Japan Today

borax comments

Posted in: Petal power See in context

This is one of the best places to see sakura, and going out on a boat, like the man in this picture is doing, at the end of the season when many of the petals have fallen, is an absolutely beautiful experience. I can't recommend it highly enough.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What is the worst experience you have had with an airline? See in context

Flying from Tokyo to NYC with a layover in Chicago, the connecting flight was cancelled due to a big snowstorm in the midwest. It took 9 hours of running from gate to gate to finally get off the waiting list and onto a flight. When they did have spots for us on a flight, they literally yelled at us over the PA to run from our seats to the gate because the plane was waiting. To top it off, the "premium" seats (exit row, etc.) that we had paid money to reserve were lost on that flight, AND on our multiple flights on the way back to Japan. In the end, it took hours on the phone with airline representatives to get back the hundreds of dollars we spent on those premium seats that disappeared.

Here's the shocker: it was United!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: 34,247 bicycles left abandoned at Tokyo train stations in 2016 See in context

I think what @Disillusioned is suggesting is that it's cheaper for people to NOT pay for parking and park it illegally near the station. Then, when it's picked up in an annual or semi-annual sweep and counted, like this article describes, they buy a new one. Not sure if that's true, it would depend on how much station parking is at Tokyo stations like the ones mentioned. If you're out in the suburbs, it's not so expensive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: California hamburger restaurant chain Umami Burger to open 1st Tokyo store on Friday See in context

Their burgers are good, but not great. Would rather go to Shake Shack. Cheaper, simpler, better.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Hugh Jackman returns as clawed mutant Wolverine in 'Logan' See in context

Can't wait to see this. Kind of mean for JT to post an article about it on the day that it opens everywhere in the world...except for Japan, where we have to wait for 3 more months. Thanks for rubbing it in, guys.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump comment about immigration 'problems' baffles Sweden See in context

The scary part, that some people are still missing, is this:

Fox News, a U.S. cable news channel that has sometimes been cited favorably by Trump, ran a report on Friday night about alleged migrant-related crime problems in the country.

Trump is, and always has been, getting his intelligence on foreign affairs from Fox News. Not the CIA, not the NSA, not any branch of the military, not any of his advisors. Fox News.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think of when you hear the word "ninja?" See in context

Sad, doughy American dudes with a hilariously flimsy understanding of Japanese culture, training to be the kind of mystical warrior that only ever existed in movies and video games.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: World’s only Michelin-starred ramen is getting an instant noodle convenience store version See in context

In the end it probably won't taste much like the award-winning restaurant version (which I've never had). But seeing as how getting into that restaurant not only takes hours, but is also apparently quite the exercise in frustration, I'll give the combini version a chance!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Premium toast See in context

Weasel - very little that can compare with the best of the west coast, but a lot that's certainly worth trying. Outside of the bigger names like Hitachino, Baird, Yona-Yona, and Minoh, though, they can be hard to find.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: As deaths rise, so do chances of total Takata air bag recall See in context

Yubaru is right, this is an appalling scandal, and the Japanese media's decision to almost completely ignore it is shameful. If it were the opposite situation, if American-made parts were killing Japanese people on Japanese roads, it would be the top story for months, and Japanese politicians would be banging on the doors of Congress. But a major Japanese company responsible for the deaths of Americans? Let's just bury that one under...well, any story we can find, really.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan-born sumo wrestler wins title for 1st time in 10 years See in context

Good for him! Too bad all the headlines read "Japanese wrestler wins championship" or some variation on that, not "Kotoshogiku wins first championship". And throughout the tournament, the announcers and commentators continued focusing on the nationality of the wrestlers. Such a great sport, run by such a xenophobic establishment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' smashes box office record See in context

smithinjapan, I saw it on Friday night in a sold-out theater with only a few other foreign faces sprinkled throughout the audience. There was raucus appluase and cheering every time a familiar face appeared, and every time something amazing happened, which was frequently. Some things are universal when die-hard fans are involved. : )

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Kanazawa’s historic 'ninja temple' packed full of hidden rooms, pitfalls, and more See in context

This is definitely a unique and very cool place to see. It stands out among all the temples I've been to. The best part is how it looks so normal from the outside, only appearing to have 3 floors or so, but actually has something like nine, all staggered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The top five Ghibli sequels that Japanese moviegoers would like to see See in context

I wouldn't actually say it's my favorite Ghibli film, although I do love it very much, but I would vote for Laputa too. It's one of the very few movies I've ever seen where I felt truly sad when it ended, because I just wanted it to keep going, to keep me in that world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The top 10 drinking districts in Tokyo, as recommended by Japanese locals See in context

"The underground tracks between Shimbashi and Yurakucho Stations"? Are you sure that's not supposed to read "Under the tracks between Shimbashi and Yurakucho Stations"? That would make a lot more sense. I go to Shimbashi all the time, but am not aware of any places to drink that are underground tracks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Now bullet train geeks can ride the rare 'Doctor Yellow' train See in context

I would love to take part in this tour. But even if I had the spare change, I'm sure it would be impossible to grab a spot. Whenever those tickets go (or went) on sale, I'm sure they'll sell out in an instant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: It’s not necessary to leave one side open. There are some people who have an arm or a hand that is incapable of functioning and have difficultly keeping a specific side open. See in context

This is exactly what a few (very few) of us were saying in the comments to a recent article about this. It's not coddling, or hysterically making an issue out of nothing. People shouldn't be walking/rushing up and down escalators. That's not what they're for.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Consumer Affairs Agency urges people not to walk on escalators See in context

The etiquette here in Tokyo is for people in a hurry (like me) to walk on the right, and for those willing to wait, or too infirm (or lazy) to walk to que up and board on the left.

