4.26.2012

Robocop Sold Out




Wow, I never knew Robocop stored Japanese cockroach spray in his leg-holster! Looks like he also was a paid spokes-cyborg for UFO instant yakisoba. While I thought he was protecting the poor citizens of Detroit, he was making the big yen over in Japan during the Bubble.

Robocop bug-spray commercial (youtube)

4.25.2012

Fairy Toilet

Something about the architecture of this public toilet in a park near Yushima reminds me of fairy tales. Maybe it's the pointed roof. I kind of imagine a stinky version of Pinocchio or Rapunzel living inside of here.

4.24.2012

Coffee and Raisin Bread

I am fascinated and scared by this little coffee shop. Or rather, coffee and budoupan shop. It's called Maitsuru, or dancing stork. The fascination stems from the combination of the English word for coffee, instead of the katakana kohi, with the Japanese word for raisin bread (budoupan). I am scared because the bread display in the window looks like it was put out there a few decades ago.

4.23.2012

No Parking

This cute little cop is raising his hand as if to say "stop," but this a no parking sign. So why isn't he crossing his arms, the gesture for "dame! (don't do it!)" that everyone understands in Japan? Another mystery that will probably remain unsolved.

Add that to the mystery of the holes in his ears and his missing left hand.

4.21.2012

Stylin'




















You might think this sign is for a beauty parlor, and you wouldn't be exactly wrong. I didn't go inside and ask about their typical clientele; the description translates as "Mens Hair and Makeup." If that's the case, I say the the three heads at the top can go in, but the chick with a devilish goatee and the androgynous New Waver have to leave. 

4.20.2012

Parks Rule!



These rules are posted at the small parks near my office. No baseball, no fireworks, etc. The sign at the top asks people to keep their dogs on a leash. That rule isn't on the bottom sign, though. As you can see, the girl that tagged the house with graffiti (which is not allowed) has her dog running free. Or maybe it's just a stray. 

4.17.2012

Astroboy?


That is one bizarre haircut for a middle-aged man in a suit. Does this guy think he is Astroboy

4.12.2012

Orange You Gere-san?




















I am a fan of many things that end in the letters "gina." So I am glad that Orangina is finally available in Japan. I find it odd, though, that Richard Gere was chosen for the ad campaign for several reasons. First, he is not French, but the text in the ad seems to refer that he is using the word "Monsieur." Second, he is dressed as the vagabond character Tora-san, from the Otoko wa tsurai yo series of films, and I don't see the connection there. Third, if you believe the long-standing rumors about Gere, he is not a fan of things that end in the letters "gina," orange-flavored or otherwise.

4.11.2012

New Thought

Does the sun ever get bored doing the same thing every day?

The sun gives us life. Does it care?

The sun is worshiped. Does it care?

Am I any different than the sun?

4.10.2012

Needles and Pins

I'd been curious about acupuncture and finally had my first treatment last night. I've had neck problems for years now, and recently my shoulders have gotten really stiff and sore, especially in the morning. Shiatsu and chiropractic massages haven't helped much, and while there are many acupuncture places in Tokyo, I didn't want to just wander into a some random place. A friend from my weekly improv group recommended this place near Korakuen, so I made a reservation.

The place is in an older building with a traditional Japanese-style tatami room waiting area. The acupuncturist speaks English fairly well, and was very friendly. Calming, New Age Chinese ambient music was playing throughout my session. Since I was an acupuncture virgin, he told me he would use the smallest needles. Apparently there are different lengths and widths. I had no fear of the needles, and it really didn't hurt at all (except for one spot on the very top of my head!). When I left, I felt extremely relaxed and my shoulders and neck were the loosest they have been in ages. If you're looking to try it, give them a call!

4.07.2012

Sakura Yogurt

It's sakura (cherry blossom) season again in Japan. That means a lot of sakura-flavored items in  traditional Japanese sweet shops and also in places like Starbucks. This year was the first time, however, that I saw this product -- sakura-flavored Danone yogurt. Tasted pretty good, if you like sakura flavor. What exactly is sakura flavor, you may ask? It's not cherry! It's actually the perfume-like flavor that comes from the dried flowers and/or leaves. I like it, but I believe it's an acquired taste.

4.06.2012

Happy Birthday to the one called "me"

This blog has been in a coma. But seeing that I have recently started to awaken, the time feels right to wake this boy up, too. It also seems fitting that today is my birthday. In some ways, I feel like the past year has served as a call to action, and I have new appreciation of life. 

I considered starting a totally new blog, but that didn't seem right. I am not totally starting over with my life. I am just evolving. I intend to acknowledge the past but stay focused on the present day. Keeping this blog shows that I am aware of that continuity. 

Here's to gratitude, peace and love. Here's to today. Thank you. We are all in this together.