Archive | Tokyo RSS feed for this section

Metal Festivals in Tokyo

26 May

Every October for the past ten years, there is a two-day heavy metal music festival in the Tokyo area called “Loudpark“.

This year it is scheduled for 2015 October 10th (Sat) and October 11th (Sun).

Loudpark heavy metal festival; 2015 Oct 10-11

Loudpark heavy metal festival; 2015 Oct 10-11.

Some of the major bands that are billed to play are: Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. Three of the “Big Four“!

And then the following month, there will be another big heavy metal festival in the Tokyo area!
OzzFest Japan is scheduled for 2015 November 21st (Sat) and November 22nd!

OzzFest Japan 2015 will be held on 2015 Nov 21st - 22nd.

OzzFest Japan 2015 will be held on 2015 Nov 21st – 22nd.

Unlike Loudpark, OzzFest doesn’t have a long history in Japan. This will only be the second OzzFest in this country so far.

The first OzzFest Japan ever was held in May of 2013. I went to it with a friend of mine.
(Click here to read my post about it.)

I saw Black Sabbath, among other bands, at OzzFest Japan 2013…and they were initially billed to headline OzzFest Japan 2015, but it’s been changed for whatever reason…Ozzy will still be playing with his solo band instead.

The main acts of OzzFest Japan 2015 will be: Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, KoRn Bullet For My Valentine, and Evanscence.

Gari Gari Kun

15 May

It seems that, because of the internet, a number of people know of the myriad of Kit-Kat flavors in Japan.
Click here to read of the posts I’ve written about them.

But many other products, both Japanese and foreign, are sold in unique flavors in Japan.

For example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi-cola. (Click here to see the posts I’ve written about them.

Also, potato chips, chocolates and other snacks…as well as sandwiches and beverages (besides the colas I’ve mentioned above) come in a variety of flavors here.
Japanese pizza and crepe have unique “only-in-Japan” toppings sometimes.

Maybe I’ll write a blog post about some of those one day.
But today, since the weather is getting warmer, I decided to write about a Japanese ice-pop (or アイスキャンデー (ice candy) as it’s known in Japan) that is very popular here in the summer.

It’s called 「ガリガリ君」 (“Gari-Gari-kun“)

Japanese 「ガリガリ君」 (

Japanese 「ガリガリ君」 (“Gari-Gari-kun”) ice-pop. (This one is “Soda flavor”).

In America, the “Popsicle” brand ice-pop (ice candy) is the most popular…in Japan, it’s “Gari-Gari-Kun“.

And, just like a lot of other snacks here (such as “Kit-Kat“), Gari-Gari-Kun is sold in a wide, diverse variety of flavors.

Here are a few examples:

Tiramisu (Italian dessert)  flavor "Gari-Gari-Kun" ice-pop.

Tiramisu (Italian dessert) flavor “Gari-Gari-Kun” ice-pop.

みかん (Tangerine)  flavor "Gari-Gari-Kun" ice-pop.

みかん (Tangerine) flavor “Gari-Gari-Kun” ice-pop.

Grapefruit flavor "Gari-Gari-Kun" ice-pop.

Grapefruit flavor “Gari-Gari-Kun” ice-pop.

Kyoto trip

6 May

Today is the last day of Golden Week. It’s a series of consecutive holidays in May that are known collectively as “Golden Week”.

We decided to take a two-day trip to Kyoto during Golden Week this year.  So, in early morning of May 4th, we took a fast but comfortable 新幹線 (bullet train) to Kyoto. We stayed in a nice hotel that overlooked 琵琶湖 (Lake Biwa), the largest lake in Japan. And we took the bullet train back to Tokyo in the evening of May 5th.

We had a really good time and got to see many of Kyoto’s famous sites.

Here are some of the photos I took:

We took this 新幹線 (bullet train) to Kyoto from Tokyo on May 4th.

We took this 新幹線 (bullet train) to Kyoto from Tokyo on May 4th.

2015-05-04 07.14.55

2015-05-04 07.15.21

2015-05-04 07.16.29

2015-05-04 07.16.54

View from the bullet train window.

View from the bullet train window.

2015-05-04 09.13.15

2015-05-04 09.39.57

2015-05-04 09.39.58

2015-05-04 09.41.57

2015-05-04 09.43.03

Even the local trains were a bit different from Tokyo's.

Even the local trains were a bit different from Tokyo’s.

The famous Fushi-Inari Temple in Kyoto.

The famous Fushi-Inari Temple in Kyoto.

2015-05-04 10.15.13

2015-05-04 10.19.54

2015-05-04 10.20.07

2015-05-04 10.23.14

1000 torii gates at Fushimi-Inari.

1000 torii gates at Fushimi-Inari.

2015-05-04 10.39.18

Wisteria at Byoudou-in

Wisteria at Byoudou-in

The famous Byoudou-in Temple in Kyoto.

The famous Byoudou-in Temple in Kyoto.

2015-05-04 12.19.30

2015-05-04 12.25.15

This temple is shown on the backside of the Japanese ¥10 coin.

Kyoto Tower

Kyoto Tower

Our hotel had a lovely view of the largest lake in Japan: 琵琶湖 (Lake Biwa).

Our hotel had a lovely view of the largest lake in Japan: 琵琶湖 (Lake Biwa).