This is completely ridiculous. I thought it was only Japanese people who kept up these obnoxious escalator rules. Escalators exist to get large numbers of people up or down a short distance as fast as possible. If "infirm or lazy" people (or people wearing heels, or people carrying baggage, or people holding a baby, etc.) all have to line up to use only half the escalator, while a comparatively small number of people sprint up the right side, the escalator is failing at its very basic purpose. Especially at stations with very long escalators, like on the the Oedo or Sobu express lines, or the Tozai line at Nihonbashi, it just makes no sense. If you're in such a hurry that you can't wait for the escalator to bring you to the top, then jog up the stairs. Expecting people to wait in a line sometimes dozens of people long just to keep the "express lane" open is total nonsense.

And they ask you to stand within the yellow lines because Crocs-style rubber shoes can trip you up and lead to accidents if they rub against the side of the escalator or the step in front when it lowers back down at the top.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: McDonald’s to open fancy pop-up restaurant in Tokyo for one night only See in context

This is a goofy but fine idea for a publicity stunt, but the fact that it's to "showcase the new summer range of “Fresh Mac” burgers," - essentially the same burgers they always sell, but with a few more very standard vegetables - just highlights the fact that they haven't had a decent idea for a new sandwich in years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Robots do check-in and check-out at cost-cutting hotel See in context

I've been living in this country for a decade, and it still finds ways to surprise me. This is just amazing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 'The Boy and the Beast' film debuts at #1, earning Y667 million in 1st weekend See in context

Wolf Children was wonderful as well. Hosoda is a sparkling 3 for 3 so far, can't wait to see this one!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Modern air travel has become increasingly unpleasant as airlines continue to shrink seat sizes to fit more passengers on board, especially in economy class. What do you do to make your flight more bea See in context

Pay a little extra to fly on airlines that treat you a bit better, and do everything I can to get an exit row seat. Because if I can't, flying is a nightmare for me and my 195 cm frame.

0 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Cauliflower steaks keep you firmly in the produce aisle See in context

Sounds great (except for the cilantro, but to each their own)! I've recently gotten into turnip steaks, fried in olive oil and finished with a little butter and lemon. The second paragraph says it right: these vegetable steaks will never surpass a beef steak or your other favorite meat, but they make a deliciously satisfying meal for the other days.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 12 eggs, 24 yolks? Woman in Japan receives batch of extraordinary eggs See in context

Interesting explanation from Twitter user Mitsuko. A minor example of the power of the internet in prolem-solving!

About the article though...Japanese eggs come in packs of 10, not 12. It seems like nitpicking, but shouldn't an article about Japan from a Japanese news site strive to get the obvious details right? And yes, I know this article comes directly from another site.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Should some countries have the right to tell other countries that they cannot have nuclear weapons? See in context

Yes, only because the fewer countries that have them, the better. Preventing more countries from getting the bomb is step one. Getting all the countries that currently have a nuclear arsenal to dismantle them all, together, is step two.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sign of the times See in context

A refreshing sign that we live in a country where freedom of speech is protected as it should be. These sad sacks can complain about whatever xenophobic issue they want, and we can point and laugh at them and carry on about our day.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Haafu' to represent Japan at Miss Universe 2015 See in context


When I was growing up, we would often talk about our background. "I'm half French, 1/4 English and 1/4 Russian", or "I'm have German, half Dutch" were common replies.

What you're talking about here is an innocuous topic of conversation, something that might come up only every now and then. The term haafu is very different because it's a label. In this country, wherever they go and whatever they do, they will be a haafu first, their name and identity second. I don't think as many Japanese people use the term negatively as some commenters here are claiming, but even if it's used neutrally or positively, it's still an unnecessary label, one that marks them as being different from Japanese people, even if they're Japanese citizens and live their entire lives here.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Posted in: At your service See in context

This has been all over TV the last week, but it's just so lame. "Let's put our shoes on a needlessly high shelf somewhere, then have people tap buttons on a tablet and stand there and wait for a drone to go get the shoes and drop them in a bucket. THE FUTURE OF SHOPPING." Obviously it's just a marketing gimmick, but still pretty dumb.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Guest of honor See in context

While I agree the spelling of his name is annoying, it was an intentional choice. He wants his name to be pronounced kind of halfway between a hard "si" and a soft "shi," rather than a full soft "shi". Call it a subtle artistic choice. It looks painfully ugly when written out in romaji, but that's the way the creator wanted it, so end of story I guess!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Shake Shack burger chain plans to open restaurants in Japan See in context

Yay! I'll be there...once the line to get in falls to a reasonable 30-45 minutes or so.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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