What’s that??

Often visitors to my site E-mail me and ask about some uniquely “Japanese” thing that they’ve seen here.

They ask me to explain what it is.

I’m happy to answer any questions about Japan as best I can. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I often get e-mailed questions about things, places, events, schedules, etc., etc. about Japan.

I reply to all of these e-mails as promptly as I can. But I started thinking that maybe I should put the answers to some of these questions on my blog.

So, I made this page to try to explain what some of the sights in Tokyo that I have been asked about by my blog’s visitors.

(Click the links to read posts I’ve written with more detailed explanations)

So, here are some of the questions I’ve been asked:

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  • Q: What are those bags that are taped closed at the front of many stores in Japan?

    A: Those are 「福袋」 (“Lucky Bags”). You must have seen them in January…they are a Japanese New Years tradition at many stores. (Click here to read my post about them.)

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  • Q: What are those yellow blocks with bumps that are on the sidewalks in Japan?
    A: Those are 「点字ブロック」 (Braille blocks). Braille is found on the sidewalks, elevators, shampoo, money and other places in Japan. (Click here to read my post about them.)

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  • Q: What are those plastic bottles that I’ve seen around the streets in Japan?

    A: Those are cat deterrents. (Click here to read my post about them.)

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  • Q: What are noisy places around Japan that are full of people sitting in front of machines?
    A: Those are called “Pachinko“. They’re like a cross between a pinball machine and a slot machine. (Click here to read my post about them.)

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  • Q: What are those small groups of people dressed like samurai and geisha who walk around the streets of Japan playing unusual music?

    A: Those are called “Chindonya“. They’re traveling bands-for-hire that help promote a new store’s grand opening. (Click here to read my post about them.)

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Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

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15 Responses to “What’s that??”

  1. 000001qwerty May 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    that is so cool i think i saw one when i went to japan but i forgot where

    Liked by 1 person

  2. qwerty May 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    no not really i just found it interestting
    i was doing an assinment about schools in japan and i was amazed at the pictures i saw on the web about the cat bus in real life and the pikachu and others
    are they actually real and can you ride one
    have u

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 25, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

      Yes, there are some character buses, planes, etc sometimes.

      Like

  3. qwerty May 24, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

    this site is cool but i think you should have included more whats that pictures because it is really interessting

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 24, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

      Oh, thank you. Maybe one of these days I’ll add more to this page.

      Do you have a question for it?

      Like

  4. Katie March 20, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    Very cool section. I’ve also wondered about the water bottles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 March 22, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      Thanks. Unfortunately, things like those and the chindonya are becoming less common in Japan these days.

      Like

      • alice March 22, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

        I was excited when I saw a Chindonya troupe last year with two team members and this year again but with three members. They often parade in shoutengai (shopping street). I managed to take their pictures at both times.

        Like

      • tokyo5 March 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

        They used to be seen often when I first came to Japan.

        Like

  5. tokyo5 November 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    I updated this page.
    I added a question at the top about the yellow blocks on Japan’s sidewalks.

    Like

  6. Alice November 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Thanks for enlightening more about Japan. I would love to see and take a picture of chindonya. You’re very fortunate to come across one. Did they pose for you?

    Like

    • tokyo5 November 2, 2011 at 12:12 am #

      >Thanks for enlightening more about Japan.

      I’m happy to hear that you could learn from my posts.

      > I would love to see and take a picture of chindonya.

      Are you in Japan? They can still be seen…just not as often as when I first came to Japan.

      >You’re very fortunate to come across one.

      Actually I have seen Chindonya a number of times.

      >Did they pose for you?

      No, but they don’t walk too fast.

      Like

  7. bartman905 October 31, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Get idea for a page (love the picture along with the question) … hope you grow this like your Festivals in Tokyo page.

    Like

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