Tonight I had Okinawan umibudō and I think I’m in love. “Sea grapes” are little stalks of bubbly seaweed dipped in soy-vinegar sauce, served with smoky shaved bonito and a little … Continue Reading Edible Bubble Wrap
Last night this was: four slices of fish past their eat-by date, a banana peel, three used teabags, two handfuls of soybean pods, an eggshell, and various don’t-look-too-close flotsam caught … Continue Reading Personal Size Incinerator
There’s nothing that screams “traditional summertime festival” like a yukata printed with chains and camouflage, accessorized with a pink obi and porkpie hat. • Read a novel set in Tokyo … Continue Reading Say It With Camouflage
Sometimes “foreign food” is REALLY foreign in Japan. Like “Mayo Con Beef Tacos.” Or, even more mysterious, “Egg Feeling Tacos.” Basically: Anything in a folded tortilla? It’s a taco! A … Continue Reading Pizza Taco
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
I couldn’t have made this up if I tried. • Jonelle Patrick is the author of four novels set in Tokyo… …or watch the book trailer (0:52)
Cicadas. A seasonal fixture of Japan so relentless that centuries of haiku masters had only to mention the word to conjure up all the steamy lethargy of summertime. If you’ve … Continue Reading Flying Bugs As Big As Your…
Used to be that Japanese people kept cool in the summer by hanging little bells that rang in the barest breeze, gazing at goldfish in clear globes, and listening to … Continue Reading Winter In A Can
Foreigners are legendary at garbage fail in Japan, but anxiety about Doing Trash Right runs deep here, even among native-born Nihon-jin. In a Japanese soap opera I watched recently, one … Continue Reading Failing at Putting Out The Trash
Good morning from the civilized land of gum syrup! No more painfully sweet strawfuls of grit at the bottom of my iced coffee! • Jonelle Patrick is the author of … Continue Reading Gum Syrup Goodness
You too can look like Shō from Alice Nine in this handsome ¥109,200 crucifix motif shorts suit. Don’t forget to accessorize with purple leopard leggings. • Read a mystery set in … Continue Reading For only $1400…
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?
Saw this new kind of cigarette in a vending machine today. You crush the x-marks-the-spot “ice ball” before lighting up and get a righteous hit of menthol with your nicotine. … Continue Reading Ice Ball Smokes
After cavorting at the Dog Petit Resort Joker, Yoko and I took Fuki and Sala to their favorite Odaiba lunch spot: the Puppies Café. Every table comes equipped with a … Continue Reading Canine Dining At The Dog Café!
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
Um, that would be “brand” as in “home on the range,” not as in “Louis Vuitton,” in case you were wondering which kanji character was used for the “Jesus Brand … Continue Reading Black Rage Of Satan Pizza & Other Delicacies
In case you didn’t immediately recognize the gourmet tidbits in the lovely dishes above, the one on the left is “Shrimp and udo plants dressed with salted and fermented bonito … Continue Reading The Most Expensive Bonito Guts I Ever Ate
Today I walked around Kabuki-chō, taking pictures of where hosts and hostesses and other mizu shōbai workers eat, shop, and relax. From eats to entertainment, the district really does serve up … Continue Reading Everything Over Rice
Got to bed last night at 2:00 after passively breathing in about two packs-worth of cigarette smoke at a most excellent host club. These days in Kabuki-chō, it’s illegal to … Continue Reading Bottle of Dom, Anyone?
Tonight my friend Ayumi and I odori-ed ourselves to happy exhaustion with the fangirls at the Shibuya O-West. It was the annual visual kei Zany Zap Summit, and it did … Continue Reading Dancing with the Fangirlz
Now any kid can whip up sushi rolls that look like Anpan Man’s face after school. Saw these in the toy section of the Labi electronics megastore in Ikebukuro today. If you’d … Continue Reading Make Your Own Sushi With Faces!
I’m happy to report that the geisha world is alive and well in Kabuki-chō…only these days it’s populated by gorgeous young guys decked out in visual-kei style whose job it is to entertain women … Continue Reading Host Club 101
Not many Lolitas gather at the Meiji shrine bridge anymore, but I saw a couple there today. One of the things I love about the whole Lolita subculture is that … Continue Reading Baby, The Stars Shine Bright
Tonight I saw Duel Jewel at the Liquidroom in Ebisu, a ‘live house’ with standing room for about 400. The band is a classic example of visual kei: glam metal overlaid with … Continue Reading Boyz in Pink Hair and Eyeliner
From August 16th on, I’ll try to find one new thing every day that I couldn’t see/hear/eat/experience outside of Japan. Between now and the 16th, I’m going to post a … Continue Reading Every Day, One New Thing