Sunday afternoon

9 Nov

Today my wife met a couple friends that she hadn’t seen in a long time.
My oldest daughter had to go to school for a test, and my second daughter went out with one of her friends.

So, it was just me and the “baby” at home together today (alright, she’s twelve years old…but she’s my youngest and therefore the “baby” to me!).

She told me that her friend’s birthday coming up and she wanted to go to the mall to get her a gift.
So, we went to the mall together and had a “father-daughter” day. 🙂
It’s not often that I get to spend quality time with just one of my kids alone…so when the chance arises, I enjoy it!

After she bought her friend’s birthday present we went to the game center (arcade) and played the “UFO Catcher ” (crane game) a few times. One machine had a “Play Station Portable” that we tried to get and another had tickets to 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) that we tried four times to get…we didn’t manage to get either! Oh well.

Do they have “crane games” in arcades in your country? What types of prizes do they have?
Japan has all kinds of crane games. Most offer small toys or candy…but there are also machines with Ipods®, watches, radios, Nintendo DS®, amusement park tickets, ice cream (in refrigerated crane games)…and I’ve even seen one with live lobsters!

Here’s one with ice cream:


And another had パン (bread):


I guess only shopping malls in Japan have 着物屋 (kimono stores).

This kimono costs ¥98,000 (about US$970):



Winter’s almost here. The weather’s getting colder, and on the way to the mall we saw a 焼きいも (Grilled potato) truck (a sure sign of winter in Japan 🙂 )…and many stores have their x-mas decorations up—and the 文具店 (stationery stores) have the 年賀状 (Japanese New Years postcards) on sale.


We had a good time together. We got home at about 5:00 and my wife and two oldest daughters got home at about 5:30.

Then the four of them made an excellent burrito dinner for my birthday! 🙂 [明日は俺の誕生日 (Tomorrow is my birthday)…]

18 Responses to “Sunday afternoon”

  1. tokyo5 November 14, 2008 at 11:06 pm #

    25¢ ? The equivalent of that won’t buy you anything here, except “dime-store” candy!


  2. Sir Pent November 14, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

    Depending on the quality of the crap, it can be anywhere from 25¢ to $1.00 per play.


  3. tokyo5 November 14, 2008 at 9:17 am #


    Come to Japan with your family. Your son will like the prizes in Japan’s UFO Catchers

    How much does it cost to play one in America?
    In Japan, it’s usually ¥100 (about US 90¢ )


  4. Sir Pent November 14, 2008 at 3:46 am #

    Keep in mind that they are crappy junk prizes that people can rarely win.


  5. tokyo5 November 12, 2008 at 12:47 am #




  6. bartman905 November 12, 2008 at 12:28 am #

    Great story and happy birthday!


  7. tokyo5 November 11, 2008 at 11:44 pm #


    Yeah, I grew up in Florida so I have seen Xmas / New Years that weren’t too cold…but I can’t imagine Xmas / New Years in the Summertime! The image of those holidays is Winter!

    Sir Pent…

    Crane games in Japan have nice prizes…that’s why they’re popular with young people here.
    If the prize is just junk…then what’s the point??


  8. Sir Pent November 11, 2008 at 11:43 am #

    I’ve seen crane games ever since I was a young kid…but you can find them in arcades, theme parks and restaurants. Restaurants are where we seem them most often here in the Chicago-land area.
    They usually have really cheap stuffed animals. When in Florida recently at a restaurant there was one that all kinds of cheap-y, lame jewelry.

    Sir Pent


  9. umepontarou November 11, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    No, I don’t…
    Here, I don’t really feel like the season “Christmas+New Year”!! The weather is hot, sunshine, biniki, fries… 😛 Totally different from Japan. I sometimes forget it was Christmas & New Year:p
    Here nobody write 年賀状 and we just send Christmas card with few words “来年もよろしく!


  10. tokyo5 November 10, 2008 at 11:26 pm #




    >This post made me smile.

    Thank you.


    I love Osechi!

    >no Japanese Christmas and New Year for 5 years! (><)

    Do you still do 年賀状 (New Years postcards) in Australia?


  11. tokyo5 November 10, 2008 at 11:23 pm #

    Sir Pent…

    >Oh do I hate the crane games.

    Really? Are they popular in the U.S.? I have never seen one until I came to Japan! (Did America have them before 1990?)

    What types of prizes are in American crane games?

    >we have NEVER walked away with anything.

    Really? I’ve managed to get a prize a number of times (nothing great like a PSP or Disneyland tix though!!)


  12. tokyo5 November 10, 2008 at 11:17 pm #

    Aunt Linda…

    >Happy Birthday

    Thank you.

    >The website is fascinating.

    Thank you again! Please comment more often!

    >Wish my computer could decode the Japanese characters

    Your computer can’t read the Japanese? On my main website ( ), I put in a “meta-tag” to make the Japanese show on non-Japanese machines…but I can’t do change the meta-tags on this blog.

    >Sounds like you all eat like kings!

    I’m lucky. My wife and daughters all cook very well!

    >…Japanese Mexican burritos! Hope they turn out as well as Guatemalan Mexican burritos!

    They were excellent!


  13. tokyo5 November 10, 2008 at 10:52 pm #

    I almost forgot to mention…my youngest daughter took the photos in this post!


  14. umepontarou November 10, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    What a wonderful day!:) This post made me smile.
    And I can imagine what Japan looks like now. Xmas decorations, pre-order for Xmas cake, many people shopping, Osechi-ryori…
    That’s Nov and Dec in Japan! I sure miss it… no Japanese Christmas and New Year for 5 years! (><)


  15. Sir Pent November 10, 2008 at 2:22 am #

    Oh do I hate the crane games. My son (4 years old) is fascinated with them. We spend all kinds of money any time that we see one and we have NEVER walked away with anything. He gets so disappointed.

    Sir Pent
    drummer of the Lizards From Afar


  16. Aunt Linda November 10, 2008 at 1:48 am #

    Happy Birthday, my dear nephew! The website is fascinating. Wish my computer could decode the Japanese characters–it just looks like little boxes with 4 numbers and letters inside each. Very strange. Sounds like you all eat like kings! And so international–Japanese Mexican burritos! Hope they turn out as well as Guatemalan Mexican burritos! Love to you all, Aunt Linda


  17. tokyo5 November 9, 2008 at 11:56 pm #

    “H” (my youngest daughter)…


    I had fun today, too! ♥


    Thank you! And “thank you” to your mother, your sisters and you for the wonderful birthday dinner!


  18. "H" November 9, 2008 at 11:05 pm #




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