Thursday, June 30, 2011

Advice for my successor #7 OR a rant about moving

0 comments
Don't get attached to "stuff." When you move home (chances are you will, though it isn't certain), it's going to be a big pain and quite expensive to move all your stuff.

My keyboard has been giving me headaches and I still haven't successfully sent it to the States. We'll see if I do, and I bet you it won't be cheap.

I just sent a package home with five scarfs and a hat. It weighed about 1 kilogram. I asked for the cheapest shipping, and it cost me about 2,000 yen. I'm going to have to be really picky about what I send home.

There's a service offered by JP Post to send printed materials like books overseas in a large sack for a relatively cheap rate. I did this once before in Tokyo and it was no problem. Apparently, however, this service is not offered at all post offices. In fact, it turns out only two post offices in this whole prefecture do. So now I have to find time (and help) to lug all my books to this post office in another city. Hope it's near a train station.

Don't get attached to stuff.

(This was meant for yesterday before Blogger crapped out).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Denizens of Japan: Mukade (Centipedes)

0 comments
Source: Wikipedia
There are certain creatures that residents of Japan must be able to deal with. Cockroaches and giant centipedes (ムカデ) are chief among them.

While I've only seen a handful of them during my time in Japan, stories of encounters with these things abound. Can even find a number of people asking in Japanese about how to deal with them (I love how one of the answers lists the possibility of spraying fire at them). Their bites are rarely if ever fatal, but reports do indicate they are painful and can take a few days to heal. If they are common in your area, take care when putting on shoes and getting into bed!

I encountered one in my house for the first time last night. In my shower. Trying to keep me on my toes, I see. Nice one, Japan. The bugger looked kind of like this:
Source
Actually it wasn't really that big; maybe about one and a half times as long and half as thick as my index finger. Still, was a little freaky to notice something crawling along the wall as I washed. In retrospect I wish I had taken a picture, but my first instinct was to kill it. So I quickly grabbed some tile cleaner and sprayed it good, but it was still moving. I had to bring out the big guns - Kabi Killer, which is actually intended for mold but also works on insects.


After it stopped twitching, I used a plunger to stuff it down the shower drain. That's what happens to centipedes in this neck of the woods. I wonder if I should be concerned about the return of the cockroaches, though...have never seen a centipede in my house before and they do feed on roaches. Hmmm.

If you're reading this, successor, be wary.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wtf Friday: Tokyo Gore Police

0 comments
Warning: this trailer is pretty graphic. That said, I really gotta watch this one...looks ridiculous.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: The Stress-Free Guide to Leaving Japan

0 comments
Last week I received an email from Laura of Sayonara Japan. She sent me a copy of her new e-book, The Stress-Free Guide to Leaving Japan, and asked if I wouldn't mind writing up a review if I got a chance. Well Laura, you got it.

First off, let me just say that this is not a sponsored post. I did receive a free copy of this e-book, but I am not receiving any money or other form of remuneration for writing this review, nor am I affiliated with the authors or publisher.


Let's jump right into it. The main appeal of the Stress-Free Guide is that it lays out what you should be doing and when, complete with detailed instructions and resources for most tasks. 

It's divided into three main parts, each addressing the tasks that you should be focusing on at the three-month, one-month, and one-week-until-you-leave marks. I, for example, being at the one-month mark now should be focusing on preparing to close my bank account and cancel my internet, getting my paperwork together for claiming my pension refund, etc.

The book is nicely laid out and very easy to read. There are a number of mini checklists for your ticking pleasure and a generous amount of tables and charts with relevant information. Useful Japanese vocabulary are also provided in both romaji and kanji.

Would I recommend this book to someone preparing to leave Japan?

I answer that question with a somewhat conditional "yes."

I've been working in Japan as a member of the JET Program, with a whole support system in place to help me get by here. Since I have been here for three years now, several of my friends have already left and I have the benefit of their experience. I've also done a fair amount of research. And as an ALT, I don't have to worry about things like cleaning out my apartment as my successor will just move in after I leave. So honestly for me this guide didn't really provide much information that I didn't already have.

That being said, I think it's probably a worthwhile investment if you (a) are on your own and don't have much support in leaving, (b) don't speak much Japanese and/or aren't very familiar with the process of leaving this country, or (c) aren't very organized or aren't very good at researching and budgeting your time.

