You really gotta wonder about Japanese advertising...
Gusto family restaurants are currently running an "American Fair" campaign. One of the dishes is a hamburger with egg, sausage and bacon. The other is a kind of seafood gratin or pasta or something. In the TV ad (you can see it by clicking on the middle or right buttons at the bottom of the campaign page), three cowboys are invited to try Gusto's new "Texas BBQ Hamburger". All three of them hate it. The tag message says that it's made to match Japanese preferences. The fourth guy, Chicago-born "TV talent" Dave Spector dressed up as a fake Japanese, yells out "it's really delicious!"
I guess the point is that if you want American-style food, eat something else.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
T-Bone is at the north end of Tenmonkan, across the hall from the koban (police box) and 1 block west of Maruzen bookstore, placing it along my regular route when I go to and from the conversation school I teach at occasionally (it's also in the same building as Naughty Hair, if that means anything...) So, while I'm standing at the light on my way home, waiting for it to change green, I'm looking right up at the sign for T-Bone. Having seen T-Bone Walker performing on TV back as a teenager, I wondered what this place would be like.
It's a small, intimate bar that hosts live Japanese blues performances a few times a month. Very dark interior, with a big screen TV on one wall showing baseball games when there's no gigs playing. When I went in one Wednesday night, I was the only customer, so the bartender/owner and I spent the hour talking. He's an incredibly friendly guy, but doesn't speak much English, so it really helps if you know Japanese. During the entire time, Eric Clapton's latest CD - Old Sock - was playing on the sound system.
T-Bone's has a fully stocked bar, and even boasts its own brand of shochu (which tasted a lot like Bacardi rum). The prices are bit on the high side; a large mug of beer and a shot of shochu came to 1400 yen ($14 USD). And, the cover for the live shows is 2,000 yen, but that's pretty much normal for Japan. Anyway, it's a nice place, and if you want live jazz in Kagoshima, I suggest dropping by.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
JAXA, the Japanese version of NASA, finally opened up its museum/gallery/shop/information center in Tenmonkan. I just happened to drop by during the open house. The space is on the second floor of the building near Maruzen bookstore. It's pretty small, and the 40 visitors there made it fairly packed. One of the TVs is a 3D screen, showing satellite fly-bys. The other screen showed informational space exploration videos. The ceiling over the stairwell is painted with phosphorescent stars illuminated by a black light.
The shop has pins, patches, pictures, posters, information on Tenmonkan's origin as an Edo-era star observatory, and freeze-dried "space food". The center is free to visitors. I'm hoping that they'll start carrying information regarding upcoming rocket launches from the Tanegashima pad, which is a few hours south of Kagoshima by ferry.