train

Solo hiker takes the train, and looks very prepared

83530025

I would say this senior is “well-equipped.”

Advertisements

Fashion conundrum #1: What’s up with wool hats paired with shorts?

83510034

All during May and into June, I’ve been noticing the strangest seasonal fashion: wool cap paired with shorts. I certainly appreciate the start of shorts season, and maybe these men find the wool cap allows them to bare their legs earlier. I, on the other hand, have long packed away all my woolens.

Best part of this photo is that his hat matches  the train, and his shirt the platform tiles.

Flamboyant straight men are what I love the most about Japan

Until recently, Japanese gays seemed content to fade into the background: a performance of normality bordering on boring. Not so for the straight men of Japan, who are truly some of the world’s most magnificent peacocks.

I love the attention to detail: the rolled up hem has a fruit pattern, zebra print can be fused with jungle print, hair fried and stiff, skin is kept eerily dark and flawlessly unblemished. Sitting hip-to-hip challenges no one’s masculinity.

When I feel frustrated about various aspects of a foreigner’s life in Japan, I look around the train and feel uplifted, inspired, and very much in love.

Why is this fashionable guy wedged into the corner of this train?

Is something dirty happening with this fashionable guy wedging himself into the corner of the JR train, face and body pressed against the wall with one foot in a forward motion gesture? Actually he seemed to be on the telephone, a violation of standard courtesy rules on Japanese public transit. I love how he’s positioned himself into a false sense of privacy.

Efficient train clean-up of puke

One of the only dangers of urban life in Tokyo is being in a crowded train and being barfed on or about. Last week we were riding the rails, and just entered this car when we saw two uniformed rail workers spread out some sawdust and quickly sweep up the puke. Wow! It probably took less than 2 minutes.

Would this happen where you live? In the US, I can’t believe they would take care of it before the train reaches its final stop. With our reduced expectations, we would not be terribly surprised if the puke stayed until the end of the night shift or beyond.

I am frequently disgusted by how alcohol abuse is tolerated, encouraged, and denied. As someone concerned about being puked on or near, I was delighted to see this rapid remediation.

Summer yukatas!

Some people go to Tokyo’s fireworks for the, well, fireworks. Online you can go to many site to see beautiful images of fireworks. I go to fireworks events to see the many men in yukata. It’s a wonderous summer feeling to see so many guys wearing yukata and jinbei, often in the louchest fashion. Ah, summer!

Tokyo has so many fireworks events all summer. Even if you don’t go to all of them, you can look forward to riding the trains on Saturday evening and seeing many people, mostly young people, in traditional summer outfits. It’s one of my favorite parts of Tokyo summer.