One thing the guide has going for it is content that addresses a variety of situations. Do you have a car or a pet over here? I don't, but I'm sure the relevant advice could be helpful for someone.

I suppose it really comes down to how valuable your time is to you. Most of the guide's content can probably be found on the internet, but not in one place. Personally I kind of like doing research on the internet, but if you'd rather be doing better things with your time, the hours and possibly the anxiety that the Stress-Free Guide could save you may be worth the 500 yen cost.

Japan: Etiquette vs. Courtesy

0 comments
"Japanese people are polite."

How many times have you heard this? Yes, many Japanese people are polite. But in what sense?

Recently I've been thinking - Japanese society is focused on etiquette, not courtesy. What I mean is that Japanese people have some very clear ideas about acceptable behavior, and ritualized manners out the wazoo. In other words, a lot of people here can be schmucks without being impolite by Japanese standards. Don't get me wrong - there are plenty of nice, warm, courteous Japanese. But this country also has its fair share of asshats, and that's a fact.

Chris recently wrote a post about rude old people in Japan. While I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say they deserve to die, I agree with his observation of these people's existence. This isn't limited simply to old people, but there are many here who feel a certain sense of superiority or entitlement. Age only strengthens this unsavory characteristic. I know what you're thinking, and you're right. It isn't unique to Japan. But it is somewhat more rampant here in the East, among the cultures that have been influenced by Confucianism. I have nothing against respect for the elderly; many of them have earned it. But that doesn't excuse riding your bicycle wherever the hell you feel like or expecting traffic (either vehicular or pedestrian) to go around you.

Now if you've been to Japan or been exposed to the culture, you'll know that there are set phrases and patterns of behavior for all kinds of situations: entering someone's home, starting or ending meals, asking someone for a favor, etc. Though it can be daunting to a newcomer, it's actually quite nice - there's something to say for every circumstance, and if you know the words you don't need to stumble around for something to say.

Japan is a culture of dualities, however. While set phrases abound, sincere courtesy can sometimes be surprisingly absent. Take the simple courtesy of holding a door for someone. Yes, yes, I know some of you may say that this is a Western manner and we can't expect Japanese people to do it. Well that's garbage. I have seen Japanese people holding doors for others. And I've seen people give up their seats on the train or the bus for the elderly or those with children. They just happen to be rarer occurrences than you might think in the Land of the Polite.

I hope you don't think I'm being unfair to the Japanese. Some of the warmest and kindest people I've met have been Japanese. But that is the individual versus the whole society, and I wanted to set the record straight on my perception of politeness in Japan.

What set off this diatribe? I had dinner at an Indian restaurant near my house, and there were two tables of young Japanese men nearby. And they weren't rude, but they certainly weren't polite. No "please," no "thank you." No 「いただきます」or 「ごちそうさま」 ("thank you for the meal," set phrases usually said before and after eating). Just "Chicken curry."

"Water."

"Check."

And this isn't uncommon, nor was it simply because the sever was female. I frequent several restaurants and often observe the same kind of behavior. And you know, it kind of pisses me off.

Maybe it's a lack of cultural sensitivity on my part, but I find it pretty messed up that it's considered unspeakably impolite to walk into someone's house without taking off your shoes, but meanwhile common manners like saying "please" and "thank you" can easily be foregone.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

J-Word Play #18 [Answer]

0 comments
Last week's riddle was:

みんな好きな肉料理ってなんでしょうか?

First off, kudos to Rene of Shoujiki Shindoi and reader Vitor for sending in the correct answer!

Update: Also a kudos to Cocomino, whose answer got lost in the shuffle. Sorry!

And now, the answer. If you'd like to try and figure it out for yourself, don't scroll down yet!

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

すきやき (Sukiyaki)

The riddle asks, "What's the meat dish that everyone likes?" 鋤焼き (Sukiyaki) is a traditional Japanese dish combining the words for "spade" (as in for gardening) and "cook." It seems that this name originated from the Edo period practice of cooking fish or tofu (or meat if it was available, I suppose) on the metal part of a spade instead of in a pot.

Though 「すき」means "spade" in this case, it can also mean "to like." Hence it's the meat dish that everyone likes.

Image from Wikipedia

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Advice for my successor #6

0 comments
Should know who you are soon. Any day now...


