Halloween in Japan

Hi there! How have you been?

I can’t believe that we have only two months left this year!! I am so surprised that time flies so fast!

Last week, I know we celebrated Halloween in the Western world. Well, me personally, I have never gone trick or treating or celebrated it in my entire life. When I was a kid, Halloween was not popular at all. However, it is getting more popular recently, and I want to share how we celebrate it.

I have a 10 year-old niece, and she shared a very interesting story with me. She told me that she does trick or treat in her neighborhood. Her neighborhoods has a Halloween event every year in October. She can stop by to trick or treat at elderly people’s houses which have a maple leaf mark on their house doors. The house owners (they are elderly people) give some candies when kids come around. It’s an event both for elderly people and kids to communicate with each other. When I heard the story, I thought it’s a great idea because usually elderly people don’t get so many chances to talk to kids besides their grandchildren. Of course, my niece told me that they wear a Halloween costume.

After hearing the story, I paid a little bit more attention. On the Halloween day, I found a cute pumpkin pie which was wrapped by a cute Halloween package at a grocery store .

dscf8030

dscf8034

Halloween is apparently getting much more popular in one decade.

My daughter loves going to Universal Studios in Osaka during the Halloween season. She loves wearing creepy make-up and goes there with her friends.  Older people are still not interested in Halloween, but young people are enjoying it.

I think in a couple of years, Halloween will become a much bigger event in Japan and we might be able to see many people from young to old wearing a costume everywhere, lol.

I hope you had a fun time on this Halloween!

See you next weekend here again!

-Yumi

A Part of Japanese Odd Culture~Pee Game machines in Male Toilets

Hi there!

How have you been? Recently, Japan is very chilly and I got a cold. I have a headache, slightly a fever and can’t stop coughing. I hope you all are doing well.

Well, today I want to introduce a part of our weird culture to you all. To be honest with you, I didn’t know about this game machine at all until my friend from Texas told me. When he shared some youtube videos about the games, I couldn’t stop laughing.

Japanese Pee Game Machine 1

Japanese Pee Game Machine 2

These machines are only in public male toilets, Tokyo. I asked about if my hubby has seen the machines in public male toilets in Osaka, and he said he has never seen the game machines before. The game machines are free and while peeing, people can enjoy completing the games, lol. Please grow up, Japanese guys! Don’t you think so? I can’t understand why adults guys want to compete peeing speed, height or whatever. Don’t you think this is really weird?

After I watched the video clips that Matt shared with me, I thought “Aw, it’s really pathetic”, and I felt even embarrassment. I really want people to use these kind of high technologies for other things that we can be proud of more.

I want to ask all male people. Do you want to play with the game while peeing? My British friend and his dad said, “Yes!”. He also told me that his son definitely would want to try it. Matt also told me that he wanted to make a record and beat everybody. Come one, is it universal thing that guys can’t grow up????

What do you think about these machines and guys?

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.

コストコ1

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. 

コストコ2

 

 

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.

コストコ15

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

コストコ5

 

コストコ9

 

コストコ10

 

コストコ11

コストコ12

 

コストコ13コストコ14

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! !

コストコ6

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.

コストコ7

 

コストコ16

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.

This Is Our New House

Hi there!

It’s been a while since I updated my blog. I’m sorry for the delay because I studied abroad in America again to take some painting classes. I got home two weeks ago. I had a wonderful time and if you are interested in what I painted in America, please visit my other blog.

http://sommerstein0411.wordpress.com/

A couple of months ago, my husband got a promotion and a transfer and my family and I have to move out to a new town. Since my international friends are very interested in Japanese houses, I would love to show the inside of our new house. We haven’t moved out yet and I took some pictures when we visited the house. After looking around the inside of the house, my hubby and I made a decision to rent the house. Now we’ve asked reform and maintenance of the house and after finishing them, we will move.

First of all, I show downstairs. The house is a two story and a modern style.

Our New House

Our New House

Entrance

A Japanese style of guest room  1

A Japanese style of guest room 1

A Japanese style of guest room 2

A Japanese style of guest room 2

A Dining Room

A Dining Room

A Kitchen

A Kitchen

A Bathroom

A Bathroom

A Toilet

A Toilet

Second of all, I show you upstairs.

Our New House

Our New House

Our Bed Room

Our Bed Room

An Attic

An Attic

A Balcony

A Balcony

Nana's Room

Nana( our Daughter)’s Room

A Western Style of Guest Room 1

A Western Style of Guest Room 1

A Western Style of Guest Room 2

A Western Style of Guest Room 2

A Western Style of Guest Room 3

A Western Style of Guest Room 3

A Shower Room

A Shower Room

A Shower Room

A Shower Room

A Toilet

A Toilet

A Balcony

A Balcony

A Parking

A Parking

Our New House

Our New House

A Frontyard

A  yard

An Entrance

An Entrance

Basically, in Japan it’s quite common to share a bathroom and a toilet with family. However, we are very lucky and this house has two toilets, a bathroom and a shower room. It’s really really neat for us!!!

