Archive for November, 2004


How many of you OS X users out there know of JEdict? I just stumbled across it a few weeks back. If you need help deciphering various kanji, JEdict is an excellent solution. As Adriaan says, “jedict rocks, yeah.”

JEdict got its first workout today as I attempted to make heads or tails of this for TB. Based on the context of the conversation we were having, TB commenting on how he found Japanese women attractive, I had a general idea of what was printed on the shirt. (Don’t hate me, I am only the messenger.) Anyway, JEdict translated that into “In the midst of Japanese temporary woman collection.” That didn’t look very normal. So, after much skull scratching, I came up with “Now accepting applications, or recruiting, for the position of Japanese Girlfriend”. Which is still pretty rude.


They Called Themselves “S.W.A.T. Ji Ji To”

They Called Themselves “S.W.A.T. Ji Ji To”

Originally uploaded by iMorpheus.

“Nothing interesting ever happens around here,” I thought. How wrong I was. Here are some young kids being filmed in Hachioji. They were running around the intersection during red lights.

You expect to see this kind of stuff in Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku.

A Good Description of Commuting in and around Tokyo.

Ado has written a great piece on his commute to work:

So you see, the main reason I like to leave this early, just to have the opportunity to sit down and comfortably read the paper instead of being pressed up against sweaty salary men diffusing the nauseating breath of unbrushed teeth. Whether crowded or half-empty, rush hour trains are an oasis of silence.

Continue reading The Suburbanite (1)…

We Could Really Do Without Hay Fever.

I guess it is Winter hay fever season. Hooray! The best part for me is waking up at 5:30 am gagging on phlegm. Feels like dying. This NDE also means I only average a max of 5 hours of sleep. There are a few tricks I have learned to grab a few extra hours or minutes:

  1. Sleep on stomach.
  2. Dowse pillow in Tea Tree Oil.
  3. Sleep sitting in a chair. (Cold. Shivering. Alone.)

That last one is no fun at all, but there are mornings where I am that desperate for sleep.

Comedy: Enta No Kamisama (The God of Entertainment)

Saturday evenings are for Enta No Kamisama. Enta airs from 10 on channel 4. It is an hour of comedy that features a few regular acts, semi-regular acts, and one trick ponies (My favorite was the girl from the country. I had no idea what she was saying, but her accent, pose, and “the show must go on” attitude, after obviously making several mistakes, won me over. Bring her back!). The acts minus a few of the latest. My personal top 5 + 2 (via ja.wikipedia which means Japanese reading skills required. Mine are not the best, so no translations for you.) :

  1. Itsumo Koko Kara: Best act would have to be the Bozosoku. Though I only catch about 1/10th of what they spit out at a rapid fire pace, that 1/10th puts me on the floor. My other half just laughs and laughs. Hell, she stops what she is doing, comes into the living room, sits down, and watches.
  2. Hatayoku: The Guitar Samurai. [image] That is not his scary face.
  3. Tomo Chika: Ginza Mama, JunJun, and Quiz Otaku “そのとおり!” acts have taught me so much about Japanese culture. Especially the Quiz Otaku.
  4. Hiroshi: Now that I understand “ranto” means “don’t”, everything just gets funnier and funnier.
  5. Ungirls: Tall. Skinny. Unhealthy. Uncoordinated.
  6. Speed Wagon: Ozawa-kun should win the ‘Smooth Talker’ award. ”あまい〜〜〜〜〜〜〜〜〜〜〜! あま過ぎる。”
  7. Anjushu: The kings of misunderstandings and wacky situations.”食べちゃた ブーーーー”
  8. Honarable Mention: Inoue Mai. Broken. Ranting. Sympathetic to inanimate objects. Guitarist. But not a guitarist.

There are one or two acts I cannot stand. Okay, three. Those would be 1) Papetto Mappeto: Worst sock puppet act ever.; 2) Magi Shinji: Bad magic.; and 3) Cunning: Over the top anger.

Unusual act names:

  • Instant Johnson: Kinda funny.
  • Red Platinum: ????
  • Untouchable
  • The Plan 9
  • Darling Honey
  • Tokyo Dynamite
  • Drunk Dragon
  • Hello – Bye bye.
  • Poision Girl Band: These guys are ultra creepy.
  • Hello Keisuke: This guy administers questionnaires as his act. Some of the questions you are thinking, “Okay, no one is going to answer yes to that.” Sure enough, someone does.
  • Impulse: Can be funny at times.

Anyway, Enta is an entertaining way to spend a Saturday evening with friends or loved ones. Enjoy.

Am I the only Enta junkie?

Rabbit season! Duck Season! Xmas Dating Season!

Well, Xmas approaches and all the single boys and girls (of dating age) are hard at work securing a Xmas date. As November winds down, girls are now images of perfection and docility while the boys are dashing, kind, and debonaire.

Hotel rooms are booked in advance.

On December 30, or 31, the charade ends. He is gruff and she is back to her pushy self. Another lonely Xmas successfully avoided.

Merry Coupled Xmas to all!

Trainspotting in Japan.

So, I witnessed a trainspotting event on my way to Tachikawa. Here are some photos:

Kids have returned with a trainspotter update, “Daddy, they are everywhere! The station, the sidewalks, and the streets are teeming with trainspotters!” It’s an invasion, ladies and gentlemen. An invasion.


I went to PastaZio in Akasaka today. They just opened October 25 and is a new concept from Global-Dining, the company that runs La Boheme, Gonpachi, Monsoon, Zest and many other cool restaurants. PastaZio reminded me of Hashiya, one of my favorite pasta places in Yoyogi Hachiman. The concept is to make a high turn-over pasta shop designed like a ramen shop. A counter around a big vat of boiling water and chefs hustling pasta as if it were ramen. PastaZio was a bit more fashionable and the taste less Japanese than Hashiya. The volume of pasta was a bit less too I think. There wasn’t enough salt for my taste, but there was plenty of rock salt in a funny pump style salt dispenser at the table to fix that. If you only have 10 minutes for lunch and want some pasta, try PastaZio.

Disclosure: my business partner is on the board of Global Dining and he took me there today.

Train Routes

I am sure some of you already know about the Hyperdia timetable and route page. For those who don’t, here it is [Hyperdia Timetable.] If you need to find your way from station A to station B, Hyperdia is for you. Maybe.

Hyperdia has one minor flaw, it does not have some of the smaller stations in its database.


Autumn has arrived in Tokyo. For most readers this is old news. But this is my first change of seasons in Nihon and so why not share it with you? For the odd reader living on large-ish land masses somewhere other than the Pacific Rim (and if your home is not land-based at all, like a treetop encampment in the Amazon or some floating, ocean-going vessel, then comment us please

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