  • Yes, the kancho is real. You probably run a higher risk of being victimized if you're a guy. Be wary around small children and...your Japanese girlfriend, apparently.
  • Jeans are somewhat effective shielding against kancho.
  • Giving omiyage (souvenirs) to people at work after you go on a trip can be a pain in the butt, but try to do it anyway. It helps build good work relationships.
  • If you absolutely can't be bothered, at least try to give omiyage strategically to people you work closely and often with.
  • Don't buy a big item like, oh, say a Korg 250sp keyboard and expect to be able to easily and cheaply send it back home in a year or two. That's not how things work.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wtf Friday: Inochi-kun

0 comments
I'm a little stumped as to what the deal is with this one. Be warned, it does have a little, uh...inappropriateness?

 

Update: In the comments, Richard provided a link with some info on Inochi-kun (English).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

J-Word Play #18

0 comments
I'm sure you'll like this one.

みんな好きな肉料理ってなんでしょうか?

If you know the answer, shoot me a quick email at blueshoe [at] jadij.com.

How to get a Japanese Driver's License - Part 1

0 comments
Hello I'm Mac from a little blog called JLPTBootcamp.com. I've been living in Japan now for about 7 years. I currently live in Kyoto. From time to time, I like to blog about stuff that well, isn't so JLPT-y if you catch my drift. So here I am sharing my wisdom with you about the wonders of acquiring a driver's license in Japan, or should I say converting a driver's license? Anyway, hope you enjoy, and if you are taking the JLPT sometime soon, you might enjoy taking a look at my blog, JLPTBootcamp.com. Come over and see me sometime.

I remember growing up in rural Ohio and thinking that having a driver's license was like a rite of passage. When you got your license and your accompanying car, you had finally become a man, and if you were one of the first to do so, you had become the man. You were the guy that could drive to lunch (we had open campus at our school), drive to school without your parents or a school bus, and just cruise.


That was all fine and dandy in rural Ohio, but when I moved to the big city, Chicago. I could care less about having an automobile. It cost a lot of money to maintain a car and there was public transit that I could use. I mean seeing people getting arrested on the 'L' once a month wasn't so bad, was it?

But, then I moved to Japan and really had zero need for a license. I guess I'm not in Kansas anymore. It's great to have a solid public transportation system where people aren't getting arrested on a regular basis and there is actually, not even a need for transit cops. Who knew such things could exist?

So, Why in the World would you Want a Japanese Driver's License?

Well, that's an excellent question. I can think of a few reasons why you might want a driver's license in Japan. One good reason is that you have better access to big box stores. Believe it or not, Japan does have large supermarkets and discount home furnishing stores that are roughly American-sized (minus the excessively large parking lot that never gets used.)

Another reason is that driving comes in handy when you are on vacation in Japan. There are a lot of places, especially hiking trails and camping sites, that are not easily accessible by bus or train. That's actually one of the advantages of those places. There aren't many people around so you can enjoy the peace and quiet.

But, the main reason why I want one now is that I've just recently gotten married. So, I want to be able to help my wife out and be able to do some simple things like drive her to the hospital in case of some kind of emergency.

And, let's face it, it conjures up those memories of high school when having a driver's license was cool. Because chances are if you get your driver's license you'll be one of the few of your friends that has one, and that means you can go cruising in Japan. Ohhhh yeah!

Let's Get Started Already

So enough with why, let's talk about the process of getting your license. Now, this process differs depending on what country you are coming from. For instance, if you are from Canada and Australia apparently all you have to do is get it translated and walk into the driving center and get a Japanese license. I always knew being Canadian had it's benefits.

But, if you are from the great United States of America you have the distinct privilege of going through the process of 'converting' your license into a Japanese one. This involves a variety of different things, namely going through a festival of paperwork, a short 'easy' written test, and then a disproportionately difficult driving test. After that, you get a driver's license.

On a side note, you may be wondering why oh why do Americans get the special privilege of going through all this rigamarole. Well, apparently it comes down to the fact that in order for Japan to agree to do a simple conversion of the license, America does too. Unfortunately, driver's licenses are handled at the state level, so all 50 states would have to submit traffic safety reports, and offer simple conversion for Japanese licenses. That's obviously a lot of paperwork that some DMVs would rather not spend time doing, much to our dismay.

I should note that this procedure seems to vary a lot from place to place and when converting from different countries, so try to treat my experience/advice as a general guide and be sure to read up on what the exact procedures you'll need to be doing.

