Dog people outnumber cat people almost two to one

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@nifty took a look at animals and pets.

Especially given that a new baby panda was recently born in Japan’s most well-known zoo, Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo, I was surprised to see pandas relatively low in the listings; penguins beating dolphins also seemed a bit odd.

I wouldn’t really recommend a visit to Japanese zoos; the two inner-city ones I’ve been to, Kobe’s Oji Koen Zoo and Osaka’s Tennoji Zoo are more prison camps than zoos. Safari parks are a bit better, and aquariums are impressive, although they could do with more space for the dolphins and whales.

After Ueno zoo’s baby panda, perhaps the most popular amongst the internet generation is the Siamang gibbon in Higashiyama Zoo in Nagoya with its distinctive old guy scream:


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Over four in five Japanese are regularly penny-pinching

@nifty recently published a survey looking at economising and ecology.

My home air conditioners make me worry about both economising and ecology; my wife runs them about one or two degrees too cold for me, and I hate to think how much they are chewing up in terms of both electricty bill and general environmental impact with respect to not just CO2 from the electricity generated, but also pumping out warm air into the atmosphere.

Here’s a rather glum-looking eco pig assaulting a little kid:

Earth Day Tokyo 2010
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Retirement in Japan

It’s something we’ll all (hopefully, although Trump seems to be trying his hardest to save us from that worry…) have to face, retirement, the subject of this survey from @nifty.

I just recently started our company pension scheme, and I’ve managed to reconnect myself with one of my UK private pensions, and after a visit to a financial adviser last month, she informed us we had enough to survive, although enjoying might be a different matter… Most Japanese companies still have a hard retirement age of sixty, and some (like my employer) with schemes to reemploy people on rolling yearly contracts at no doubt reduced wages.

I skipped translating question seven, as it was a list of famous people who are growing old ideally; top for men was Tokoro George then Tamori, and for women it was Sayuri Yoshinaga followed by Tamori. However, my ideal, who features nowhere in either the male or female top ten, would be Beat Takeshi. I’d love to be as talented to basically not give a care about anything or, as is more probably true, to be able to appear to not give a damn.

Here’s some random Japanese people enjoying their retirement:

Energetic Seniors
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Tokyo

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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