Things in Japan: Saizeriya

Back home, when you wanted fake Italian food you could go to Olive Garden. The bread, the soup, and the salad, though somewhat mediocre, was always filling. To some of your friends, Olive Garden, or the similar Macaroni Grill–featuring paper table cloths and crayons in addition to medium quality fake Italian food– was a classy place to eat. But Olive Garden does not exist in Japan. Where will you go to eat breadsticks now? Continue reading

Things in Japan: Early Summer 


In Japan, as any Japanese person will tell you, there are many seasons. Mid June, sometimes called “early summer” by overeager shop fronts trying to sell clothing for old ladies, is also known as the rainy season. Instead of calling it the rainy season you may also call it by one of its many nicknames. These include, “I didn’t expect to take a shower today, but now I’m soaked, season,” “I had a heart attack when I saw all the Japanese people on the train with umbrellas when I forgot mine, season,” and “But it was sunny five minutes ago! Season.” Continue reading

Spring Haiku

Sakura flower
On a Starbucks coffee cup

The sun rising
Sunbeams sneak through the curtains
Bleach the tatami


Couldn’t that easily be
A Japanese name?

Eleven at night
The teachers are working hard
They never go home

Two thirty at night
No difference to the teachers
Two thirty daytime

Karaoke booth
Repeat incorrect lyrics
Alcohol does help

The Softbank dog is
Someone’s father, and what’s more
A surprise canine

Japanese mascots
One for each and everything
They will rule Japan

All those characters
With eyes the size of grapefruits
Anime takeover

Why is there at lunch
Fish that still have eyes

A crowded Book Off
Deep in the BL section
Fujoshi playground

The printer running
But my email is empty
So many dead trees

The windows open
The cold wind creeping inside
Japanese school life


Jeremy Renner is not

The phone screen lights up
The clock has chimed midnight
My eyes are burned out

A Reverse Haiku

Ah, kyuushoku truly is
My favorite part
Of elementary school

Things In Japan: Sakura

In April, it snows pink in Japan. Wait, that’s just the cherry trees.

If you visit Japan outside of Sakura time, you’ll notice there are a bunch of really ugly trees all over the place with no apparent purpose. You may not even notice the trees at all until a certain week comes along in the early spring when all the trees conduct a massive group chat make a coordinated effort to play dress up together all across Japan. This is Sakura season. Continue reading

Things In Japan: Chopsticks

Chopsticks. You use chopsticks every day to eat all kinds of food. You have a steadily growing collection of chopsticks. If you ever need a makeshift pair of drumsticks for an unexpected drum solo, you are prepared. You have plans to make a throne out of chopsticks from 100 yen shops and sit in it at work. You will tower over the heads of your coworkers until the throne collapses into a pile of useless twigs. Continue reading

Things In Japan: Walking

There is an inverse relationship between country size and amount of walking required of residents. The United States is large, and people hardly walk anywhere, instead preferring to risk life and limb in tin cans that are both fancied up and powered by things that were once part of animals. Surrounding themselves in the pieces and parts of dead bodies while risking becoming a dead body themselves comforts drivers and passengers in ways that the ghosts of their pasts cannot. Continue reading

Things in Japan: Totally Official Trash Rules

The following are the decrees of the Japanese Garbage Collection System:


Washing is how we show respect for our garbage. Do you not wash yourself daily? As we are respectful to all things, we must respect the disgusting, gross, bacteria covered, potentially hazardous, reeking waste that we collect in our homes. Wash everything before you put it out for collection. We have heard complaints that we’re “just going to burn it so there is no point in washing the milk cartons and soda bottles.” To that we respond: you’re an entitled prick. Excuse us, that was a mistake. Correction: We don’t care. Japan is a clean country and that cleanness includes the garbage. Dirty garbage is for heathens, the Internet, and people who don’t live in Japan. So wash. Continue reading

Things In Japan: Toilets

Have you ever felt like using the restroom is too simple? Are you bored by the lack of gadgets and potential electrocution of your traditional toilet? Ever felt frustrated that your simple bathroom break can’t accidentally become a shower break? Well, today I’m going to tell you about a lukewarm new craze that is dampening people from all corners of the globe. Introducing the Japanese toilet.  Continue reading