Monday, February 28, 2005


i can tell you right now, i am more than over this 'feeling sick all of the time' thing. it is seriously not suiting my lifestyle or personality. the ongoing flu has taken on a new dimension. what i thought was the beginnings of a hole in my tooth (a feeling i have never experienced before) has turned into something rather different. as the pain in my upper left molars/ cheek/ ear/ eye began to worsen and take over my every thought and deprive me of much needed sleep before hanging out with the preschoolers, i decided it was time to visit the local otolaryngologist or the crazy ear nose and throat guy; as he is fondly referred to by some of the others at work. at the point where i can hardly eat or speak due to the pain in my face, i dragged myself to the doc. i had heard that he was a little kooky, but that his english was good and he didnt charge so much; two uncommon factors in japanese doctors surgeries.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


last night was one of those really cool saturday nights. not the kind of saturday night when you go completely crazy, not the kind of saturday that leaves you feeling sorry the next day...but the kind of saturday night when you get to enjoy some good wholesome fun, the kind of fun that is way too often put into the 'uncool' basket but the kind of fun that is always- well fun when you get around to doing it. i'm talking bout pizza and bowling. i have had japanese pizza once before, but never attempted bowling tokyo style. both were much the same as home but as with everything, there was a definite japanese twist. Dsc07481 the first stop was to shakey's ikebukuro. at first glance it appeared to be your typical all american style family pizza restaurant. upon scanning the menu i was reminded that i was indeed in tokyo. the drinks menu offered the 'fasy nabel' and the 'flaffy duck'... i decided on the fasy nabel and from the huge selection of pizzas we ended up ordering a tuna and corn pizza and a crab, egg and brocolli pizza (distinctly japanese flavours).  while they looked a little uninviting initially, they were quite a taste sensation.


Dsc07495 on a full tummy we wandered towards the bowling alley. i wasn't sure what to expect but had some wild tokyo disco bowling fantasies running through my head. after a jam packed elevator ride to the 5th floor of a neon clad building, i was consumed by the 'seen one you've seen em all' feeling. although upon closer inspection this was no regular bowling alley, this was a pokemon bowling alley.


getting there a little before 9pm, things were pretty low key. there were the usual crowds and lining up but there was no disco, bumper bowling or any of the cutsie crazy things i expected from a tokyo bowling alley. but the night was still young and i was in for a few surprises. after collecting our shoes from the 'bowling shoe vending machine' Dsc07511 i noted that tokyo bowling shoes had a added coolness factor that i had not seen in other alleys.

Dsc07513 just as we were limbering up and mentally preparing for strike after strike, the clock hit 9 - party time! the bright fluro lights dimmed and the black lights came on and the special balls came out. hello kitty bowling balls for the girls and baseball bowling balls for the boys. this was cosmic bowling tokyo style.


Saturday, February 26, 2005

hey ladies

have you ever wanted to get on the turps every night, but worried about the effect it might have on your beautiful appearance? worry no more...this japanese brewery has the answer for you. collegen in wants you to be a beautiful pisspot - the more you drink the more radiant you become. 15% peach, 4% alcohol and 100% 'japanese'. this product is sure to be a hit in tokyo; where beauty and appearance is everything and consumers will believe ANYTHING the package tells them.Dsc07462

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

a sake a day keeps the doctor away


no this is not a recent bust by japanese customs nor have i become a pharmie to calm my nerves during train push-on time...this is how doctors in japan administer antibiotics. i have a theory that the mountain of drugs they give out are a placebo, it is the keeping track of what to take and when that snaps you back to health. 

luckily i have only had to visit a japanese doctor twice. the first time was an emotional  experience, during which a very cute pink and white dressed nurse tested me for influenza. just before shoving a long thin rod fair up my right nostril she did warn me 'chotto itai' (this is going to hurt a little). if you have ever had anything rammed up a nostril you will know that it is not a very comfortable feeling. all the activity in that region set off a chain reaction of loud screaming sneezes followed by tears streaming down my face coupled with laughter and disbelief. it turned out i didn't have influenza after all, but i was loaded up with a range of pharmaceuticals. i have tried to avoid the doctors surgery ever since, but recently found myself struck down by the yucky tokyo flu germs. i am almost at the end of my hectic drug taking schedule...japanese antibiotics really do keep you on your toes.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

sou sou

Thum_mizu1_redsou sou has products that i just can't get out of my head. after visiting their odaiba store many months ago, i am still constantly daydreaming about the simple and effective shop design (a feature wall of white with large black numbers painted onto it), their desireable products but most of all the funky japanese street style shoes (i think of them as the japanese blundstone...the work boot come fashion piece)... Thum_h002



Wednesday, February 16, 2005

things that go shake in the night

i have no solid understanding of the science of earthquakes...but i do know that if the house shakes enough things will fall down...right? the safety booklets say to hide under something sturdy like a desk or table...but what if the only stable thing close to you is your futon? that's exactly what i hide under this morning when the earth decided to shake and shiver. there are many earthquake safety procedures, but i am usually too frozen with fear to remember any of the tips i have read or heard. it's hard to describe the feeling of an you remember at the end of grease when danny and sandy swish and sway on the shakey machine? well, it's kinda like having your house thrown onto the shakey ride. japanese friends say i will get used to the feeling...i doubt i am ever going to get used to the feeling of my apartment suddenly turning into a sailing boat on the choppy 'land'. i comfort myself with the thought that regular, small to medium shakes and shimmers are 'relieving the pressure' and warding off 'the big one'. i really have no idea if this is a scientifically sound theory...but it keeps me somewhat sane.

p.s authorities suggest that residents practice a survival walk from their workplace to home, preparing for the unthinkable...many survival walks taking up to 17 hours.


taken from Japan Today:

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 16:00 JST

TOKYO — An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale shook the Tokyo area and much of eastern Japan before dawn on Wednesday, jolting many residents out of bed and causing minor injuries to at least 27 people in a fresh reminder of Japan's seismic dangers.

The quake registered at 4:46 a.m. with the epicenter in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 130 kilometers northeast of Tokyo with a focus 40 kilometers underground, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Monday, February 14, 2005

happy v day

happy valentine's day!

did you know that in japan valentine's day has become a day when the girls 'confess' their love to the men in their life. women across the country showered their men in gifts while probably receiving very little in return. japanese men have a month to think about it. march the 14th is 'white day', a day when the men get a chance to spoil the ladies in their life.Dsc07448

Thursday, February 03, 2005

what is on the menu?

most restaurants in japan have elaborate displays of plastic, life like food in their front windows to entice customers. plastic food really is an art form in japan, but sometimes the appearance of the artificial cuisine can be more of a deterrent than a temptation.


no...this restaurant does not serve vomit and raw egg, its actually a curry rice place.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

j mac


at just 190 yen, this microwaveable rice burger leaves the mac for dead