Delicious dinner at our hotel. 近江牛 (O-mi-gyu Beef)!

The second (and final) day of our trip (2015 May 5th), the weather was much nicer!

The second (and final) day of our trip (2015 May 5th), the weather was much nicer!

The famous 嵐山公園 (Arashi-yama Koen) in Kyoto.

The famous 嵐山公園 (Arashi-yama Koen) in Kyoto.

2015-05-05 12.45.49

many people wear kimono in the ancient city of Kyoto.

many people wear kimono in the ancient city of Kyoto.

Tenryuuji Temple

Tenryuuji Temple

2015-05-05 13.23.20

2015-05-05 13.23.58

2015-05-05 13.26.53

2015-05-05 13.29.36

2015-05-05 13.38.45

The famous 金閣寺 (Kinkaku-ji) Temple is covered in gold.

The famous 金閣寺 (Kinkaku-ji) Temple is covered in gold.

2015-05-05 15.54.27

2015-05-05 15.58.26

2015-05-05 16.14.12

6PM on May 5th, 2015 at Kyoto Station to take the bullet train back home in Tokyo.

6PM on May 5th, 2015 at Kyoto Station to take the bullet train back home in Tokyo.

京都駅 (Kyoto Station)...we had a good time!

京都駅 (Kyoto Station)…we had a good time!

Ra-mu-ne

30 Apr

Do you know the Japanese soft drink called 「ラムネ」 (Ramune)?

「ラムネ」 (Ramune)

It’s a 炭酸のソフトドリンク (carbonated soft-drink) in a uniquely shaped glass bottle that is sealed with a glass marble.

It comes in a variety of flavors, but the most common flavor is the original lemon flavor.

Ramune is a very popular drink, especially with young people, in the summertime in Japan. It is sold in many places including summer festivals.

One time I saw a store with a sign that said 「まずいラムネランキング」 (The Worst Ramune Flavors).
The #1 worst flavor on the list was 「キムチラムネ」 (Kimchee Ramune)!

「キムチラムネ」 (Kimchee Ramune)

I bought it just to try it. They weren’t kidding! It was disgusting!

Have you ever tried Ramune?

Review & Giveaway 15: Japan Journeys

18 Apr

Here is another book that Tuttle Books have kindly given to me to review and, again, they have agreed to give (given) one free copy of this book to a random visitor to my blog!

(Click here to read all of my reviews and giveaways.)

This book is titled “Japan Journeys: Famous Woodblock Prints of Cultural Sights in Japan” by Andreas Marks.

“Japan Journeys: Famous Woodblock Prints of Cultural Sights in Japan”

I will put the details of the free drawing for this book at the end of this post.

Japan Journeys: Famous Woodblock Prints of Cultural Sights in Japan” is a hardcover book full of large, beautiful pictures of all kinds of ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints).

Mr. Marks is a historian of Japanese and Korean art and he gives explanations of the prints that show famous sights around Tokyo, Kyoto and other parts of Japan.

I have been to many of the places shown in these prints and it’s fun to see them depicted in artwork that is sometimes centuries old.

This book would be treasured by anyone interested in Japan, Japanese ukiyoe art, or artwork in general!

Japan Journeys: Famous Woodblock Prints of Cultural Sights in Japan” can be purchased through Amazon here.

But, as I said above, Tuttle Books has agreed to give (given) one random visitor to my blog a free copy of this book.

To enter the drawing for the free book, submit this form by 2015 May 10th:

***** Updated May 10th, 2015 *****

This special promo ended on 2015 May 10th. One random winner was selected and contacted directly by Tuttle Publishers (via email) with the details about the free book.

Thank you to all who entered, but only the winner was contacted.
*****

The ’90s in Japan

14 Apr

I have been living in Japan since 1990. I know what the 1990s and 2000’s were like in Japan much more than America.

Japan was quite different in 1990! I wrote a post last October about some of the differences...click here to read it.

I found a website by a man who took a lot of photos of Tokyo in the 1990s.
It’s very nostalgic for me!

Here are some photos of Tokyo in 1990 (This was Tokyo when I first came here):

This is the large, busy Ikebukuro train station in Tokyo in 1990. There were no automatic ticket gates back then…station workers punched and collected tickets manually!

 

This is the largest, busiest train station in the world…Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station in 1990. There were many payphones on platforms and station entrances back then!

 

Inside a train in Tokyo in 1990. There were no cellphones back then. Everyone read, slept or sat quietly on the trains here.

 

Tokyo is first…again

10 Apr

Tokyo was the first city in all of Asia to host the Olympics (the 1964 Tokyo Olympics).
(Tokyo will host the Olympics again in five years).

Tokyo was the first city in the world to have a Disney amusement park outside of the U.S.

And now Tokyo is the first place in the world where two independent fast-food chains have collaborated to make one unique restaurant together.

The Japanese branch of the American fast-food chain “Wendy’s” have joined with the Japanese fast-food chain ironically named “First Kitchen” to open a store in Tokyo called “Wendy’s First Kitchen“.

"Wendy's First Kitchen" menu has unique menu items made from items from Wendy's and First Kitchen together.

“Wendy’s First Kitchen” menu has unique menu items made from items from Wendy’s and First Kitchen together.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 271 other followers