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wild  sexy  fun  japan what the other guys won't show you...in bite-size bits, like sushi.



Rainy Season 2009 embraces Japan!

a silver lining...


(actually, mainly contemplating whether to buy another beer, or switch to chu-hi for the rest of the walk to my station.)

we have a winner!

kirin grapefruit chu-hi, in the fun-to-open crinkle cut can. 4.8% real fruit juice, 6% alc., 100% refreshing on a sweltering summer day. all 187 of them.

seriously, the steam bath we call Japan summer is about 6 months long. the fabled spring & fall, which are lovely, now last about 10 days apiece.

this sets up a tremendous & impressive Japanese phrase which is guaranteed to turn heads & drop jaws should you use it: 

mono no aware

which translates to something like: that which is most beautiful and precious is so precisely because it is fleeting.

e.g., sakura season. the 4 or 5 days that the cherry petals stay on the trees.

(drop these pearls at your own risk.)










Because I only have my yellow belt in fckng MS FrontPage, I don't know how to segment & exploit this gaping black void.

Please just continue on as if nothing looks amiss.



















(- _ -)

On The Platform: a rainy day docudrama. 

Waiting, accruing.

maintaining posture and position.

the coach is arriving...

the human flow...

keep moving forward...plenty of room

yellow umbrella hustle it up! cutting it tight, doors thinking about closing.

Gone. Hope she made it.





I am usually content with my stories based on conventional wisdom, hearsay and conjecture. Alack, a reader has come along with scholarship and rocked the boat:

Great site...I find my way back to it periodically when I'm supposed to be working.  I've been in Japan for 12 years total, but enjoy the fresh perspective on things like beer gardens and Japanese girls.  Keep it up (no pun intended).

The thing that prompted me to write is your description of the origin of "Viking" to describe a buffet (sorry if this is getting geeky).  
You may already know, but I wasn't sure from the description.  The Teikoku (Imperial) Hotel claims that バイキング comes from a restaurant they used to have called Viking, which was the first in Japan to offer (smorgasbord) buffets, so the restaurant became associated with the buffet, and the name stuck.  Who knows if it is true, but it seems as likely as any other explanation I've heard.  This explanation was in a book about the hotel's history that was thoughtfully provided in my room on a previous stay.


From his return address I see he is an exec type with a major multi-national, not another english sensei duffer...so I think his correction & additional knowledge bears consideration.  I had actually never heard this before, but sure sounds more authoritative than what I've got. 

Thanks for the information, Kevin. Glad to see someone is paying attention. Don't let your boss catch you sniffing round here.

? ? 

to twitter not to twit?

lately, readers have written in asking to follow japandemic on twitter, I guess after all that hoopla in Iran. I have not joined twitter, don't see the point.  I'm concerned the "tweets" would be not only another distraction, but possibly longer than many of the "articles" on the site.

thanks all for your interest...I'm going to go hike the Appalachian Trail or the Asian Treasure Trail or someplace & mull it over. so who knows...

I'm gonna get what I got coming and the rest I'm taking...

 Can you get this at SAM'S CRUB?

I haven't been but my guess is not.  WAL+MART house brand sushi wrap dried laver seaweed called nori. Available at SEIYU supermarkets...and quite good.

what with all the KFC and McDonald's now encrusting Japan, weight is becoming a problem (relatively speaking). so to the rescue, some 0 calorie can chu-hi! sparkling!

say not the struggle nought availeth...

double negatives in English


the spinning red cop light's a nice touch. in case you miss the sake kanji on the sign. Circle K convenience store, Kawaramachi.

Letters from you!

I want to say that lately we are getting lots of good letters from lots of you.  I read them all. But, I have yet to respond to any directly. I will try and reply to some and post more in the Your Letters section of this site.

Truly, all are appreciated. I'm not the prick that won't call back because he doesn't give a fck about you; I'm more the guy who doesn't call back because he's too nervous about what to say.  Peace...and stay tuned.


White Rike Me 

this guy is obviously a full service leafleteer--you don't have to bow this deep to meet the Emperor. He washed and waxed the car of this lady for taking his stupid flyer...but I couldn't pay the bitch to hit me with one. 

At the end of the day, this is still an Us vs Not Us society, even if being Not Us is really pretty good.

Photo Doc Coming Soon.

Here's to you, Big Boy!

waiting on the train to Osaka. think he sees her coming.

Where you at Rock, where you at?
I'm over here to the rear with the 40s of beer.

Free Holy Water, on tap!

this is fresh delicious drinkable water constantly running. Shimogoryo Jinja Shrine.


bet that velour feels mighty nice on the skin...bet that skin feels mighty nice on the skin.

help...and be helped

Here is the entrance to the place, on Teramachi just below Marutamachi. Many older folks pull in here with a bike basket full of empty 2 liter bottles and tank up.

when I'm not busy teaching drinking commuting writing takingpictures reading lying & conniving, I am trying to get good on this:

she smiled at me full of teeth. the biggest friendliest juiciest smile she'd ever given. she was furious. 

Lived on the Inside.

Seen from the Outside.

 That's what friends are for...two underage street urchins sit along the wall in front of the Book Off store at Sanjo/Kawabata.  When the orange-haired one can't get her cig lit due to the strong wind preceding the next rainstorm, her friend holds up some free cell phone mag to block it for her.



I got ur back, girlfriend!

never underestimate  being underestimated


a convenience store w/ pertinent signage labeled. enjoy!


right: businessmen load up on hooch for the train ride home. it is almost midnight, getting close to last train for many commuters.


lookout! I got mine bitch and I'm gone!


fellow readers: if you like this site please spread the word like human manure over an Edo Period rice field.  thanks.

posting a link to this site also much appreciated and good karma for you. 

beware: we judge others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intentions.

--attributed to David Mamet, I don't know for certain.  But I know that it's fact.



Gambatte sensei!!!


and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep...

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