Get Some Potato-chips!

Hi there! How are you doing today?

I am busy for preparing for my studying abroad in the States. I will go back to the States next week.

I want to get some potato-chips in the States when I get there this time.  I am not a huge fan of chips, but there is a reason.

Last year four big typhoons attacked Hokkaido where is the main place for potatoes. We depends on the island to grow potatoes. The area got huge damage and we are lack of potatoes for potato-chips. Then,  several main potato-chips companies made a decision that they would stop making different flavored potato-chips. We still have salty flavor and probably BBQ flavor, but that’s all.

We have no idea when we can get various flavored potato-chips again. I miss soy sauce ones, wasabi flavored ones, fish eggs called mentaiko flavored ones or plum pickles called umeboshi flavored ones or so on……..

Now, the price of potato-chips is getting higher, especially the hard ones for us to get. I saw 5 dollars for one small package, and it’s five times higher! People compete to get potato-chips before they all are gone.

I guess when we want to get some potato-chips, we have to go to Costco to get American chips. Then, we will appreciate that we still can get some chips there!!

You can read an article about our chips here: https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/japan-has-been-hit-by-a-massive-potato-chip-shortage?utm_campaign=trendsus&utm_source=munchiesfbus

I hope I can write one more blog entry before going back to the States!

Have a lovely week, everybody!

-Yumi

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Her

Hi there! How have you been?

Have you watched the movie, Her? It’s a Hollywood movie to describe a futuristic relationship. In the movie we date computers.

Well, I think we will have it soon…….. Today I want to introduce our high technology.

A friend of mine from America shared this video clip with me, and this associated me with the movie, Her.

In Japan we have a serious problem for young people who are not interested in having relationships. They love internet game, anime, manga, computer game and so on. They might have internet virtual relationships through game, but they are not interested in real relationships. Don’t you think it’s weird?

I have no idea why people like virtual relationships. Are they afraid of being dumped or getting hurt? Yes, I think so. I think these people are chicken out.

I think we can’t get perfect relationships when we start relationships. Friendships or relationships need time to grow. However, these people love anime, manga, internet game tend to seek perfect relationships from the beginning. That’s because they are used to seeing fantasy through anime, manga or whatever. In their fantasy all characters have perfect boyfriends or girlfriends.  I am afraid that this virtual home robot increases the number of young people who are not interested in real relationships more.

This is a one way relationship and they never receive anything from their virtual girlfriends/boyfriends. I guess when people get used to this, they will lose emotions, social skills, patience for  having a long turn relationship with real people, making babies and so on. I can’t imagine any positive things about this.

What do you think about this? Do you think this is good?

Costoco in Japan!

Today I went to a huge American supermarket, Costoco in Amagasaki, Hyogo prefecture with my family and my friend from America. I’ve been to Sam’s club in America because my friends in America have been members of it, but it’s my first time to go to Costoco both in Japan and America.

I love American supermarkets, and before going there, I was very excited. I was looking forward to showing the gigantic American supermarket to my family.

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Costoco in Japan was pretty much same as Sam’s club in America even in layout. There were full of American products, electricity, foods, furniture, clothes or whatever. 

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The most interesting part of Costoco in Japan was that I saw a lot of large packs of Japanese products, and they made me laugh.

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I saw a lot of large packs of sushi, a various kinds of sake, large size of Japanese chips and so on.

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Even signs are written both in Japanese and English. I saw a lot of people from oversea. Even several staff were from some foreign countries. Japanese people love the Italian desert, tiramisu. I saw a lot of huge tiramisu and next time I want to buy one of them.

When I saw a block of turkey, I was very happy because that means I can get turkey at Costoco in Japan! !

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The shop was very crowded, and we couldn’t move smoothly. I’d never seen such number of people at Sam’s club in America.

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I saw several lines that people are waiting for even getting samples. We bought a huge pizza for dinner, a big amount of muffins, several groceries, a big bottle of sake. After dinner we ate some pieces of muffins with nutella, and it made my day.

