Another marital view

After the excitement of yesterday’s Royal Wedding– the dress, ahhhh!!– nothing is more appropriate than this lovely vacancy sign at a love hotel in Shibuya. Is the marital dog image the right one for lovers looking for “short term rests”? The random owls are a nice touch, plus the intriguing “in/full” that seems to stand in for vacancy/no vacancy.

Softbank is bringing fun back to family

Softbank, one of Japan’s large mobile telephone companies, has a long-running ad series with an unusual family: an elegant mother, her husband who is a white dog (with the voice of Kitaoji Kinya), and two children, one of whom is African American.

The best thing about this series is that no explanation is given for the inter-species and inter-racial nature of the family.

Thanks to Kathryn of Project Me I learned about the latest ad in which kimono-clad grandma, the mother of the white dog, introduces her new husband, a very handsome and very young man, also wearing kimono. He’s played by Shota Matsuda.

Senior fashion in the park

In Tokyo, the seniors rock the fashion world in unexpected bursts of ostentation. I love how this grand daddy is mixing shorts and dark socks, white gloves and a dog in a sweater. I spotted him outside a public bathroom in one of my favorite urban parks. He seemed very popular with the ladies, and I am certain he is well known in these parts.

Senior fashion in countryside

My blog is often youth-obsessed, but a trip to the countryside reminded me how well dressed Japan’s seniors can be. Above are a group of four mature men wearing festive coats.

Below you can see another guy dressed to perfection. I like his combination of traditional and contemporary fashion.

And, lastly, I was amazed by this lovely mature lady with her miniature dog peeking out of her backpack. Despite four tiny  legs, this dog probably doesn’t walk much!

Novel street festival food

Novel street festival food

After a few street festivals, you think you’ve experienced the full range of street festival foods: hot dogs, okonomiyake, yaki soba, chocolate bananas, cotton candy, plum sweets, takoyaki, and increasingly kabab (what we would call shwarma). The recent festival we attended had some novelties including Mexican tacos and churros, and even bagel dogs.

Novel street festival food

The churros had an unauthorized Disney tie-in. The bagel dogs were surprisingly spicy and delicious.

Novel street festival food

Summer obon festival

Summer obon festival Dog Yukata

The rainy season is officially over, and two nights ago we went to an Obon Festival in Tsukudajima. Summer is a time for wearing yukatas, which are light cotton, simpler kimonos. This dog’s yukata has a dragonfly pattern, and a big red belt.

The festival also features lanterns strung across the street, a senior citizen beating a huge drum, another singing on the loud speaker, and a third leading school children in a dance of twirling and clapping.

Obon in Tsukudajima Obon in Tsukudajima with kids dancing

And an altar for prayers to the dead.

Obon Tsukudajima altar

Afterwards we went with our friend Claudia for okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake, and soba noodles, admired the many yankii boys with their small children, and left the restaurant too late to buy a flavored shaved ice on the street.