Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Okay, I give up!

LOL! The 36 posts AREN'T gonna happen. I do promise to put up more photos later this week though!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Birthday Post Fifteen

Do you want something? Cos I could get it from you here! Sadly, the Something Store is in Osaka and not Tokyo. Oh well!

So, I'm still attempting to get 36 posts done...

Birthday Post Fourteen

Some more health and safety posters for you. I DO love these!

Birthday Post Thirteen

In Osaka? Need a haircut? How about this place?

Birthday Post Twelve

The streets of Tokyo are clean and free of dog shit. Of course, ONE reason for this might be that dogs don't usually actually get to walk anywhere, they get carried of pushed.

I no longer bat an eyelid at seeing a dog being pushed around. Or at a dog wearing clothes. This one in sunglasses was a first though. Can you see it's little toy in the corner of its pram?

This little guy was left outside a toyshop while people gawked at him. I assume his owner was inside the same shop:

As you can see from this slightly closer view, he looks rather pissed off, don't you think? Wonder if it's his red and white bandanna, his denim dungarees or his yellow buggy that's annoying him most. Or the passersby who keep grabbing at his skin folds.

Does this count as animal cruely? One large over-shaved and snipped poodle for you. In the basket is a smaller dog. Can someone explain the term 'walking the dog' to me, please. Cos I'm a bit confused now.

This Daschund likes his pram. At one stage he was taken out of it, put on the floor and, HORRORS, expected to walk. Boy, did HE look pissed off. He actually sat down and refused to move until he was pulled along the pavement. Grumpily.

This isn't a very clear picture as I took it from a cafe balcony onto the terrace a few metres away. Anyway, you should just about be able to make out that lump on the pooches' back. Its hair has been shaped into a large heart shape. Help me!

Life in Japan, for a dog, is pretty good though. I mean, so many nice clothes and accessories, not having to walk and having its own beauty parlours for massaging and treatments. Oh and not to forget dog cafes. I mean do some places not have these yet?

And, naturally, as many Japanese live in such small apartments that they can't keep dogs, they can pay to go and touch and play with them. See, the Japanese think of everything!

Birthday Post Eleven

Some Kyoto pinkness:

Birthday Post Ten

Some Kyoto redness for you:

Birthday Post Nine

Look! This builder is so cute! And he's showing us a cute house! With a cute bathroom! And the cute family that will use it! And he's SO happy about it! Yay! (Gah!)

On the subject of baths (yes, it's a very loose link). Here's the poster from the public bath at the Osaka hostel we stayed in. I was hoping to get a picture of the bath to post, but at times when it wasn't being used, and I was around to take a picture, they had pipes in there cleaning it, so I didn't manage. Anyway, it's another 'cute' picture for you to enjoy. And mind the instructions, okay!

Birthday Post Eight

Seen in Osaka. It's a, well, you can read, can't you?

Anyway, I think it deserves it's own post. You'd not see this in your average UK street, would you?

Birthday Post Seven

Okay, I'm beginning to figure out that I'm probably not going to get 36 posts out of the photos. But, what the hey... Let's keep going and see!

Trains in Tokyo have priority seating for four groups of people. In Osaka, they've added people with broken hearts who want to sit and weep quietly. Very sweet, I thought.

And remember, when you're in a station in Osaka, always find a short person to walk in front of you:

And if it's all just TOO much, well, go and have a cry in the toilet. Handily, they have plans outside the loos here so you won't get confused when you go in. Nice.

Birthday Post Six

Just a few every day sights for you this time.

Everywhere you go people are promoting things, normally with a megaphone or a microphone, or just screaming out. Many of them have to dress up to do this. Of course, for the girls, this usually means a bum-skimming skirt. The guys tend to be shoved into 'character' costumes, like this one:

Is Japan a nation of gamblers? Nah, probably not. But I never would have imagined there would be so many slot machines, pachinko parlours or other ways to gamble and quickly lose a few hundred yen. This picture is of a pachinko parlour. Salarymen (mainly) sit down at a machine, let themselves be deafened by the noise, smoke themselves into a frenzy, and watch little balls whizzing around a machine in the hope that they might win some money. People take note of 'good machines' (the ones that pay out well, or something like that) and you'll often see queues of people outside the parlours, waiting for them to open. This includes at 8am on a Saturday morning. Nuts. Absolutely nuts.

One of the things I love about Japan is vending machines. They are everywhere and it's unusual to walk for more than five minutes without seeing one. Of course, this being Japan, if you put money into a machine, you always get something out. Unlike in England. The most common type of machine is the one that sells drinks (hot or cold, naturally), like this one:

But you can get ice-creams, flowers and all sorts from them. Used pants too, apparantly, though luckily I'm yet to discover one of those. Here's one with batteries:

And this one had ties and disposable cameras amongst it's selection of merchandise. Well, you never know when you might need a quick tie, do you?

Birthday Post Five

As you wander around in Japan, you see a lot of serious statues, like these:

And scarier ones, like this one:

And then there's the silly ones. This Doraemon was in the same shrine, in Kyoto, as the two pictures above:

These two, er, anatomically bizarre cats were in someone's garden in Kyoto:

And I found a shop that sold stone Hello Kitty, Micky Mouse, etc 'gnomes' for the garden. WHY?!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Birthday Post Four

Okay, this post is all about shoes. To start with, these delightful brown shoes (also available in fashionable greens, blues and blacks) are available at many places where outdoor footwear is not permitted.

You can't take them home with you, sadly:

Wandering around in Kyoto, we came across a couple of tourists made up as Maiko (trainee Geisha). Don't ya just love the footware?:

As for these, well, silver slingbacks and black tights. Hmmm. Personally, I think it's ick beyond words, but it's a not too unfamiliar sight around Tokyo:

These are rather, er, interesting too. I'm not sure what they're meant to be. Sort of sandly things with built in ankle warmers, I guess:

Green shoes with gold, er, details. Just more ick:

Okay, pushing the linkedness a bit here: this is Linda and I taking the piss out of the pigeon-toed stance and walk you so often see in the streets. It's meant to be cute, apparantly.

And this picture has absolutely nothing to do with feet, but I couldn't figure out where to theme this blue-haired granny. I mean, in the UK we have grannies with blue rinses, but here I've seen more grannies with dark blue or purple or bright orange hair than I'd care to count!

Birthday Post Three

Wandering around in Osaka you see food being prepared all around you, if you're after a quick and tasty snack or meal.

However, making you OWN is so much more fun. Here's the blob that started off, at our table of raw eggs and things:

And slowly started setting:

And finally got nice and browned:

And was absolutely delicious. (Oh, okay. You CAN make your own okonomiyaki, but I'd never done it before so the waitress did it for us. Next time I will though. It was kind of fun).

The hostel we stayed in in Osaka had a really cute little coffee shop a few metres away that we went to for breakfast a couple of times. I loved the chemistry lab look of the bubbling coffee pots.

And adored the tiniest milk jug I have ever seen. And no, I didn't nick it!