Sunday, May 31, 2020

Dolphin Port Teardown, Apr. 25

I came back to Dolphin Port a few weeks after it closed down. Not quite as much external damage as I'd expected, but I think the national lockdown has slowed down the work a lot.

Lots of protective sheeting up, though.

Clear skies, anyway. Really made me wish I had time to go over to Sakurajima to do some hiking again.

I really dislike the safety regulations preventing anyone from getting within 2 kilometers of the cone. I want to go up to the top, someday.

Although, I'd need ropes, gear and a climbing partner...

Saturday, May 30, 2020

One Piece Clear Files

Coca Cola and One Piece have teamed up again for a spring tie-up. This time, if you get 4 bottles of Coke (regular size up to 2 liters), you get one of 4 clear file designs. For those of you that don't know what a clear file is, it's a thin plastic folder for holding a few sheets of paper neatly.

I have so many unused clear files now, there's little point in getting another one, even if it's for the blog.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Baby Jeep

This cute little toy is sitting outside what used to be a restaurant. I don't know what it's advertising anymore.
The text on the window says "Next Cruiser FD Kagoshima."

Surprisingly, around the beginning of May, I saw someone driving this jeep, or one just like it, around in Tenmonkan. So, I guess it is fully functional and street legal. Just, more like a weaponized go-cart.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Shiro Sign Art - Cat

Latest chalk art for Shiro hair salon. I really have to wonder if everyone in Japan thinks they're getting "peams" here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Jump Stickers

I needed something to read again during one of my breaks, so I bought issue 19 of Shonen Jump back at the beginning of April. It had a small sheet of stickers for some of their manga titles. Nothing I'm following myself, though. But, still, if this is the kind of thing you like, then you'd like this kind of thing.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Heat Illness

[Getting really tired of Mediafire screwing up my photos.]

This is new. Poccari Sweat is using a Hatsune Miku-like character on signs in vending machines to promote awareness of Nechusho.

"Let's not Nechusho together!"

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Panda Foods

Seen at the Chinese deli section of the supermarket in the basement of Maruya Gardens department store. I wonder if anyone has told him that the sales tax is 10% if you're planning on eating inside the store.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Kitkat Origami

At some point, for some reason, Kitkat decided to release their mini bars (13) in a paper bag, with instructions to cut the bag into a square to fold into an origami crane. No idea why. Anyway, the Donkey souvenir and discount shop had been trying to unload these for 95 yen (90 cents USD). I'm on a diet, but calories don't count if they're that cheap. (Note, a week or two later, the price went back up to 150 yen per bag. At the beginning of May, they'd returned to the normal 350 yen.) Yup. those were cheap calories.

The paper is a little too stiff to fold easily. Not the greatest material to use for origami cranes.

The Kitkat layout and colors don't really add to the appearance of the crane. Stiil don't understand what the point of the campaign was.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Prepare to Use

[Sigh. Mediafire strikes again. The photo is of a black metal shoe rack in front of the doors of a fashion clothing shop in Tenmonkan. The top back metal plate of the rack has some nonsense English printed on it in white paint.]

Shoe rack in front of one shop in Tenmonkan after hours to show that the doors are locked.

"Well-organized and store completely. Lined-up steadily to be used again."

Shoes. What can't they do.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Mask Smiles

Fuzzy sign on the glass doors for Shiroyama supermarket.
"We may be wearing masks, but we're still smiling underneath."

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Reimeikan Gate, Apr. 16

The new gate in front of the Reimeikan history museum has now opened to visitors. Looks nice.

Cannot tell what the little hut to the right of the entrance is, though. I still think it's for a small Shinto shrine, but there's no way to look inside right now.

The two big legs of the gate have stairways up to the floor above, but both are closed to visitors at the moment. Notice that to the right, just inside the doorway, is the small steps that would normally be used to let people climb up into the space here. Not shown were the 5-6 pairs of shoes on a mat on the ground in front of the entrance. I assume there were people on the floor above, but I couldn't hear anyone talking or moving around up there. Looking closer at the main stairs, I get the impression that all the pieces of wood force-fit together, and that the workers didn't use nails or glue for anything.

Other side of the gate interior.

Back side of the new gate. Nothing else much to see right now. I'm looking forward to going upstairs, as long as they don't charge admission for it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Dolphin Port, R.I.P.

[Looks like mediafire is screwing up again.]

