Hot cop is protecting Emperor, and all of his subjects


For those unmoved by emperors and princesses, one of the most re-assuring and pleasurable sites at the Emperor’s address on January 2 of each year is the extravagant display of uniformed protection. With his yellow analog megaphone, white gloves, and pillowy lips, this policeman is welcome to tell me what to do.

Lumine Shinjuku displays robot with giant bulging crotch

Has anyone else been on the East Side of the JR Shinjuku station? Lumine has this incredibly obscene robot with a giant, bulging crotch. I love how there are always people snapping photos. I am unclear what the commercial goal of this display is, but it is certainly obscene.

Notice in the reflection, below, this new lamb-inspired fall fashion: matching white furry vest and leg warmers. Nice!

Thanks, Tokyo Matt, for showing me this commercial spectacle.

Is Shibuya Japan’s Jersey Shore?

I love this CNNgo story that asks if Shibuya is Japan’s Jersey Shore. BTW, in Japan MTV calls the show, “Macaroni Rascals: The Jersey Shore Life.” Who is more tanned, who has bigger hair, who is more bedazzled, and who is showing off more skin “real estate”? Both geographies hold a special fascination that pairs bad taste with exuberant display.

Update: Or maybe Suma Beach in Kobe is the Kansai Jersey Shore, as Julie in Japan suggests.

Ladies in kimono make me breathless

It’s true that most of my observation tends towards the louche, the extreme and even shocking. Yet somehow my heart is also touched by the frequent displays of stately elegance that can take your breath away in Tokyo. Recently, I saw this group of elderly ladies in kimonos and sun umbrellas arriving at Taiikukan as I left the pool. I love how five are wearing identical blue kimonos with a ginko leaf pattern, while the sixth has chosen a different color. There’s something elevated and magical about their costume, posture, and their broad formation.

Chanel is for barnyards

Of course, you already knew that. The reason to buy Chanel outfits is so that you can visit barnyards. This new hayseed window display on Omotesando cracked me up.

It seems there’s a rash of foreign luxury brands romancing wealthy shoppers with the fantasy of living the farm and blue collar lifestyles. Up the street is Dolce & Gabanna’s campaign featuring a huge poster of Madonna (the Madonna) washing dishes in a bustier. She wears a facial expression that shows how mystified she is by her actions.

Count me as indifferent to Dolce & Gabanna leaving Japan (as reported by Bryan Boy). I prefer the chance to take bigger style risks shopping at ultra-cheap fast fashion places like Forever 21, H&M, and Muji.

Fruit display in Nishi-Ogikubo

This fruit display is at a small store near the station at Nishi-Ogikubo, where we’re staying until we can move into our new Nakano apartment at the end of the month.

I bought mini-grapes, an apple and an amazing $3 nectarine. Our friend Kathleen might be right that Japanese fruit generally has less water and more sweetness. I think it makes them taste great.

The nectarine was individually wrapped in a protective cover. Check out how the melon stems are perfectly symmetrical.

Food display in Tokyo is often very artful. I am also amazed by the pride that even small shops take in show-casing their products and the extreme politeness in greeting customers, even those whose language skills are rough.

Some of the food I’ve been enjoying: tonkatsu, ramen, tanmen (noodles, light pork broth, cabbage, carrot and sprouts), pork with ginger, Indian curry and nan, “stand-up” sushi (たちぐちすし), Italian pasta, artisanal ham, perfect bagels, the husband’s home-cooking, and, of course, Mister Donut.