Random Thoughts on Japan

Posted: November 7, 2007    Categories: Asia, Japan

  • Styx needs to make a sequel to Mr. Roboto where they go find a hotel, get lunch, and take a train.
  • Japan has beer and cigarette vending machines. A pack of cigarettes is about $2.70, which I guess is cheap. I don’t smoke. The beer vending machine is brilliant. Mothers Against Fun would never let that happen in the US.
  • The most popular type of TV show in Japan, as far as I can tell, is a studio with people at a desk who watch videos, and as the video is playing, there is a small picture-in-picture of them watching the video. Then they talk about the video. Usually, there is food involved.
  • American stars who are too big to do advertisements in the US do them in Japan. So far I’ve seen that Tommy Lee Jones is the face for Boss Coffee, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz do stuff for Softbank cell phones.
  • Japanese like eggs. They seem to take any dish and dump a fried egg or a hard boild egg on top of it. I saw pasta with a fried egg on top today.
  • My hostel where I’m staying is a few hundred meters away from ground zero. I’ll post more of Hiroshima later. They city doesn’t seem to dwell on the past (which is good).
  • The uniforms that Japanese school children wear are just precious. I saw one group that looked like officials at Wimbledon. One group looked like Morton Salt girls in blue blazers.
  • Noodles rule.
  • I have yet to have any amazing sushi. I’ve been looking. I’ve only been to the places that put sushi on the conveyor belts.
  • I arrived a bit too late to see any baseball games. The Chunichi Dragons beat the Nippon Ham Fighters (Hakkido) in five games. I watched three of the games and one of the games in the high school series. It is like watching the Billy Marting Oakland A’s of the 1980’s. Lots of small ball. Singles and stealing. I wonder when we will see a real Japanese power hitter in MLB. I think the lack of power comes from philosophy, not physique.
  • I’ve been bowed to so often, it is like I was the president….except well liked.
  • The last game of the Japan Series was a perfect game. The manager of the Dragons PULLED THE PITCHER IN THE NINTH INNING OF A PERFECT GAME!!!! Thankfully, the relief pitcher went 1-2-3 to keep the perfect game. It is the only example I can think of in any level of baseball, anywhere, where pitchers shared a perfect game.
  • You never need to walk more than 100m to find a vending machine. Anywhere.
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