the three alluring choices … Continue Reading Which Of These Guys Would Be YOUR Dream Date?
In the true spirit of the season, here are a couple of jolly Christmas hats that say, “Ho, ho, ho, fork over your wallet, buddy!” and “I’m having such a … Continue Reading Christmas Hats from Hell
We all groaned when the Japanese kanji teacher handed us this week’s schedule: on Friday, in addition to her weekly test on the 25 characters we were supposed to have learned, another teacher … Continue Reading Congratulations! Your Test Has Been Preponed!
For your wintertime beverage enjoyment, behold the Hot Orange. At first I figured the distributor was just getting rid of last summer’s overstock, but the packaging definitely says this vending … Continue Reading Steaming Hot Orange Soda
I’ve seen AED stations all over Japan (and of course applaud the effort to get emergency equipment into the hands of bystanders so they can help someone having a heart … Continue Reading Your One-Stop Shop for Cold Drinks and Heart Defibrillation
While we ‘re on the subject of Christmas in November, every year these sinister nodding dwarves appear outside the Meidi-ya supermarket in Hiroo. They’re definitely of the Snow-White-and-the-Seven variety rather … Continue Reading Elf/Dwarf Confusion
The day after Halloween, I knew it was a bad sign when I heard music in my local supermarket that sounded suspiciously like “The First Noel,” but when I spotted The … Continue Reading Colonel Santa
It’s the season when warm drinks reappear in vending machines all over Japan, offering morning jolts of coffee, black tea, cocoa, green tea and…red bean soup? Yes, it’s time for … Continue Reading Coffee, Tea, or a Shot of Hot Red Beans?
I saw this poster in the window of a esthé salon in Shin Okubo, advertising a facial treatment that supposedly delivers that holy grail of Japanese pulchritude, the “small face.” … Continue Reading Head Shrinking, Japanese Style
Please excuse the wretched low-res phonesnap, but I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures at a typical Halloween bar party in Shibuya. Japanese costume favorites were well represented: boys dressed … Continue Reading Harroween
This is the first time I’ve seen a Japanese subway poster advising people NOT to follow their noblest instincts. Usually the general public is being admonished to silence their cell … Continue Reading No Rescuing Allowed
Yep, it’s the profusely be-wigged, all-Japanese production of Amadeus. • Jonelle Patrick is the author of four novels set in Tokyo…
Yes, those ARE marshmallows joining the pumpkin and red bean paste topping, drizzled with black sesame sauce. I’m sure you’re craving an extra large. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
The friend I went to Tsukiji with this week told me that when she was growing up in Kyushu, the only kind of bacon they ever had at home was … Continue Reading Whale Bacon
In Akihabara, apparently even Colonel Sanders is into cosplay. This is a somewhat homemade-crafty-looking attempt to draw attention to KFC’s current apple pie promotion. Must check my other favorite life-sized … Continue Reading Little Red Riding Colonel
My temporary rental cellphone has an “Interpreter” tool that translates hundreds of useful phrases into English, Chinese or Korean. All the Japanese traveler has to do is search the situation … Continue Reading Phrases Every International Traveler Will Never Need
Picked up a flyer at Loft today for this revolutionary new slimming device, the Boneless Belt Series. Just looking at myself in the mirror while wearing this might make me … Continue Reading What’s this supposed to do? Shame you into shape?
Just because you’re off for a day of enjoyment at the Oedo Onsen hot spring theme park doesn’t mean your dog has to mope around at home. Right next door is … Continue Reading The Hot Spring Resort For Dogs