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A Lot of Nothing

This is, as the title indicates, a list of things that I’ve noticed as I was strolling around town.  The occasional cultural note will be included, but keep in mind there is no main focus.

To start things off, this is a picture of my air conditioner/heater.  There is no central air in Japan, but there are these machines mounted on a wall in each room to keep people warm or cool depending on the season.  As you can see there is a message written on the outside.  If I had read it beforehand then I would have avoided nearly losing one of my fingers (no joke). 運転中は手を入れないでください Roughly translates to, don’t stick your hand in here stupid.

Next on my list is a short cultural note.  Below is a picture of a wall socket.  If you haven’t noticed, there is nothing plugged into it.  In Japan, especially because of the tsunami that hit Iwate and Sendai areas, saving electricity is a top priority.  It is important to conserve energy in any way possible, and it cuts down on energy costs.  My last month electric bill was around ¥1500 or $19.00.  Not only do I unplug small things, but I unplug my washer, microwave, heater, etc. when I’m not using it.

Now before I begin to talk about my trip to town, I needed some money.  Japan is a cash culture, meaning they rarely use credit cards.  That doesn’t mean that credit cards aren’t used or aren’t accepted, but rather, people prefer to use cash over plastic.  Crime is also not as fierce in Japan as it is in other places in the world so there is no real threat of being mugged.  That is to say, trouble doesn’t come looking for you, you have to find it.

The character on ¥1000 was a famous doctor, ¥5000 represents a poet, and ¥10000 was a revolutionist.  They represent $10, $50, and $100 respectively at a ¥1:$1

Moving on, the beginning of my trip!  I don’t get to photograph any sunsets since I work during most of them.  It’s nearly impossible to get a good shot since everywhere you go you are surrounded by mountains or seven-story buildings.

The sun set at about 5:00 and I made it to my destination. 

Now to explain, AEON is a super store that can be compared to a shopping mall or walmart.  There are groceries and food products on the first floor, men’s and women’s clothes on the second floor, kids toys and clothes and furniture/appliances on the third floor, and lastly a gaming center on the fourth floor.  The gaming center reminds me of Chuckie Cheeze with a modern bowling alley thrown in it. 

Christmas in Japan with a children’s favorite, Anpanman.

Want something with HelloKitty?

This little gem was coupled with several shirts that had equally poor English.  Either that, or my grasp of English has plummeted in the past 3 months.

This is one of about 5 rows of quarter styled gift machines.

Although I didn’t go here, there was a reminder of home which is about five minutes from my apartment.  And yes, they are all over Japan.

One last story to sum things up a bit.  I’m not much of a car person, but in Japan, cars and motorcycles are quite popular.  People will rev their engine as loud as possible as they drive down the street to gain attention.  It is a trend that I am not interested in nor impressed by considering all it does is wake me up or drown out my thoughts. On one occasion, I witnessed a group of bikers making such a ruckus that the cars going perpendicular to them with a green light had slowed down to see what was happening.  As they slowed down, they were soon forced to a stop.  The bikers slowly passed through their red light as everyone watched and continued on down the road.

I ended the trip by buying some crocs, a new cup,  some raw salmon, and some bargains from the 百円 dollar store.

I hope you enjoyed reading, please add any questions or comments!

About travelnihon

I recently graduated from the University and am currently teaching English to all ages in Japan


5 thoughts on “A Lot of Nothing

  1. Some things never change! Your air conditioner story made me laugh out loud (glad you still have your finger!). Loved your sunsets and shopping center pics. That’s a lot of Hello Kitty! And if Lisa or I had been there, we would have stopped your croc purchase (The plaid makes a fashion statement, but the smiley faces? seriously!). I understand they’re comfortable though. Sometimes that’s more important than style:) Your bed looks cozy. You should put up pics and dimensions of your entire apartment so people can see your spacious accomodations. Keep up the great blogs!

    Posted by Mom | November 16, 2011, 5:18 pm
  2. Why are the Japanese so hung up on Miss Kitty?

    Posted by Aunt Karen | November 16, 2011, 6:56 pm
  3. How is Denny’s food? You haven’t done much decorating yet either. The bedroom wall looks a little bare. It sounds that your are enjoying yourself. A lot of fun adventures and lots of great pictures you will have to remember this forever. What is one trip you want to take while you are there? Lots of love 🙂

    Posted by Aunt Deb | November 17, 2011, 12:16 am
  4. I think your blog and your pictures are cool!! I’m thoroughly enjoying reading about all the cultural experiences you are encountering. I’m not commenting on all your blogs, but I am reading every one of them and enjoying each one very much!! Please continue as I look forward to reading about all of your adventures!! p.s. Please don’t leave me on a corner in Japan to find my own way. Yankee fever…catch it!! p.p.s. Grandpa says “See ya in a Kia!” Love, DAD

    Posted by Dad | November 20, 2011, 4:57 am
  5. I’m glad I could help 🙂

    Posted by travelnihon | February 3, 2012, 1:45 pm

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