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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:10 am 
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I have hundreds and hundreds of photos. I'm trying to arrange them for my own website, but in the meantime I will be posting some of them here.

Well, as explained before, no pictures of Momoko in here ... so grab your fave Momoko and put up your feet and enjoy.

I'll start off with Toride, which is a very "suburban"-feeling city. Sometimes you'd think you were in California, from all the English:

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There was a quick stop at a family restaurant for lunch:
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And this Garden Center looks like it's straight out of the US of A:
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Gee, these aisles could almost be out of Costco:
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But wait, what's this? This furniture doesn't look American, or even European.... These seats are meant to sit on the floor. Hmmm.
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And the fruit being sold at the supermarket section of this shopping mall is all individually wrapped (and quite pricey):
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And wait, who spells "chicken" as "chikin"?!?
(BTW the English has almost nothing to do with the kanji characters... sigh.)
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Oh ... OK... spelling this bad really does imply this is Japan! Hard to tell sometimes, huh?!

Now for a little train trip!
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The Japanese looooooove their soda machines. This one is on the train platform.
Japanese drinks taste really nice (IMHO) compared to the same old Coke, Sprite, etc. from American machines:
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More English at the train platform:
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Train interior. Yes, the train interiors are cleaner than any train interiors in any US city's trains that I've ever ridden:
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Now, this is lunch!!!!
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A trip to a cemetery ... these are bamboos leaning over the grave stones:
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Taxis, all neatly parked at the Mito station parking lot.
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And authentic high school students!!!11 The first sign says "Keep it up, examination students!!! JR Easter Japan supports students [taking their college entrance examinations]!"
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Back to Toride, and a little hike to the store. Wait, are you SURE this isn't the USA?? Oh wait, that's a little too stereotypical to be REALLY American!
I think....
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But could be anytown anywhere!
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Oh wait, those are KIMONOS in the back. I guess we are in Japan.
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Toy capsules for sale!!! Anime toys, little plastic vehicles, whee.
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Wait, those bicycles aren't being held down with 1/4" chains, and there aren't bicycle parts lying around after half the bike got stolen. It really can't be the US.
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TV clinches it. There's just no way I'd be seeing Cherry Blossom forecasts on TV if this weren't Japan.
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OK ... those were some of the tamer "could almost be the United States" photos. Don't worry, I have hundreds more, from far different parts of Japan... stay tuned.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:20 am 
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Thanks for the photos Mikan!

I sooooo want to visit Japan one day! *A dream*
(Though I wish I knew basics of the language).

I think my soul is Japanese in nature - from my aesthetic sense, to my personality, to my sense of spirituality from Zen Buddhism!

(Though I was born in Cuba, am fluent in Spanish, grew up in the US, and my ancestry derives from from Spain and England.) LOL!

Yes, more pics please!
Smiles :) Zoila

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:09 am 
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Zoila, the first time i told a hispanic person that spanish was the language of my heart, they thought i was loopy (chiflada). partly because i was in my first middle-school course and didn't really speak the language well yet.
but 25 years later, my spanish is almost as good as my english (occasionally better) and i'm sort of bicultural, and i've certainly fallen in love more times in spanish (including the definitive time!) than in english...
so, you never know.

Back on topic, Mikan, it was great to see those pictures. it reminds me of what i noticed in Taiwan... we may all dress alike and to some extent shop alike... but deep down there are cultural elements that survive the globalization.
and i suppose even deeper down there are human elements that we all have in common. but that doesn't depend on us wearing the same jeans!

(hope some of that made sense)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:24 am 
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Mikan wrote:
Now, this is lunch!!!!
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What a beautifully-presented meal. Ahhhhh! I could go for that!

Mikan - by the way - is it easy to keep vegetarian in Japan?
(Not to "Vegan" extent - eggs, seafood are okay with me).
I've been vegetarian for over 20 years, and wonder if it would be difficult?

nataluna - I loved your story about Spanish! LOL!
I'm certainly glad I can speak another language fluently, but for some strange reason, don't feel much kinship with the Cuban or Spanish culture of my parents.

Smiles :) Zoila

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:33 am 
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Thanks for posting these!
It's fun see pictures of Japan that don't typically get shared. What I mean is that you mention how western so much of the scenery is, though sometimes with a Japanese twist (e.g., that puffy leather sectional sofa could be in Ohio except that it's sitting so low to the ground).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:41 am 
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Thanks for the comments!! I will likely post more in a few days. I have sooo many photos
:oops:

Blackigracie:
Quote:
Mikan - by the way - is it easy to keep vegetarian in Japan?
(Not to "Vegan" extent - eggs, seafood are okay with me).
I've been vegetarian for over 20 years, and wonder if it would be difficult?


I suspect it's easier to be a seafood eating vegetarian than to be an omnivore with a seafood allergy (I know people like that). BUT you have to be aware that soups, soup stock, and sauces often contain meat stock, and given that Japan isn't exactly very vegetarian aware, you may also wind up with small pieces of chicken, pork, or beef in what might have otherwise have been "vegetarian" (like croquettes, which are a lot like knishes).

Nataluna: Yes I think that made sense ... there is definitely an Asian "feel" to the culture, though Japan has been trying too hard to emulate the US (I need to write an essay on that).

Uyek: You remind me the Japanese seem to be good at taking a Western concept and fitting it to the culture, lol. :lol:
Thanks again!!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:16 am 
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Thanks for sharing these! Love the bicycle and train pics-so tidy and organized!
I can't wait to see more!!
:)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:26 am 
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Novapony wrote:
Thanks for sharing these! Love the bicycle and train pics-so tidy and organized!
I can't wait to see more!!
:)


LOL true!
Oh you guys should check out the skirts on the high school girls.
No, really. :lol:
The fashion trend in urban areas is to shorten them a LOT.
In more outlying areas, the skirts are normal, but the closer you get to Tokyo, the more you'll see the skirts are super super short. :oops:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:13 pm 
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I'd love to have a couch like that!

I could take a nap on it and not have to worry about rolling off... :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:00 pm 
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WOW the bicycles aren't being locked with chains and still stay put!! This is what so amazing about the Japanese Honesty. There's still a sense of community since ancient times. Children are taught from early on to hand in anything they find to the police. They don’t feel uncomfortable holding another person's possession; therefore, Finders keepers won’t work in Japan. Thank you Mikan for sharing these wonderful photos. :daisy:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Love this little taste of Japan. I love how clean and organized every thing looks! And I really love your comment about the bikes...... had me laughting out loud. I live in the country(upstate NY) and my nephew used to ride his bike to the bus stop every morning and home every night, he would leave the bike on a his private road in the bushes and you guessed it some one stole the bike :D

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:20 pm 
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Ah, the bikes. Yes, I think I saw very thin steel cables on them, but nothing like the huge fat chains I remember seeing in Massachusetts.

BUT I will say this - apparently there have been major crimes involving children being kidnapped, even murdered!! So although the bicycles were sitting there, and I saw people leaving their umbrellas sitting on the street in Tokyo, and even a car with the keys in it(!!), in Toride they now have safety patrols of adults escorting the little kids to and from school (not all kids, but many of them).

Very sad :cry:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:21 am 
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Thanks for sharing your photos of normal Japan!
Waiting for the next episode and shorter skirts :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:50 pm 
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LOL I'm not sure I have any really "interesting" photos coming up of shorter skirts!!

(You can always get your Momokos to model, though! ;) )


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:59 pm 
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Thanks for the photos Mikan!!! I want that couch so bad! The closest
I've gotten to Japan is their airport. :( I want go to Japan... ):


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