Friday, February 25, 2011

Miami Burger

I'm a bit embarrassed to make posts about McDonald's, but I often have meals at fast food shops. I'm now thinking of cutting back on food, as fast food make me gain weight so easily.

Do you know Japanese McDonald's has rolled out hamburgers since the last year that had American names like "Manhattan", "Idaho", "Hawaiian", etc., and this "Miami" Burger. Since the end of WW2, Japanese people have had a penchant for American things, and I think that originally started with chocolates that were brought by American soldiers who were stationed in Japan more than 60 years ago.

Take a closer look. What is "Miami" about this burger?? It had pieces of Tacos, and some salsa-like sauce as well, but would you Americans associate Miami with Tacos? (@_@;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Asa Mac (Breakfast at McDonald's)

Is it common in your country to have breakfast at McDonald's? I usually don't have breakfast at a restaurant, but I had to visit my friend's condo early in the morning, so I left home early and dropped by the nearest McDonald's. 

There is a menu that is available only in the morning at McDonald's across Japan, and the menu gets replaced by a regular one at 10:30 am. The hamburger you can see is called "Sausage McMuffin", and it comes with a piece of fried potato and a drink if you order it as a set. I was given two tickets with which I can have a drink twice free of charge.  

It was very tranquil as I got here at 7:30 am, but the shop started to get crowded when I was about to leave. I had a coupon that enabled me to have the set for only 340 yen.  

It depends on each outlet, but at some you can read newspapers. This one is a kind of "Sports newspaper", and it has lots of gossips and focuses mainly on sports articles. And I also read another newspaper "Yomiuri Shinbun", which is comprehensive like New York Times. If you want to read news on Japan, you can click this link and read "The Japan Times". It helped me learn new English words, and how Japanese hot topics were translated.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I-Cafe (Net Cafe in Akihabara)

You may think I come to Akihabara so often. But honestly, it's sometimes my friend that is into Akihabara, and I often end up having nothing to do in this area. Of course, there are so many kinds of manga shop everywhere in Akihabara, but I'm more into anime than manga, so this time I decided to spend some time at this Internet cafe "I-Cafe". 

I had been expecting to see a state-of-the-art computer as Akihabara is known as a place where any electronic device is available, but as you can see the display seemed to be 10 years old. And the box seat was so small that I inadvertently hit the chair against the wall again and again.

Do you know Internet cafes in Japan were considered places where homeless people spend overnight? Those people were called "Net cafe refugees". But the association that consists of net cafes in Japan argued against it saying "We never call our customers 'refugees'." You can take a shower here and have those instant foods as well. 

 You can play video games as well. I don't know much about video games, but when I saw some playing games, they seemed all very new. And these are the original manga of those video games.

There are some Internet cafes in my city as well, but there is nothing like this picture there. You can have any amount of ice cream free of charge here, but I didn't feel like having some.  

 Do you know how "Moe" is written in Kanji? The wrong word (in this case)  "Moe" was slashed and corrected with "Combustible" beside it. "Moe" has the latter meaning too. 

The whole atmosphere was relaxing and I liked it. But you can't expect something very unique here even though this cafe is in Akihabara. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Burger King

I think the nearest Burger King from where I live is in Akihabara. I think there are so many outlets of BK in the USA, but BK withdrew from the business in Japan in ’01 but got in business again years later. I mean, I think it's one of the reasons why I don't see one in my city.

 I think this is the second or third time it snowed in Tokyo this winter. I was thinking there wouldn't be many people in Tokyo today, but the streets of Akihabara were full of people. This is one side of Akihabara station that has "Atre", which is a department store.

 I think BK generally has a cool outside look compared to other hamburger shops. This BK is close to the Showa street in Akihabara. Is this the same as the BK's in the USA?

 It took almost the same time as Mcdonald's before my burger and stuff were served. I basically tend to think you have to wait for a while if you want to have a good burger like MOS Burger

This is the most basic set called "Whopper". As the name suggests, this burger is much larger than Mcdonald's or MOS burger's. The fried rings to the right of the iced coffee are "Onion Rings". I have to say the coffee was the best of all the other burger shops'. And my friend said the same thing to me.

I've been to the USA twice, but I don't remember the exact details of the trips, so I'd like to leave it up to you Americans to decide whether this BK is similar or the same.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yushima Sei Do

 Do you remember that I referred to Ochanomizu station that is just one station away from Akihabara? I came to Ochanomizu in Tokyo so often when I was a member of a band because there were so many instruments shops.

 This is a view that I could command from a bridge in Ochanomizu. That yellow train is the Soubu line that comes from Chiba prefecture. It takes just 10 minutes on foot from Akihabara to here, so I recommend you don't take a ride. 

There is a shrine that was based on Confucianism near Ochanomizu station. The fifth Tokugawa warlord "Tsunayoshi" built this "Yushima Sei Do" in 1690 as a place where people could learn a kind of Confucianism that was founded by "Koushi" from China. This shrine was burnt down a few times by fires but this gate survived them and has been intact since 1704. 

 This is where you can say a prayer. Your wish would be more likely to come true if you throw some money in the box that is called "Saisen Bako". 

Do you know our school year ends in March? Entrance examinations for private colleges in Tokyo take place from January to February, so I think so many students came here recently to hang these wooden plates "Ema". You can see Kanji "Goukaku" on them, whose meaning is "Success". 

 On the roof of the inner shrine I could see this "Shachihoko". It would be hard to recognize, but that sculpture is a fish, and it is lying with its belly on the roof and tail up in the air. You can see this fish also on many of the Japanese castles, so if you come to Japan to see a castle, look up at its roof. 

I think students often want something that supports them mentally. Shrines are the ones in Japan that give people in need peace of mind.