Attack of the COOP Saleslady!

Before Japan, my only concept of door to door sales were stories about back in the day older relatives would sometimes tell and jokes about taking up being an Avon make-up lady or knife salesmen if you were out of work, really desperate, and nothing else was possible.

Unfortunately door to door sales are still a thing here, and a very annoying thing at that.   Some of the regulars you’ll probably encounter are Jehovah’s Witnesses and the NHK guy.  Jehovah’s Witnesses are pretty universal, although Stateside I’ve only met them once.  I was rooming with a Japanese friend and an old Japanese couple came looking for her.  The convo went something like:

J: “Hey K… Did you happen to mention something about your grandparents visiting before?”
K: “No… Why do you ask?”
J: “Oh, okay.  Well there’s an elderly couple at the door asking for you.”
K: “…Okay,” she hesitantly replies and walks over to the door.
*cue 30 minutes of the couple trying to convert K over to the Jehovah’s side of life*

Anyways, my point is… If that old couple went to all that trouble of tracking down every Japanese study abroad student on campus, Japanese door to door must be pretty hardcore.  And luckily, I’ve avoided most of it up until now.

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Music: Hostess Club Weekender No. 7 Concert in Tokyo

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

Last weekend I went to a two-day concert at Shin Kiba Studio Coast put on by Ynos/Hostess Club.  They get a bunch of rising or popular indies acts together to promote and perform at varying big city venues on the main island.  It’s a good chance to see acts that might not otherwise be able to perform in Japan on their own or find a new favorite jam/artist.  This is the seventh run they’ve done, and with first day tickets sold out and second day nearly sold out, it looks like their formula is working well.

Sometime around New Years bought two day advance tickets upon learning that both the Warpaint and The National were going to participate.  I discovered Warpaint a year ago and it was love at first listen.  A couple of years before, I caught The National playing in Shibuya and since then I’d been anxiously waiting for the next time they’d come back.  A chance to see two artists I love that wouldn’t normally have any reason to play together?  Alright, count me in!

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Getting Your Glam On: Miracurl Review

I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I noticed about Japanese people after I first stepped off the airplane is how put together they are.  Sure there’s exceptions like sloppily dressed girls crouching outside of convenience stores or Don Quixote late at night, but for the most part people here are adept at dressing nicely no matter what the occasion.

While at the back of my head, I didn’t really think much of it and just did my own thing.  I had my own sweet/goth grungy style thing going on when I first met my husband, and to be honest fashion wasn’t really his forte either.  But as I realized, and no doubt you’ll also realize the longer you live here, how you present yourself reflects not only your own reputation, but that of your family and your employer.  So since entering the working world and getting married I’ve been more in tune with making sure I put effort into looking my best.  (I still can’t shake the habit of washing my face and putting on a comfy pair of pajamas as soon as I get in the door, though.)

Thing is, it takes a lot of work to “look your best” if you’re a woman here.  Your average Japanese woman dyes her hair some shade of brown every month, and is often inclined to have her hair regularly permed/straightened for easier maintenance.  Never leaving home without false eyelashes or eyelash extensions is all the rage at the moment, and getting your nails done is a much more outlandish affair than I recall back Stateside.  That’s not even getting into the facial and aesthetic salon boom.  I for one don’t have that kind of time or money, and if you fall into the average working foreigner group here you probably don’t either.  That’s where this nifty product I picked up the other day comes in.

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Conveyor Belt Sushi

Called kaitenzushi in Japanese, this fast food-style sushi is usually something most first visitors include on their list of things to do while in Japan.  Believe it or not, the first time I went to one was about three years after I began living here, to a big chain Kappa Sushi restaurant.  Besides the little sushi bullet train that comes and delivers your food, I wasn’t too impressed.  The taste was mediocre at best, and that’s really saying something because growing up in a family that never ate seafood I still can’t even tell a difference in taste between most kinds of fish.

But the day before Setsubun (Spring Equinox), my husband and I decided to pay a visit to another chain restaurant near our apartment.  We both had work on Monday and weren’t planning on eating the now-traditional ehōmaki.  Kaitenzushi‘s become a lot more appealing since my first visit; it’s even more convenient now and the dish options are infinitely better.

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