Monthly Archives: March 2011

To Be Seen and Heard

And here is Mr. Ishita, standing on the corner in the freezing wind, genteelly waving his hand around at the passing cars and pedestrians.

Politicians will woo the city by ‘being seen’ in the early mornings and the afternoons, when everybody is coming from or going to work. They’ll also come around the neighborhood with loud speakers on vans, or camp out with said vans at the trains stations.

So glad my walls are extra sound proof (since I live near the train tracks). Now if only they could block out the sound of my upstairs neighbors….

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Posted by on 31/03/2011 in Functional Things


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Need a Smoke?

The vending machines are open at all hours of the night. Run out cigarettes on the way to work? Stop by a vending machine. Run out of cancer sticks at work? Bum it off a co-worker or go to the closest vending machine.

Seriously, I have seen cars stop, the driver jumping out to examine which type cigarettes are in the machine.

As far as I know, you can’t just buy them (or any kid would be), you need a special card to use the machines (I’m not sure where you get it, I don’t smoke).  That rule might only be for the ones near me.

I remember one time at my university, there were a few Japanese exchange students who were teasing one of their friends for smoking. She was 18, so she was fine smoking in the United States, but if she was in Japan it would be illegal! (Smoking, drinking, gambling and voting age is 21)

(((please excuse the last comment, the age here is 20, my brain apparently died.)))

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Posted by on 30/03/2011 in Functional Things


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Orange Cola and Watermelon Soda

Presented by my husband, we have on the left, Orange Cola Soda. On the right, Watermelon Soda. In a battle of weird tasting drinks….who will be the winner?


The Orange Cola, while it sounds good, actually tastes like a mix of flavors separating into cola and orange. The mix just does not mix.

The Watermelon Soda….just tastes plain weird. Think of a too strong watermelon taste with club soda.

Honestly? I’ll keep drinking my Honey Lemon Fanta. 🙂


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Posted by on 29/03/2011 in Foods


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About the Police…

Helping to direct pedestrians and traffic, here are two of Isesaki’s lovely police women. Yes, they are wearing skirts. No, they don’t wear pants. What you see is what you get…the offical uniform (for women at least, the men don’t wear skirts).

Japanese police are wonderful! Need help finding a place? They’ll help you understand the directions. Just moved in? You’ll find a friendly policeman at the door in the next few days, to meet you and update his knowledge about his neighborhood. English-speaking foreigners moved into your town? Have a cop say hello, and that if anything’s wrong, please call the police, they will contact him and he speaks fluent English.

I feel safe here. 🙂



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Posted by on 28/03/2011 in Functional Things


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Bite the Bomb

Before you is what used to be known as either the land mine or the bomb, based on how big your meat patty was (they switched it to queen and king). Personally, I enjoyed biting into the wasabi cream sauce bomb. Spicy and delicious! There are also garlic butter, cheese (sounds good, but don’t get it) and several other sauces to choose from.

The dish comes to you and the waiter cuts your steak in half, pressing them down onto the sizzling hot plate. To avoid grease splatters, you need to take your place mat and hold it in front of you, which when we first went there we thought was pretty cool (we’ve been there many times since, so now it’s just what we do).

And the name of the restaurant?

The Flying Garden. 🙂


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Posted by on 27/03/2011 in Foods


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Kimono Sighting

I caught this woman waiting for a taxi, dressed in a kimono. Depending on the day, it can be a little unusal to see women wearing them. It could have been for work (some places use them as a type of uniform) or just for something special (like a formal engagment).

Although…sometimes you can catch a pack of elderly ladies, all wearing kimono. The funny part is when one of them has dyed her gray hair purple!

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Posted by on 26/03/2011 in Fun Things!


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Absolutely delicious! The base mix is potato, raw egg, flour, a little bit of green onion and a little bit of ginger. You can choose additional toppings that you want, such as tuna and mayo, shrimp, cheese, natto, and a whole variety of other things! For example, Isaac ordered the tuna and mayo, as well as two other sample sized dishes in a set. The set really distills what okonomiyaki is all about, because the word itself means “grilled things you like.”

Crack an egg over the top, mix with the ingredients then pour and flatten it onto the very hot grill set into the table.

Kinda reminds me of latkes (potato pancakes).

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Posted by on 25/03/2011 in Foods


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