Today's Cat ― 2016/10/25
Autumn Sky ― 2016/10/24
Shinkansen Angels ― 2016/10/11
Shinkansen’s cleaning staff is often picked up on TV for their efficiency and professionalism. This time I had a chance to watch them in action with my own eyes.
Even before the train they are going to clean, they wait where the door of the train they are in charge of is going to open.
Once the train stops, the ladies take a bow to the passengers getting out from the door and start their jobs.
They have only several minutes before the train run back to Hakata to complete cleaning tasks including (as long as I could see from the window):
Wiping the arm rests,
Vacuuming the floor
Cleaning the toilets, and
Changing the headrest covers,
absolutely no matter how terrible or tough the condition is (such as loads of rubbish on the isles, extremely clogged toilets, flooded washrooms, soiled or sticky tables, or all the them).
When I sat my seat, it was spotless, as if no one had used it since the train was built (sorry, I was a bit exaggerating…).
Cleanliness is one of the reasons (along with the fabulous ekiben
and comfortable seat arrange )why we prefer travelling on Shinkansen to
air travel from Tokyo despite the longer travelling time (around 5 hours at
In fact, I have heard that our government was trying to export Shinkansen. I hope everyone in the world enjoy a comfortable Shinkansen ride.
Tokyo Odds and Ends ― 2016/10/10
Grocery Tour in Tokyo ― 2016/10/10
These three high-end grocery stores are must-visit for me. More “must” than any other tourist places.
The perfect supermarket. I wish I had this in Fukuoka (on a condition that I had an unlimited disposable income). Perishables appear fresh and in perfect quality (but forbiddingly expensive), ready meals look healthy and delicious.
The best of the best at this store, I thought, should be the bakery section. It has a great variety of products that taste really “real”. I felt they made from “honest” ingredients—crisp croissants have a flavour of “real” butter, and apple filling has a refreshing acidity. What’s more, they are relatively reasonably priced (I guess 10-20% lower than typical stylish bakeries here in Fukuoka).
I used to assume it was only in Yokohama, but it was in Shinjuku, too, a few minutes from Shinjuku station. I love its shopping bags. It’s a bit expensive, but looks neat and seemingly lasts quite an extended period of time.
I assumes this store is only in Seijo, as its name suggests. But I came across its brunches virtually everywhere I went in Tokyo. Awesome is the economic power of Lawson that bought the prestigious grocery store chain! It might have something to do with its buyer that Ishii have a good selection of newly released products.
Tokyo Magic ― 2016/10/10
After getting back to Narita,
we spend a few nights in Tokyo where I wonder why I don’t mind
spending too much on “guidebook (or SNS-friendly) meals” .
I can’t imagine myself having such a lavish meal (even for dinner!) in Fukuoka...
Fukuokan's US Tour 2016: For the Next Trip ― 2016/10/02
Notes for my next trip…
· Before going to the US, try to get tuned in English as much as possible. I wasted a good portion of my trip not being able to comprehend the local language. And once I got somewhat used to it, it was time to leave.
· Be realistic with speaking. As long as I can do things, it is OK. I don’t need to sound clever or witty in English. No one in America (and possibly in Japan) expects me to do so—especially with my great Japanese accent.
· Pay with changes, not notes, even though it is challenging to count unfamiliar money at till. This time my bag became unbearably heavy as the result of my laziness.
· Even though they don’t understand what I say in Japanese, do not say everything popping up in my mind: such as “urusai,” “mazui,” “busaiku,” “zuuzuushii,” “shine” etc…. It can grow into a dangerous habit in Japan, where everyone understands what I say and my voice carries well.
Things should be brought from japan
· cooking sources (especially miso flavour)
· Good-quality Ramen (in case my stomach becomes upset: non-fried noodle is preferable)
· salad dressing (can be used as vinegar)
· soy sauce (preferably in 5ml packs)
· small packs of oil (if available)
· umeboshi (to refresh the taste bud after greasy meals)
· pair of chopsticks (to make the in-room dinning feel more “home”)
· washing-up sponge and cling film (if there is enough room in the suitcase)
· plastic paper folders
· small zipper bags
· nail clipper and cotton buds
· hand sanitizer
· Mouthwash (can substitute for gargle and tooth paste)
· Eyeglass cleaning fluid
· Toothbrush (American size is too big for me)
Things that do not necessarily need to be brought
· rice and its products (can be bought in small quantity)
· digital camera(smartphone can do)
· dictionary (If don’t have job to do there)
· snack foods (due to the nature of American-style meals, protein- and fat-rich, I didn’t feel hungry between meals)
· surgical masks (no one wearing it)
· waribashi(if I bring “proper” chopsticks)
· cooked Japanese foods (as long as I have soy sauce, I should be fine without them)