Tuesday, May 11, 2010

See you next time Tokyo

Ginza alley.
No one can predict the future.
Arizona kids?

Thanks Tokyo. I appreciate your love. From Naka-Meguro to Kita-Senju, (to paraphrase Jim Morrison) if they said I never loved you you know they are a liar.

Stuff I still don't understand.

Some food from Japan

The food in Japan was awesome! I don't think I ever had a bad meal.

This Tonkatsu was tender and juicy. The rice was sticky and delicious and the miso soup was awesome.

Sushi in Japan is just as good as you would imagine. One big difference was that the wasabi was on the inside of the sushi not on the side.

This is some kind of rice pudding which I didn't like very much but Yuka really enjoyed.

For good cheap and fast food, Yoshinoya was the deal. Soup, salad and a beef rice or noodle bowl for $4. Good times.

Stir-fried beef bowl from Yoshinoya.

Even the karage chicken at the airport was great!

Kubrick Top Gun and Brando bears

Two more Pepsi Nex freebie bears. Sweet mustache on the Brando one.

Subway Signs

Don't play your music loud on the subway.

Hibiya Line in Minami-Senju station.

Iron Man 2 not yet released.

If I lived in Japan I would know who this is. Drink Pepsi!


The prez and his prime minister friends.

I saw these weird DC Follies-esque masks in Ueno near the station. Creepy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

the Colonel

While I was in Yokohama I saw a friend that I would recognize anywhere. The good colonel named Sanders was dressed in samurai attire.

I had KFC later in Taito and I have to say it was about the same. The original recipe did taste slightly different but it hit the spot. For two pieces of chicken and fries it came out to about $6.

Uniqlo shirts

I picked up these cool Ultraman and Manzinger Z t-shirts at the Uniqlo shop at Narita Airport. Uniqlo is like Old Navy and specializes in cool inexpensive clothing.

Ultraman and Manzinger Z were part of the Heroes of the World t-shirt collection. Other heroes include: Superman, Indiana Jones, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Solid Snake and Spider Man.

There were Uniqlo shops all over Japan, but sadly there is only one right now in the USA and it's in New York.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Akihabra at night

I went back to Akihabra after missing a concert in Ueno. I found Akiba to be less crowded than when I went during Golden Week.

One of the cool places I went was the Capsule Station. With the Capsule Station you can pick up cool inexpensive souveneers like this Ultraman figure here that protected our table at Jonathan's in Akihabra. The capsule vending machines give you a mini-action figure or guitar or maid or Gundam robot at random which makes the experience like collecting baseball cards. You don't know what you are getting until you twist the wheels.

Yuka got me a really cool make your own guitar which resembles the Fender Stratocaster that Wayne loved in Wayne's World. I liked it so much I got another one for my brother that looks like the Gibson SG that Angus from AC/DC plays.

Mister Donut was a great place to stop in for a snack. I had a really good glazed cherry donut. I thought the package was particularly awesome with it's crazy phrases in English.

Akihabra is kind of cool to look at after the sun goes down.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


One of my favorite aspects of Tokyo city life was the abundance of vending machines. They are almost all drink based. I saw such drinks as: sake, beer, cold green teas, cold coffee, hot coffee, Gatoraide, Apple milk, coffee with milk, C.C. Lemon, Tea's Tea and Ultraman cola.

The drinks were typically $3 for beer or sake and $1 for everything else.

My neighborhood had several gentlemen getting their "vendo" on by drinking in public. However, the homeless in the area were benign and didn't even panhandle.

The vending machines were like night lights when I took midnight strolls with my Ipod.

My favorite Japanese drink would be Pocari Sweat which is like Gatoraide. It was perfect for replenishing fluids during the more humid days. I had about two P Sweats a day. Next time maybe Pocari Sweat will sponsor my trip to Japan.

Favorite sign in Japan

This was easily one of the funniest signs I've ever seen! A little girl walking her dog and pet poop. Leash laws in Japan are strict!

Friday, May 7, 2010

7-11 and Vending Machines

I want to give a big shout-out to both the 7-11 corporation and vending machines all over Japan. Without you I would probably starve and smell terrible.

7-11 is also a great place for American travelers to get money from ATMS as their 7-11 bank accepts foreign debt and credit cards.

Ultraman soda! Yes!

My childhood friend Godzilla the spokesperson for Fire coffee!

Alien Akiba

When I went to Akihabra I bought this awesome Alien toy. Aliens is one of my favorite movies and apparently this one was made by Kaiyodo Revoltech for a two figure set, both of which are aliens. One of the aliens is green faced Japanese alien and the other is America monster from the Ridley Scott film. It cost me about $25.

University of Phoenix on the Yokosuka Naval Base

It was a major surprise to be invited to the University of Phoenix campus in Yokosuka. First off, I would like to thank Dr. George Love and Dr. Thomas Hawks for arranging this very special tour. I appreciate all your time and help.

Second, it looks like I am wearing two ties in all my pictures. Jeremy, when I get back I need to attend your necktie improvement seminar (congrats on the new daughter too! I'm excited to see pictures).

Yokosuka is one of the largest American Naval Bases in the world. It houses both single Navymen and their spouses. It is also the berthing of the USS George Washington carrier. America! Heck yes (sorry this is a PG blog).

GW and 2 ties! Sweet!

My guide for this trip was program coordinator, Ms. Sayuri Anderson. Sayuri-San enrolls for only Masters as stipulated by the contract with the base. At the Yokosuka base their are only two UOP representatives: Sayuri and Jeff.

Sayuri took me on a drive around the base and I was surprised to find that Yokosuka is like a small American city. It has all the amenities that an American family could want including a movie theater (tickets for $2 and a bowling alley). It even has a high school and football field!

Sayuri-San's students are active military and spouses.

This next part might only be interesting for those in the UOP West Coast so bear with me. Sayuri said that the TED programs are very popular. They offer Master of Arts in Education/ Special Education, Elementary, Secondary and Early Childhood. All three are Arizona-based and offer an Arizona credential.

Sayuri told me that the program is designed for the students to do their 100 hours of observation and 12 weeks full time student teaching on the Yokosuka base with a supervising teacher. Pretty cool!

The classes are small. The finance class that was being held shortly after I left was comprised of only 7 cohort students.

The MBA program is the most popular with the Navy men but the TEDs are most popular with their spouses.

This is a picture of mysterious Monkey Island. I don't know anything about it is so mysterious.

I feel honored to check out my brothers and sisters at the UOP Yokosuka and it was a honor to represent UOP's Phoenix main campus, the West Coast and Team Cluff!

Thanks again Sayuri and Jeff!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It looks like the famous artist Krink was in my neighborhood (Minami-Senju) at some point as this graffiti is his signature.

I have to catch a train but I will be posting the University of Phoenix Yokosuka pictures a little later.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010