Monday, October 10, 2011

SF Japantown 05-22-11

A cheesy brochure line like, "Your bridge to the East" comes to mind.


American culture has the oft-seen Groucho Marx glasses. This sight-gag shows up quite a bit in the pop culture of Japan, including manga, cell-phone charms, and this wearable example.



This is the Japanese equivalent to those Kanji tattoos and clothing designs we've all been running around with for the past decade, thinking that we're so cool. Just as no Japanese person would decorate themselves as such, we think these awkward usages of English are totally goofy. Where was this profound little poem found? A child's notebook for school.



"Is Wayne Brady gonna have to smack a b!t@#?"



Yeah, I totally got a set of these. Thank you, Daiso store! I mean, they were only a dolla-fitty, after all ;P


Made with real Kewpies, despite PETA's protests! This product has been popular in Japan since the 1920s. It's the secret ingredient to that delicious Japanese salad dressing you may have tried, before.




Cell phone charm that's supposed to resemble a peeled Mikan tangerine. I'm gonna totally make some of these with all the Chirimen fabric I picket up at Daiso!



The Restaurant Row in J-town always gives me a pleasant, eerie feeling. Yes, you can feel both of those at once!



I always eat at Osakaya restaurant because the orange walls allow me to feel tragically hip. Osaka is the sister city of SF J-town.



Chashu ramen is just like Pho, but smokier. Chashu means pork and it's pronounced similarly for Chinese Dimsum purposes.


NOOOOOOOOO! Seriously?! Getting a crepe at Sophie's was THE reason I even went up to J-town! They've been closed all week according to the Sumimasen* sign posted in the window ;( *an apology



Luckily, there were other desserts to be had ;D Cupcake culture is out of control if it's showing up in J-town, too!


Getting a taiyaki was the other reason I ventured up to J-town. These are pancakes filled with either sweet red bean paste or chocolate chips. I used to only eat the chocolate ones but now I appreciate the authentic red bean variety.


You can watch them making taiyaki and get one hot off the presses, if you time it right; which I always do ;D


You're not supposed to take pictures in the Kinokuniya bookstore, Holly! I wonder what Yaoi means? ;D


I'm frontin'; I totally know what Yaoi means ;D


An Ikebana flower arrangement, probably made by a Samurai.


So simple, yet so elegant. Believe it or not, Japanese design was initially boring to me; I was instead dazzled by boisterous Chinatown. As my study of Eastern cultures matured, I came to appreciate traditional Japanese values and their sparse, natural motifs.


Edo Castle model; the original was built in the 1400s. My former Jenny dolls always wanted to live here.


Wikipedia says that, "the first Peace Pagodas were built as a symbol of peace in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where the atomic bombs took the lives of over 150,000 people, almost all of whom were civilian, at the end of World War II. By 2000, eighty Peace Pagodas had been built around the world in Europe, Asia, and the United States".






-HD

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