Friday, April 30, 2021

Caterpillar, 210422

Over the last 4 months, I've been putting in a lot of effort on my recreational cryptography video channel, The Black Chamber. One of the videos I'm in the middle of making required something of a nature background sound drop, and I've been hunting for places that have the bird chirps I wanted. So, one day I walked up Shiroyama hill, which is fairly exhausting. Unfortunately, I didn't get the recording I wanted, but I did find this guy, which was fun. He doesn't talk much, though.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Samurai Mac

McDonald's is running a "Samurai Mac" special right now. The logo is a silhouette of Ryouma Sakamoto. This is one of two versions of a Big Mac, with soy sauce flavoring (I couldn't tell; it just tasted like teriyaki sauce to me), and a "ginger Coke". I couldn't really taste any ginger in the soda. I decided to get a medium fries and a Coke float (normal set price is 780 yen; with the upgrades it came to 880 yen). The float had fake ice cream, which didn't react with the cola at all, and was sitting on a large scoop of ice, so that when I'd finished off the Coke, the ice cream was all mixed in with the ice and I couldn't eat it with a spoon. I ended up standing outside in the parking lot, scooping out the ice cubes one at a time, sucking off the ice cream, and spitting the ice into a gutter. Japanese floats are stupid.

The teriyaki sauce was too sweet, and the float wasn't sweet enough. Lots of food for the price, so I didn't leave hungry, but I wanted something better for the $8 USD. Not recommended, and I won't get Samurai Macs in the future [Note to self].

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Bull Ramen

There's a little ramen shop just outside of Tenmonkan, across the street from Central Park. I just noticed their "year of the ox" sign. Pairs well with their "extra spicy beef ramen special."

Ride the bull!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Small Adventure 77

Ok, I had to work at the English school yesterday. One lesson ended at 5 PM, and the next started at 7 PM, so I had 2 hours to kill outside, which I spent reading manga (Dragon House-Hunting) at McDonald's. As I was returning to the school, I noticed a parade of about 100 old people all heading to the streetcar street that runs in front of City Hall. Additionally, there were patrol guards all over the place, and barriers preventing cars from turning onto the street.

I hadn't heard of any big events taking place this week, and I didn't have time to ask anyone what was going on. My lesson started on time, and about 10 minutes later, we heard speakers blaring outside, with announcements and music, which interfered with the lesson. I asked the student if she knew what was happening, and she said that the Olympic torch relay was running through Kagoshima that evening. I then asked if she wanted to continue the lesson outside so we could watch the torch go by, and she said "no." 15 minutes later, the noise ended, soon followed by the sounds of regular car and streetcar traffic again. When I got out of the school at 7:50 PM, everything was completely back to normal, as if nothing special had ever happened. I'm not even sure which direction the torch went, if it was down south towards Ibuski, up north to Kirishima, or northwest to Kumamoto.

I never get to see rocket launches from Tanegashima, either.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sushi Zenmai

New discount sushi restaurant opened up on Streetcar Street: Zenmai.

Colonel Sanders he ain't.

Statue looks better than the photo, actually...

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Low Washers

Window washing for people afraid of heights.

I mean, really.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Costume Girl's Bar

I need someone that can get me into these places (most are Japanese-only, or members-only)...

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Cie'na Chalk Bee

I like Japanese chalk artists.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021


My other blog is on Wordpress. I wonder if I should hire these guys...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Wakiyaku Studio

Just discovered this ad for an "amateur voice actor production studio," in the display case along streetcar street. If they had a video podcast recording room with lighting, I'd consider renting time there for the Black Chamber videos.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Satsuma Tea Fest, April 18, 2021

Starting to get live events again, on a very small scale. This time, on the roof of Maruya Gardens, a few snack tables and live music.

I arrived just before 2 PM, and just about all of the food was sold out.

Apple tart for $4 to $7 USD. A bit pricier than I'd like...

The live music was a Japanese Irish group. Traditional. Not bad, but not what I normally like to listen to.

