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Hanging On: It’s Just Different Here

Hanging On: It’s Just Different He...

Maybe this happens all the time in cities with subways… but in Tokyo, the trains run on time. That means they leave the station with the doors closed, regardless of what’s hanging outside the door. In this case, the young lady’s handbag, which she clung to for the ride between stations.
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Everything including the Kitchen Sink: It’s Just Different Here

Everything including the Kitchen Sink: I...

OK, so I know there’s been a lot of concern about H1N1 throughout the world.  Hand sanitizer as a hotel guest welcome sign is the new “in”.  However, we never thought the Japanese would take it to such lengths.  This interesting platform necessity was spotted in Matsumoto JR train station.   We really couldn’t figure out who would use it and when.
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Kurabu – Eating Well in Obuse

One of our guides in Tokyo had been recommending we visit Obuse for years and on this latest trip we finally got a chance to go to this small town near Nagano. One of the best parts of our day was lunch at Kurabu, the robata-like restaurant operated by the folks who also run the local sake factory, Mashuchi.  The Club (kurabu) got its name because it was built in an old section (bu) of the brewery (kura), and serves the traditional “yori-tsuki” style cooking that the brewers enjoy. The “yori-tsuki” was a place where the brewers could quickly gather...
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A Little Trashy: It’s Just Different Here

A Little Trashy: It’s Just Differe...

I can hardly write this one up without going into paroxysms of laughter.   In a hotel to be unnamed, we encountered the world’s smallest trashcans, if they weren’t so entirely useless, they’d be cute.  These were on the floor and I think may have held a Q-tip or two, but not much more.
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Lost in Translation

Everyone has their own little personal quirks and one of mine is that I habitually misplace things. Traveling only exacerbates the issue, since being on the move means that it’s even more difficult to track everything. On my most recent trip to Japan I lost not fewer than five separate items – and I’ve got four back! Japan is amazing that way – three of the lost items were rather simple for this efficient and incredibly honest society – a blanket left at a ryokan was takybbined to my final hotel, a sheaf of papers dropped (yes, I was so tired...