Archive for March, 2005

Alfons Mucha canned coffee

mucha-small.jpg Snapshot of a can of cafe ole from a vending machine a couple blocks away from where I live in Shinjuku. (I took it a while back with the camera on my cell phone on the way to work.) The image on the can is from a painting by the Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha. There were 6 other different Mucha images on various flavors of coffee — demitasse, capuccino, mocha, kilimanjaro, “black”, and “blend” — in the same vending machine.

Canned coffee is a really common drink to find in vending machines in Japan. They often have some interesting names, the most famous probably being Boss coffee, the logo for which looks a lot to me like William Faulkner. I remember a Blues. coffee, but I haven’t seen it for quite a while. Anyway, there are all kinds of varieties and speciality types that are labeled and targeted for specific purposes. For example, Driver brand, which sports the slogan, “A brand new fine coffee for all drivers. Enjoy the taste and refresh your mind!” Even better is Driver Black, slogan: “A coffee for drivers. Refresh your mind with extra caffeine!

But probably my all-time favorite canned-coffee slogan was this one for Asahi Next Stage Wonda (or something like that) brand :

Exclusive Elite Coffee


Do we all remember fire drills from grade school? Yes? Good. Today, the “Special” Hospital downstairs had their Spring Fire Drill. My favorite part would have to be the 防災頭巾/ぼさいずきん, or prevention of disasters hood. I guess it keeps you from doing a Michael Jackson. (Think Pepsi commercial.)

Hoods for sale.
Japanese2English Emergency Words.

FactsRumors About Aichi Expo

Retraction time…

I wrote this entry believing that the prices quoted below were true, but I’m starting to hear that they may not be.

I looked at the Official Site when I wrote this and they really don’t list prices beyond the ticket prices. As to the price of a drink or whether or not they charge you for the rest rooms, I don’t know. I should have dug deeper.

I’d heard it from a coworker and when I read it again on Kissui, I didn’t check further. Now, I’m starting to believe that I was a victim of a malicious rumor. That’s the downside of this medium, where a meme can spread around the world in a matter of hours. Sometimes you get bitten by something that sounds true, but just isn’t. It sure sounded possible though. After all, Japan is a country where a cup of coffee can easily cost $6 and where I once paid $10 for a bowl of instant ramen, though that was at the top of Mount Fuji…

Still, I don’t know that these prices are accurate and I really don’t feel like participating in somebody’s personal vendetta against the expo.

Please accept my apologies.

Yuki at Kissui has some interesting statistics on Aichi Expo: The Facts About Aichi Expo

The Facts About Aichi Expo

4600 yen for entry fee.
1 hour to get in linear motor car.
1 hour to get in the site.

600 yen for using the toilet.

600 Yen (~$6) for using the toilet.

Could be that that little tidbit is what people remember about this event, what they tell people when they go home and talk to people who haven’t yet made up their mind as to whether they’ll make the trip out there to see this thing.

Exhibitors have been preparing for Aichi for a long time, at great expense, some of them foreign companies paying for a team of employees to spend months here in preparation and staffing the event. For some of them, this could be a “make or break” event for their company. If I was one of those companies, I’d be pissed.

Super Mario Brothers Bottle Toppers

Super Mario Bros. ————- Slideshow

I’ve never been so happy to be living in Japan.

Home Cooking

I was in the Oriental Bazaar last week and I encountered an English-language recipe book on home cooking. In my limited encounters with Japanese home-cooking, mostly through my (Japanese) roommate, I’ve found it to be delicious and quite different from any of the food found in the restaurants of Japan, at least the restaurants where I spend most of my money. I feel like this whole range of cuisine is cutoff to gaijin who lack strong links to a Japanese family (homestay, etc.) or a Japanese S.O. – is this true? Anyone have recommendations for sources of “homestyle” Japanese food?

Tokyo in 1948 vs. 1992

Checkout this insane photo collage superimposing aerial photos of Tokyo of 1948 and 1992!!!

Flickr Photo Download: Tokyo in 1948&1992

Steve Clemons on Masako-sama

Longtime Japan expert, Steve Clemons, has a long and interesting post on his blog regarding the dustup over Masako-sama.

The Washington Note – Japan’s Imperial Problem: Are the Emperor and His Son Really Feuding Over Masako? Japan’s Crown Princess Remembered on International Women’s Day

underground Tokyo guide

Steve Shultz, who writes the hilarious and informative TOKYO DAMAGE REPORT, has a new guide to underground Tokyo.

underground tokyo guidebook []

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