Ameyoko-cho Mask Shop

This little shop in Ueno’s Ameyoko-cho market district sells rubber celebrity masks. They only cost 2,000 yen or so and would certainly make a unique souvenir of Japan. It’s call the Ueno-ya, and the masks page is here.

Hatoyama Yukio Antonio Inoki
Kinnikuman Kuidaore Clown
Eyeball Ozawa Ichiro
Asashoryu Buddha
Anime character (This one costs
13,000 yen)
Godzilla

To get there, go out the North Exit of Okachimachi Station and turn left, walking along the JR tracks. Turn right at the second corner and you’ll see it immediately on the right.
The address is 6-3-9 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Japanese: 東京都台東区上野 6-3-9). Tel. 03-3831-0631
The masks can also be bought online.

Odd Japanese Blogs – The Telekinesis Blog

Today’s blog is the last of the himajin blogs that I’m writing about this week. It’s called the Nenriki Blog (Telekinesis Blog). According to the blogger’s subtitle, “I created the Nenriki Blog as an experiment in updating blogs by telekinesis. Each day, I try to do an update by typing on the keyboard using telekinesis. I am still learning the discipline, so it may not go  smoothly at first, but please bear with me.

A typical post:

It says:
*Day 146:

*Sadly, the blogger seems to have given up on his noble experiment.

The other himajin blogs I found are here.

Odd Japanese Blogs – The Pedestrian Overpass Blog

Today’s blog is the third of five himajin blogs that I’m writing about this week. It’s called the Nagoya Hodoukyou Dagaya! (The Nagoya Pedestrian Overpass Blog).

Here’s a typical post:

Jingumae Koen Park Pedestrian Overpass


Hataya 1-chome, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya


Top of the overpass

West side viewed from the overpass. Atsuta Baseball Field is in the background.

West side

Stairs

Sign showing the overpass’s age

Photographed:2007/11)

There is one set of stairs on each side of the overpass. There is no flat area for bicycles on the stairs. It is the closest overpass to Atsuta Koen Park and the Atsuta Baseball Field. If you look from the park, the overpass is to the east. There are a lot of temples around it.

Amount of traffic under overpass:  ★★★☆☆
Amound of pedestrian traffic: ★★★☆☆
Necessity: ★★☆☆☆
Uniqueness: ★☆☆☆☆
Age: From Sept. 69

So far, we’ve seen the Tokyo Stairs Database, the Vending Machine Report and the QR Code Blog. Tomorrow is the Telekinesis Blog!

Odd Japanese Blogs – The QR Code Blog

Today’s blog is the third of five himajin blogs that I’m writing about this week. It’s called the QR Code Blog. In case you don’t know, QR codes are those black and white data squares that you often see on advertisements in Japan. You scan them with your cell phone and they will take you to a homepage with more information.
Anyway, this blogger is a real QR code zealot, so much so, in fact, that he’s decided to turn all of the text in his posts into QR codes that can only be read with a cell-phone.

A typical post:

I scanned it with this online QR Code reader and translated it into English:
“I found this QR Code on an exit guide in the Tokyo subway. It helps to get rid of worries about the great numbers of exits in subway stations in the Tokyo area. Each exit has a different QR Code, and if you access it with your mobile phone, you can get a map of the local area of information about shops.”

So far, we’ve seen the Tokyo Stairs Database and the Vending Machine Report. Tomorrow is the Pedestrian Overpass Blog and Friday is the Telekinesis Blog.

Odd Japanese Blogs – The Vending Machine Report

Yesterday, I posted about the Tokyo Kaidan DB (Tokyo Stairs Database), a meticulous cataloging of stairs in Tokyo. Today’s blog is the second of five himajin (someone with too much time on his hands) blogs that I’m writing about this week. It’s called:  “I take photos of a vending machine (almost) every day. Sorry.” The blog has been going since May, 2005, and has over a thousand posts.
An average day is just: “No change” like this:

Every couple of weeks, though, there’s a big excitement in the blog when there is a product change:

The blogger details all the product changes as follows:

If you’re wondering what in the world inspired something like this, it’s explained in the blogger’s profile:

Most-hated phrase: “Keizoku wa chikara nari (Keeping at something makes you stronger.)”
Favorite vending machine: It would be scary if I had one
Short note: I update this blog with a photo of the same vending machine every day (it was replaced on Aug. 8, 2009). I was planning to write every day, but sometimes I take a break. I’m not interested in vending machines and canned drinks.

I don’t like things that take a lot of work, so I tried to think of some kind of content that wouldn’t require any willpower and that I could finish in five minutes a day. That’s how I started doing this. When there are changes, it takes a lot of work, which makes me angry.

It’s like techno where a groove is created when similar things repeat while changing slightly. Sorry, for getting off topic.

I don’t like the saying, “Keeping at something makes you stronger.” I don’t think there are many phrases that are more insulting. Please use it for people who are so stupid you can’t think of anything else to compliment them on.

Odd Japanese Blogs – The Tokyo Stairs Database

The Japanese word “himajin” means “someone with too much time on his hands.” A few weeks ago I came across a blog called “Tokyo Kaidan DB” (Tokyo Stairs Database), and curious to see if there were other odd blogs cataloging really mundane things, I came across some of the most time-wasting blogs you can imagine.
I guess the fact that I started looking for these blogs makes me just as much of a himajin as the authors are, though.
Putting them all in one post would make it a little long, so I’m going to do one of them each day this week.
Here’s a sample from the stairs blog:

No. 0357
Location: Bunkyo-ku, Otsuka, 5-1-16
Shape: Straight
Steps: 39 (Lower: 9, Middle: 20, Upper: 10)
Photo 2007.3.13
There are a lot of staircases on the west slope of Kasuga-dori St. in Otsuka 5-chome, but this is the southernmost. It’s close to Shinobazu-dori St.
There is no landing between the upper and middle sections. The middle section is narrow, but the upper section is wide because the buildings have been reconstructed. The narrow path expands to a width of 4m.
Several years ago (Apr. 2006-Mar. 2007), the stairway was reconstructed, with the concrete blocks being paved and repairs made.
Also, before, there were eight stairs in the lower section, but now, after the repairs, there are nine.

Stay tuned for the Vending Machine Report, the QR Code Blog, the Pedestrian Overpass Blog, and my personal fave, the Telekinesis Blog.
By the way, I got a comment that I think is too good to be relegated to the comments:
AdelaideBen Says:
Now that’s what I call otaku… seriously… is there really a community of stairs-spotters out there?“Ooooh look… a 45 stepper, leaning slightly to the left, galvanised hand-rail, clean 90 degree angle on the step, 1973 vintage for sure … now, you don’t see one of those every day of the week… that’s one for the connoisseurs….”
(no offence meant to any stairs-nut out there)

I’m also very glad that I didn’t make it on your list… and that my life has more meaning because of it.

?;`)

Otaku Photos

I found these on a Japanese blog called  V-blog, which is kind of a “best of 2channel” site. The original 2Channel thread the photos come from seems to be gone, though.

http://gasoku.livedoor.biz/archives/51296495.html

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