Friday, February 21, 2020

Sukiyaki Sword Art Tie-in

The Sukiyaki beef bowl place on Streetcar Street in Tenmonkan has a new tie-in, this one with Sword Art Online.

"None shall pass."

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Ghana Choco Display

This manga display promoting Ghana chocolate for Valentine's Day went up at Shiroyama supermarket at the last minute.

"Pink Valentine."

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Kimetsu no Yaiba Bookmarks

Last week, I ran out of stuff to read, and I had an hour to kill between English lessons, so I picked up a copy of Shonen Jump magazine. Didn't see anything in there that I have interest in reading in the future.

But, there was a punch-out sheet of clear bookmarks, if that's the kind of thing you like. Lately, I've only been reading e-books, so physical bookmarks aren't quite as useful anymore.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Exercise Festa, Feb. 15-16

Amu Plaza hosted an exercise and sports event over the weekend. I needed to buy some birthday presents on Saturday, and I made a quick swing-by between lessons in the middle of the afternoon. The place was still just getting set up, and some kid's dance group was practicing on the stage at the back.

The schedule showed a few interviews with athletes, and a manzai comedy duo, but nothing starting until closer to 5 PM Saturday evening. None of the goods shops or food booths were open to customers when I was there. Overall, kind of a non-starter.

I did end up coming back on Sunday as everything was winding down at 4:30 PM. The main activities were posing with a few marathon runners for photos, and a kind of strongman demo, where one of the runners would hold his arms up in a victory pose and let small children hang from his biceps.

If I liked Japanese sports, or if I needed running gear, this event would probably have been more interesting.

Monday, February 17, 2020


The weekend was kind of an oddball bust. I picked up a translation clean-up job on Thursday, and had to focus heavily on that for the entire time. But, I also had classes at the English school near city hall Friday and Saturday, and I also needed to do a lot of running around for shopping between my classes on Saturday. Only to have the 5 PM class get canceled on me.

Anyway, I had one class from 1:30 to 2:30, which ended up starting 20 minutes late, meaning it ended 20 minutes late. I was going to return home after that to get a little work done on the translation clean-up, but as I got out the door, I spotted some masts sticking up over the skyline down at Dolphin Port. I'd planned to take the streetcar up to Amu to get a bit of fast shopping done then go home, but I just barely missed the next streetcar. Instead, I figured I might as well go down to the bay and see what was going on.

Thursday and Friday had been beautiful, warm and clear skies, but Saturday and Sunday were rainy and miserable. I shuffled through the rain to get to the loading docks next to the city aquarium, and nearly slipped and fell into the mud several times. There were a couple men on the docks taking pictures of the ship, but I stopped at the entrance gates when I saw the sign "closed to outside people, danger, speeding forklifts." I stood just inside the gates to get a few pictures, and someone came up to me to make sure I didn't get any closer to the ship.

According to the text on the lifeboat, this is the Kaiwo Maru, and is operated by the National Institute for Sea Training.

If I'd had the time, and someone let me, I would have liked to go onboard and look around.

At the same time, I noticed that someone was setting up tents in the waterfront park in front of Dolphin Port. I didn't see any signs, but I'm inclined to think this might be for the Ramen-Oh contest. Can't say anything about that for sure, though.

Does look like a dining area under the big tent to me, anyway. It's just that the timing is wrong. I took the photos on Saturday, and Ramen-Oh is a two-day event. I didn't come back on Sunday so I don't know if they were done setting things up. Or, maybe they were just trying to get ready one week in advance.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Choko Paku 2020

Amu Plaza had their Chocku Paku event for one week, from the 8th to the 14th, to sell overpriced almost-chocolate to women. Generally, I can't get to Amu much during the week, so I only had one shot on Friday for a few minutes when I needed to do some shopping at Aeon department store on the other side of Streetcar Street.

Yeah, small portions in large boxes, and prices where you're mostly paying for air. In other words, products specifically geared towards Japanese women.

In Japan, Feb. 14th is when women are pretty much required to buy chocolate for the men they interact with. At companies or in schools, this takes the form of "giri choco" (obligation chocolate), which is usually the Japanese equivalent of Hershey's bars (Lotto, Ghana or Meiji) for 100 yen each. March 14th, White Day, is when the men are supposed to buy stuff back for the women, but this almost never happens. Apr. 14th is Black Day (introduced from South Korea), for men that don't have romantic partners to buy their own chocolate. However, a growing number of guys have been buying chocolate for themselves for Feb. 14th because, why not?

Or, just get flavored caramel corn.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Small Adventure 72

Last week, I was at the intersection in front of the neighborhood supermarket. Same intersection where the kimono woman had tripped while crossing the main street. This time, I'd already crossed the main street and was waiting for the light to change so I could get past the cross street to get to the store. Next to me was a middle-aged woman, maybe mid- to late-40's, wearing a heavy fur coat and sunglasses, very self-absorbed and focused solely on a point on the ground a few inches in front of her. She'd also just crossed the main street next to me, and without stopping, walked into the smaller cross street without even looking up or around her to see if the light had changed or if there was approaching cross traffic.

The light for us was red, and some guy on a scooter was racing through the intersection to beat the light before it turned green for us. Three other people were standing at the same corner, and no one said anything about the impending accident. I ended up calling out "abunai, abunai" (it's dangerous, look out). The woman looked up, saw the light was still red, then looked at me. The scooter screeched to a halt a foot from the woman, and she turned to see the guy for the first time, just as the light turned green for us (yes, he was running the red light for him). Everyone apologized to everyone else, and went on their own ways as if nothing unusual had happened.

It's amazing that more people don't die in traffic accidents here.