Archive for July, 2006


Monday, July 31st, 2006

I’ve decided to start a restaurant page, so anyone coming to Sendai can get an idea where to go, or just for people interested in seeing what you can get in Japanese restaurants and at what cost. Here is my first post. Enjoy!

The manager

Name: 焼助(yaki suke)
Type: Izakaya specializing in skewers and grilled beef tongue.
Place: Inarikouji, between Jouzenji Doori and Hirose Doori. (Map here)
Nomihoudai (all you can drink): Yes. 90 minutes for 980 yen.
Food:★★★★★ (Everything was really good!)
Prices:★★★★☆(6050 yen for two for everything you see here AND the nomihoudai)
Date: 2006-07-29 (Sat)

Grilled salmon. I forgot the price…

Chicken leg and gizzard skewers

Chicken meat ball skewer

Chicken liver skewer

Asparagus wrapped in bacon and shiitake skewers

Zaru tofu

Assorted Japanese pickles

Caesar salad topped with bacon, cheese and nuts

The Sennensugi Trail (Eboshi Ski Resort)

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

In July 2006 my wife and I started hiking. I’ve hiked in Canada, the States and Europe when I was younger, but for my wife, who used to take the elevator to go up one floor, it was the beginning of a whole new experience. This category is dedicated to our new hobby, and I’ll try to give enough information for whoever might like to try hiking in Japan.

The Miyagi Zao Eboshi ski resort is situated on Mount Zao, approximately one hour by car from Sendai, Miyagi. You can get there by taking route 286 towards Yamagata, and turning south (towards Shiroishi) on route 457. Right after crossing the bridge in Zao town, you make a right at the Miyagi Zao Kokeshi Kan and keep going straight. You can also get there by train getting off at the Shiroishi Zao station on the Tohoku Shinkansen line and taking a taxi.

2006-07-27 (Thu): There are four trails at the Eboshi ski resort, each more difficult than the previous one. For our first mountain trail we picked the easiest one called Sennensugi, which literally means “The one thousand year old Japanese cedar“. The part of the trail we hiked is shown by the yellow line on the map above. The trail is really well marked with red strips tied to the trees and there are a few white signs with black arrows, but many of them are broken. The trail splits in two – trail A (beginners) and trail B (intermediate). Both trails converge again at the Japanese cedar from which the trail got its name. We (unknowingly) took the intermediate trail, which has many steep parts and two streams to cross by foot. It took us one hour to get to the cedar. The rest of the trail goes up smoothly, and there is another stream to cross. It took us 40 minutes to get to the top, and since we were pretty tired we took the cable car to come back down. The cable car runs until four o’clock and costs 700 yen.

Check out the photo album!

Funny English – “Grib My Hands”

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Disclaimer:This series is about funny English found in Japan. Japan is notorious for its terrible misuse of English, and sometimes you can really get a good laugh. I’d like to point out something very important, though, WITH THIS SERIES I DO NOT INTEND TO MAKE FUN OF JAPANESE PEOPLE. As an English teacher, it would be unethical for me to do so, and as a language learner, I wouldn’t like anybody to make fun of me, either. What I’m making fun of are THE STUPID COMPANIES WHO ARE EITHER TOO CHEAP OR TOO LAZY TO HAVE THEIR ENGLISH CHECKED OUT BEFORE THEY USE IT. I mean, how much time and money does it take to have someone proof read a couple of sentences, or sometimes even single words?

Note: In the interest of providing original material, I always run a search on the internet to see if anyone else has posted what I’m about to. When I ran a search for “Grib my hand”, a confused search engine suggested this:

This post has also been featured on Japundit.

Ito’s Farewell Party

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

My friend Ito is going to England to study English for one year, so yesterday we threw a little party to bid her farewell. One last crazy karaoke night until she comes back. Good luck, dude, take good care of yourself.(^0^)/

Ainori #323 – Special Episode

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Ainori is a popular reality show in Japan, aired on Fuji TV on Monday nights at 23:00.