Step 1 – Getting a Translation of your Driver's License

To start this process you must have a Japanese translation of your American driver's license. Actually, if you are getting a license converted from any country, this is always going to be the first step.

The best place to do that is through JAF, Japan Automobile Federation, which is basically like the AAA of Japan. They can translate your license for 3000 Yen at one of their offices or for a little more if you prefer to do it by mail. I chose to do it by mail because there really weren't any convenient JAF offices nearby to go to.

When you get your license translated, JAF will hopefully provide you with a packet of information that will tell you exactly what you need to do to get your license converted including where the closest driving center is.

Step 2 – Setup an appointment and get all your 'stuff' together

For my driving center here in Kyoto, I had to make an appointment to take the test. I'm not exactly sure why, but it's required nonetheless. For me, I had to call between 4pm and 5pm to schedule an appointment for sometime between 8:30am-10am on a weekday. Talk about crazy rules and restrictions!

Anyway, after you make the appointment for a time of their choosing (in my case it was for the following month), you need to get your paperwork in order. You'll need the following:
  1. Japanese translation of your driver's license
  2. Your original driver's license
  3. Your Alien Registration Card – Make sure this is up-to-date. Don't be like me and forget to put your visa extension on it. Oops!
  4. Your passport
  5. One 3cm X 2.4cm photograph – NOTE: This is for their paperwork to keep track of you and be able to recognize you during the tests, not for the actual license.
  6. Your inkan or name seal if you have one, otherwise you can just sign the documents over and over again.
  7. Money (about 5000 Yen, but it can vary from place to place, check the packet from JAF)
Armed with all that, you can now go to your local driving center that JAF probably recommended to you in their packet of goodies they sent you or handed to you.

Step 3 – Showing Up and doing the Easy Written Test

Driving centers in Japan aren't like the ones back home. They aren't going to be a small little store in a strip mall. Yours is most likely going to be a large concrete structure that roughly resembles your typical Japanese elementary or junior high school. The only difference is that the driving center has what looks to be a go cart track from hell in it's backyard.

When you made the appointment they probably asked you to go to a specific window at your appointment time. Be sure to be there on time and prepared with your paperwork. Don't expect anybody to be friendly or to speak any English. Don't worry to much though if you don't know that much Japanese. If you have your paperwork and your letter from JAF, they will most likely know what to do with it.

After filling out a short questionnaire (about your driving history in Japan) with some horrendous English translations on it, they will begin to process your paperwork. I'm assuming they need to verify that you have everything up-to-date and are ready to go. This took about 30 minutes for me.

After that, they will call you up and conduct a short informal interview about your driving experience in the states. They might ask when you first got your license, did you take public or private driving classes, and how often you renewed your license. This is where having a Japanese speaking friend might come in handy. I sometimes couldn't catch some of the things the clerk was asking and my wife had to translate a few bits.

Step 4 – Paying for and Taking the Test

After they give you the thumbs up on your paperwork and driving experience, you need to go to the cashier to pay for the test. All government agencies in Japan (that I've dealt with anyway) deal in revenue stamps. I'm guessing this is because they want all the cash to be in one place. Anyway, you need to get some stamps for your application. It cost me about 2400Y, but of course that might vary from place to place.

They'll put the stamps on the application and then you must either sign them or stamp them with your inkan. Be sure to have your seal or signature half on the stamp and half on the application that they are attached to. You need to sign/seal each stamp. In my case, I had to sign 4 stamps.

Then, after paying for the stamps and signing them, return to the original window and they will take you to the testing area. The test is available in English and is true/false. There are only 10 questions and all of them are pretty easy.

One thing to remember though is that unlike the US, you can not turn left on red EVER. In the states you can turn right on red if you stop and check, but that is not the case in Japan. Also, you should carefully stop at all railroad crossings no matter what and slowly proceed through the crossing. Those were the only two questions I wondered about. The rest are pretty much dummy questions like 'You've been working all day and are completely exhausted. You aren't sure you can operate the vehicle safely. Should you drive home by yourself?'

After passing the written test, they will give you instructions on how to take the driving test along with a packet of information that goes over the basic rules of the road that are specific to Japan.

