Monthly Archives: June 2010

Picture of the Week 8 – Shinagawa Station

I was in Shinagawa Station in Tokyo today, and thought I’d take this picture. This is going toward the Central gate on the east side. This is a large station, and can be easy to get lost in it.

Shinagawa Station entrance

This is the eastern entrance to Shinagawa Station.

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Filed under 23 Wards, Japan, Minato-ku, Picture of the Week, Tokyo

Grocery shopping difficulties in Japan

I remember my first time in a supermarket when I came to Japan.  I had a difficult time finding anything I wanted.  I spent an hour in the supermarket searching for what I wanted.  Now, I can find things easily, no problem.  However, I still have some problems.  Maybe they’re more like complaints.

Japanese bread is terrible. I can’t find proper bread that can be used to make sandwiches.  The bread here is usually sold in small bags with extremely thick slices of white bread.  And this isn’t just any white bread, this is white bread that’s full of fat.  It’s soft and moist, but also extremely unhealthy.  I can’t eat all of the sandwiches after I make them, because I feel sick from the fattening bread.  I haven’t been able to find wheat bread at all.

Cheese is too expensive. Any cheese is expensive.  Milk isn’t a big thing in Japan, so it is expensive.  This makes cheese expensive.  Ice cream is expensive, too.

No pepperoni! I love pepperoni, but all I can find is salami.  I want pepperoni!

Japanese salt and vinegar potato chips are a joke. It’s not a very common flavour here, but I have found salt and vinegar potato chips in Japan.  However, it’s not imported, it’s made in Japan.  It’s terrible!  Honestly, who has ever heard of sweet salt and vinegar potato chips?  Ugh!

Convenience store sandwiches suck. Mayonnaise is on everything.  I hate mayo.  And it uses the awful Japanese bread.  Enough said.

Wasteful packaging. In Canada, you can buy cookies and eat them right out of the tray that’s in the package.  In Japan, once you open the package, you have to open individually wrapped cookies.  Waste of plastic!

Although this has nothing to do with buying groceries, I do have another food gripe to make.  Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan is very greasy.  If you thought North American KFC was greasy, Japanese KFC is even greasier.  I can’t each much.

So, what do you think?

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Filed under Food

Picture of the Week 7 – Colonel Sanders

This is Colonel Sanders. Yes, Japan has KFC, too.

Colonel Sanders

Outside KFC restaurants in Japan, you can find a Colonel Sanders statue. At Christmas, it's dressed as Santa.

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Filed under Picture of the Week

1 year

One year ago, this blog was started.  Actually, 1 year and 1 day ago, it was started.  Sorry, I’m late for my blog’s anniversary.  Over the past year, I have been to many new places, watched sumo twice, attended 3 festivals, and took too many pictures to count.  There’s been a lot that’s happened, but I haven’t been able to keep my blog updated as much as I wanted.  I have a lot to post, so I’ll defininitely get to work on that.  I hope the next year is even better!

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Filed under Blog Announcements

The shopping street cat

In the neighbourhood I live in, there’s a busy shopping street near the station. During the day, it’s quite crowded, but at night, there are only a few restaurants and bars open. When I go home from work, I walk down this street in the evening, always looking for my friend. My friend is a cat. She’s a friend of many people, actually. It seems that she lives on the street, being fed by shop owners. She’s a very social cat, and is often waiting outside an ice cream shop for someone to come and sit with her. Often, I see a different person sitting on the ground with her relaxing in his or her lap. She loves to sit with people, who love to pet her. If she’s alone, I’ll often go over and pet her. She’s always happy for the attention. I don’t know her name, but she’s my friend.

My friend

This is my friend.

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Filed under Daily Life

Picture of the Week 6 – Tanabata, the Star Festival

It’s getting close to the time of the year for Tanabata, or the Star Festival. I’d already posted a picture about this last year, but I think this picture is much better. Tanabata is on July 7th.

Tanabata decorations

Very colourful decorations for Tanabata.

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Filed under Isogo-ku, Japan, Kanagawa, Picture of the Week, Yokohama

Tsuyu, the rainy season

It’s that time of year again.  It’s time for the rainy season, or tsuyu (梅雨) in Japanese.  It begins around the middle of June and lasts until the middle of July.  It’s typically very wet with sometimes heavy rain, sometimes misty rain, sometimes thunderstorms.  Night time temperatures are very close to the daytime temperatures, differing by only 2 or 3 degrees sometimes.  It is also very humid.  Usually, it is warm to hot weather, which makes it very uncomfortable.  It’s also terrible weather for doing laundry.

This year’s rainy season has started quite normally, with lots of rain.  The rain started Sunday night.  Last year, the rainy season started late, and even then, it was a pretty dry rainy season.  Once it was supposed to have ended, the normally hot and sunny mid to late July became very wet.  It was a strange summer last year.  Well, I’m hoping for a normal rainy season and a normal summer this year.

We’ve already had several days approaching 30 degrees, and will have some hot days this week.  The tropical air during rainy season will keep it quite muggy.  After rainy season, I look forward to around 2 months of hot and sunny days with temperatures above 30 degrees and high humidity.  Got to love Japan’s summer.

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Filed under Japan, Weather