Valentine’s Day in Japan

What you see are the gifts I received from my Japanese girl students today. My students are ages six and five.

In Japan, it’s a Valentine’s day custom to give chocolate to boys or men you like.

Also some Japanese ladies give chocolate to their boss at the office out of obligation because this is the day “all” girls should be giving chocolate. Today is the big day and the stores are full of ladies only, buying up all the chocolate.

Next month has a day called “white day” in Japan. This is the day boys and men buy chocolate for the girls or women they like or to return the gift they received on Valentine’s day from whoever.

Some of my female students in the past, expressed bitterness when talking about “The Chocolate obligation gift to their boss.” There is social pressure too on this day. If you’re a lady, other ladies will ask you “who did you buy Chocolate for?” Leaving you feeling like you have to buy for someone even though you don’t want to, but do just so you don’t have to lie when asked this question.

Japanese Rice Wine

Hot Japanese sake is nice to drink on a cold winter day in Japan or anywhere for that matter if you’re into drinking something that tastes like gasoline! Nah, I’m joking… It actually tastes sweet and goes down really smooth.

I don’t really drink Japanese sake (rice wine) or beer. Not because I don’t like it… It’s because Japanese alcohol is very strong and after drinking, the next day I suffer in a big way.
Japanese people love to take us out for a drink. It’s a time for relaxing, bonding and just kicking back.

One thing I noticed about the culture is after you go drinking with Japanese people, the next day you do not say things like “Wow, we were really drunk last night.” I mean it’s ok to say it once but to go on about about it is annoying. There is a time and place for everything and Japanese people rarely mix them up. You will never see a Japanese person drinking like a fish with his boss then trying to use that event the following day as a chance to get an edge at the office. This is a big no, no here.

Here is the proper way to pour Sake and the correct way to hold the cup.

New Japanese Toilet

I thought I should post this pic after posting an old style toilet.

Here is today’s Japanese modern toilet with heat, cold or hot water butt washing (that sound weird ) Self washing function ( my wife likes this ) and there is more!

What got me was, as I approached the toilet the lid automatically opened and when I was done it flushed and closed all by itself. Wonder what other countries have these…

Inside A Japanese Restroom

Here is what all the toilets looked like in Japan many years ago. Now most of the toilets are western style.

I remember my first time using one of these and thinking what a pain in the butt to completely take off my paints while avoiding touching the floor with them every time I have to go do my business. Squatting was painful on the knees too. Very inconvenient for anyone from the west.

Now I miss these old school Japanese toilets because going this way seems more of a natural process than sitting.

Many western toilets in Japan have heated seats that will wash your butt with warm water too! I have these in two bathrooms. It’s really nice in the winter to sit on a warm seat early in the morning.

Japanese Steak House You Must Try

My best friend and English business mentor is Bill Brooks. Bill and his wife came back to Japan for a vacation after selling their school and returning to America for three years. Bill stayed in Japan for ten years and saved one million dollars! Before you ask, I don’t think anyone will ever be able to do this again the way Bill did it. Most people would die before they live on ten thousand dollars a year in order to save that kind of money in ten years.

Moving on…

We went to one of the best Japanese Barbeque steak (Yakiniku) houses in Japan. If you love steak, you’re going to love Yakiniku! This type of restaurant and the kind of food it serves is a copy of Korean barbeque. Japanese barbeque is much better I think because of Kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means consistent and never ending improvement.

Anyway… Here is the Japanese steak that melts in your mouth! I eat this once every two months. I was able to cut my red meat intake by 80″ since coming to Japan over eight years ago which is a good thing if you want to loss some un-wanted pounds.

A cheap but decent Yakiniku restaurant will cost you 20 dollars a person and an excellent one will be around 40 to 50 dollars a person.

Here is a pic of the tastiest vegetables you may just go crazy over.