Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Fukuoka Sunset

July 31, 2012

Fukuoka Sunset

Sunset over Fukuoka, taken from the Sky Wheel at the marina.

Local temples and shrines

July 24, 2012

平間山 稱名寺

There are a number of small temples and shrines within walking distance of my apartment. Earlier this year I went round taking photos of them all.

Temples and shrines near Shin-Kawasaki and Kashimada

Foot Pee!

November 24, 2011

Foot Pee!

The mind boggles…

Japan visa renewal does not include re-entry permit renewal

August 14, 2011

When I renewed my visa I naively assumed that it included an extension of the re-entry permit.

I didn’t find out that this is not the case until I was at Narita airport going through passport control.

Passport control officer: “So, you’re not coming back to Japan?”
Me: “Of course I’m coming back, I’m only going on vacation.”
Passport control officer: “So where’s your re-entry permit? This is expired.”
Me: “Here it is look, I renewed it in April.” *points to the new visa*
Passport control officer: “This is your visa. You also need a new re-entry permit!”
Me: %$!*

Luckily they issued one at the airport, but only for a single entry. I have to go back to the immigration centre to get a new multiple re-entry permit.

Earth / Arse

June 8, 2011


In Japanese, the word “earth” when written in Katakana sounds the same as “arse”.

Japan visa renewal

April 8, 2011

My visa expires next month so I went on Google to find out what forms I need to fill in. Annoyingly most of the hits are to forum discussions and professional visa application services, but not to the actual information on the immigration service website.

Eventually I found them, and hopefully if I post the links here it’ll help anyone else who is looking for the same information in the future:

Life in the post-apocalypse wasteland of Tokyo

March 28, 2011

Plenty of fresh fruit and veg

Reading some of the media reports over the past couple of weeks you’d think we were living in some kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland.

In the 2-3 of days immediately after the earthquake, it was difficult to get essentials like bread, milk, eggs, and rice, but there has always been plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Two weeks later, we can get the basics, but in limited amounts.

There has been a bit of a scare about contamination in the water, but that has pretty much passed now. The government’s warnings sparked a wave of panic-buying bottled water, which looks set to continue for a while. There’s been no bottled water in any of the shops near us for the past week or so. We’re just drinking the tap water and giving the kids bottled water that was sent by a friend in another part of Japan.

As for the rolling blackouts, they’ve been cancelled almost every day. We’ve only had two so far, and they were both shorter than planned.

At work they’ve introduced an electricity conservation policy which means we have to work shorter hours. I can live with that.

Overall, everything is almost back to normal.

Hakata Ramen

January 19, 2011

Hakata Ramen

Hakata Ramen. In Hakata.

How to remain sane while commuting daily by train in Japan

January 13, 2011

Bose Quiet Comfort 3 (QC3)

Step 1: This step is only necessary if you have been living under a rock for the past decade and do not already own an mp3 player. Crawl out from under your rock and buy one. iPod, Walkman, generic brand, doesn’t matter.

Step 2: Throw away the crappy earbud headphones that came with the mp3 player and purchase a pair of high quality noise cancelling ones. (Pictured: Bose Quiet Comfort 3).

Step 3: Load up your player with enough music to last your commute time, taking into account delays. You don’t want to run out of music while stuck at the station waiting for a train that is delayed because some inconsiderate git decided to jump in front of it during the rush hour.

Step 4: Crank up the volume high enough to drown out the extremely annoying in-train announcements and station jingles.


January 12, 2011

Mt. Fuji

While flying out of Haneda last week, we had a great view of Mt. Fuji.

New Year Meal (Osechi Ryori)

January 11, 2011


Osechi Ryori (お節料理) are the traditional foods eaten on New Year’s day in Japan. The in-laws sent us this one.

Pretty impressive-looking, but unfortunately there wasn’t much in it that I was able to eat. Too much seafood for my liking.

More pictures here.

Christmas Dinner

January 11, 2011

Christmas Dinner

I’m pleased to report that no, we didn’t go to KFC for Christmas dinner.

We found a decent sized chicken at Sanwa and cooked it in a Le Creuset pot on the gas hob. It turned out very well, tender and juicy. And I even managed to make a Yorkshire pudding in the combo oven. Served with Paxo stuffing smuggled in from England.

More pictures, including a gory one of the raw chicken with it’s neck hanging out.

Rakuten spam

December 8, 2010

Rakuten newsletters (spam) (excerpt)

I recently bought something online from Rakuten and in addition to the usual order confirmation emails they also sent me a spammy “newsletter” mail.

Mildly annoying, but “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just unsubscribe from it”. So I clicked on the “配信先の変更・停止はこちら” link, entered my email address, hit the confirmation button, and thought that would be the end of it.

But no, then I got another one. And another one. And another one.

It turns out they have literally dozens of different spamshots newsletters, and the “unsubscribe” link only works for that particular one, not all of them. It took almost a week before I found the link to the page where you can switch all of them off.

Full screenshot here. Unbelievable.

List of prohibited activities

December 7, 2010

List of prohibited activities

It would have been more efficient to write “don’t do anything”.

Japan in slow-motion

November 30, 2010

Slow-motion video recorded by a friend during a trip to Japan.