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Monthly ArchiveJanuary 2011

Japan simon on 28 Jan 2011

japan round-up!

UPDATED! Now with links to pictures..

Sorry it took me so long to finally do this post, but here it is!

So basically what this is all the little things (and sometimes big) that I have noticed or have picked up in Japan.

  • All the train stations have their own jingles! They play these melodies as the trains leave. Some stations with many platforms even have different ones.
  • Signs are in Japanese, Korean, Chinese and English.
  • Trains come around every three minutes! And they run very late and start quite early.
  • Tadakanobaba is an actual suburb and has the Astroboy theme as their station jingle!
  • Train seats are heated. Smile
  • Vending machines are EVERYWHERE. They contain everything from Coke, different flavours of Fanta, to alcohol, cigarettes and cameras.
  • Food vending machines are actually pretty rare.
  • Bins! They’re pretty hard to find. You’ll be accumulating trash for a bit before you get to dump them.
  • Train stations have more shops in them than shopping centres back here. I think you can imagine how many shops the actual centres have (and those connected to the stations!)
  • There are bright tracks on the ground to aid the visually impaired. Some pedestrian crossing make noises too for them. That said, they don’t all make sounds like they do here, so you have to pay attention to the actual lights. I’ve heard the station jingles also aid the blind.
  • In most of the smaller restaurants, you pay for your meal with a ticket machine at the front before eating.
  • Katsuya – a katsudon restaurant chain, is AMAZING.
  • McDonald’s sell Teriyaki McBurgers! They also are fascinated with American food but the one I had was pretty bad (Texas burger).
  • Ryokans are awesome.
  • Winter is… very cold. Smile with tongue out
  • In most areas, you aren’t allowed to smoke on the streets except for in what they call “Smoking corners”.
  • Family Marts are everywhere.
  • UNIQLOs are everywhere.
  • BIC Camera is everywhere.
  • People are everywhere. All the time.
  • Karaoke actually has songs to choose from!
  • Pokémon is the bomb.
  • Sony and Nintendo are king.
  • Ads are weird and funny.
  • The people at the train ticket counters are CRAZY. Their hands (fingers) don’t stop when they’re operating those touch screens!
  • Some trains have women-only carriages which are enforced at certain times.
  • If you plan to go to Universal Studios in Osaka, bring someone who knows Japanese. Everything is dubbed – no subs.
  • Trains take you everywhere.
  • Shinkansens are awesome. Expensive, but awesome. (Unless you have a JR-Pass, then it’s just awesome.)
  • It snows! Unlike Australia.
  • More people have expensive cars.
  • The Japanese love their square shaped cars.
  • They also love their flip phones.
  • Their tall buildings.
  • Their magazines – and reading them in store without buying them.
  • Their TVs.
  • And maid cafés.
  • ..and Pachinko/Slots.

Round-up or what? That’s it for now, all the things  I could remember from the top of my head.

Japan simon on 16 Jan 2011

Final few days

My time here in Japan is quickly coming to an end..

We leave on the morning of the 19th and arrive back in Perth by the 20th. Also, I’m very glad the stopover isn’t as long!

I have lots to share and stay tuned for the roundup post! I’m sure that will be fun to make and hopefully as fun for you to read.

I’ve really enjoyed my time here. I know I still have some time left, it’s been exhausting. I’m going to visit the Sony building tomorrow and the Square-Enix shop. I think we’re also going to the early morning fish markets. Should be fun!

See you back in Australia!

Japan simon on 16 Jan 2011

hello from Kyoto (reposted)

The site was moved to another server and it was deleted from online. Here is a repost of the local copy:

I have a few videos posted on FB already so you can check them out.

I’m currently staying in a capsule ryokan in Kyoto which is actually pretty nice. It has everything you need – and a fancy toilet!

Sorry I haven’t been blogging much, there is just a lot to do, and we’re doing it everyday. I’ll make a massive round-up at the end though.

For the past few days, I was staying at Tajimi with a host family, it is definitely a highlight of this trip.

Tomorrow, we’re heading to Universal Studios Japan and the largest Pokémon Centre in the world. Exciting!

That’s it for tonight.