Japan’s favourite crisps

Let’s find out with goo Ranking what Japan’s favourite crisps (or chips, if you are so inclined) are.

Back in Scotland, it was Walker’s, and usually cheese flavour, but now in Japan it’s sour cream and onion, and Calbee is my favourite brand, although Koikeya’s Pride Potatoes are not bad too.

Now there’s a thing – I’ve never seen Smoky Bacon despite that being a standard UK flavour, and Vinegar is a rarity in crisps yet is a fundamental in many Japanese dishes.

The Calbee adverts can be quite entertaining (these are for Consommé Punch)


How the Japanese use dating apps

The Japanese used for dating apps is actually an English loan word, “matching”, so I’ll use that in this survey from Dimsdrive into matching apps and COVID-19.

In Q3, there were only five matching apps listed; surely there must be more than that?

Looking at the usage stats, perhaps not surprisingly men spend longer on these apps and are much more likely to spend money on extra services.

I met my wife through their predecessors, the classified ads in an English-language newsletter thing. We both experienced similar patterns of usage and payment to those reported here.

Lifestyle changes under COVID-19

The company Link and Communication, who make an AI health advisor mobile app called Calomama, surveyed their users about mental and physical health changes since the State of Emergency was declared.

I’m working from home, and my walking distance has been reduced from an average of 10,000 steps to about 500 or so. However, it’s been great for my stress levels, even though I find myself doing much more overtime than I did in the office. Due to the wonders of modern technology, I can log into my beefy work PC and do 95% of what I need to do.

Even better, the company has extended work at home for the forseeable future; the target is less than 50% per team commuting, but I think our team is under 10% right now.

Here’s a random Japan home office that is much more exiting than mine:

Office; May 2006

Women and mobile games: part 1 of 3

This rather huge survey from Kurashi How Labs looked at women and smartphone games and will be published over three days this week.

I’m not a woman, but I’ve currently got just one game on my phone
that I’m hopelessly addicted to! I’m not telling you how long I waste every day on it, but most of the play time is either at home or on the train to and from the office.

Almost two in three liked their middle-schooldays

This survey from @nifty looked at people’s middle-school days, when aged between 12 and 15 years old.

I had a uniform, I went home for lunch, liked maths and science, did great in the few tests that there were, and life was good, I suppose, although I haven’t really got too many strong memories from there.

Note that in Japan on the whole there is no dinner hall like most western schools; instead food gets brought to the classroom and everyone eats as a group with their classmates. If there are no catered meals, people are expected to bring their own lunch, and again everyone eats together.

I couldn’t find a picture of a middle school, but here’s an interesting circular primary school:

round school building (old meirin primary school)

Teetotallers totally typical things

You’ve probably seen lots of photos on the internet of passed-out salarymen, but have you ever been curious about what sober people get up to? No? Oh well, have this survey from Goo Ranking regardless, where they look at typical behaviours of non-drinkers.

As an ex-vegetarian, I can identify with a number of the answers as explaining being a veggie got very tiring; if I hadn’t minded the white lie, the best answer is just “religious reasons”. The true answer involved one flatmate’s awful cooking, Morrissey, ripping chicken legs off (shop-bought cuts, not live hens!), and, in a very roundabout way, religion.

Note that in Japan there are a lot of all-you-can-drink offers; almost every izakaya (traditional restaurant/pub mash-up thing) offers set menus with optional all-you-can-drink add-ons from about 1,000 to 2,000 yen, so most office booze-ups end up at these kinds of places.

If you thought sweet cigarettes were bad (I believe they are banned these days in many countries), in Japan as well as Chanmeri (fake champagne aimed at kids), we have this drink which they used to call “Beer for Kids”, but now perhaps to be more socially acceptable is just “Drink for Kids”:

Fun fact: 0% beer-like drinks from beer manufacturers (even completely 0.00% fizzy hops tea) require you to be over 20 to purchase.

Instagram favourite camera app of female university students

This interesting little survey was from TesTee Lab!, a survey company that specialises inthe youth demographic, and looked at female college students’ use of cameras and photo manipulation software.

A lot of the photo manipulation applications are unknown to me; I never do much more than the default filters on Instagram, and I don’t take enough selfies – well, I do take enough, absolutely zero – to feel the need to touch up my skin. On the other hand, I see occasionally on TV that Japanese celebs claim to do no-make selfies; while technically they might have been wearing no cosmetics at the time the shutter was pressed, they’ve very obviously airbrushed their skin and more often than not tweaked their chin and/or jaw line.

I’ve always wanted to buy these clip-on lenses for my smartphone, and as good fortune would have it, I was at a conference today and one of the goodies I got from IBM Japan was a set of three clip-on lenses. I could post the test fisheye selfie, but I don’t want to scare away too many of my readers! Perhaps I should download one of these apps and see if my mug can be “improved”…

Here’s some random Japanese taking a selfie:

Japanese Tourists Taking Selfies

Coping with the summer heat

The last weekend has provided a welcome break from the 35℃ heat so I’ve now got a little energy to update the blog with this appropriate survey from @nifty into coping with the summer heat.

Anything lower than about 26℃ on the air conditioning is too cold for me, but my wife prefers a degree or so less, so I’m sure you can guess who wins… I don’t go out without my hat as my father has recurring melanoma on the top of his head from too much tropical sun, and my Airism T-shirt. Fans just irritate me; the fap-fap-fap as people wave them about and brush them against things in the train, and the second-hand breeze from them just doesn’t feel right. I’m also not convinced that they do anything useful in a train that already has strong air conditioning, and the typical user is a podgy middle-aged man that would be cooler if they lost a few kilos rather than working themselves into more of a sweat with their paper fan. I might want to use a parasol, but as a bloke it doesn’t quite feel right and I’ve not seen sufficiently manly parasols that I might want to use.

One way Japanese cool down is by visiting a Haunted House; these appear in midsummer rather than Halloween as the chill that runs down your spine allegedly has a cooling effect. Here is a typical advertising board for a Haunted House:


Young working women dieting for fitness, not thinness

This survey from MyNavi on dieting revealed a pleasantly surprisingly positive view of dieting amongst young working women, despite television and magazines pushing the stick insect as the ideal body shape.

Being none of dieting, young, woman or gym-visiting, I cannot really comment much, although I was a bit surprised that meeting people (the language implied for friendship too, not just searching for a partner) was so low down in the list. The gym my wife visits is quite the social club, full of drama that I hear about in great details most nights.

Hot Yoga may no longer be the in thing, but wonky English never goes out of fashion:

Sweat Yoga in Hot

Majority of Japanese have worn a mask in bed

ValuePress! recently reported on wearing masks while sleeping. I don’t bother; I’ve done so once or twice, but my problem is drool rather than dryness, so masks don’t last very long.

Note we’re talking about mouth and nose masks, not eye masks, as you can see on these waking people in Tokyo:

Tokyo - City of Masks