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Making Your Surroundings Better

May 6th, 2007 at 10:16 pm

One of the lessons that my father taught me was to always leave a place in better shape than when you arrive. When I go on my walks in Japan, they always take a bag along to pick up trash that I find along the way. It's one of those little things that anybody can do to help make the area around where they live a little better.

Japanese Farm House

May 5th, 2007 at 02:39 am

This is a typical Japanese farmhouse that I came across the other day while out on a walk.

Video Coke Machine

April 24th, 2007 at 02:37 am

This was kind of interesting. It's the first time I have seen a Coke machine with a video in it. The video was playing Coke commercials along with an educational tape that showed how to use your phone to purchase a Coke (that's right, you don't even need change to buy a Coke in Japan. Just swipe your cell phone and out comes a Coke.)

Manhole Cover

April 19th, 2007 at 06:15 pm

I came across a new manhole cover design while wandering around town:

Worst Store Name Ever

April 17th, 2007 at 07:38 pm

Having lived in Japan for over 10 years, most strange spelling and names don't even grab my attention anymore, so when something does, it has to be really awful. I came across this clothing store for kids in a mall near our house. Probably not the best name for a store of any kind...

Flower Clock

April 14th, 2007 at 08:23 am

You can tell it's spring not only by the time, but also by all the flowers around the clock Wink


April 12th, 2007 at 06:27 pm

One thing that I like about Kobe is that there are random sculptures all over the place. I took about a 20 minute walk from the immigration office to the train station the other day and these are all the sculptures I came across along the way:

Tomorrow's Hands

April 11th, 2007 at 06:33 pm

I came across this wall in a park - all the bricks tiles in the wall are the hands of children:

Manhole Art

April 11th, 2007 at 03:13 am

Some more of the decorative manholes I came across recently (I get really strange looks from people when I stop to take photos of these Wink )

Cherry Blossom Viewing

April 10th, 2007 at 10:09 am

This weekend the cherry blossom were out so my wife and I took a day to go cherry blossom viewing. Neither of us likes the crowds of the main places that people gather to view them, so we headed out to the countryside and found a river lines with them without hardly another person around:

Spring Time In Japan - Cherry Blossom Rice Wine

April 9th, 2007 at 08:28 pm

You know that it's springtime in Japan because the cherry blossoms are out and ever conceivable thing in Japan has that theme - including cherry blossom rice wine (sake)

Paranoia Paradise

April 9th, 2007 at 02:55 am

I love the signs in Japan Smile


April 8th, 2007 at 09:51 pm

As you might imagine, parking in Japan is always a challenge. Often they will stack cars as in this photo:

Great Hanshin Earthquake Clock

April 8th, 2007 at 08:09 am

I was wandering around Kobe this weekend when I came across a memorial for the Great Hanshin earthquake that happened in 1995 - believe it or not, I was there for it. Although I lived a bit outside the disaster zone, I was there within a few days in order to help my wife's aunt. It is certainly a natural disaster that I hope I never have to live through again...

Pachinko Machines

April 7th, 2007 at 09:00 am

I was wandering the other day when I came across all these old pachinko machines!

More Manhole Covers

March 1st, 2007 at 09:59 pm

Here are a couple more manhole covers I came across the other day:

Tree Growing In A Tree

February 22nd, 2007 at 11:35 pm

I always find nature amazing. I was on a walk the other day when I found a tree that was actually growing inside another tree. Apparently a seed from a nearby tree had landed in an open area of the branches and began to grow.

Drying Laundry

February 15th, 2007 at 09:19 pm

We don't have a clothes dryer. The vast majority of people living in Japan don't. Electricity is expensive and there just isn't room in most apartments and houses for the dryer, so everyone hangs their clothes out to dry.

Before I came to Japan I would have assumed that hanging clothes to dry would be a real pain compared to simply throwing them into a dryer. I've found that hanging clothes is therapeutic in a relaxing kind of way and actually enjoy it.