Cycling in Japan

Having never needed to ride the bicycle in my home country, I only just started learning how to ride it before I came to Japan. Thus, I experience OH MY GOSH THAT WAS FREAKING CLOSE situations when I’m on my bicycle at least three times a month if not more.

Let me share with you what happened today.
I have to post my 年賀状s (new year greeting cards) by the 25th, so I figured that I should get them posted now in case I forget tomorrow. Unfortunately, today was a rainy day. I looked out my window – hoping that it would lighten up enough so that I can cycle to the post office relatively near my place. It did, so I went out.

However, it started to rain quite a bit on the way back, and I had two close shaves. A car didn’t notice me as he turned at the traffic light spot (it was still green for pedestrians), and I had to shift my course of direction towards the left before he realised I was there. Another incident happened when I → Read more

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How to write a Nengajo (年賀状)

When writing 年賀状 (nengajo – new year cards),

1) Commas and periods are not used. Try to use sentences that do not require them. If it is not possible, either leave a space or start a new line, to indicate breaks in the message.

2) Avoid inauspicious words. For example, when saying “last year”, instead of using 去年, use 昨年 or 旧年. Words like 去る, 離れる, 切れる, 落ちる, 終わる, 離れる should also be avoided.

3) Ballpoint pens are also frowned upon.
Here is a list of writing tools lined up from the most recommended, to the least recommended. Writing Brush → Calligraphy Pen → Oil-based Felt Pen → Ballpoint Pen
→ Read more

Tackling the Cold

It’s extremely cold in my house. Whenever I shift from one room to another, I need to endure the cold. It takes forever for my rooms to heat up with this tiny little heater I have. Thus, an idea 閃いた (to flash into one’s mind). I will make my bedroom livable by making it my Study Room, Shamisen Practising Room and probably even my Dining Room at times as well. The three above-mentioned activities were usually done in my living room instead. After this make-over, I only need to heat up my bedroom and just stay in it forever. Yes.

#4 Fukayomi – Cash vs Cashless

The world is slowly making the switch from cash to cashless – more and more people pay with cards these days. Just how much is one able to use their card (or virtual cards in phones) to pay at various locations are shown below,

China 55%
Korea 54%
America 41%
Japan 18%

According to the programme, China thinks that Japan still needs change – old country.
There is also the concern that → Japan needs to go cashless so that foreigners who do not like to use cash will purchase merchandise from Japan. Other people from other parts of the world are going cashless. A huge amount of loss is expected from → Read more

#3 Fukayomi – Malignant Claims

This week’s FUKAYOMI is about 悪質クレーム (malignant claims; which is basically a customer complaining and seeking compensation unreasonably) on front-line staff. Such ‘claims’ are, including, but not limited to, an inappropriate demand of money or items, unreasonable requests, complaints without valid reasons, and continuous complaints.

It is often said that the Customer is God in certain countries and industries.
In Japan, the concept of おもてなし (hospitality) is already very strong, but front-line staff are subjected to → Read more

Clothes Shopping

Today’s my day out with Icepath 🙂
We went clothes shopping – down at Don Don Down on Wednesday at Shibuya.
It’s a second-hand clothes shop that reduces its prices down a notch on Wednesdays, which explains the shop name. I didn’t really bring much winter clothes over, so it’s time to get a bunch 🙂

The current price tags are as such
Eggplant ¥7,000
Spring Onion ¥5,000
Carrot ¥4,000
Peach ¥3,000
Strawberry ¥2,000
Grape ¥1,500
Pumpkin ¥900
Banana ¥500
Mushroom ¥300
Watermelon ¥100

How this works is that each piece of clothing is tagged with a fruit or a vegetable, and each week, the price rotates downwards. Next week, the Eggplant becomes → Read more

 Meeting T in Tokyo

I had an extremely delicious minestrone cup noodle by Topvalu, and then ダラダラed (lazed) in my room until late morning.  I then forced myself to get up and take a shower before heading out for my lunch appointment with T at Akihabara. I met him at the main exit and we walked off from the station.

He asked me what I wanted to eat, most probably for fun as he knows I don’t really have much of a food preference. I shrugged and said anything.

Along the way, we spotted an exhibition going on. I’m not exactly sure what the whole event was about, but there were many figurines from

→ Read more