Monthly Archives: January 2014

Olympic Preview


It doesn’t look like much now, but this landfill area located in Tokyo Bay will be the home of some of the 2020 Olympic venues. The photo was taken while crossing the Rainbow Bridge, also in Tokyo Bay.


Before and After

The day began.

Yesterday, Xeno endured the most painful 3 hours that a dog can experience: a grooming session. Thanks to the wonderful staff at “I Am Candy,” Xeno survived, and is now sporting his signature Japanese look:



While searching around in Tokyo, we all came across a discount candy store. In this store we found many things, Ema, whistle candy, and this Make-your-own fluff candy stuff. You get the candy kit and it looks like the middle picture. Once you open the kit and take the “ingredients” all out with this little tray and tiny spoon (top left). The instructions then tell you to fill a corner with water and add the first powder. After the first power is fully mixed and blue, you add the second power(top right). When you start to mix the solution with the power, the whole solution turns a light purple (bottom left). When the solution is completely mixed and now is purple-pink. You get the final pouch which contains the sugar crystals, open it, and empty the sugar into the other bowl. Then, after you have made the concoction, you get to eat it! Take the mixing spoon you used, dip it into the pink “fluff”, get some of it on your spoon and dunk it into the sugar crystals. ENJOY.

I hope you enjoyed it, because when I first tried this, I didn’t like it at all. I think I compared it to fluffy pink snot. I grade this “candy” and F (other than the pure sugar crystals, those were alright). But, if you have the opportunity to try this, I think you should. Don’t forget to tell me what you think.

Sweet 16!

A quick, but important, departure from our regular Japan programming to wish a very happy SWEET 16 to Annie! This year’s celebration included a slumberparty with friends, a trip, to the movies, some shopping, a delicious homemade lasagna, and some amazing cookies-&-cream cupcakes. A significant improvement over last year…which was (literally) lost as we flew over the international date line.

Happy Birthday Annie!


A Real Snowman


In Omote Sando a little while ago there was a real snowman, made out of snow! This is strange to see in Tokyo because, even though it gets cold enough to snow, Tokyo doesn’t get much precipitation. I think it was a promotion for some place, Annie and I had to keep walking and get home, so I didn’t get to check. It was definitely a surprise to see a real snowman, made out of snow, in Tokyo. Especially one of this size.

Coming of Age Day

Today is another of the “Happy Monday System” of holidays in Japan…Coming of Age Day. Dating back to 714 AD, this holiday celebrates passage into adulthood; recognizing people who turned 20 years of age since the previous Coming of Age Day. In Japan, 20 is considered the age of expanded rights and responsibilities (which include voting and drinking).

As the tradition goes, those of age dress up in fancy kimonos and don elaborate hairstyles for the official ceremonies (called seijin-shiki), which are conducted at local government offices. Then, large after-parties are held with family and friends.

New ‘Limited Time’ Snacks – The Results Post

Thank you all for joining us in our four part ‘limited time’ snacks event. As you noticed, we refrained from commenting on the snacks themselves…that is, until now.

We wanted to keep an even playing field. So, we waited until there was an opportunity for all of us to taste the snacks at the same time; comparing and contrasting the flavors, textures, creativity and overall deliciousness side-by-side.

Are you ready for the results? Ok, here we go…

4th Place – Corn Soup Flavored Doritos. While they were definitely corn soup flavored and scored strong in originality, they were the least desirable. After each of us had a chip or two, we were done with these; leaving most of the bag unconsumed.

3rd Place – Brie Flavored Doritos. If you didn’t know in advance that these were brie flavor, you might not have guessed it. However, they were quite good. The subtleness of the flavor balanced well with the texture of the chip.

2nd Place – Hibachi Grilled Steak Flavored Cheetos. The steak and classic Cheeto flavors were well balanced and harmonized. This, combined with the crunch and airy texture, made for a very enjoyable snack. Plus, they got bonus points for being Cheetos.

1st Place – KFC Fried Chicken Flavored Chips. Downright delicious, these thin potato chips screamed KFC fried chicken. The flavor was unique and the combined experience extremely pleasant and highly repeatable. The clear winner, hopefully we will find some more of these before their ‘limited time’ is up.