Tag Archives: japan

Meiji Shrine

If you haven’t been to Tokyo, next to nothing is open before 10:00 AM. Even Starbucks didn’t open until 7:00 AM one day when we needed a place to nap. The one thing that is open is the shrines, so went to the Meiji Shrine.

Torii at the entrance to the Meiji Shrine.

It was pretty early in the morning so most people weren’t around. It was very tranquil, like the forests of Pandora.

Michelle, doing a traditional cleansing ritual before entering the shrine.

The shrine with the first rays of light striking it.

People’s prayers written on small pieces of wood and hung up at the shrine.

Consecration wine.

Sake time!



First Meal in Tokyo: Ordered by Robot (Kinda)

We took a redeye flight to Japan and landed at about 5:00 AM.

The sun was just rising over Haneda Airport. Since it was too early to check into our room, we dropped our bags off at our hotel and went wandering. Hunger quickly set in as we explored the city.

Here is Michelle putting in our order for our first meal. Since all taxes and service fees are included in prices, a lot of restaurants use vending machines to take orders. Select your order, insert your money, and out comes a ticket for your order.

This is one of the more advanced units that has a digital screen with photos of the food, which makes ordering easier for people that don’t speak or read Japanese like us. Others just had mechanical buttons with Japanese writing on them.

While the use of a vending machine may seem a bit odd, it’s pretty common in restaurants in Japan. It is not a lack of personal touch either, as there is often someone in these restaurants to greet and seat you after you’ve ordered through the machine. I wish we had more of this in America. I’d probably have my food order screwed up less often.

I already miss Japan

Also, I am starving. I wish I could walk out the door right now, walk twenty feet in any direction, and grab a bowl of noodles. Stay tuned for the trip recap with plenty of delicious food photos.

Who wants to go to Japan?

Lately I’ve been working on planning our upcoming vacation to Japan. I find that using Google Maps is super useful for planning options. I’ve thrown together some of the items that we have available to us when we are in Tokyo.

View Tokyo in a larger map

While I’ve done a lot of planning, I am relying a lot on the work that other people have already done. I’m supplementing my map with this great map of noodle joints thanks to Ramen Adventures.

View Tokyo Ramen Shops in a larger map

I’m so excited!

Is the Problem Japan or Marriage?

I ran across this article, and it almost made me laugh. Then it made me feel sad for the Japanese. As I looked closer, the article mentioned that it surveyed married couples in Japan. Is this really an issue isolated to Japan, or is this about married people not having sex? I bet if the survey dug a little deeper they would find that single employees are still making time for their bodily needs. If this is such a problem, companies should just host happy hours for their employees and send them home all liquored up and ready for action. It might even provide for more crazy game show ideas. If you don’t understand why that’s awesome, Google it.

I wish someone would urge me to go leave work early to have sex or just to play Rock Band on my couch in my underwear.

Blast From the Internet Past

As promised I dug through some of my old CDs that I burned in college. It was great finding tons of music videos. What is amazing is the low quality some of these videos. I remember them taking up half of my screen when I was in school. I must have been running a 600-pixel resolution or something, because these videos are tiny on my computer now.

These three videos I dug up are Japanese commercials for a well known athletics gear company. Although these are old and not American commercials, I’d rather not receive take down notices from YouTube. I found these through my Japanese roommate, who was really into Japanese pop culture. He would wake up at 4:00 AM once a week to listen to a Japanese radio show that streamed live over the Internet. He said all three of these videos had famous Japanese rappers do the music.