That's Part 1

Sorry I'm going to cut it off here and write a separate post about the driving test. Why? Well, I haven't passed the driving portion of the test yet. I'm hoping to soon and I'll try to give you pointers about that part of the test in a later post.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about getting a driver's license in Japan, I'd love to hear them. Leave me a comment below and I'll be sure to get back to you.

Photo by James Buck

Monday, June 13, 2011

Staying focused

0 comments
I'm going back to the U.S. soon, in just over a month. There are a lot of things I'm looking forward to, but it's strange...I really have to remind myself about them to keep my spirits up. Right now my mind keeps focusing on all the things I'm going to miss about being in Japan. Feels much harder to leave than it was to initially come here. I guess that's because of the roots I've put down over the past three years. Leaving Yoshie will be the hardest part, but it's something that we're trying to deal with. At least she'll come visit the States in the fall.

Something's been bugging me a lot the past few weeks, though. I'm usually the kind of guy who thinks about things a lot and internalizes. I usually look calm and focused, but I play things over in my mind and anticipate things, good or bad. This time, though, I'm really doing my best to just enjoy what time I have left here and not worry too much about going home. I think that's the best thing for my mental health right now. But it's been very difficult to just focus on the moment, thanks in large part to many of the people around me.

I guess I can hardly blame them. For a lot of people it's an easy topic. Instead of saying to me how hot or wet it is recently, they say "So you're going home soon, huh?" It's really started to grate on me, and I'm getting sick of telling people what I'm doing and where I'm staying when I do go back. My coworkers are curious, I know. But it's not something I want to dwell on. It's not that going home is unpleasant...I love my home and the U.S., and that's why I'm going back. But it's going to take time to readjust, and there are also a lot of things I love about being here. I guess I just wish I could enjoy it unspoiled and outside of the restrictions of time just a bit longer.

Well, as they say...しゃないな。Just gotta do what I can and try to ignore the distractions.

By the way, if anyone knows of a good (international) shipping company for large items, please let me know! Would like to take my Korg keyboard home, but an estimate from one shipping company placed the price at around 60,000 yen! That's more than I paid for the damn keyboard. May have no choice but to leave it behind and try to sell it at the last minute or give it to a friend.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

RIP Uncle Mort

0 comments
My uncle passed away this weekend. He was a good man - a loving father and husband and extremely kind, intelligent, and patient. He'll be sorely missed.

More Japan-related posts to come this week.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Friendship Friday: Surviving in Japan (without much Japanese)

0 comments
This week's FF is Surviving in Japan (without much Japanese)! Full disclosure: I have written a guest post for this one, but beyond that have no affiliation.


What?

Ashley's Surviving in Japan (without much Japanese), henceforth "Surviving," is an aptly named blog that compiles resources and how-to guides aimed at helping foreign residents in Japan. From the about page:

"This is not a blog about etiquette, where to find a job or apartment, or a list of how to prepare for life here (though, there are some ideas concerning that scattered throughout these pages - see the how-to archives for more). Most of that information can be found on the internet, or in books about living in Japan (which I've highlighted in the "resources" section and various posts). I had to learn how to do a lot of things on my own during my first years here - things that weren't reiterated in the various websites and books I read before arriving. And now I'm compiling the knowledge that has helped me "survive" in Japan in this blog for you."

Surviving has been around for well over a year now and has a large amount of guides and information to peruse.

Why I like it

Quite simply, Ashley manages to deliver on her blog's description. While I've become pretty able at handling most tasks I need to accomplish here, Surviving's advice and guides are especially newbie friendly and designed to help both veterans and newcomers alike, with minimal Japanese ability required. I've discovered some useful resources through her site.

Here are some sample posts:

8 ways to winterize your Japanese apartment (or house)
How to get a library card
What to do if your alien registration card is lost or stolen
How to find ibuprofen
Words to know when ordering online

Anything pique your interest? You can find these and many more guides and how-to's here.

Once again, I heartily recommend having a look, especially if you're new to living in Japan: Surviving in Japan. Happy Friendship Friday!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to use McDonald's Wifi

0 comments
Recently McDonald's has become my favorite place to study. I always liked to study there because of the free coffee refills, but now after finally setting up my computer to work with their wifi, it's become my main studying location. It's great because I don't like studying at home, there are McDonald's everywhere, and I'm able to keep my Anki deck synced over the Internet as well as be able to copy and paste definitions quickly from online dictionaries. The process of signing up for McDonald's wifi is a bit strange but convenient and somehow also convoluted. I thought it might be something that would interest you guys.