I like Costoco in Japan, and we have two of it in the Kansai area. Next time, I want to go to the other one in Kyoto. My current city is so convenient to go to both of them.

What is Trendy in Japan Now

I’d like to write about current Japanese trends. As you know, I sometimes go to Tokyo to take my painting class. After school, my friend who loves to paint always takes me to many interesting places in Tokyo. Last time I went to Tokyo, she took me to a street whose name is Okubo (大久保). The street is next to Shinjuku (新宿). Before our painting school moved to Yotsuya (四谷), I passed through the street to go to our old painting school in Mejiso(目白).

When I looked down the street, I was so surprised because it was full of Korean shops: beauty salons, book stores, theaters, music stores, restaurants, food stands, language schools in Korean, fancy shops where we can buy Korean movie stars’ and idols’ bromides, nail salons and everything! It was my first time to see the street in two years. Okubo street has changed everything. I heard Korean a lot. Even people who were walking around on the street also spoke in Korean with their cell phones. I felt like that as if I was in a street in Korea.

I know that in Japan many young people are very interested in Korean idols and movie stars. We can watch many Korean idols and dramas on TV now. Korean starts sometimes come to Okubo street. That’s why there were so many people at the time. Learning Korean language and watching Korean drams and movies are kind of trendy now. I have some friends who love Korean culture.

When I was young, we were crazy for American culture. My idols were American Hollywood stars. I was grown up with American movies. When I was a kid, American hamburgers were trendy. Many people stood in the long lines to buy them. However, young generation in Japan isn’t interested in American culture. They prefer Korean culture more. Actually, both my husband and daughter love it.

On the other hand, it is very interesting though, even though many Japanese people love Korean culture now, we don’t like buying things made in Korea. It’s very rare for us to see Samsung products and Korean automobiles. However, when I go to America, every time I can see Samsung products and Korean automobiles here and there. I also can watch many commercials of them in the U.S. that I never watch in Japan. Korean products are so popular among American people now, but they are not popular among Japanese people at all.

I don’t know why Japanese people don’t like buying Korean products. I guess that we think Korean products are our copy and a bit out of fashion. That’s why people don’t like it. However, we love Korean culture. It’s very controversial, isn’t it?

Let’s Think About Economy

Do you buy your won country’s products? It is becoming difficult for us to find out ” made in Japan ” stuff here in Japan. I have seen many stuff that are made in China or Vietnam. They are cheaper, so many people love buying such stuff. However, have you thought about that it make our own country’s economy become worse?

I would like to pick up American economy as a sample because American economy is the most advantaged in the world. Do you know that most American industry companies have been far from America, and they have been producing their products in China, Vietnam or other countries. They don’t have even their call centers in their country. I guess it is very popular, so everybody knows about it. For example, you know one of the American sports blands, ” Nike “, right? Do you know that they have only few American employees who are something called, ” brains “, and most employees are Chinese or Vietnamese. In short, Nike doesn’t hire American employees, and they have tried to cost down. That’s why they can produce cheaper products. Do you think that it is a good idea?

I have some young American friends who are struggling with finding jobs even though they graduate from university. I think it is really sad even if they graduate from university, and they have higher education, they don’t receive the opportunity to use their knowledge.

I cannot help worrying about my country. I think that Japanese economy is later one or two decades than American economy. However, we also try to follow the same way. After the earthquake that hit us this year, some companies started to be far from Japan to receive enough electricity. That means we will see more ” not made in Japan ” stuff in the future. Ten years from now, Japanese young people might struggle with finding jobs because Japanese companies won’t hire Japanese employees.

When I was in America this May, I saw many auto cashers at Wal-Mart ( That is a very popular American supermarket chain shop ). I was so surprised because we don’t have such cashers in Japan. Although at that time, I thought it was very cool, it pointed some American employees lost their jobs instead of the machine cashers.

I really think ” Cheap is the best ” is not good fur us. In the future it will pay a price for the thoughts. So, I think that we should buy our own products even if the products are bit more expensive. Furthermore, it will protect and raise our economy.