Bruce, Cameron, Arnold, and Tommy

MJG Ads / Signs, Japan 8 Comments

Hollywood actors often do ads in Japan that they would never do back in the US. I don’t know why really, though I suspect it’s because that kind of ‘selling out’ in America is more likely to negatively impact their status than it would here. A few years back they had David and Posh Beckham in small cars saying- ‘my …

Ikebukuro Excavation Card

MJG Ads / Signs, Japan 2 Comments

On my way through Ikebukuro the other day I spotted this poster for an Ikebukuro ‘excavation card’: I had a look around and found the same poster on this pillar: “Curioser and curioser,” I said to myself. Just what is an excavation card?

Meiji’s Acerola and Lemon

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 2 Comments

Acerola and lemon, yum yum. It’s so delicious that stars will come out of your mouth. When I first came to Japan, I had no idea what an acerola was. Now, thanks to drinking plenty of acerola juice, and also thanks to Wikipedia, I know.  

Meiji Memorial Gallery, Aoyama Itchome

MJG Guides, Japan 2 Comments

The Meiji Gallery in Aoyama Itchome holds 80 works of art depicting scenes from the life of Emperor Meiji (1852-1912), half painted in the Japanese style and half in a Western style, each about 3 meters square and really quite stunning. I discovered this Gallery unconventionally. In fact, I’d thought a long time ago that the museum/impressive building scene in …

Fukutoshin Shibuya Station

MJG Guides, Japan 6 Comments

The new subway station on the F-line in Shibuya is remarkably large, spacious, and modern. It reminds me of the subway system in Washington D.C. for all its brushed concrete blocks and cavernous oval underground spaces. Even now a week after it opened there are still lots of people with cameras snapping away at its sights- of course, including me. …

Stopped by the Police

MJG Guides, Japan 9 Comments

Last night I was stopped and questioned by the police. I was riding home on a friend’s tiny BMX-like bike at around 2am, just coming to the hill on Meiji Dori before my house, when I heard something from behind me. I turned around and saw a policeman running up behnd me. I did a double-take, for a second dis-believing …

Kit Kat Triple Berry

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 8 Comments

Kit Kat in Japan exemplify the gad-fly product life-cycle model that rules the confectionery business here, in that they constantly release colorful new but very short-lived product variants. To see a wide range of past Kit Kat flavors- check out my friend Mike’s website, including white, peach, strawberry, bitter, orange, cherry, and cherry blossom.    

Stunning Graffiti in the Ruined Keishin Hospital

MJG Grafitti, Haikyo, Hospitals, Kanagawa 16 Comments

The gutted shell of the abandoned Keishin Hospital stands blank and ghostly on the rural Kanagawa sky-line. It once housed state-of-the-art radiology and cancer departments, now the only pieces of equipment remaining are the chairs bolted to the floor in the dentist’s office. Up close its walls are a vibrant cacophony of ever-changing grafitti, its forecourt a wash of shattered …

Fukutoshin Line Opens

MJG Uncategorized 4 Comments

On Saturday June 14th the latest and possibly last subway line through Tokyo, the Fukutoshin F-line, opened up, and I was one of the first people on it. The line runs from Saitama down through Ikebukuro and on to Shibuya, with extensions into other train lines at both ends. Trains run around every 5 minutes. I boarded early in the …

Gachapon Toys

MJG Japan, Toys / Games 6 Comments

Capsule Stations or ‘Gashapon’ are a big deal in Japan, located outside any place that kids or otaku (nerds) might go. They are basically toy vending machines, like gumball machines, but for toys in plastic egg-shells. The name Gashapon is onomatopoeic, where the ‘Gasha’ is the sound of you turning the handle, and the ‘Pon!’ is the capsule toy popping …

Ashes to Ashes: season 1- 5/5

MJG Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Ashes to Ashes is a sequel series to the fantastic Life on Mars, the show depicting a Manchester policeman sent back in time after being nearly killed in a hit and run accident. That show ended on a massive high after 2 seasons, and I thought there was no way they could replicate its quality or success. But, having just …

Blue Pepsi, Brazilian Pocky

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 1 Comment

After my review of Bean and Beer Pretz last week I decided the snack-cocktail combo-review should continue, so this week I bring you: Pepsi Blue Hawaii and Brazilian Pudding Pocky! This snack-cocktail should be aided by the fact that Blue Hawaii actually IS a cocktail, or takes the name of a cocktail. Pepsi, I salute you. There’s been kids beer, …

Relics of WW2- the Negishi Grandstand replaced by Yokosuka Navy Base

MJG Entertainment, Haikyo, Kanagawa, Military Installations 58 Comments

The Negishi Racecourse Grandstand in Yokohama looms like an ancient 3-headed Titan over the Negishi Plateau. It once drew crowds of thousands to cheer the racing horses from its elaborate bleachers, to wander its long hallways and admire its extravagant architecture, but that was over 80 years ago, before it was surrendered to the US military after World War Two. …

$50 from TQR!

MJG Uncategorized 9 Comments

The magazine that published Celibate Jayne the Hammerhand, TQR, have sent me my $50 stipend: Along with a note: Thank-you TQR! Now, how will I spend the money? Probably not on beer. It should be something significant. Any suggestions?