Nice to see the music coming back, though...

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Tully's Tom and Jerry Hot Dog

I wrote a couple weeks ago about the Tully's coffee shop tie-in with Tom and Jerry for their caramel latte popcorn drink. This is their "cheese and cheese dog", with fried onion crispy bits on top. $4.50 USD for the dog. With a regular-sized coffee, no refills, the entire set came to a little over $8 USD. I'm better off going to McDonald's for their 650 yen ($6 USD) double cheeseburger set, which includes a large packet of fries, and a good-sized coffee...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Small Flowers

I found these small flowers growing from the concrete wall along the streetcar rails at one of the platforms. I was surprised, the little pocket camera actually focused right this time.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Perfume Closet

This was new. I was in Tenmonkan a week ago Saturday, and the main arcade had some tables set up selling dried bait, jewelry and baked bread. Nearby was this clothing store on wheels, called "Perfume Closet." A few women were looking at the blouses on display, but I didn't see anyone buying anything.

It's a bit odd, because there are 4 large department stores within a 10 minute walk of the area, and at least 20 small boutique stores within Tenmonkan alone. Not sure what a closet on wheels brings to the party...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

How Do you Say?

Marker art in a window for an English school.
"How to you say in English? - kasago. Answer on 4th floor."
(Scorpion fish)

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Cool Sign

Sign in front of a barber shop in Tenmonkan, advertising that they have Corona virus measures in place.
"Nice atmosphere."

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Something Story

Gallery Something has the Story exhibit running until the 11th. I did eventually decide to go into the gallery to look at the pictures more closely, but they were charging money to get inside. The pictures I could see from where I was standing didn't interest me at all, so I didn't pay the 200 yen ($1.80 USD) and just turned around and left right away.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Hanami, April 2

Went out walking down past Kotsuki river. Weather wasn't great, but the cherry blossoms were already starting to peak.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Architecture Exhibit, April 3

I've seen these architectural design exhibits before, but always in the arcade in Tenmonkan, near Starbucks. This time, it was in the open space across from Lotteria, several blocks away. This was also the first time I saw the timber structures with the little building models. I think this is put on by some university design department, and sponsored by a few construction companies, partly as a recruiting effort by the school.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Tom and Jerry's Tully's

Japan seems to have something of a fondness for certain old American cartoons. The 100 yen ($1 Dollar) shops have cheap Tom and Jerry and Disney cartoons available on DVD. Recently, the Tully's coffee chain came out with their T&J tie-in, for character art on their hot dog boxes, and on cups for some specialty drinks.

The drinks are an iced caramel popcorn nut latte, and an iced blueberry cheesecake latte.

I had an hour to kill between lessons one day, and Tully's is a 5 minute walk from the school, so I decided to get the caramel popcorn latte just for the blog. $6 for a small handful of popcorn over canned whip cream. The "latte" was overly-milked coffee on ice. Took about 2 minutes to drink it all. Pretty, but not worth the money. It's a shame - they used to have really good iced coffee, in U.S.-large cups for about $3 if I remember the price correctly (it's been 11 years).

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Isuzu Elf?

Found this truck in front of a construction site near Tenmonkan. Hard to tell if it's real, or a joke.

Maybe the "onry" emergency was a shortage of hammers...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Bright Tupac Chalk Art

Bright finally changed its art after months of the same old. Thug 4 Life. Very well done.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Tsuru to Kame

There had been an old ramen shop near the school I teach at, but it closed last year. The place underwent a complete remodel and reopened as an Udon noodle shop. I haven't seen prices for their lunch set, but the chalk art looks good...

Monday, April 5, 2021

Trombone Spring Pairs

At some point, I'm going to have to go inside Trombone and drink the coffee. Every time I'm in the area, either I'm running to the school to work, or the cafe is already closed for the day.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Trick Art

When I was in Ichiban Gai, I found two of the old trick art canvases at the end of the arcade.

There was no guide as to where to stand for the photo, so I had to guess.