Archive | Tokyo RSS feed for this section

Lexikeet

20 Apr

Do you study Japanese (or Spanish or Chinese)?  Or plan to?

You should look into signing up with Lexikeet.

lexi-logo

To really learn a language, you must practice reading, writing, speaking and listening…this program helps you to do that.
Not only reading and listening, like many online study programs…but it also has a system to help you to practice writing and speaking Japanese, as well.

lexi-write

It’s not perfect though. I signed up for a free trial and I didn’t use it as often as I would have liked…simply because there is no mobile version of their site or Android app.
I prefer to study Japanese on my morning train commute to work…I don’t really “feel like it” after work or on weekends.
But, they’re currently running a special campaign until the end of this month (2014 April 30th)…membership is only US$9.99 / month.

So…if you like to study with your computer, and you want to learn Japanese, Chinese or Spanish…I recommend Lexikeet.

Yesterday was a ‘metal’ day!

15 Apr

Yesterday after work, my wife and daughters met me at Shibuya Station.

They had bought a number of gifts for me!

Among them was the current issue of Tokyo Journal magazine with Gene Simmons on the cover dressed like a samurai:

journal

and the Classic Rock magazine with the members of KISS on the cover wearing business suits (like an updated version of their “Dressed To Kill” album cover):

classic

It came with two compilation CDs.

From there, we went to a ramen restaurant for dinner and then headed to the “O-East” club for the reason we were there…to see the Skid RowUnited World Rebellion: Chapter One” concert!

2014-04-14 21.56.02

I did an interview with bassist Rachel Bolan last month about this concert, among other things.

After that interview, the members of Skid Row kindly gave my family and I guest tickets to their Tokyo show that included special seating…and backstage passes to meet the band after the show!

It was a great show!  They played songs like “Let’s Go” and “Kings of Demolition” from their new album, as well as their classics such as Slave To The Grind“, “18 And Life” , “I Remember You“, and of course “Youth Gone Wild” !

My wife had also bought a few 色紙 (Japanese paper boards) that are sometimes used for autographs, which the band signed for us.

My wife, our daughters and I all had an excellent time and were treated like V.I.P.s by the members of Skid Row!

Thank you Rachel Bolan, Scotti Hill, Dave “Snake” Sabo, Johnny Solinger and Rob Hammersmith!

Skyline

14 Apr

My first car in Japan was a Nissan Skyline.

The Skyline is a nice car!

So, it was a nice surprise when I went to the shopping mall today with my family (in the car we have now, a Toyota) and I saw that they had vintage Nissan Skyline cars from the 1950s to the 1990s on display!

Here are a few photos I took:

1957 Nissan Skyline: 

image

image

image

image

1962 Nissan Skyline:

image

image

1965 Nissan Skyline:

image

image

image

image

Mine wasn’t this old. I had a 1986 Nissan Skyline Turbo years ago.

Cutest cat

9 Apr

Check out this cat beg for food:

2014 Godzilla trailer

7 Apr

Here’s the new trailer for the upcoming 2014 U.S./Japan collaboration “Godzilla” movie:

Six years

26 Mar

My blog here is six years old today. I started it on 2008 March 26th.

My blog has had 1,772,134 visitors so far. That averages to 820 visitors a day.

Thank you to everyone who visits and reads what I write! Especially if you leave a comment! Visitors’ comments are what makes blogging enjoyable…so please continue to leave comments often.

The Tokyo subway terrorist attack

20 Mar

Today is the nineteenth anniversary of the 1995 March 20th sarin gas attack on three lines of the Tokyo subway system.

sarin attack

I remember that day well.

Prior to that cowardly attack, I had never heard of “sarin gas”. But it’s a nerve agent that is deadly and is easily airborne.

This attack was carried out by the bizarre followers of the equally bizarre Asahara Shoko in the weird “Aum Shinrikyo” cult.

I had known about this cult before the March 1995 attacks. I had seen some of their brainwashed followers in a public park doing some kind of yoga-like stretches and chanting. So I knew they were strange…but until 1995 March 20th, I didn’t know they were dangerous, as well.

It was reported after the attacks that the “reason” these people put containers of nerve gas on trains that killed thirteen people and injured thousands was because they were brainwashed by the cult’s leader, Asahara, that he was the second-coming of Christ and this attack was needed to hasten “Judgement Day”. Or something ridiculous like that.

After this attack, the train and subway lines in Japan were on “high alert”, public trash bins were removed from all stations (a number have since been replaced with a new “transparent” design), there were “Wanted” posters all over Japan for the people responsible, and the “Aum Shinrikyo” cult was designated as a terrorist organization and forced to close down.
Unfortunately though, the members of the cult who weren’t arrested simply changed the name of their group to “Aleph” and still meet under that name.

Japanese train station safety barriers

17 Mar

Many things in Japan are high-tech far beyond other countries…such as toilets and bathtubs, vending machines, etc.

And the “accessibility” for the handicapped in Japan has become quite good…for example, braille is on many things here including money, alcohol and shampoo (Click here to read a post I wrote about that.)

But there was one thing that I also should be changed…the lack of safety barriers on train and subway platforms.

Thankfully there aren’t very many cases…but on occasion, drunk, blind or careless people have fallen off of the platforms.
And, unfortunately, suicidal people have jumped from them onto the path of oncoming trains.

But, of course, I’m not the only who noticed this problem and more and more train stations are installing safety barriers to keep people from falling (or jumping) from the platforms.
Eventually all of the train stations in Japan will have them!

And, of course, train station platform safety barriers in Japan are high-tech.

Check out this video:

(hat tip: RocketNews24)

Spring Blossom Fragrance Beer

16 Mar

At the start of each season in Japan, the major domestic (Japanese) beer brewers offer special beers related to the season.

I just bought Suntory’s new 発泡酒 (malt liquor beer) for this spring, called 「春咲く薫り」(“Spring Blossom Fragrance”).

image

春咲く薫り(はるさくかおり)

I like it. Tastes good!

image

Teru-teru Bozu

12 Mar

It’s not cold in Tokyo today…the temperature is very comfortable.  And it’s forecast to stay this warm all week at least.
It’s nice weather today but it’s forecast to rain tomorrow and Friday.

If you have outdoor plans on a day that it’s forecast to rain, what do you do in your country?

In Japan, people (especially children) hang a Teru-Teru-Bozu up.

Do you know what a “Teru-teru-bozu” is?

Teru-Teru-Bozu is a Japanese charm that is supposed to keep rain away.

When Japanese kids have an outdoor event, such as a school “Sports Day” or a field trip, and it’s forecast to rain on that day (and cause the event to be cancelled), they will make a Teru-Teru-Bozu out of cloth or, more commonly, tissue paper and hang it up.

There’s also a song for the Teru-Teru-Bozu that is along the lines of the English song “Rain, Rain, Go Away”.

Actually, I’ve written about Teru-Teru-Bozu once before, five years ago. (Click here to read it.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 195 other followers