Just to drive my point home regarding the usage of english language in a country that is the owner of an alphabet that is non-romanic in origin, please observe a picture that I took this past winter of the sign posted for the “sightseeing toilet”.
Said toilet was across the street from a trail head that you can take that will lead you to one of many of Japan’s ice waterfalls. My wife and I were part of a sightseeing trip that hiked to the aforementioned waterfall. To clarify, “ice waterfalls” happen all over the world, for sure. But when you are temporarily living in a foreign country like Japan (like my family and I presently are), you are duty-bound to see at least one ice waterfall.
On this particular trip, said waterfall was still free flowing. My wife and I went anyway.
Free-flowing water aside, what wasn’t properly conveyed to us on this hike was the particular type of hell that we had to hike through just to get to the damn thing. Narrow to no paths, sudden elevation and inclines, erosion and makeshift bridges that offer little to no safety…
I wished for death a few times during said hike.
What made things worse (because I am an egotistical man-child at all of the wrong times) were all of the locals that our group passed on the trail. They were traversing said trail like they were one part Ibex and one part monkey.
By the end of the hike, the real sight for me, was definitely the bathroom.
For those of you who appreciate a bit of esoteric traveler knowledge, Americans who consider themselves ‘local’ to anywhere will always bitch about the weather and they’ll all use the same joke like it’s native and new: if you don’t like the weather in (name of region here) wait five minutes.
For the record, I’ve heard that used Florida where the weather is essentially sunny for 90% of the year.
With the season of “fall” came our first ‘cold season’ in Japan. And since our previous state was Florida, my wife was adamant about getting a space heater since our home falls a bit on the drafty side. Naturally, I was enlisted in this shopping excursion because I’m her husband. I also used to sell space heaters (true fact!).
So we went to our local department store and purchased a space heater that we were both happy with. Upon exiting, I noticed that the Halloween costumes were merchandised on the same floor.
Shortly after that realization, I spied with my beady eyes the display that they were using in order to announce that they were, in fact selling Halloween Costumes.
In case you ever wondered what the population of Japan thought of President Trump, now you know.
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am, for lack of a better title, an “air force wife”.
I stay at home. I take care of the kids, the homestead, and my wife (when she needs it). My wife puts on the uniform and brings home ‘the bacon.’ Hence how we ended up in Japan.
If there is one chunk of esoteric Japan trivia I’d like to share with you, it’s that the Japanese are somewhat fanatical when it comes to photography.
Take these gentlemen as an example.
There’s a certain phenomenon here. Every time a new plane stops here, these ‘professional’ photographers reenact the scene in World War Z when the zombies swarm that one wall.
LOOK AT THEM! WITH THEIR PHALLIC LENSES AND TOTAL DISREGARD FOR GRAVITY!
Maybe they’re freelance photogs? Maybe this is some sort of kink? The only thing that I know for sure is that I am constantly amused at the length they will go to in order to get their shot.
Aaaaaannnd that’s why shit is so hot in Japan.
If there is one piece of esoteric knowledge that I could share with you, it’s that Japan will challenge your internal compass as well as your ability to process urban planning.
Example? Coming from the States as I did, I like to think I had a strong sense of compass directions. As the continental U.S. is a gigantic landmass, it’s not hard to figure out where North and South lie if you can figure out where East and West are. What if you started living on an island? Or more to the point, 6,000+ islands?
For the record, I have given up figure out the compass directions.
Then, there’s urban planning.
Spoiler alert: there is no ‘urban planning’ as you would understand it. Streets do not follow the traditional grid structure that you would find in the Americas. And with a population that is as dense, how could they plan urban areas effectively? I’m sure that they do, just as I am sure that they have a system in place that works for them.
For the sake of argument, I live in the ‘countryside’. This is a bit of a misnomer because while you may think of farm houses and rolling hills, they do have that here. But they also have major urban centers located within a mile of most farms. Take the picture above. Here you see local farmers harvesting fire in order to sell off to the local kundalini yoga practitioners.
I am pretty sure that they’re doing some form of composting. I’d ask but I am still a bit sensitive about being stared at like the white devil that I am. If it looks like shit and smells like shit, it will certainly burn like shit which is also the only bad thing about living where I do.
It’s no big secret: there are a lot of people who call Japan “home”. Sunshine for most of the year, exotique experiences, the opportunity to find out why Jiro, really, dreams of sushi…
Who wouldn’t want call this place home?
Since the population has grown exponentially during the decades of “post war” Japan, the need for “particular” services has become paramount. ENTER the Child Removal Services, CRS.
Not everyone should be a parent, not everyone can be a parent. LET CSR HELP YOU!
Our trucks patrol the neighborhoods of lower, central Japan on a weekly basis. It is our goal to place your unwanted or unnecessary child in the right “hands”.
As long as your little “bundle” is properly bound and placed in the proper receptacle the night before a pick up, Child Removal Services will be able to take your prom night dumpster baby away!
EVERYONE’S A STAR WHEN THEY USE CSR!