The wifi that McDonald's uses is Yahoo! BB Mobile Point. The instructions are
here, but I'll summarize in English.

Step 1: Go to a FamilyMart convenience store. They have a machine there called the Famiポート (FamiPort). Push the button that says "プリペイド"(Prepaid). It's a green button with the ¥ symbol on it.


Yeah, that's the one

Step 2: Push the button that says "インターネット電話/無線LAN"(Internet Telephone/Wifi). You'll see it has the Yahoo!BB logo inside.


Like so

Now it'll give you an option to either do this in English or Japanese.


Step 3: Select how much time you'd like to buy. There are three different lengths: 1 Day = ¥500, 2 Weeks = ¥1000, and 3 Months = ¥4000.


Step 4: After you select and confirm, it will print a receipt. Take that receipt and pay at the register. They will print out and give you your username and password info.


Step 5: Next you need to activate your username and password which strangely involves already needing Internet access. A mobile phone is fine. Follow the instructions on the form they gave you which involves going to http://www.bbmp.jp. Click on the link to validate your ID and agree to the terms. It should now automatically open your email program. Just send them a blank email to their address (activatee@bbmp.jp), or put SBTM in subject and body if you can't send blank emails. You should immediately receive a reply with a link. Click the link and input your Serial No. and Confirmation Code and submit. After that it should say you're successfully activated.


Step 6: Finally go to McDonald's with your computer, login to the "mobilepoint" network using the WEP key from your username and password sheet, open a web browser and put in your username and password. And you're done! Now study, enjoy your coffee, and try to take it easy on the fries.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ken a ken: Hyogo

0 comments
Japan has 47 prefectures of Japan, 43 of which are labeled 県(ken), the others have special labels like 府(fu) or 都(to). Some of these prefectures have interesting names, and so I want to periodically have a short look at one. Retaining these little tidbits can be a good way to remember the various parts of Japan.

Today Daniel got me all thinking about armor and the military, so I'm going to tell you a little about Hyogo-ken (兵庫県), where I've been living for the past three years.

Hyogo makes up the meaty part of the Kansai (or Kinki) region. Its capital is Kobe city, and nearby are Osaka and Kyoto (with Nara not too far, either). These are the region's major cities.

Hyogo has a pretty cool name. Its kanji, and mean "soldier" and "storehouse" respectively. This is apparently because during the reign of Emperor Tenji, during the 600's, the area was used as a magazine and stored the weapons of many soldiers.

Even today there are a number of SDF bases in Hyogo, so its military background is easy to remember. Hyogo: the soliders' warehouse.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thanks and things to come

0 comments
First off, I'd like to take a page from Chris' book and say "thank you" to everyone who has been commenting. He and I have very different styles and tend to disagree on a great many things, but I think we both hold similar "blogging values."

"They" say that in blogging, content is king and consistency pays off. That's certainly true to an extent. The longer you stay in the game, the more readers you'll attract over time. More than the numbers, though, I really appreciate the quality of the readers that have been coming here. I've said it before - I aim to achieve a certain sense of community here, and it's quite rewarding to see the thoughtful comments and links that some of you have been leaving.

So thank you, especially for the awesome interaction you commenters have been providing. I hope our content here has been and continues to be worth coming back for.

On that note, a few words about the blog and my life at the moment. Though I've been trying to keep up the pace, it's been a little difficult recently. I have less than two months left in Japan. Not sure if I mentioned it, but I'll be returning home near the end of July. I will be keeping up with the blog after returning home, as a lot of my content is independent of actually being in the country at the time of writing. And Joe will still be in Japan, so we'll have a man in the field, so to speak.

Anyhow, I was in Okinawa this weekend and I'll be posting some thoughts about that trip this week. Additionally had a welcome blogging-related surprise that I'll write about sometime soon.

In the meantime, please let me know if there's anything you'd like to see or read about that I can work on while I'm still here. This goes double for those of you who normally don't comment! Someone told me a while ago that she's interested to hear a bit about life in Osaka as compared to Tokyo; that's something that I haven't forgotten and have been thinking about how best to approach it. Let me know!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wtf Friday: Sushi

0 comments
No comment.



Edit: From Kanjiguy, the full version (think it's probably a lot more enjoyable if you understand some Japanese):