It Can’t Be Halloween Yet, Can it?

It’s early September, and what do I see?  Halloween decorations.  Sounds like some businesses are very enthusiastic about Halloween to be decorating this early.  Not even out of summer yet.  Well, I made this video a couple days ago about how businesses in Japan tend to decorate for Halloween far earlier than they need to.  Keep in mind that the business I show is an opticians and they don’t have a special Halloween sale going on.

Now, this video isn’t just me talking about Halloween decorations.  You’ll want to watch to the end, because I had a rather creepy encounter.

I sure didn’t expect that.

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Filed under Asahi-ku, Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Yokohama

Moving Out? Demolish that House

Anyone who lives in Japan will notice a lot of old houses get demolished.  You never see a for sale sign in front of a house.  Why is that?  Well, the real estate industry is much different in Japan than it is in North America.

In North America, when someone moves out of a house, they sell it.  It’s usually appreciated in value, especially if work has been done on the house to improve it.  Houses are also built to last for decades.  They’re solidly built.  That’s not the case in Japan.  Houses are not built to last.  They’re rather thin-walled, poorly insulated, and many of them these days are prefabricated.  Old houses are usually torn down and replaced with two or three new houses on the same property.  Near my home, there was one property that was divided into seven.  The value of a house is not so much in Japan.  It’s the property that’s valuable.  Moving out? Tear down that house and let the new property owners build their own.  Or are you tired of living in an old house? Tear it down and rebuild in the same location.

I made a video about this as I saw a house in my neighbourhood being torn down.

Whenever I see something like this, I wonder what’s going to be built in its place.

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Vlog

Driving in Japan

Have you driven in Japan?  I’ve had a Japanese license since I switched my Canadian license for it a few years ago, and when I drive, I rent a car.  Usually, we rent a car to go to Costco.  I made this video and discuss what it’s like to drive in Japan.

So, have you driven in Japan?

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Filed under Daily Life, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Vlog

Isuzu Fujisawa Festival 2014

Two weeks ago, on August 1st, my family went to the 36th annual Isuzu Fujisawa Festival at the Isuzu truck factory in Fujisawa.  Since it was only 20 minutes away from us on foot, it was a pretty easy decision to go to it.

The festival featured a lot of food, taiko drums, singing, festival games, mikoshi (portable shrine), and fireworks.  As you’ll see later in the video below, we didn’t stay for the fireworks, but we did see some.  The video features mostly the taiko performance, which is nice to watch.  The girl dancing to the taiko music is my daughter.  It was her first time seeing anything like this, and she really loved it.

If you’ve watched the video already, you’ll notice that we had a thunderstorm.  It was actually quite intense with a lot of lightning.  But I love a good thunderstorm.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa

Wilkinson Mixing Blood Orange

It’s time for another taste test!  This time, I tried out Wilkinson Mixing Blood Orange.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Maybe sweet, but that wasn’t to be.  It wasn’t sweet at all.  Please watch the video.

Have you tried this drink?

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Filed under Food, Japan, Vlog

Typhoon Halong

Typhoon Halong, or Typhoon #11, as it’s known in Japan, passed over Honshu yesterday.  It missed the Kanto region, but that didn’t mean it was nice a sunny.  The rain was heavy and the wind was strong.  In fact, the rain was a bit strange in the morning.  Watch this video where I describe what the weather was like.

What was your typhoon experience like?

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Vlog, Weather

Things Forgotten on the Train

A couple days ago, as I was coming home, I noticed that someone had forgotten a couple things on the train.  Actually, it was two people that forgot things.  It was so unusual that I had to get it on video when we arrived at the terminal.  No one on the train, so no problem (people have problems with pictures and videos being taken on the train.  You know, privacy concerns).

Usually, people forget their umbrella on the train.  I see that often.  But this time, a cell phone?  That’s unbelievable.  Maybe they had it in their pocket, and it just fell out as they got up to get off the train.  The earphones were also unusual.  But I can understand that they could fall out of a bag accidentally.  Another time, I saw two full bags of shopping.  Yes, groceries.  Someone forgot that on the train.  I saw them get on the train with the food, but how could they forget the bags?

Well, take a look at this video, where I talk about the forgotten things on the train, as well as a bit about cicadas and bats.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on a train?  Was it in Japan?  Or another country?  Leave a comment with your answers.

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Filed under Daily Life, Vlog