Archive for the ‘The Bark’ Category

Wii Fit Music

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

wiifit_2 (by Chesi - Fotos CC)
Photo by: pimkie fotos

Since I bought a Wii Fit a month back, I’ve fallen in love with the music, especially the one that comes right after balance games like hula. At least if you win – if you don’t get good enough points, the music is different. Now some kind soul has taken the time to record all the songs, loop them and make them available for download

I’m not sure how long it will last, or if Nintendo care that much about it being given away.

I was a little disappointed that they don’t have the funky hula-hoop music, and there’s another really nice intro tune that’s missing, but I found them on YouTube.. Click through for some nutty videos and more music.


iPhone Coming to Japan!

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

OMG OMG OMG! The iPhone is finally hitting Japan on July 11th. Just 1 month to wait. The US price is $200 so I guess it’ll be about ¥22,000 or so. I wonder how much the Softbank plans are going to be though…

Naruto Sandwich!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

From the Lawson combini near the office, Naruto Ham and Egg Sandwich!

Hara Hachibu

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

When you’re learning a foreign language, there are times when you learn a new phrase and then for the following week hear it constantly. Last week, my Japanese word was “Zeppin” (絶品, superb quality), after I ate a Lotteria Zeppin Burger. This week, it’s been “Hara Hachibu”.

I saw the kanji (腹八分) flash by on a tv show and was wondering what it meant, when a few days later an author from Berkeley called Michael Pollan mentioned it. He was giving a great talk about healthy eating and said that the Okinawans came up with this practice.

Haru Hachibu talks about eating until you’re eighty percent full, not until you’re absolutely 100% stuffed. Apparently it can add years to your life. Here’s a page explaining about it:

The incredibly interesting YouTube video is after the jump.


Watch all Lord of the Rings Back-to-Back!

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

I just noticed in the Spinshell Events page that Toho Cinemas in Roppongi is having a series of classic trilogies and showing them all back-to-back every Friday. Tomorrow is the X-Men trilogy and next week, it’s Lord of the Rings. Not just any old Lord of the Rings though, it’s the special edition. It starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 29:50 (translation: 5:50 a.m.), running for 681 miles! Whoops, that was a little English mistake by whoever made the Toho website.. 681 minutes! Bring a big bag of popcorn. Click here for the Toho schedule page

X-Men starts tomorrow at 23:30 and ends at 29:35, running for a comparatively short 334 miles. I love the name they give it: Ikkimi Night (Ikki is what you say to encourage someone to down a drink in one. Mi is short for Miru, to see).

Tickets go on sale a week before, which means that X-Men may be sold out, but you can probably get LOTR tickets from tomorrow. The price is ¥3000 (¥250/hour for LOTR). The following weeks are The Godfather and Death Note.

More information in the Events Guide Page.

Here’s what you’ll look like after 12 hours of Lord of the Rings:


Humor your hosts, speak to them

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

kore wakattara yomanakute ii

While most Japanese are fascinated with foreign countries and cultures, just as many are simply stumped encountered with the real thing. Social interactions in Japan, well anywhere in the world really, are driven (to a large extend) by gestures and language. However, in Japans largely heterogenous culture, gestures and language are more tightly interconnected than in English speaking ones. If either what you’re saying or how you deliver it is off or unexpected, it could become pretty awkward, as most Japanese simply aren’t used to foreign behaviour patterns.

So it is upon you, the intruder, the migrant, the foreigner to humor your hosts by adjusting your behaviour and, most importantly, your speech to meet expectations. On the bright side, the expectations aren’t high. Most Japanese are conscious that their country is unique, and they are very forgiving. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll help you a lot during your transitional phase either. You will have to make the effort, or you won’t be able to communicate with the natives beyond the barest essentials. (”Me want hamburger, now!”)


Picture of Farmer’s Face on Vegetable Packaging

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Here’s some spinach I bought in my local Ito Yokado supermarket, which has a picture of the farmer who produced it. I’ve often seen pictures of happy looking farmers above the Japan-produced vegetables in my supermarket, but this is the first time I’ve seen it included in the actual packaging. I like the personal touch it gives, knowing that your veggies were made by a human, not a big hulking farmotron robot. There’s even a QR code which links to a page with more infomation about the farmer. (You should be able to point your keitai at the screen here to link to it.)

Japan Spinach Farmer’s Face

more pictures after the jump..


Sweet Savoury Aroma Coffee in a Cup

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

In Japan, there are many ways to get your caffeine fix, from Starbucks to Doutor to Mr. Donuts. If you’re cheap like me though, you’ll get it from the combini. When I first got here, I was amazed at the little cans of hot coffee that are sold through the winter, but now I prefer the cold cup-like coffee that comes in specially shaped containers, made to look like the classy cuppa you’d get from Starbucks. They have a plastic top, which is just for show since the coffee is kept in by a foil seal. It’s another thing which has just become a signal to say ‘This is an expensive tasting cup of coffee’. My favourite for a long time has been Mount Rainer. It’s the cheapest (137 yen!) and tastes smooth and creamy, not like the harsh taste from canned milk coffee.

Expresso and Orzo



Thursday, April 10th, 2008

We’ve all heard the stories, most of you reading this have probably experienced the thrill of a packed Japanese train at some point, but just looking at this video makes me nauseous. I’m glad this is not normal, but apparently it really does happen every once in a while somewhere in Tokyo (looks like the Chuo-Sobu line (?)).

squeezing in

The train line I personally dread during rush hours is the Saikyo line between Ikebukuro and Shinjuku, which I occasionally have to take. Try it sometime if you haven’t already. ;)

Love, Beauty, Unix?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

OK, it’s a joke that only geeks are really going to get, but I came across this bizarrely named beauty salon near Spinshell Towers in Akabane.

Love, Beauty, Unix

For those of you who don’t know what Unix is, it’s a big operating system used in many servers. It can only be considered beautiful and loved by computer geeks.