23 September 2008

21 September 2008

Japan Visit!

Here's the album of my Japan visit over the first full week of September.

05 September 2008

Sasuga Japan

"Sasuga" is a Japanese word that's hard to translate--means something like "Wow," or "they've really measured up to our expectations" or "Good job" or "quintessentially..." something like that.

Several things have made me exclaim thus during my time here:

--Fancy toilet seats*, even in public restrooms
--Little sheets of plastic at the bottom of a bowl of store-bought salad so you can slide it onto a serving dish without turning it upside-down
--Conveyor-belt sushi eatery, complete with a "magic wand" that automatically counts all the plates and calculates your bill
--The 100-yen store (it's like the "everything's a dollar" store but the quality is MUCH better)
--Japanese ofuro (style of bath)
--Getting a hot, wet towel at every restaurant to refresh before the meal
--All of our favorite foods and snacks being as delicious as ever
--Trains and buses, including change machines on the bus so you can have exact fare

*If you've never seen/used one, you're missing out. You can play pleasant music or the sound of running water, have a warm seat, multiple types of "wash," and even a dryer for your behind... see photos at Wikipedia's Toilets in Japan, and there's lots to read there if you're curious.

03 September 2008

I feel like Sidney Bristow

...with SIX different currencies in my CURRENT wallet!

Clockwise from top left: US Dollars, Japanese Yen, Qatari Riyals, Euros, British Pounds (OK, so it's only 2 cents, but it counts!), and Thai Baht.