Japan: Things Seen

I’m feeling a tad schizophrenic, experiencing this place I’ve never been to before. There is a jagged line separating and uniting my known home culture and this other culture on the other side of the planet.


Somehow my iPhone produced this image. Is it reading my mind?

Join me in some pondering of things I’ve seen.


My gardener’s heart loves that this patch of pease is nestled behind a hedge and inbetween strips of pavement. There’s plenty to occupy your eyes in the distance, from bamboo groves  to small houses, to apartment buildings to city beyond, all crammed into steep land. 

Commodore Perry! What are you doing out here on the street?


My first encounter with Commodore Perry was on a postage stamp, in a childhood philatelomaniac phase.

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Image from our pal,  google.

Recycling is so finely tuned that at home, you dispose of bottle cap and bottle separately, and if you really want to do it right, you remove the label and put it in another category. Don’t do it right? A neighbor might stop by and mention obliquely that some people in the area have been sorting incorrectly.


Bee aware or bee square.

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At the Tokyo Zoo.

The US has “Dollar” stores everywhere. Japan has “100 yen” stores everywhere.


Need ten teeny weeny tiny plastic bottle-ettes? Very helpful when going out in all families. And Happy Sunday!

Engrish abounds…here’s one for you apostrophe people.

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Why do we make such a fuss of what happens with our language in the hands of others, when we don’t even bother to learn their alphabet? (OK, several alphabets, plus chinese characters, which often have multiple meanings and pronunciations…what’s so hard about that?)

What is it?


Melon sorbet in container. At conveyor-belt restaurant. 

The latest thing in school backpacks is only 65,000 yen.


In US Dollars, today’s exchange rate? $609.05. You read that correctly. I do not yet understand this situation, but it’s got to have an explanation. 

At some of the dollar stores, panda sox for your table and chair legs may be had.


Pikachu, pokémon creature, overseeing the floor protection squad. 

Light switches have a light that turns off when the light is on, and goes on when the light is off. Very handy in the dark.


The land gets shaked and baked periodically. Japanese engineers and workers use many techniques to stabilize the earth.


Roadway slope reinforcement.

We end with a grandson’s coin-balancing feats.

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“See” you later.

Maybe “raise” you.

There’s an awful lot more to be seen.

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