Reactions to my Japanese Ability

I do not claim that my Japanese is amazing, because it simply is not. But I do try everyday to speak to at least one person in Japanese, even if it is simply asking how much something is. I am trying though.

Depending on where in Japan you go people will react differently to you when you speak Japanese to them. Some will have a look of relief on their face (I’m guessing cause they think their English isn’t good or non-existent) and some will speak English with you even if you speak Japanese (mainly touristy areas).

Super Mario Manga

My favourite coffee shop is on the way to work and I will stop there a few times a week. The first time I went in there, the employee greeted me and you could see on her face that she was thinking something along the lines of “Oh my god, my English is really terrible what do I say if he cannot understand!?”. Once I ordered, completely in Japanese, you could see the relief on her face.

Another time was in a Shibuya, which is a very touristy area. Being a typical Canadian, I wanted some McDonald’s. So, I went to one close to Shibuya Crossing (they are everywhere much like Starbucks). The lovely girl behind the counter greeted me and I started to order in Japanese. I thought nothing of it. Then when I was done ordering the girl has this look on her face like “Holy crap, seriously you can speak Japanese, that’s awesome!”.

Hatsune Miku
Naturally, there are plenty of opportunities to improve my reading ability.

I find it interesting being foreigner and talking to Japanese people from different parts of the country and/or city. The reactions you get will be vastly different. Which I think it pretty awesome in itself.

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Random Happenings in Tokyo – Week 2

Another week of random happenings here in Tokyo. If you haven’t read my previous entry then I highly suggest that you do.

Santa?

First up is a piece of graffiti found near Hachiko in Shibuya. I’m unsure of the significance of this sticker. Wonder what the commentary is supposed to be. Santa Brings Guns Clearly Santa isn’t the typical white bearded old man. He’s also not bringing the typical toys to all the boys and girls. This year he’s opted for AK47s and who knows what else  I’m really curious to find out what this all means. If I find out, I will for sure let you all know. But, if you happen to know what the commentary is behind this I would love to hear it.

Fresh Sushi

I’m always willing to try new food. Being here in Japan I’m getting many chances to do so. This past week I went to a small traditional Japanese sushi restaurant in Yokohama. The one plate of sushi that was ordered was easily one of the most beautiful plates I’ve ever seen. Fresh Sashimi The sashimi was incredibly fresh and delicious. It was clear that the sashimi came from the fish was that on the plate. The dipping sauce was made from the contents of the fish’s stomach. Normally, this would gross me out but it was fantastic! Little did I realize though, the fish that we were enjoying was still alive. It’s lips were still moving. So, the poor little guy was watching us eat his insides. Now, that’s was something else. Afterwards, the fish’s head was cooked and put into our miso soup. I did not realize this and the head was stuck to the bottom of my bowl, so I didn’t not see it. When I went go sip the soup the head floated to the top and I was greeted with this black eye. It was safe to say it scared the me pretty good. Fish Head in Miso Soup That was quite the experience and the food was great. But having the fish still alive while we ate it was certainly something else. Wonder what next week will bring? You should subscribe to find out.

Random Happenings in Tokyo – Week 1

After being here for over a month, I’ve started compiling all the random happenings I experience when I’m out and about in Tokyo. Since they happen frequently I figured gathering the best ones of the week would make for some great entertainment.

These are events that I find to be strange, unusual, random, and unexpected.

Haircut Vacuum and Comb Gift

Haircut Vacuum
Source

Finally finding a place that offers a decently priced haircut (1000yen or about $11 CND) I was excited. All of the places I’ve looked at were around 2900yen or more. You purchase your ticket from a vending machine then stand in line.

When it was my turn the hairstylist took my coat, bag, and glasses and stored them in the closest behind the mirror. I then sat in the chair and explained how I would like to have my hair cut.

After he was finished he pulls out this vacuum from the ceiling and gets all the loose hairs off my head and neck. He then proceeds to wipe my face with a nice cloth to get the hairs off my face.

Once he finished cutting my hair he gave me the comb he used on me as a gift. He put it into a small plastic bag then handed it to him. I’m really not 100% sure as to why this was given to me.  I never comb my hair, so I’m really unsure what I should do with this.

I was able to find a video that shows the vacuum, make sure to check it out.

My Local Grocery Store and King of the Hill

My local grocery store is conveniently located right beside the train station. Usually on my way home I will stop there to pick up discounted fruit, vegetables, and meat if I’m getting home after 9pm.  Anyway, going home one night I stopped to pick up some bottled water and the theme song from King of the Hill randomly started playing over the speakers in the store. I honestly have no idea why, they don’t even sell propane (that I’m aware of anyway).

King of the Hill

Sleeping on the Train

While sleeping on the train is common practice, this one instance left me in suspense. This one gentleman was having a nice snooze on the train with his expensive Smart Phone, sans case, balancing on his palm and index finger. Waking him may have resulted in the phone falling to the floor. So I sat there for about 4 stops while he slept and the phone balanced ever so delicately. My stop finally came and I got off. I never did find out if the poor guy had his phone drop onto the floor.

Suspense

That’s it for this week, if you want to keep up to date on my happenings here in Japan make sure to subscribe.