A policeman in his booth.
Rikshaw and his passengers in Arashiyama.
Outdoor eatery – Japanese really use a lot of space heaters.
Ryokan owner in Kyoto.
Snack vendors. The surgical masks are worn mostly by allergy sufferers – which due to a high number of pollen-producing Sugi trees planted are about 1 in 5.
Some take pictures of the cherry blossoms, others take a more traditional approach.
Riding on the Shinkansen.
Kids visiting Zeniarai Benten temple.
In a museum.
Akihabara girl handing out promotional packs of napkins – kind of like a booth bunny without a booth.
On a JR train.
Consulting a fortuneteller.
I was rather surprised at home many people wear kimonos. I noticed that a lot of shopkeepers wear traditional clothing, it must help with projecting the traditional image
Another snack vendor.
Shinkansen driver. Don’t the white gloves make you feel safer somehow?
Squid on a stick vendor
Celebrating Hina Matsuri – Girl’s Day.
Cloth painter. My wife bough a shopping bag with sakura blossom design.
Lumber vendor in his shop.
I pick my houseplants following a simple rule: they either have to be very exotic or they have to be edible. Preferably both, like my pineapple plant.
A couple of months ago I purchased a coconut plant, complete with the coconut it grew out of, all for something like $10 (at IKEA of all places). And this morning I found a bonus – overnight a few mushrooms spontaneously sprouted in the same pot.
Do you think these are poisonous?
Of course, seafood is not the only thing that’s sold in this gigantic market.
You can buy just about everything seafood related around there, rubber boots, for instance.
There are a lot of knife merchants around that sell mostly Japanese-style knives. I already have a decent set of Japanese Deba Hocho knives, but I just had to buy a souvenir gaff, a miniature version of a hook that everybody in the market used to grab boxes and fish (they are on the right of this display box.
Here’s a merchant sharpening a knife on a waterstone. I have one of those too. Because of their single-sided concave edge, Japanese-style knives are significantly sharper and easier to sharpen than Western knives. Still, getting a really sharp edge is a bit of an art.
There are numerous food stalls around the market. Here’s one of the cooler ones, with a giant steaming pot of something and a dude with a yakuza-like pompadour haircut. This was one of those few places in Japan that refused to serve us, gaijin.
Instead, we went to a sushi place with slightly disturbing decoration: a doomed fish in an aquarium that watches you as you eat. The sushi was very fresh and reasonably priced, but not significantly better than what I am used to in New York.