In August 2005, I discovered that Ainori was not only popular in Japan, but also all over the world thanks to Bit Torrent technology. I decided to write a summary of each episode, and do a translation of the weekly photo captions from the official site. What do I get out of this? I get to improve my Japanese, I get more traffic to my blog, but above all, I get the satisfaction of knowing many non-Japanese speakers all over the world can appreciate a truly unique reality show. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to post any comments or questions you may have.

Ainori’s official homepage (Japanese only).

Current participants

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts and Saiyaman

Good News, people! It seems streaming videos of Ainori are still available on

Ainori #323


This week was a special episode, i.e. they showed us a typical date between Suuzan and Mie, and they backtracked a bit to before last week’s incident, where Tagamikun had to drop out in shame.

So it seems Suuzan and Mie are doing well together, despite the fact that he lives in Tokyo and she lives in Osaka, a distance that could be anything between 400 and 500 km, depending in which part of these huge cities they live.

Suuzan lives in Tokyo, Mie lives in Osaka.

This time, Mie went to visit Suuzan in Tokyo, presumably because she can afford the trip, and he can’t. Indeed, Suuzan lives in a small run-down house he rents for about $300 US a month, a price unbelievably cheap for Tokyo. His most expensive possession is a $200 TV, which he could program to record TV shows, if only he knew how! Like many old houses in Japan, there is no bathroom, so Suuzan walked Mie to a sento, and went back home by himself on account he didn’t want to spend the $4 it takes to take a bath. So how does Suuzan cleans himself everyday? In a scene right out of Zenigata Kintarou (a popular Japanese TV program in which the hosts go all over Japan to find people living in the poorest conditions and make fun of them), they showed Suuzan wash himself at the kitchen sink, something he apparently does on a daily basis – this one is for the ladies (^_-).

That is Suuzan’s bath!

Then, they showed what Suuzan regularly eats, i.e. rice and miso soup he apparently gets from his parents, and one umeboshi (25¢) to top the rice. But since Mie was visiting, he blew a whole $3 on nattou and made assorted dishes with the infamous ingredient.

A 25¢set meal!☆★☆★☆Nattou Paradise!($3)

Yep, he’s a real Japanese artist, and they seem happy together. Although I wonder how long this is going to last, I wish them long lasting happiness. 

We wish you happiness!

But wait, it seems Mie got busy before Suuzan got back to Japan and declared her love to her! Yep, the girl did indeed pose naked for an adult magazine, who even used the name Ainori to sell it!

The Ainori staff was shocked, too…

These have been around the Japanese internet for a while, but I was waiting for the cat to “officially” come out of the bag to post them! These ones are for the guys (^_-).

Ainori’s Miho “Mie” Tanaka really got naked!

The rest of the program revolved around a 17 year old Croatian kick boxer wannabe, who had left his girlfriend six months earlier to concentrate on his training. Well, it seems Tachi had also done the same thing to dedicate his life to skiing, but apparently regretted it afterwards. In order for the same thing not to happen to the young man, Tachi, with the help of Chaki and Uekki, decided to find the boy’s ex-girlfriend and try to convince her to come to see his first match, as he needed her morale support – something Tachi made up to persuade her.

They had both chosen to break up with girlfriends they loved…

Although the ex-girlfriend did refuse at first on account they needed time apart from each other (how mature for a 17 year old!), she eventually showed up at the fight, and Tachi was so happy he broke up in tears! Get a grip, big guy! (Look who’s talking – the bastard made gave me watery eyes, too…)彼女がファイトのところに登場した時にタチが泣いちゃったね。ちょっとしっかりしろうと思った瞬間に僕も泣きそうになった! 


Next week we’ll have a new male participant – apparently a good looking one, and the beginning of even more cat fights on Ainori! Yep, it seems as many of you predicted that the Hisayon / Tagamikun incident left the group bitter after Tagamikun went back to Japan, and it looks like Chaki, who presumably had a crush on Tagamikun, won’t forgive Hisayon so easily. Man, I love this show!

Ok, I know I’ve been slow on translations lately, but don’t worry people, work has finally slowed down a bit I’ll be finishing them as soon as the summer vacation starts. So just for the record…
:-) Special treat for non-Japanese speakers coming soon – I promise! :-)