Thursday, September 3, 2009   3:13 PM

Crazy Parking

Parking in Tokyo is a perennial problem due to the city's notorious lack of space, which calls for all sorts of creative solutions. Not even the humble bicycle is excepted from this quandary, and many places are now adopting a clever mathematical algorithm recently developed at the renowned University of Charinko which enables easy insertion and retrieval of the maximum amount of bikes in the minimum amount of space.

Bicycle Parking in Tokyo, Japan 

Friday, August 28, 2009   3:17 AM

Merkin Manufacture?

Muff Hair Make, Tokyo, Japan

You didn't think it grew naturally like that, did you?

Check out their website for more details:

Posted in Engrish | add a comment

Wednesday, August 12, 2009   2:47 AM


Penguin graffiti in Tokyo

I'm not normally a fan of random graffiti,but felt unable to resist taking a picture of this one on Yamate-Dori near Hatsudai.

Sunday, August 9, 2009   9:04 PM

"Strong earthquake shakes Tokyo", apparently

"The Japan Meteorological Agency said an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 shook the Japanese capital of Tokyo and surrounding areas today". "No casualties were immediately reported, according to media reports". "It was felt throughout northern and central Japan, but there have been no immediate reports of damage or injuries". "In 1995, a magnitude-7.2 quake in the western port city of Kobe killed 6,400 people".

Umm, that would be the earthquake I totally failed to notice? I believe I was on an underground train at the time. Coming home to find such dramatic reports as above speckling the international media I was somewhat bemused and made a hasty check out of the window to see if I'd missed any scenes of major destruction. Tokyo, I can assure you, is still standing. This, dear drama queens of the international headline writing community, is because the dramatic-sounding magnitude 6.9 quake took place quite a way out to and under the sea, and might have caused death and mayhem in Fishopolis but only registered as a 4 on the Japanese "How strong did that feel?" scale, which translates into "strong enough to cause anyone who does feel it to say 'Oooh! Did you feel that one?' and very instable objects to possibly fall down". The only report of material casualties I have personally heard is of a toothbrush which tipped over, although it sustained no lasting damage.

Posted in Tokyo | add a comment

Friday, July 31, 2009   4:14 AM

Club Fever

As the weekend draws near, it's a certain bet you can find ThePenguin down in the mosh pit of one of Tokyo's many "live house" locations showing the locals what he's made of.

Last night it was the turn of a new location, "Fever Popo" next to Setagaya's Shin-Daita station (one stop from Shimo Kitazawa) to see ThePenguin strut his moves [*]. On the playlist were (apart from some guys I missed due to being fashionably late) were:

Four Minutes to Midnight

Four Minutes til Midnight,

Tance Boy (箪笥ボーイ)

Tance Boy (箪笥ボーイ, actually three girls and one boy), and of course

Sunset Drive

Sunset Drive.

A fine time was had by all, and though I am of course a Sunset Drive groupie, I was quite taken by Tance Boy, who successfully combine hard(ish) rock and unpretentious fun.

[*] To and from the bar for purposes of purchasing beer.

Sunday, July 26, 2009   9:06 AM

Long time no Fuji

Mount Fuji, unusually visible from Tokyo in summer

Normally Mount Fuji is not usually visible from Tokyo, mainly due to the omnipresent heat haze, but despite being a very hot day today it has been quite windy, meaning the air is very clear, and Japan's highest mountain can just about be seen poking up from behind some clouds. (Click on the image for a larger version).

Saturday, July 25, 2009  10:13 AM


Whoops - rucksack stuck in the door of a Yamanote Line train

Seen the other day at Gotanda Station. 

Monday, July 20, 2009   1:30 PM


Farmhouse in Tokyo, Japan

Recently it was brought to my attention by my trousers that I am engaged in a largely sedentary occupation, and in order to avoid budget overruns in the waistline-orientated clothing department I am currently undertaking a programme of arduous cycle trips through random parts of Tokyo. Today I ventured out into the previously unknown wilderness between Kannana and Kanpachi (ring roads numbers 7 and 8 respectively) and was mildly surprised to find odd patches of actual wilderness as well as actual fields, and even the old farmhouse-like building pictured above, which looks like it has been there long before the area around it was encroached upon by more banal structures of concrete and prefabricated tile facades.

Welcome to my Japan Blog

This is my Japan Blog. There are thousands of others like it, but this one is mine. Oh yes.

As to my mysterious identity: a citizen of Her Britannic Majesty Liz II, currently resident in the Far East (of Germany) in Tokyo, I maintain a certain vested interest in Japan and its multifaceted culture. Note: part of this blog's audience consists of "the folks back home" and therefore from time to time might contain descriptions and images similar to those seen on thousands of other Japan blogs.

For more factlets, check out this page: 100 things about me. And for faqlets there's also the FAQ.