Sunday, November 8, 2015

Nov 8 2015: Odd Memories of Tokyo

Odd memories of Tokyo - observations that didn’t fit anywhere else:

Men In Black Coffee???

Japan is the land of vending machines. If anything can be put in a vending machine - iced tea, hot soup, mobile phones, entire dinners - the Japanese have figured out how. One thing that escapes me is why Tommy Lee Jones is always featured under Boss Rainbow Coffee.

Playing at the great Bornelund toy store Daikanyama
Thanks Bornelund for the free entertainment!

I remember reading an article a couple years ago about how it's considered improper for women in Japan to open their mouths wide, so a local burger chain imprinted the face of a woman on its hamburger wrapper so that when the burger is being eaten, you can't see her mouth wide open. Apparently sales of their largest burger skyrocketed 213% among women a month after it was released. I tracked down a Freshness Burger to see it in action. Unfortunately the staff didn't speak any English, and when I showed them the English-language article, they seemed perplexed. I'm guessing the campaign ended last year and the staff hasn't been working there that long. It's too bad, it would've been yet another wacky Japanese anachronism.

CVS in Jinbocho!?

There is a small chain of drugstores called CVS. Some online digging shows CVS doesn't have any locations outside of the US. Coincidence or strange knockoff?

Don't press that button! Or do! I'm not sure!

Japan takes safety seriously. The flat we were staying at received a 100 page book that is essentially a manga graphic novel from the island State of Japan illustrating all the perils in the country (volcano, tsunami, earthquake, flooding, bad sushi) and recommended preparation/reaction. It’s just like the “Worst Case Scenario” survival books – BUT WITHOUT A HINT OF IRONY! Wherever you go in Tokyo there are adorable violent anime-style safety signs. Like the Virgin America safety videos, it's a little hard to take them seriously.

One of many toilet control panels

The Japanese are infamous for their fancy toilets. Wherever we went, the public restroom toilets had amazing looking control panels. One button makes a fake flushing noise (for modestly or to get the waterworks moving?), another warms the seat, yet another blows different temperatures of air. On my last night, I finally tried the bidet function on a public bathroom toilet - but not the prescribed way. I held my hand over the infrared sensor so it would think my butt was in place. Then I pressed the bidet button. A little nozzle slowly inches its way into place and - viola - the wall was instantly plastered with water from a fire hose. That would've been my butt. Wow.

Tokyo Tower seems eerily familiar
We didn't plan to see it, but passed
it on the way out to the airport

Honkering down for a short 8 hour flight (Bowie slept 7 hours!)


Karen g said...

FUNNY! Thanks for the blog of extras. It's like when you watch a movie on CD. The extras are well worth your time. :)

Anonymous said...

People wouldn't believe me when I said Japanese toilets have a button to play a flushing sound! - Your awesome friend from AZ!