: It’s super strange to see a map where the center of the world is not Europe, but I guess – it is what it is ..
Hello there !
I’d like to share some strange/paradox things I came across in Japan recently. Nothing too fancy, just enough to make you smile a bit (I hope!)
I think the basic point of considering something funny is the use of English. Correct grammar, correct spelling, but the meaning is chotto…. Not quite as a normal person would have expresses oneself.
Straight tea? But what if I’m gay? Anyway, probably meant no milk-no sugar, the whiskey kind of straight.
Random grandma in Shinjuku giving out leaflets about techno-satan. Beware!
“I shop therefore I rule” or “No more fashion victims” ? I am honestly confused, that’s harder to grasp that schroedinger’s cat
This tea cares about your well-being. Drink and you turn into a princess.
Heavy metal & Love? Hmmm , I sense a paradoxical lyric choice right here
So, I guess having a girlfriend was too hard for these guys..
Hm, not the best name choice for my soap…
Ok, so this just about an upside down poster in the middle of Shibuya. Alternative marketing maybe?
Hair salon “Touch me” – yes, it does sound a bit strange
My clock is broken, I had to be there by 25:00!
Just a blue statue in the middle of a pond in Tokyo University. You know, the usual stuff
-We have to decorate our shinto temple. -Why not use a French wine collection? -Great idea!
Featured Image: Night sea in Kamakura, the foam on top of the waves was glowing with an awesome electric blue hue. No camera could capture that view.
You know, my main goal since I came here, is to try every silly food that exists. It’s the country of infinite possibilities! Also, after a quick experimentation session I decided that (apart from maccha that will always have a special space in my heart and stomach) my favourite flavour is kurogoma(黒ゴマ － black sesame). Subsequently, I started using kurogoma oil in pretty much every dish I cook at home.
Also, I tried to cook a traditional Greek dish with green beans the other day, you know? Ah, didn’t work out well. The beans that I bought at the supermarket had the correct colour, correct shape, correct texture – but they were not the normal green beans! It was soy beans, the ones that Japanese grill and eat while drinking alcohol. You cannot eat the outside part, so my whole dish was ruined, it was a disaster. Meh, they do say that ‘as long as you live, you learn’.
Italian ice cream with 1.sakura, 2.lemon tart flavours from Venus port in Odaiba
coconut biscuits, perfect as an afternoon snack in the lab
Some kind of pork donburi, I really didn’t like it, too much fat in the meat
Caesar salad with avocado and spaghetti with eggplants
meiji maccha cookies – oh my god I’m addicted
Sashimi plate and beers in Aobadai
Tempura in Kamakura. Worth it!
Kit Kat! Top: Rum and Raisins. Bottom: Japanese Sake
Man actually comes from China, but the Japanese love it, so it’s provided in a million different flavours. This is pizzaman.
Ichiryu ramen in shibuya. The first time that I ordered karai-ramen and the dish was actually spicy!
japanese wakashi (traditional sweets) – minimal presentation and balanced flavour
Tabehodai with yakiniku. Pay a certain amount and eat as much as you want for two hours. IT’S PARADISE
First attempt of homemade miso soup – I had no nori so I used green onion and parsley (foreigner fail!)
kurogoma taiyaki, I said it’s my new favourite, right?
Driving schools or mobile companies usually give out those snacks for free. A lot of different flavours, one verdict – untasty
The japanese usually eat grilled soy beans while drinking
guracha snack omiyage from kansai
Red bean paste jelly sweet. Actually, it was fun eating in, with that slimy texture
Vietnamese sween from beans. The texture is powderish and it is not so sweet, but is excellent with tea
pachi pachi paniku! those soda caramels pop in your mouth (oh, and if japanese people give it to you without explaining, the element of surprise at it’s finest)
I found greek chocolate (love you ION) in a lawson!
Abura ramen. In these chain shops every bowl size costs the same. I ordered the biggest and I couldn’t finish it in any way
Takoyaki from the takoyaki museum in odaiba. It even has a tako shrine!
Greek traditional food with green beans and tomato sauce (fasolakia) accompanied by salmon maki sushi
Kurogoma icecream. Such in interesting color selection for icecream!
The famous maccha tiramisu in momiji, Kamakura. If it’s too crowded, you can always buy some takeout dorayaki
Maccha ice cream in Harajukuuuuuu
4 flavoured pizza from pizza hat (not as bad as I expected it to be)
Finally, let’s hear what Yotsuba (from Yotsubato!) has to say about Taiyaki.
I personally conclude that the only reason the taiyaki shop went bankrupt was because of bad management – Taiyaki is soooooo much better than pudding.
What about this week’s stuck song?
Hydrogen Sea – Beating Heart (Always thankful to Suicide Sheep for the music he introduces us to)
[Featured picture: Ookayama campus of TokyoTech]
I just recently moved to Japan, and the only thing that can describe life here is that everyday is completely different (Please read the Yotsubato manga). The people are truly kind, they may not now English at all, but they will do their best to help you.
