Only In Japan...

Part II

Is the wicked witch of the west having a garage sale??? Not likely! You can get these kinds of brooms just about anywhere. There must be some kind of trick to it too, because for me, sweeping with one of these brooms is like trying to rake leaves with a bamboo stick. It just doesn't happen. These brooms are really cool, though. Whenever I pass an old woman sweeping her porch with one of these brooms I am reminded,
"I'm in JAPAN".

To the right is a "Pachinko Parlor". Pachinko is sortof like vertical pinball but with no chance of winning (well, it's impossible for me to figure out anyway). The goal is to direct ball bearings into tiny little slots via manipulating knobs. Pachinko is the fastest way to lose money besides throwing it away on the street or flushing it down the toilet. It is a major source of revenue for gangsters ("yakuza"). Pachinko parlors are literally everywhere in Japan.

In Japan, anything which has English on it is cool. Very few people will actually understand it, but nobody cares that they don't so it all works out. People walk around openly with shirts which brandish the "f---" word, insults to other people or themselves, or just incomprehensibly convoluted English. Here is a sticker that I peeled off of my new trash can !! I wish my trash can could really do all that for my life.
You said a mouthful!

Here's another classic which I got out of a picture frame. I have no idea what it means! Do you?? If you can't read the fine print, click on the picture to see what it says... it's a riot!

Here's something interesting. I'm pretty sure it's Buddhist. Sure thing you won't see this kind of thing back in the States, eh?

Another point of interest in Wakayama is the "Eel Man". He has a shop near Burakuri Cho and offers a contest of sorts. For about 20 bucks, he offers you the opportunity to try and catch one of the eels he keeps in this huge tank. If you are successful, he chops it up right there, cooks it and lets you eat it! Lots of Japanese people go nuts over eels.

Culinary Delights!
Everyone knows that the Japanese eat a lot of seafood, after all, they're on an island. But I'd never dreamed that I'd see stuff like this. This picture was taken in a local supermarket.

This photo was taken at a little carnival-type celebration next to my apartment building. Mmmmm... I can still smell that squid. Makes my mouth WAAATTAAHHH!! (well, not exactly)

Check it out, everybody. Alcohol's in vending machines! Sometimes right alongside the coke and sprite! Some come in bottles, some in small jars, some even in cartons!! There are age limits, but it's like the laws for cigarrettes, no one really cares.



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