Japan’s favourite eggs are chicken, salmon and cod

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This survey from @nifty looked at egg-based foods, covering both bird eggs and fish roe.

My parents often ate cod roe and herring roe; I only tried cod once as a child, but I can still remember the unpleasant texture. Although we ate a lot of salmon in our house (my father would regularly catch many fish) I cannot remember salmon roe ever appearing on the table. I don’t know if it was that he only went fishing after the spawning season, or he chucked them away, or what. Next time I’m on the phone I’ll have to ask!

By the way, note that percentages with one decimal place are exact values, but with no decimal places are estimates read off graphs.

Here’s some typical salmon roe – to me it just looks too polished and deeply-coloured, so I always suspect there must be artificial colouring added (they do it to farmed salmon meat, so why not eggs too) and something else pre-serving for that extra shine:

Japanese New Years Cuisine (Salmon Roe)
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Election views

The election may be over, but this survey from @nifty took a look at views regarding this election and elections in general.

Sound trucks here are usually actually cars or just light trucks that drive around both town centres and residential areas blasting out usually nothing more than the candidate’s name and maybe their age; apparently election law forbids broadcasting about policies from a moving vehicle during the 10 days of official campaigning; doing it from a stationary truck or standing on a street corner is fine, however. As useless as it sounds, all parties do it, giving people little peace during the campaign.

By the way, note that percentages with one decimal place are exact values, but with no decimal places are estimates read off graphs.

Here’s a typical sound truck – the extra hands are waving at passers-by, the “29” on the front is the age of the candidate; for younger candidates the typical poster has the age in a bigger font than the party name.

megaphone madness
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Japanese average three credit cards in their wallets

@nifty recently published a report looking at credit and point cards.

I normally carry five credit cards with me, along with probably close to 10 credit card-sized point cards. Note that I don’t know if this survey included cards registered in mobile phones with Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Japan’s own Osaifu Keitai system. Now I think about it, I’ve never seen a survey on that, although I’ve seen a number on electronic cash including mobile phone-based systems. I’ll have a search later this week and see what I can find.

For point cards, I’ve got one (d Point from Docomo) that is also a smartphone app, but I only use the physical version, and I have two virtual-only card apps (Tokyu Hands and Afternoon Tea).

By the way, if you live in Japan you must get yourself an electronic superstore point card at the very least; there’s 8% to 10% point back, and Yodobashi Camera’s online store beats Amazon easily on price once you factor in the points, and most of its delivery is free. I also would trust Yodobashi, Bic Camera etc, to install a washing machine or the like; my image of Amazon is that they use a regular delivery service that will just dump the box on your doorstep. (This is most likely wrong, of course, but that’s just how I imagine things!)

Let’s for a change use one of my own photos; here is a railway and department store company’s advert for their credit card; note the unconscious sexism with the boy kitten commuting, the girl kitten going shopping.

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One in four Japanese love natto

Natto is many a foreigners’ nemesis, but this survey from @nifty into natto and tofu found that many Japanese too find rotton beans foul.

I’ve tried a few times to eat it, but I just can’t cope with the smell; fortunately my wife too hates the stuff! Tofu on the other hand is wonderful! If you want to experience a wide range of tofu cooking, my recommendation is Hakkakuan (branches in various cities) – they have full course tofu with all-you-can-eat freshly-made tofu topped as desired with sour plum-coated sesame or coarse sea salt.

Here’s four cute blocks of tofu:

tofu square [2/365]
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Japan’s favourite space movies

For a change, today’s ranking is from an @nifty survey into weather, but just to pad it out or something they added an extra question about favourite movies set in space, which has a distinct lack of weather, but let us press on regardless.

Interestingly, those under 39 years old seem to have much less interest in SF movies, or movies in general, perhaps? I could blame it on the internet, where movies might be devalued by their ease of consumption, whether it be legal or illegal access, whereas the older age groups have stronger memories of visiting cinemas to deeply experience the movies.

Depressingly, Armageddon remains rather popular; Rotten Tomatoes gives it a mere 39% rating, although the audience score is a better 73%. I must admit to not having watched it, but I suppose Bruce Willis is rather popular over here…

Here’s a great photo of one of ANA’s Star Wars jets:

Fantastic pan-shot of ANA's freshly delivered Boeing 777-300ER in C3PO Star Wars livery takes off from Kansai International Airport! #AllNipponAirways #KansaiInternationalAirport #KIX #Japan #ANA #c3po #starwars #disney #boeing777 #Repost 凄いかっこいい写真by @soh
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Dog people outnumber cat people almost two to one

@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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