I'd been hearing for weeks that Dolphin Port was going to close at the end of March, but I didn't really know what that would entail. There had been various thoughts proposed by city officials, including replacing the shopping and restaurant center with a big sports complex or an event space with expanded streetcar service to the waterfront park. At the moment, it's just silence. Most of the shops had been run by the Yamakataya department store parent in some shape or form, and I guess they're the ones that signed a 10-year contract with the city for the land, although it actually turned into 15 years in the long-run.

I went back one week later after my classes ended on a Saturday (Apr. 11), and all the shops were shuttered, the parking lot empty except for the cars for the work crew, and the bottoms of the crossover stairs blocked off. The electrical boxes for the walkway lights had been ripped out, and the trash was being taken out for disposal.

It's really sad, actually. I liked being able to come down here occasionally and hang out in the Tully's coffee shop on the second floor. But, this always was a tourist trap, and the primary tourists recently were Chinese visitors from the cruise ships (who almost always made beelines for Tenmonkan and Amu Plaza). I guess, if there ever was going to be a good time to tear things down, it would be right in the middle of the Covid-19 emergency shutdown of the entire country.

Monday, May 18, 2020


Advertising sign for a bar near Tenmonkan, promoting their Happy Hour (I like the "etc." following draft beer, sours and highballs). What I think most Japanese may miss is that in Japanese "aho" is kind of an insult. From what I understand (this may have changed in the years since I was first told this) "baka" is an extreme insult for "stupid" or "idiot" in Osaka, while "aho" is softer and more friendly, but it's the reverse in Tokyo. I'm wondering if Kagoshima treats a "happy aho" differently from the rest of the country.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Beauty Mask

Beauty salons are starting to embrace the idea of permanent Covid-19 Fashion. Although, when I was a kid, beauty masks had a different meaning.

Saturday, May 16, 2020


There used to be a Family Mart konbini across the street from Maruya Gardens. Not anymore.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Reimeikan Wall Stuff

The space between the main walk and the old main Tsurumaru Castle wall used to have a little walking path through a long stretch of bushes. For some reason, the city decided to tear the bushes out, pave everything, and put in three examples of old-style wall construction.

Since there are very few people that walk by this area, and no one else looks at these things, they should have kept the bushes.

A close-up of what I think is a shrine housing.

Plus the new doors. The space for going up to the Reimeikan museum behind the doors looks largely unchanged.

The sign directing visitors around to the side entrance is falling apart. And, the date for when the gate will open has been stuck over with a new date of Apr. 11. We'll see if that changes, too (it did).

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Sideshow Marge

The fashion shop in Tenmonkan that had a picture of Bart crashing into the window changed it right after I ran the photo on my blog. Now, we have an odd version of Marge.

The flier is an ad for Demon Sword stickers and stuff, some of which is already sold out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Waterpipe Caps

Pareidolia is the brain's tendency to see shapes or faces where they aren't.
What comes to mind here?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Anzen Dekiru

Found this rather curiously-worded set of signs outside a restaurant in the collection of shops near Amu Plaza.
"Can be safe shop." (Can translate to: "You can feel safe here.")
"Kagoshima black pork. Please try it."

Monday, May 11, 2020

Doraemon Chocolate Egg Toy

It's been quite a while since I last saw the chocolate egg toys at Donkey, and I've been thinking about them recently.

This afternoon (I'm writing this on March 30th) I noticed a full display stand of boxes of Doraemon eggs advertising the latest movie, The New Dinosaur. They're close to 200 yen ($1.80 USD) with tax, which is more than I normally want to pay for these things (even though I like the little amount of chocolate you get with them, and I wanted the toy for the blog), but I was hoping that I'd get lucky with a toy that I liked on the first try. And I did. It's about 1.25" tall, but nicely detailed (better than the Dydo DBZ Goku).

That tail disturbs me, though.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Vent Vert Chicken Day

"Chicken" is "niwatori" in Japanese.
"28" can be read as "ni" plus "wa." With some handwaving, we get the 28th as "kowatori" day.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Reimeikan Gate Mar. 26

Getting closer to the official opening of the gate, on a rainy, gloomy day.

I'm pretty sure now that this little hut is going to be a shrine housing of some kind.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Satsuma Gunyon

I was on the street car the other day, and I noticed that the ad sheets inside were for a weird thing called "Satsuma Gunyon" (Satsuma is the old name for Kagoshima). It's tied into something I've been seeing all over the place lately, which is "Magma City," with the volcano represented by red and blue ribbons.

This sign says that this is a "Satsu Magu" (Satsuma Magma) train. It goes on to state that the city had a contest to create a mascot and character names, which were created by school children.

"Aigato na." (Kagoshima dialect for "Thanks.")