Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Christmas Gift To My Liver

12.25WinterBooze-1, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

For Christmas and New Year's Eve I've got myself 2 magnums of Anchor Brewing's always wonderful winter beer. One of those is for Christmas night. The bottle of Goshon sake is for New Year's. It was Yuko's father's favorite brand, so I'm really looking forward to having (and sharing) it!

It's a Snowy Christmas!

12.25SnowyChristmas-1, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

A bit of snow is slowly floating to the ground now in Nishinomiya. Although it's not accumulating, it's still quite beautiful.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Sleepytako...

enjoy a smoke...
 or a kiss.

Thank you for checking out my little blog this year. I'm working on some fun projects for the coming year. I hope you'll stick with me until then.

Merry Christmas or, as my students say, メリクリ!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Live Crab Vending Machine - In Shanghai

OK. Now I'm getting worried about China's growth. They are encroaching into Japan's long held title as the country with the oddest vending machines.

A live crab vending machine has been introduced in Shanghai. The crabs sell for ¥200 to ¥600 depending on quality. These crabs are selling well too. They are reporting sales of 200 crabs a day.

The vending machine is kept at -10c to put the crabs, which are packed in plastic cases, into a state of hibernation. The company that runs the vending machine is also offering a refund of 3 fresh crabs if your crab is... dead on delivery.

The Japanese article and video is here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hashimoto, Yawata, Kyoto

Common in Japan is a neighborhood map such as this. The houses are identified with the resident's last name instead of a street address or house number.
Months ago, when it was still hot and sweaty out, I took a trip to ride the remainder of the Keihan lines that I had not been on at that time. After riding the Otokoyama Cable Car, Keihan's only cable car, I walked down the back of the mountain towards Hashimoto station on the Keihan Main Line. Otokoyama itself was quite interesting. There was a fine old shrine, a park, and a memorial to Thomas Alva Edison. The latter being something that I feel would warrant inclusion in the Japanese version of Roadside America.

The trees in the distance cover a small shrine on this steep street.
The hilly neighborhood of single family houses connected by steep narrow streets provided an interesting walk. I'm glad I don't walk up those streets coming home from work everyday however.

I've learned how to judge the population of a neighborhood by the size of their mailboxes.

The ku and su of kusuri (medicine) are barely hanging on to the side this pharmacy in a small enclave of commercial buildings set among the houses.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

We Can Ship To The States Again!

Quick note here. If you were annoyed by the 470g limit on packages to the USA that happened in mid-November, it's been lifted as of December 1st. Well, if my Japanese serves me right it has.

Here's the press release: