Monday, August 28, 2006

Random Japan is Fun Japan!

A river runs through it.

This is the river which goes through my town. If you notice the mountain in the background, those of you with keen eyes will pick out a building. It's a Japanese Temple, but I have yet to figure out how to get there. I test drove the car I'm buying today, and I finalized the paper work, so next week I should have a greater mobility to investigate further. As soon as I can make it to the mountain top temple, I will post those pictures as well.

Onto other things.

Why yes it is!

In fact the Japanese love English so much they gave me a highly overpaid job! I'm lucky, but I have a big job ahead of me. As an English teacher it's my duty to make sure the Japanese have a good grasp on English. If not a good grasp, at least better than the guy who invented this logo...

For example, this English is very fun, if not entirely funny.

Don't laugh. This isn't funny. As an English teacher I take bad English very serious. Just kidding, this is so hillarious! I laughed a lot, and I couldn't help but share it with you. When Native English speakers tell you about the infamous Japanese "Engrish" this is exactly what we mean.

Oddly enough, Dr. Assy is a big brand name here just like Dr. Sholes foot incerts back home, and Dr. Assy has cornered the market in Japan and his big 'ASSY' is plastered across Japan in shoe stores everywhere.

U.S. Cola? Not as good as Virgin Cola, but maybe that's because it's made in Japan? I dunno.

Speaking of 'Engrish' there are other strange usages of English in Japan which I haven't quite figured out yet, other than the fact the to the Japanese English -any English- sounds kakkoii ~COOL~!

Even though the U.S. Cola is very American looking this patriotic drink happens to be entirely 100% made in Japan. But we all drink it not because it's good cola, but because it has the name of the best damn country in the world on it's can! Yeah, right? Who knows, next we'll probably be drinking Bangkok Cola, or Russian Fizzy Surprise?!

Ah, so this is where the 40 and 50 year old Japanese adults hang out at 2pm in the afternoon. The manga (comic book) aisle!

I guess they are all testing out their Mr. Assy foot incerts. I mean, you would need that extra padding to stand around and read comics all afternoon. But if the adults are all reading comics, where are the kids?

Karate kid. This 18 year old High school girl kicked and punched through two inch thick wood as if it were paper! The boards snapped like two week stale bread sticks.

Two breaks in less than 2 seconds! Kick punch combo and she's fast!

Yes, she is the REAL Karate kid. And she was real cute too! However, she was a little intimidating as she kicked and punched through wood boards and what not. It makes a guy think twice about flirting with a pretty girl when you don't know your odds. 50/50 most likely... either you get a a friendly conversation and meet an interesting girl or she gets offended by your advance and snaps your neck and leaves you for the vultures. Either way, it was an impressive Karate demonstration.


Like my drawing? I drew it myself.

Welcome to English! Be afraid!

Sheesh! You leave the room for eight seconds and the other JETs go wild. Actually, I caught the girl red handed as she -according to her artistic comments, "Improved" my art. Anyway, I thought she had a morbid and strange sense of humor. I worry about her kids. What kind of English will they be learning?!

Yes, folks, that's why we're here -to warp the young minds of future generations of Japanese! Ganbatte fellow JETs! (Ganbatte means 'good luck' in Japanese)

Speaking of which...

Ganbatte SNAIL!!!

This little guy looks like he could use a little good luck himself. I really don't know what he was trying to accomplish by trying to cross the busiest street in town, but one can never really tell what a snail is thinking anyay. But he definately had places to go and people to see!

I hate you BUG.

Maybe the little snail, which was the size of my giant Willy Wonka Jaw Braker candy, was on his way to see his noisy friend the Semi (Cicada in English). Although Semi are a sign of summer, and the crazy Japanese can't get enough of them, I find their screaming buzz a little too much on the side of noise polution.

After all, a large grove of these things will produce more noice than a Jet engine. If they're noisier than a Jet engine just think about being surrounded by an entire forest of these noisy insects. Rather, Semi really put the 'bug' into, "You bug me." The sad part is I'm actually starting to get used to them. They are just one of the many 'sounds' of Japan.

Not only that, they like the warmth of the city and come to visit. Every time you get close their high pitch buzz whines to a deafening siren like whale and although this guy was screaming like a banshi I was able to get close enough to snap a quick photo with my phone. Although I was a little timid about getting too close, after all this bug is the same size as my cell phone. Once I had one fly into me crashing into my head, and it hurt! It felt like a basesball smacking me in the face. Stupid Semi!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Nozomi Shinkansen

Faster than a speeding... bullet?
You bet! In fact the thing is so darn tootin' fast that when you pass another train your ears pop from the pressure. When you enter a tunnel you get the same pressurized effect as going up a mountain to an extremely high elevation and you have to yawn. Now that's what I call a fast train!

Last call, all aboard!

This was the train I took. As you can see, there is more than one type of bullet train. The NOZOMI is the express train which stops in only 7 stations accross Japan, Tokyo at one end and Hakata at the other, is faster than flying. It's a well known fact that by the time you get through airport security the NOZOMI SHINKANSEN (bullet train express) has already traveresed the entire nation of Japan to bring you safely to your destination.

Needle nose here is a newer model of the Shinkansen.

It looks more like a bullet than the white one, which to me looks a lot like a duck.

