Tokyo

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A simple title for this survey from @nifty, a broad look at many issues surrounding Tokyo.

I don’t really know which wards I’ve been to as I’m not sufficiently familar with the geography. Perhaps in the survey there was a short reminder of the main stations or sights in each ward.

I’ve been on just the one bus tour of Tokyo, and the one good place was the Geihinkan, the State Guest House or Akasaka Palace. Getting tickets is a little difficult, so a tour is probably the best way to assure entry.

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Japan’s summer not liked by almost two-thirds

@nifty recently reported on a survey into summer.

Japan’s summer is far too hot and quite humid, interrupted by far too windy and extremely humid typhoons, so I quite understand why it doesn’t seem that popular here.

I don’t take any particular measures against mosquitoes; bites irritate me and the area swells up quite a bit, but it’s just too much bother for rather little effect, in my opinion. I’ve also once had nasty heatstroke that caused me to sweat about three litres-worth once I retired to an air-conditioned room to rest.

The seventh question was about which musicians or celebs suit summer; most of the names mean little to me, but number two was Keisuke Kuwata, who brings on a summer mood as soon as I hear any of his music. Here’s a currently-showing advert for Hawaii:


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Japanese hate the beer gut from warm, bitter beer

As a follow-up from Sunday’s look at celebs pimping beer, I now present the rest of the survey into beer and beer-like drinks.

Note, happoshu is (as far as I am aware…) separately-produced alcohol mixed with beer flavours and fizz to get some sort of mock beer that tastes as bad as it sounds; the reason it sells is that it is lower tax and goes for about half the price. Third sector or new genre beer is brewed like beer, but instead of malts (which attracts a high tax), alternatives like potatos, peas, old socks, etc is used, and other magic goes in to remove sugars, purine (the stuff that gives you gout) and other nasties. Low sugar is good for avoiding morning mouth and it often tastes quite passable, and of course is pocket-friendly.

Here’s a bunch of random beer adverts, many in classic style:

Beer posters
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Celebrities that drive you to drink

This is in a good way (well, assuming you accept that celebrities should be promoting beer), which celebrities in beer adverts give people a thirst.

I couldn’t find a nice ranking from goo this week, so instead I’ve borrowed a result from an @nifty survey into beer that I will probably fully translate the remainder of this week.

Japan gets them started young; on the left is “Beer for good children”, on the right is “Children’s drink”.

Beers for Children
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Western toilet style vastly preferred

This survey into toilets is rather interesting, and a bit surprising that nearly half the Japanese men have at least occasionally felt the urge to go whilst travelling to work.

One interesting result from the stand or sit debate is that Kyushu men, who have the stereotype of being very masculine and uncompromising, were to type here, with over 50% making a stand for a man’s right to stand.

I’m a bit funny when it comes to public toilets; I’ll only use department store ones if I need a poo, but I can very easily be turned off by simple things like some cling-ons left on the bowl or just a funny smell, and no toilet seat cover makes me feel very uncomfortable for some weird reason!

Here’s an advert for getting caught short in the train – geri-portation is a terrible pun on geri, the runs, and teleportation:


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Three in four Japanese like okonomiyaki and takoyaki

The two soul foods of the west of Japan are okonomiyaki, a sort-of savoury pancake, and takoyaki, a ball of dough with octopus testicles inside. This survey from @nifty looked at what the whole country thinks of okonomiyaki and takoyaki.

I love okonomiyaki; it’s great on a hot summer’s evening in front of blazing hot plate with an ice-cold beer or three. My first few years in Japan I ate it at least twice a week at a local shop, as it was one of the few easy vegetarian meals even with little language, as they cook everything right in front of you.

I’ve never had takoyaki, however. It always smells too strong for me, and the dancing fish flakes look quite unappetising!

Okonomiyaki: mayo and ginger top it off -- ready to eat!
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Pak chi (cilantro) disliked by almost half the Japanese

This survey from @nifty looked at Chinese and other Asian dishes.

I’ve not tried much Chinese food in Japan, but it does have the image to me of being like the cheap carry-outs I remember from Scotland. I’ve not tried much Korean either, but I’ve at least had a reasonable number of the South-East Asian dishes.

There’s a Bamiyan Chinese restaurant just one minute walk from my house, but I won’t go in: it’s half smoking with very little separation, and anyway, I have some degree of misophonia, with noodle slurping being my biggest pet hate (excessive plastic bag rustling in the train is another), so I couldn’t possibly enjoy any food.

I rather like pak chi; I think the first time I encountered it was a Vietnamese restaurant in Shinjuku, and since I’ve also had pak chi crisps (nice!) and pak chi lemonade, which was interesting.

Here’s some random gyoza:

Nomenclature.
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Japanese and physical newspaper consumption

Unlike many other countries, Japan’s physical newspaper market is generally healthy, as far as I am aware, and this survey from @nifty into newspapers appears to back up my opinions.

Note that some of the figures have one decimal place and some have none; this is because some figures were published to one decimal place, but others I had to estimate off a graph.

I didn’t know half of these uses in Q6! Here is a random cat helping his owner to read the newspaper:

うめ
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Japanese quite open to home robots, Roomba and friends most popular

Would you like to have a robot around the house? graph of japanese statistics@nifty recently surveyed its members to find out their opinions on robots.

I don’t know what ASIMO, Honda’s walking robot, is doing in the list of household robots; as far as I am aware it is nothing more than a technology promotion, with no plans to commercialise. I’m also surprised to see Panasonic’s Mr Evolta, which again I understand to be just a vehicle for promoting their recharable batteries. Regardless, it’s interesting to so how well-known these names are.

This is my favourite robot statue that pre-dates the more famous life-size Gundam, a life-size Testujin 28-go.

Tetsujin 28
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One in seven over-sixty Japanese have prepared for their death

Do you know the term 'shuukatsu'? graph of japanese statisticsA word that came into fashion about five or six years ago is 終活, shuukatsu, an abbreviation of the phrase “Activities for one’s end of life”, basically getting one’s finances, will, paperwork, funeral plan, etc all in order while one is still able, so as not to be too much bother for one’s relatives after kicking the bucket. This survey from @nifty looked at this subject, shuukatsu, end of life preparations.

I’ve got my grave prepared – it’s a family plot out in the wilds of Shiga prefecture for myself, my wife, and her parents. Since Japanese funerals are quite expensive, my wishes would be to get everything over and done with with the minimal of fuss and expense. I’ve still got a tonne of paperwork from the UK to sort out though…

At least my place looks prettier than here:

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By 白蛇の騎士白蛇の騎士, GFDL, Link

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