June 13, 2017

I’ve been collecting more interesting photos to share.   Some are hilarious and some are downright strange.  The featured photo above just about sums up my trash frustrations when in the great outdoors.  I don’t mean out on a nature walk.  I mean just after setting foot outside my front door.  One day I asked some people why there were no trash cans in public places.  We had some discussion about it, but the consensus was exactly like on this sign.  Everyone just carries their trash around with them and takes it home.  I guess I need a larger purse!

On another day I was talking to an expat American teacher at school and I was telling him how some days when I need to throw something away I think, there will be a trash can in the bathroom.  But there never is!  And he said, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked for a trash can in the bathroom!  And he’s lived here for 11 years.  Even at Universal Studios Japan there is no trash can in the bathroom.  I’ve looked.  I think this sign is a little outdated in how it says, “In Japanese culture…” because I think people in the current generation would really appreciate a trash can now and then.  However the fact that you aren’t supposed to eat while walking, or using public transportation, really does cut down on the trash.

There are a lot of t-shirts with random, funny, senseless, questionable or offensive English that can be seen all over Japan.  I’d like to include an entire gallery of shirts here, but I’m just putting this one here as a representative.

This young man is sitting in an arcade playing a game.  I saw him when we first arrived in Japan and I thought it was funny since we had only recently arrived from California.  This kind of shirt is typical.  Recently I saw a woman wearing a white t-shirt with a narrow black oval and inside the oval in white letters was the word “insouciant.”  I thought her shirt was terrific because there is no way she knows what that word means and why would you buy a shirt that says “insouciant” on it anyway?  I told John and he looked the word up.

I saw a white t-shirt on display in an Expo City clothing store that said in red letters, “Pacific Coast Highway.”  It’s pretty amusing that I can come all this way around the world and buy a shirt that has the name of the highway right outside my door at home on it.  California is a very popular t-shirt theme.

Anyone can go online and look at photos from Japan that people have posted of shirts with foul language and offensive topics.  Japanese people have no idea what their shirts are actually saying and often there’s a cute picture to go along with whatever the shirt says.  So it just looks like a cute shirt to them.  Funny shirts are a staple here!  I think I should buy some to wear back home.

These next two photos are a combo set.  This is, unbelievably, two storage containers stacked on top of each other.  The blue one below has a window cut out and advertisements in the window.  The signs say this is a bar with live music!  And the green sign hanging outside the building says this place is “Mother Leaf.  Health and Beauty.”  I’m not sure if that’s only referring to the top storage container or both of them.  Maybe just the top one. Here is the toilet under the stairs.  You can see the door just to the left of the entrance door for the blue box.  I guess it’s essential that every bar have a toilet so as to avoid leakers outside.  Hilarious!  Reading material on the wall and everything.  Even a blue towel hanging off the door.  And towels in the toilet are very rare in Japan.  Maybe there’s a shower in there too?

A metal stairway has been secured to the building so that you can reach the upper level where the white storage container business is.  And the upright rectangle box which houses the toilet has been stuck under those stairs.  Well, when you live in a country with space constraints, this is what you have to do!

We should go back at night and check out this bar.

The next photo is one of my favorites.  I went to a morning meeting with two of my Japanese friends.  We are working on a project translating a series of webpages for a Japanese restaurant company.  I am helping them with the final “native English check” for their translation from Japanese to English.  We met at Tully’s, which is exactly like Starbucks.  My friend was hungry so she ordered a hot dog and coffee for breakfast.  I thought it was hilarious.  I said, I want to take a photo of your breakfast!  And she said, wait, let me put ketchup and mustard on it first.  I guess a hot dog and coffee to start off the day isn’t strange in Japan, but it sure looks strange to me.  I couldn’t stop laughing.This woman is walking her bunnies on a leash.  You can see she has a bunny in each hand.  They are pulling in two directions.  They look completely accustomed to being walked on a leash.  Kawaii!  (Cute!)  Another kawaii photo is this next one of two Shiba Inu (inu means dog), sitting in a dog stroller, wearing kimono.  These kimono aren’t just some cheap pet store costume.  They look like the real deal.  Fancy material and obi (sash) and it looks like their legs are pushed through sleeves even.These bills are “man” en in denomination.  (Pronounced maah-n. Not like a person who is male.)  Man is the word for 10,000.  It’s around $100 USD give or take depending on the day’s exchange rate.  When it’s time to pay for some big ticket items sometimes it’s cash only.  We have to take cash out of the ATM from our bank.  Our bank told us we should change our maximum daily limit for ATM cash withdrawal to… Two Million Yen, or $20,000.00 USD.  Seriously!  Who wants a $20,000.00 DAILY ATM limit?  Apparently we do.  If I had my camera I would have taken a photo because the stack of bills was unbelievable.So is this Heath Ledger as the Joker?  It sure looks like him.  We saw this while walking around the Namba area.  It’s so random and strange.  I see there are flood lights on the ground so maybe he’s lit up at night.  I bet he looks spooky in the dark.  Especially with no legs!

This woman is riding the train.  I was with my friend Jo Ann when we saw her.  She is pretty decked out with her kawaii clothes on.  The fluffy hoodie jacket with short white shorts and big knit leg warmers is pretty funny.  And is that a white puff ball for a tail on her butt?

How old is this lady.  Jo Ann and I had a discussion while on the train about how old she might be.  I said she couldn’t be more than 30s but maybe 40s?  Jo Ann said no, she’s much older.  I didn’t believe her, but she must have seen her in profile already to give her that hint.

When this woman turned around to sit down we saw that she was, at the very least, in her 60s.  It’s a strange look for someone with AARP (that’s American Association of Retired People) eligibility.  But maybe it’s keeping her young.

She doesn’t/shouldn’t care that rude Americans (us) are analyzing her clothing choices anyway.

I love this example of Japanese courtesy.  A swallow built its nest on the wall at the Minoh train station.  There are three little birds in the nest.  Their little beaks are poking out and their mama keeps swooping in to feed them one at a time.  This is right over the area where you walk to enter the train ticket gates.  Someone has kindly attached a cardboard box under the nest, as you can see in this photo.  This way any poop that falls from the nest will drop in the box and not on someone’s head!  How considerate.  It’s also preventing a big mess on the ground, too.

This photo shows all of the products being sold inside this small building.  John thought it was a nameplate for every business here, but this building is only three stories high and it’s not wide either.  I think it’s all the brands and types of goods inside.  It must be.  It’s a ridiculous amount of signs for a small building.  But there are a lot of signs like this around, maybe not to this degree though.  This seems pretty excessive!

Well, this pretty much sums it up for Halyard.  Enough said.The last photo is a vending machine in the middle of a street selling Japan Rail (JR) train tickets.  The JR Takatsuki train station isn’t too far away so I’m assuming it is for tickets from there.  It looks awfully complicated trying to figure out which is the right ticket to buy.  I would be afraid I’d buy a ticket to Kyoto when I really wanted to go to Kobe.  Or some such bad luck as that!