It's All in the Wrist

Tokyo Travel Blog

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OMG! It's true, it's really true!


First how excited was I when I heard there is a Costco here!!!! Not to mention it is only 2 train stops from my house. For those of you that really know me, you can imagine the look on my face. But explain to me how a country that packages everything in minuscule quantities (I’m talking a loaf of bread w/ 6 slices; a box of cereal w/ 3 servings; only cartons of milk/ no gallons) has a Costco? So many things here make absolutely NO sense. Like the fact that blowing your nose in public is considered rude and lower class, yet they hand out personal tissues on every corner as a form of advertisement. Sometimes I think its complete insanity!


I’ve learned that the Japanese are sometimes like drones.

Harajuku: No Pictures! Ooops, sorry.
If they work in a grocery store, a bank, fast food, the train station etc. They are programmed with a “process,” and God forbid you stray from their process. One day while in the grocery store I simply carried my items to the counter and put them down, rather than having them in a small basket (which is part of “the process”), I thought the entire register was going to shut down! The lady was completely hopeless. She didn’t know what to do! Suddenly she grabbed a basket from behind her and proceeded to place all of my 6 items into the basket than take them out again and scan them, only to place them into another basket (Yes, a second basket)! If you got a bit lost there I don’t blame you. You don’t even want me to get started on the “Fast Food Process.” If you really want to know, e-mail me.


Okay so work. Work at Nova is special. Sometimes they’re great sometimes you hate them. It’s really not that different from any other job. The best part is that I never bring work home with me.

Posing at the Harajuku photo shoot.
Once my shift is done, it’s done. And nothing from the day before bleeds into the next day. I love most of my students. I work at one of the larger schools so we have roughly 10 teachers and maybe 200+ students in total, but we usually see the same ones on a regular basis. Students range from age 2 to 80+, you never have more than 4 at a time. Teaching English can be challenging at times, mostly repetitive, but usually it’s fun especially when you have fun students. I love the people I work with! They are a lot of fun and we go out a lot. We’re not allowed to fraternize with the students but we do anyway. Making friends with locals is the best.


So far my favorite place is Harajuku. It’s just crazy there! The style, the stores, everything. Some of you may have heard of “Harajuku Girls.” They’re so wild, I love them and they love me. The girls in the Anime costumes were quite taken by the site of me.

Love Them!
 They kept shouting “Big Bust, Big Bust….So Nice!” and giggling, and then they made mildly lured gestures in our photo. It was great. You can see them outside the Meiji Shrine on Sunday’s. They’re decked out in anything from French Maid outfits to Strawberry Shortcake, to Anime Characters and extreme Goth. They are all pretty friendly and LOVE the camera. It’s always nice to ask first before you snap a photo though.


The Meiji Shrine was nice. It is a bit of a walk, not really, but it's all gravel so I guess that makes it seem longer (or maybe I am just lazy). I still can’t get over the girls in 4 inch stiletto boots trekking through the gravel to the Shrine. You can’t believe how prevalent this fashion is until you see it. They wear high heels EVERYWHERE. I even heard of a girl once sporting stilettos up Mt.

Club Vanilla in Roppongi with my roomy Char-Char.
Fuji! I am speechless at that account. 


I’ve been to a couple clubs and bars now. The crazy thing about going to the club in Japan is it’s all or nothing. You have to be fully committed because the trains stop running at midnight and don’t start again until 5am. Luckily the clubs have lockers for your things and are open till 5am. Surprisingly it’s not hard to stay all night. They play the best music and Japanese hip hop is crazy. Some of these people think they’re straight thugs with ball caps to the side and rags tied around their calf. They all rep N.Y. like they’re from there. It’s hilarious. The girls are pimped out too with wildly teased out hair in a side pony tail and hotpants with knee high stalkings. I love it! We went out last weekend to our favorite club. It has 5 rooms and holds 5,000 people. There was a punk band playing upstairs (my first Japanese band). It was so awesome and later in the night we got to meet the bad which was fun.

Some NOT so Harajuku GIRLS?
They didn’t speak English but somehow not speaking the same language really doesn’t seem to matter in Japan. It always works out.


By far my favorite thing is all these desperate white guys who you know come to Japan just hoping they can get an Asian girlfriend. They walk around the club acting like they’re pimps. They try to dance and it’s hysterical. The whole thing is actually a joke here. You can spot these guys a mile away. If you think I sound harsh, it’s just something you can’t understand until you see it for yourself, but it’s great to watch!


This weekend I am going to go do “Hanami,” basically it means sit in a park under the Cherry Blossoms and get trashed! It’s a huge event here.

My favorite Harajuku Girl.
Since the Cherry Blossom is Japans unofficial national tree/ flower they celebrate when they bloom, also not to mention that once the trees have bloomed they only stay that way for 10 days until next year! They’re beautiful though and well worth that wait.


And finally to all of those who keep asking, here are my feelings on Japanese men in Japan (I hope it’s not too harsh, but it is just what I have experienced thus far):


1. Have you seen the teeth on some of these people? For God’s sake can someone ship a crate of fluoride over here pronto!?


Meiji Shrine, Harajuku.
I don’t like feeling that I have to be the protector in the relationship.

3. I don’t like my men to be prettier and have nicer hair than me.

4. And I damn well don’t like my men to have nicer handbags than me!

Enough said.



P.S. To all of you who often wonder, like many of us do, “How the hell do Asians eat so quickly with chopsticks?” I’m telling you now; it’s all in the wrist.

travelman727 says:
You are a great storyteller! I especially love your grocery store counter episode :-) It's amazing how all of us have our little quirks :-)
Posted on: Jun 19, 2007
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OMG! Its true, its really true!
OMG! It's true, it's really true!
Harajuku: No Pictures! Ooops, sorr…
Harajuku: No Pictures! Ooops, sor…
Posing at the Harajuku photo shoot.
Posing at the Harajuku photo shoot.
Love Them!
Love Them!
Club Vanilla in Roppongi with my r…
Club Vanilla in Roppongi with my …
Some NOT so Harajuku GIRLS?
Some NOT so Harajuku GIRLS?
My favorite Harajuku Girl.
My favorite Harajuku Girl.
Meiji Shrine, Harajuku.
Meiji Shrine, Harajuku.
I think this is a wedding at the M…
I think this is a wedding at the …
On the bridge to the Meiji Shrine …
On the bridge to the Meiji Shrine…
photo by: maka77