I like this type of modern Japanese house, but I still love the old fashioned Japanese house. Our current house where we still live has a very beautiful 欄間(らんま ranma). It was our first time to live in the house that had the ranma. Next time I will write about rannma on my blog.

A couple of days ago my family and I went out to eat puffer fish and I also want to write about it too. So, please stay stunned on my blog!

-Yumi

Funny Pictures for Japanese People

I’d like to share some funny pictures with you today. I took them when I was in America last time. I know they are not funny for Western people, but when Japanese people look at them, they definitely giggle.

First, look at the picture.

Funny Pictures for Japanese people

Funny Pictures for Japanese people

It doesn’t make sense for us. What is こってりみりん(kotteri Mirin)?????  I guess it says the mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)has rich flavor, but I’ve never heard こってりみりんin Japan. It associates me with some syrup which have very strong flavor. When I looked at it, I really didn’t want to try it. I’m sorry.

Funny Pictures for Japanese people

Funny Pictures for Japanese people

This is also very funny for us.  We don’t have the tea, 通便茶 (tuuben cha) in Japan! It imagines me that when we drink the tea, we can keep bowel movements very good. I’d like to try it!! It’s so funny.

Funny Pictures for Japanese people

Funny Pictures for Japanese people

The sweet made both my hubby and daughter laugh. I also have no idea what it says. What is the meaning by 恋愛のはさみ心ケーキ(renai no hasami gokoro cake)? The Japanese words doesn’t make sense for us, but we can guess the meaning. It’s really nice try! That’s why it sounds funny for us. I guess it wanted to say the flavor is sweet and bitter like when people love, we can fell the same feelings. I’m very curious about the sweet. I’d like to make sure if the flavor is exact the same as the lovers’ feelings.

Funny Pictures for Japanese people

Funny Pictures for Japanese people

It’s my favorite picture. Look at the logo of the T-shirt. We can see 守備職人 (syubi syoku nin)in Japanese. It also doesn’t make sense for me. When I looked at the T-shirt, I wanted to ask the guy, “Hey, are you an expart or master of the fieling of baseball or something like that?” Of course, I’m a shy person, so I couldn’t speak to the stranger. However, in my mind, I giggled. I guess he thought he was cool, that’s why he was wearing the T-shirt. However, he never thinks the logo never makes sense for Japanese people. When we see it, we giggle him in our mind. Poor the guy!

I like taking funny objects pictures relate to Japanese culture. So, when I go to America, next time, and if I have some chances to take some such pictures, I’d like to try it again.

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?

American Fashion and Japanese Fashion

Long time no see. I am sorry I couldn’t update my blog for a long while. That’s because I went to America to take some painting classes and stayed there for twenty three days. As you know, I am a China painter ( porcelain painter ) and an English learner. I have been learning painting and conversational English to make my dreams come true.
So, going to America and taking some painting classes is the best way for me to improve both my skills. I have been going to America regularly to take some painting classes in English since last year.

I went to Michigan this time to attend the Michigan school, and I had stayed at my Michigan friend, Gay’s house for two weeks. I had a wonderful time with her, her family and her friends!

Today I would like to write about fashion because while I was in America, I had some interesting experiences. While I was in Michigan, I was with Gay all the time. One day when we were watching TV, while showing an advertisement for shoes, she asked me which one was my favorite. There were a pair of pink, red and black shoes that had a big rose on the advertisement. I pointed black one without thinking. However, it was a bit shocking for her because black was the worst one for her. She asked me why I didn’t choose red or pink. I had never I wanted to wear the bright pink or red shoes before. For me black is the best color for shoes because it is the easiest to make fit to any other colors outfits.

She also asked me why I always have been wearing such conservative colors like navy blue, black, white, gray and brown. I answered that it is the most comfortable colors for outfits. After that, she started to treat me every time we went shopping. While showing very bright and decorative outfits, for example, the outfit has many spangles, she suggested to me that I should wear these colors. However, I never ever would like to wear those colors.

I like colors because I am a painter. However, I tend to choose conservative colors to choose for my outfits. I think that I had grown up with school uniforms. That’s why I feel comfortable when I wear conservative colors. Most mutual color for our school uniform is a navy blue. In addition, the design is also very simple and conservative. I also think we don’t like standing out to others. I am not sure but I think we tend to think if we wore the outfit, we might stand out.

I had seen many decorative outfits that I can’t see in Japan in America. I think compared to Japanese people, American people are taller and bigger. They have various colors eyes and hairs. Their skin color is more pale than ours. Thinking about such everything, such vivid colors fashion is much more fit to Western people. What do you think about it?