Month: Last updated Aug 1, 2017

Self-Defence Force Land

You may have heard about this place in the news. It’s called the Rikujou Jieitai Kouhou Senta-, or the Ground Self-Defense Forces Public Information Center. It was part of a scandal involving wasteful government projects just after the defeat of the LDP in the last election. At that time it only received about 2,600 visitors per week, despite costing millions of dollars to run. Thanks to the scandal, however, it’s getting really crowded these days, although it remains to be seen what will happen when they start charging admission in April. It’s kind of a mediocre museum that you can walk through in about 15 minutes. There’s a history of the SDF, a bunch of tanks and helicopters, a 3D movie theater, and you can try on army uniforms or other military equipment like flak vests and parachute packs. The obligatory omiyage (souvenir) shop complete with military-themed cookies and candy. These “Dead or Alive” cookies are described on the box as a game of Russian Roulette. Ten out of 12 are regular sweet cookies, but two are extremely spicy and taste awful. To get there, take the Tobu-Tojo line, or Yurakucho/Fukutoshin Line to Wakoshi Station. From there, it’s about a 15-minute walk. Here’s a map: http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/eae/prcenter/guide.html Official site: http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/eae/prcenter/index.html (Japanese only) Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click...

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Japanese Floorplan Fails

I was browsing in a bookstore last week and came across this book called Henna Madori (Strange Floor Plans). All of them are from real apartments. This is a six-room apartment, but the rooms are only three tatami mats each (one tatami mat is just under two meters x one meter), and you have to go through the toilet to get to the bathroom. It wouldn’t be impossible to live in this room, would it? You can’t get into the bedroom because there’s no door from the entrance area, but at least there’s a toilet! There has to be a reason for putting the bathroom and toilet in the very center of the apartment, right? There has to be. The arrow at the top indicates the toilet. If you want to get into the kitchen, you have to go through the toilet. You’d have to be pretty skinny to get out of that toilet! This one has three toilets and two bathtubs. This is a nice, spacious 3LDK (three bedroom apartment with living room, dining room, and kitchen). The only problem is that to get into the room in the middle with the arrow pointing to it, you have to go out on the balcony. Henna Madori only costs 500 yen and is quite entertaining if you can understand some Japanese. I read through it in an hour or...

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Signs

This statue of the Manneken Piss on the platform of JR Hamamatsu Station has been dressed up in a fire fighter’s uniform for the Spring Fire Prevention Campain. This sign in the Yanaka District of Tokyo says “No thieves permitted beyond this point.” This banner is advertising a graveyard. It struck me as odd to have the same type of festive advertisement that is used outside fast food restaurants. This poster on a train in Osaka says, “Groping forbidden. Absolutely forbidden.” It’s written in Osaka dialect using the word “akan” which means the same as the standard “dame” (forbidden). So, the price is 586,530,000 yen (about $US 5.1 million)? Giant pylons. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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