What planet are you from?

One day during my second month in Japan I was waiting for my turn at the doctor’s. A mother with a very young child, I guess just a few months old, entered. When the little boy noticed me, his eyes became very wide and round, and for minutes he didn’t look away. The mother seemedContinue reading “What planet are you from?”

Sendai Tanabata Fireworks

With the Sendai Tanabata Festival just around the corner, we had a great fireworks display this evening. While most of Japan celebrates Tanabata (七夕, “seventh evening”) in July, Sendai’s festival is held from August 6th to 8th. This year that’s the same time as the Chinese equivalent, the Qixi Festival, which a Chinese friend calledContinue reading “Sendai Tanabata Fireworks”

What’s a “bus towel”?

That’s what I was thinking this afternoon when asking one of the Japanese students in the lab about the preparations for our overnight lab trip tomorrow. There was a list of things to remember, and one of the items was to prepare a “バスタオル” (basu taoru). I know that タオル is a Japanized pronunciation ofContinue reading “What’s a “bus towel”?”

Fun in Japanese class

Today’s Japanese class was funny, starting with our teacher drawing some fruits and a quite detailed fish on the blackboard. What looks like primary school math is actually a clever explanation of “全部で” (ぜんぶで), which means “in total, altogether”, and not only for prices. Additional fun was provided by pictures displaying scenes we should describeContinue reading “Fun in Japanese class”


“大雨” (おおあめ/Ooame) is Japanese for really strong rain. “大” means big, and “雨” means rain. As you probably guessed after that introduction, we had (and still have) 大雨 in Sendai today. Normally I wouldn’t start complaining about bad weather on my blog, but this time the rain was really strong and I also have photos.Continue reading “大雨”

Unusual color, unusual word

After reading about it on Japanpulse, I just had to try this purple potato snack when I saw it in one of the local konbinis. The purple chips/crisps-thingies taste similar to ordinary potato crisps, but they have some different taste I can’t really describe. I like them! I have eaten purple potato salad at theContinue reading “Unusual color, unusual word”