Japan Overload for the Next Two Weeks

Get ready for a lot of posts about Japan over the next couple of weeks.  My sister arrives here tomorrow, and we’ll be visiting a lot of places around Tokyo, Yokohama, Kamakura, and Fujisawa.

Usually, I’d take a lot of photos, but I think I’m going to focus on video this time. I find that when I take video, I’m better able to make something worth looking at, while the photos tend to get lost on my hard drive. I will take some photos, though.

I may be taking around two or three videos every day, but with limited time, I don’t think I’ll be posting all of them every night. They take time to edit. They’ll be done over the days following my sister’s visit here, and I think it may take as long as a month. But that’s good, because you’ll have a steady supply of new videos for quite some time.

So, who’s interested in the upcoming videos? In case you missed them, here are the three videos I’ve already taken.

Enjoy the videos, and I hope you’ll keep coming back to see the new ones posted as I make them.

Any comments or questions? Please leave them in the comments below.

What if…? Unruly Teenagers in a Train Station

Imagine this situation happens (it actually happened tonight in front of me). A group of thirteen or fourteen year old boys are fooling around on the escalator in a train station, and as they get off, they partially block other people as they push each other around. They’re being noisy, silly, and they seem to be having fun. They don’t seem to be maliciously causing others any inconvenience.

Behind them, there’s a middle-aged businessman who is trying to get around them, but he can’t. He shouts at them to stop fooling around and behave themselves in such a busy public location.

In your country, how would the teenagers react to the businessman? Post your answer in the comments below.

As for in Japan, the teenagers would most likely apologise and behave. Something like this has happened to me, when a group of teenagers were pretending to punch each other on the train. One of them actually did punch another, and he bumped into me. They immediately started doing a little head bow in apology when I glared at them. They didn’t mean to bump into me.

Something a Three-Year-Old Shouldn’t Say (But It Was Hilarious)

My wife was watching an American show, I think it was Bones, and someone on the show was talking about how someone will go to hell. She asked me why many Christians will say, “Go to hell.”

Well, my daughter was playing next to us, and whenever we talk about places we want to go to, she says she wants to go, too. Except this time, we weren’t talking about that.

So, my daughter said, “Atashi go to hell!” That means “I go to hell.”

I laughed so hard. I wish I’d caught that on video. My daughter telling us she wanted to go to hell.


Delicious Mushrooms Countdown

That’s right, a post about mushrooms. Why? I had mushrooms for dinner. And I love mushrooms. At least I like most of the ones I’ve eaten.

These are the mushrooms I’ve eaten regularly in my life: common mushroom (also known as button mushroom, both brown and white), shiitake, enoki, eringi, maitake, and straw mushroom. So, here they are in reverse order of how much I like them.

6. Straw mushroom – Also known as the paddy straw mushroom, I’ve had these in Chinese food, as well as canned from the supermarket. They’re different than all the others because they’re kind of like a sac filled with water. They’re just okay. Nothing great, I don’t think.

5. Enoki – These long, skinny white mushrooms are common in Japan, and have a kind of chewy texture. I’ve eaten them often, but they’re my least favourite of the ones I eat regularly.

4. King trumpet mushroom – These large mushrooms are very good. I enjoy cooking them like steak or grilling them in a yakiniku restaurant. They taste great. But they don’t make my top three. It’s also known as eringi in Japan, after the scientific name, Pleurotus eryngii. It’s not native to Asia, though.

3. Shiitake – I love the flavour of these mushrooms. Strong umami flavour. While it may have my favourite flavour of any mushroom, I ranked it only third because it’s less versatile than my top two. These mushrooms are native to Japan and east Asia.

2. Common mushroom – These are the regular, simple mushrooms that you get in a can or fresh from a supermarket. They’re also known as button mushrooms, and come in both white and brown varieties. When mature, they are known as portobello. It’s great both cooked and raw. Extremely versatile. They’re native to North America and Europe.

1. Maitake – These are also known as hen-of-the-woods, and are native to northern Japan and North America. These mushrooms can grow to an enormous size, and the many stalks have a leafy or curly-spoon shape. They are delicious! I’ve only recently started eating them, though, so this is probably why I have them ranked first. I can’t get enough of them!

So, do you like mushrooms? What’s your favourite?

How Do They Come Up with These Names?

Have you ever read a book, watched a movie, or eaten at a restaurant that has such an unusual name or title that you couldn’t figure out where it came from? Take a look at this.


This is a restaurant called Bikkuri Donkey. That means Surprising Donkey. I’ve eaten there. It’s a hamburg steak restaurant. There are no donkeys and I was never surprised. So why this name? Anyone have any suggestions?

Have a strange name or title you can’t figure out? Share it in the comments.

Ask the Readers – Do You Hate a Book?

Last month, I asked for you to ask some questions that we can ask the readers. Here is the third question, although a little late. Again, it’s from Solveig. First, I’ll answer the question, then it’s your turn.

Is there a book you hate? Why?

I don’t think I’ve ever hated a book. I’ve been lucky to never have read one that I couldn’t finish. There are some I felt somewhat indifferent to, but nothing I hated. So, I personally can’t answer this question.

How about you?

Maybe some readers have an answer to this question. What’s a book you hated and why? I’m interested in seeing the answers, if there are any hated books. I’m sure there are some, but I think people usually avoid reading books that don’t seem interesting. So, it’s your turn! Leave your answer in the comments below.

What’s Difficult About Worldbuilding?

As you may know, I’ve created my own world, Ariadne, for my novels in progress. It’s been a very long process to create it, and has involved many different aspects of science and social science. It’s actually quite fun to do it. However, it’s not all easy. I think the more difficult parts are keeping track of some of the complex things, such as history, country relationships, and evolving cultures and societies.

What do you think would be difficult for you? I’m going to be writing a lot of posts about worldbuilding in the future, and I’d like to know what you feel you would need most help in figuring out. Let me know in the comments below what you think is the most difficult aspect of worldbuilding for fantasy and science fiction.

The official blog of Jay Dee Archer. Exploring new worlds, real and fictional.


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