MyGengo* I just posted my interview with Rob and Matt of over at Making it in Japan. Anyone interested in translation should check it out – they have some great new services on the way – and if you have the skills required (but are lacking in qualifications / years of experience that many companies demand) they might be just the folks you’ve been looking for.

After work last night I headed up to the in-laws’, about an hour from our place, just north of Tokyo. There were two birthday’s in the family to celebrate, a lot of good food to eat and my father-in-law’s travel stories to catch up on.

I found it interesting how the pace of life seemed to be a lot slower there, outside of central Tokyo. There wasn’t the feeling that there was lots that needed to be done (as is the feeling at home). 9pm seemed late, like bed time. I was asleep before midnight for the first time in a long time.

Walking back to the station this morning (*Twinkle* left earlier, taking our niece to Disneyland), I took a few photos of everyday stuff, which I thought I’d share.

First off then, we have the cabbage fields between the apartment blocks. I think of these as the remnants of years gone by, when the kanto plain was more agriculture than housing. You’ll still find quite a lot of them in the outskirts of cities, but every year their number decreases. I think the primary motivation for planting up land these days is not producing crops, but rather to obtain tax breaks.


Next up, the dog poo sign. Isn’t it cute? The woman seems to be really enjoying herself. The text literally reads, “Let’s take dog poo home!”


Storage containers are on the rise, as people accumulate more ‘stuff’ which they really have no need for. You can rent half of one of these containers for as little as 5,250 yen (GBP36) per month. Given the state of the Japanese economy, it won’t be long until we find people living in them, I’m sure.


Next, we’re down by the riverside. Not sure I’d want to eat anything that comes from one of these rivers though.


Finally, we have the mikan – or are they some other kind of orange? I don’t know. I like fruit trees in cities. They’re a good reminder of the natural seasonal cycle that is going on around us, masked by the tarmac.


Anyway, I need to change trains now, so had better pack up.


6 Responses

  1. aaaah, so YOU’RE Joseph Tame! I think I listen to your podcast which I looove! You and that other dude from Australia make me laugh in my boring day of casual work when I’m not working at my online business. I am from Sydney Australia and not from that USA town you try to pin on everyone in your podcast! 🙂 I went to Tokyo and Kyoto last year with my 15yo daughter and am aiming to go back again next year with my daughter and my then 16yo son who both learn Japanese in high school. I absolutely loved Japan. My daughter and I are just on 6 feet tall and we felt absolutely comfortable jostling around Tokyo. No-one stared at us, everyone was so polite and we got lost everywhere and had so much fun! I loved seeing Japan through her otaku eyes. Just a little background; I am currently studying Mandarin (beginners) but am champing at the bit to learn Japanese which I hope to do if I get into a University of my choice next year which means whichever University will accept me.

    Your photos are interesting, please keep posting, I know I am a little older than you lot but I do love your podcasts. My daughter is a complete otaku geek nerd. Games, computers, manga. She’s trying to get me to read Full Metal Alchemist which I may as well do since I’ve invested all my money in her otaku world! 🙂

    Anyway, thank you (both) for being so entertaining, educational and I love the interviews you do. Oh, please keep singing your “karaoke” made up songs. You crack me up.

    Thank you and regards,

    1. I’M Joesph Tame?! Well, I guess so, if you insist.

      Thank you soooooo much for your kind comments, very much appreciated. I’m glad you enjoy the podcast, it’s good to know that being silly entertains some people 🙂

      Are you SURE you’re not from Illinois?!

      Look forward to meeting you when you next come to Tokyo – and good luck with getting into you uni of choice 🙂

      Thanks again for the feedback. Will feature it on the final show.