Japan is Many Things

Land of the 'We Eat Raw Fish'.

Yes, Japan is many things. It is a mystical and magical land full of ancient history and cutting edge technology. It has its quirky side, but all of it is never the less beautiful beyond compare. I have spoken enough, so kick back and enjoy as I let the pictures speak for themselves.

Land of the really bright unbrellas?

Land of the Really BIG TVs.

Land of the REALLY fast trains. In fact the "Bullet Train" is so fast I could barely capture it on camera.

Woosh! Five seconds later the train is showing us its back end! I clicked the button, turned, and clicked the button again and these two shots show how fast you have to be if you want to keep up with this 200 Mph train! Zoom Zoom Zoom!

Land of the tiny cute girls. Oh yes they are!

My Eyes, My Blog...
Welcome to Japan!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Not a Virgin Anymore!

Virgin Cola??? I have to try this.

Just like most Japanese 'Engrish' this English was embarrassingly bad. 'Virgin' Cola? It made me laugh and cringe, yet simultaneously managed to pique my curiosity.

A Virgin Cola?

You've got to love how the Japanese use English to sell a product. UPDATE: As it turns out this is actually the same Cola which is made by the 'Virgin Trading' company (Richard Branson's co.) which owns Virgin records, but I've never seen a Cola like this... so in fact it is strange English, that is to say, peculiar, just like 'Engrish'! Coincidence? I think not.

Haha! Not a Virgin anymore! Not after I violated it!

Shortly after we met, my Cola and I had a hot sexy affair.

So that's what a Virgin taste like? Tastes a lot like Coca-Cola Classic to me. Actually, it's the closest flavor of Cola to Coke Classic I've ever had. Delicious!

And refreshing too!

A love story like no other. I love my Cola. The End.

Hiroshima Orientation

When you see this sort of sky line...

This week I spent having meetings in Hiroshima. All the prefectural JETs, mainly all of us living in Hiroshima Prefecture, were required to attend these mandatory business meetings. After all, we are getting paid for it. Luckily there was just a little bit of free time and so I was able to take these photos with my cell phone. Yes, you heard me right. All of these photos were taken using my cell phone!


I think the entire world knows that Hiroshima is one of the places which the American U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb on. Of the entire city there was only one building left standing. Everything, and I mean EVERTYTHING, else was demolished and instantly vaporized or turned into ash. This last building is the site of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. A memory of the horrible nature of war, and why PEACE is so important. It's a stark and grim reminder of why we must STOP fighting and start moving toward peace.

Last Standing

The Japanese know this more than anybody, because in seven thousand years of human existance ONLY Japan has been through a NUCLEAR POST APOCALYPTIC attack by the most devestating weapon ever created. A weapon by its very nature was to kill everything without mercy. This is the terrifying history and the horrible facts which remind us all that PEACE and LOVE is of the utmost importance. Perhaps even more so in todays chaotic world.

When I met the bomb... and that's the prayer.

"When I Met the Bomb" is a famous prayer that is said in memory of the victims of the Hiroshima bombing. I won't go into gory details, but after coming out of the museum not a single person had a dry eye. Too many regrets and sad scenes reminded everyone of the sadness and embarassment which comes with war and killing.

1 Million Cranes for World Peace!

In the Japanese culture the Crane (bird) is known as a good luck omen. The bird in synonymous with 'peace' and 'beauty' and so One Thousand oragami Cranes folded out of paper will grant a person one wish. There are several million of these birds surounding the Atomic Bomb and Peace Memorials in both Nagasakin and Hiroshima. A longing for a better world and a great sorrow filled beauty comes with these little paper birds. They are a powerful message and a positive dream worth having.

While I was between meetings, and also in the afternoon, I managed to find some interesting city landmarks and take some fun pictures too!

I clones meself again, and again, and again...!

I even got a nice picture of my friend Ayed and his girlfriend Sayuri. Ayed's parents are strict Muslim, and at first they didn't approve of him seeing a Japanese woman, but after Sayuri went to visit Ayed's family they all fell in love with her polite and tender personality. Ayed is a very lucky man to find such a lovely lady like Sayuri! I wish them both the best of luck and a bright future.

My friend Ayed Hasian and his girlfriend Sayuri.

Well that's it's for round one. I'll be taking more photos with my mobile phone soon, so stick around for more! Comming soon to a blog near you!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hiroshima Japan

Hiroshima Japan

Hiroshima Japan!!!

I have arrived! Right at the moment my Internet access is limited. I have to use the office Internet and it is slow. It will be two weeks yet until I can get any photos up for you all to see. Please hang in there and be patient!

Check the time Zone! 10:53pm Japan time! Wooo! Tokyo was fun. Found an interesting place which serves very large American style hamburgers... I went to the Odaiba mall across from Fuji television and found sexy cheeseburgers. Yum yum!

Now I'm in Sera-town outsied Hiroshima sweating to death without any air conditioner. Suprisingly Tokyo was much cooler than here. Now I have to peel myself off my tatami like a wet sticky noodle and go get myself some cold tea. Ja matta!

Tokyo was awesome! I think you will all dig those pics when I get to them.

So everyone stay tuned to the new exciting posts and pics coming soon to a blog near you!