- The stories about drunk Japanese salary men? True. 2 Parties in my lab and 2 Shibuya night outs later, I realized that the do get drunk easily and that they are super funny with their expensive suits and drunk yelling at the same time.
- The stories about train employees pushing you to get inside the train during rush hour? True. Been there, seen than, not so funny. Luckily, I get of just as soon as that strange custom starts.
- The stories about too many old people here? True. Really large percentage of people over 60. And everyone here is aware of the dropping birth rate problem, they talk about it and seriously try to solve it.
- Discrimination issues? True. I am a Caucasian white woman, I don’t have it as hard as an African or a Vietnamese person, but still, I stand out and the Japanese notice it. For me it’s a good think, because that way I can easily struck up conversations. For many others I agree that can be a bit problematic. As soon as you walk inside a non-tourist izakaya or food place, they will notice you. In my case I made japanese friends that want to get out and have drinks together every week, in order to help them improve their English. Also trust issues. I, a white Caucasian female eventually am more trustworthy than a Vietnamese woman. At the same company, for the same contract, she was asked to deposit money upfront, while I wasn’t.
- English and Japanese knowledge. Yes, Japanese people usually don’t know English, nothing at all. But, they are willing to learn, mostly young people. So, they will try to speak to you in English in order to practice, even if you are speaking to them in Japanese. The bad side: in tourist places like Shibuya, if you look like a foreigner they will ignore you if you speak Japanese. They will try to communicate in English, even if the don’t know how.
- It’s quite difficult to find what you want in the Supermarket. All the labels are usually in Japanese only. JUST GO FOR THE KITKATS. Oh, and it surprised me so much that the ‘International stores’ here are those that sell cheese and other western products.
- It’s the first time that I’ve seen so many people with mental disabilities to actually work and help the community. My previous experience in Europe was not so positive.
- They have actually implemented a system with red, green and red points awarded for every meal at the university campus, in order to encourage young people to eat healthily. Actually, I’ve only noticed a handful of overweight people in japan, they are so conscious about healthy eating habits. (And cleaning and saving energy)
- Most Asian people around here are either married around their 25’s or are going to do it soon. Many of them already have children that want to bring here. One of the first questions to be asked usually is “do you have a husband/wife?” . If not, they will usually try to find you a partner, especially if they are drunk. Some Indian guy even stopped me in the middle of the road to ask me if I have a husband, and after my negative reply he asked me to marry him. So easy!
That’s it for today. I will return soon with more interesting facts.
[Above: View of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi, in Hakone]
Featured Image: From 茶庭 然花抄院(Zenkashoin) @Hikarie Mall in Shibuya. (Top) Roasted tea float (with agar, ice cream and stewed sweet japanese chestnut, (Bottom) Maccha chocolate terrine (from Uji, Kyoto)
Q: What’s an adult’s sweet taste?
Hey there! I moved to Japan about a week ago and everything is SUPER different here! The first big difference: food! As a European, the first time I went to the super market, I didn’t know what to buy, because I didn’t know what all these products were! However, I am getting used to it and I am starting to like japanese food, even though up until now I’ve only tried cheap dishes from the school cafeteria or the convenience store. Of course I have many pictures of landscapes etc. but food has priority. Enjoy the foodporn!
P.S. I would just like to boast about the univ. internet connection. ABSOLUTELY no comparison with my home country.
I am too busy to add captions, but I encourage you to enjoy some exhibits from the Cycladic Art Museum in Athens. There are 4 floors with different themes (Cyclades, ancient Greece, Cyprus, everyday life in ancient Athens). Currently, there is a special exhibition about Cyclades in the ground floor, which explains how and why the cycladic idols where made. The museum cafeteria is also a must!
More info @ cycladic.gr, ongoing competition with #mycyclades
It’s about time to introduce my hometown, Astros, located in Arcadia, GR. A small town near the sea (approx. 2.5k people), close to the capital and ideal for summer. A port, beaches of infinite length, mountains, a lake, a castle, a lighthouse, are these not enough to convince you to come? Here, enjoy an early-spring view of the port and think about visiting us. 🙂
Do you see the castle on the left? Great view, huh?
Pls, someone buy me this boat!
Snowy mountains in the background
View from grandma’s house
… and an update from Athens everyday life, too:
Burritos (con carne and sabroso)+Margueritas @Etnico, Athens
A lovely lady with a turquoise vespa with a sidecar
Song 1: Ex Girlfriend’s Perfume – Run (it’s a local greek band)
Song 2: Belle & Sebastian – Funny Little Frog (eh, not so local ::tongue::)
I know it’s spring, but I want to share some photos from my December trip.
If you ever visit eastern Germany, this road trip is essential!