Japan through Lady Gaga

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Went to Lady Gaga's concert here in Kobe. What did I learn? If you're famous and mix up ohayo with konbanwa and kobe with osaka, Japanese concert goers will still cheer for you.

Also, no one dances. And they only cheer for like 2 seconds after every song is done then get quiet and wait.

From here on out I think I'm going to stick to lives instead of concerts.

Japan through Self-Portrait

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Fuckin' thieving children be getting me down.

Japan through A Performing Monkey

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This post was a long time coming. On Christmas my boyfriend and I spent a night in a ryokan --traditional Japanese style inn-- in Arima (famous for Arima onsen).

But this real purpose of this post is to show off the riveting action shots my iphone took of the performing monkey.

His name was Go-kun.

He can do back flips on stilts.

Jump, Go-kun, jump!

"Thank you for your money."

I could totally turn this into a children's book.

Go-kun and children don't get along so well though. At one point this girl, who looked about five or so, reached out her hands as if to welcome Go-kun into a nice big hug.
Then he almost attacked her. Bad Go-kun.

Japan through Old Fashioned Candy

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Last weekend I stumbled upon a small old fashioned candy store in some remote part of Osaka station. They had it all from the dried squid snacks, home made hard candy drops, and gummies in unique shapes to various adult themed candy. At first I perused the store snatching anything that looked strange and unfamiliar to me. Then a young Japanese couple came in. I observed as they pointed to candies saying, "Natsukashii," which means something like nostalgic. I did a second round through the store and grabbed what I could remember them pointing to.

This one actually had me saying, "Natsukashii." Candy cigarettes!!!

And a plastic pipe filled with chocolate paste. It tastes exactly like the inside of those cheap chocolate pies you can get for like 80 cents in the grocery stores back home.

I took photos of the rest, but I'm way to lazy to bother uploading them at this point. Other finds include: a powder you put in water to make it look like beer, penis and boob shaped chocolates, shit shaped gummies, candy that looks like ramen, bomb candy that pops on your tongue, and a little jar of grape flavored frosting complete with tiny wooden spoon to eat it with.

Japan through The Miracle Fruit

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My boyfriend has been going on about the miracle fruit for a couple months now. While on a Namjatown date-o he found the Miracle Fruit Cafe, an opportunity we just couldn't pass up.

After sucking on the fruit, which is really more of a seed, for 3 minutes your tastebuds get confused and mix up sweet with sour. Anything sour becomes sweet. We got a cup of lemon juice and some grapefruit and lemon slices to try it out.

Before: oooo, so sour!!!

After: It's a miracle! Sooo sweet.

He was so excited about this that we hadddd to try the miracle fruit first. In retrospect this was stupid. The only thing there really is to do at Namjatown is eat. With my tastebuds all whack everything tasted funky. I guess you can drink hot water to return to normal, but that so did not work.

Japan through English mistakes & Bra napkins

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I found this at a 280yen izakaya. I can't understand how they messed it up. It's spelled correctly in katakana at the top....

And again with the cockrails. A bunch of friends from my hometown, both Japanese and American, and I were drinking together. It was only after ordering four or five cocktails that I realized, in fact, we were all drinking cockrails. What ensued was a hilarious explanation of what a cock rail could possibly mean in English.
Being the classy people that we are, this was followed by a lesson in making boobs out of napkins. Unfortunately, I was too drunk at the time and have misplaced the picture. So, I've stolen these pictures from the internet for your viewing pleasure:

and here's what it looks like:

images borrowed from:

Japan through Fujii-sensei's coat

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Japan is normal cold. The difference, which necessitates coats like Fujii-sensei's, is that often they don't have central heating or insulation. Unfortunately for me the main school I work in has no central heating (or any other form of heat) and no insulation. Average temp in the staff room hovers around 16 degrees Celsius, or so the combo thermometer/calendar/clock on the desk next to me says. I guess that's around 60 degrees. Not too unbearable with my coat and lap blanket. It's the corridors with allll the windows open and the covered concrete pathway that's completely open to the elements and connects the two buildings that really start to get to you. Recently the kids have taken to lending me their hand warmers. <3