The calm before the storm

A strange day

The Japanese are known for having many cultural rules and procedures that they often ignore when convenient- and living in Japan I know this quite well.

One of the more known rules is the request for silence on trains “to provide a comfortable atmosphere for other passengers” according to Kintetsu that is. But today from Tsu train station to Nabari train station (which is about 60 km or around an hour by train), and including a transfer at Ise-Nakagawa it was silent. Eerily silent.

What made this slightly worse, is that all trains were packed more than usual for a Friday night- as people were travelling straight home without the customary drinking sessions. This is to say ALL trains including limited express trains.

Today, Japan is holding its’ breath. There is cancellation of train services, flights, busses etc across Japan and even lines like the Kintetsu are considering the possibility of suspending services for “safety reasons”, but what actually got me worried was the announcement of this update in English. Most information, detailed information that is, is usually kept in Japanese.

This combined with the silent eery journey on the way back- where everyone was looking worried- has caused me to double check my bug-iut bag. I’ve never felt this paranoid about a Typhoon before.

But why are so many people worried?

This typhoon- number 19 (keeping with the Japanese theme or 台風第19号) is the largest of the year so far, its is extremely strong, set to potentially land in major urban areas, and has the potential to cause country-wide problems.

Additionally, warning about it are ALL over social media, the news, TV, in stations etc. There are many companies that are suspending workdays tomorrow and are advising to only go out if needed- advice I will be following.

The cherry on top for me, was watching people taking supplies home with them. Prior preparation and planning may prevent poor performance but if all Japanese people are doing it, that just worries me- they seem to like to wing it.

Stay safe all, gather supplies and know where your evacuation areas are.

Thank you for reading and stay safe.

Review: Sports depo

The reason I have no money

So many clothes and I have little money

Sports depo is a sports shop which sells any thing and everything relating to sports. This includes sports wear for men, women and children; shoes- from trainers to football boots, caps, underwear, engraved football shorts etc.

Additionally, it has the best range of vitamins, supplements, and proteins that I have seen from any Japanese store.

The baseball and under armour sections

What is brilliant about the shops is the dedicated sections to each sport, brand and item. Want free weights? Go to the gym accessories section. Want a hiking pole? Go to hiking etc.

Additionally, the staff are always friendly and seem to be knowledgeable and simply know what their talking about.

But, you may be thinking, is the downside to such a wonderland of sporting wear and gear? Simply put, the price.

While the shop has items on sale and frequent offers online,any items are full retail price and they soon mount up. But there are very good prices on offer here, but you need to be careful- like everywhere else in Japan.

Final thoughts, would I recommend it? Definitely, I love the range of, well, everything they have. Just be careful of not buying into the ‘it’s cheap for Japan’ trap.

Thank you for reading and happy exploring.

It never seems to end…

Crocks the new fashion trend?

The ‘unfashinable’ item from years past makes a comback?!?!

Think of any brand of shoes you know. There are the must haves, the sports shoes, the ‘I must be seen in these’ shoes, the ‘I need them for work shoes’ and crocs. The unspeakable item from years ago returns and is making a comeback.

The design has never turned many heads in the western worlds and to some extent it has never needed to. They are hardwearing, comfortable and extremly long lasting. There has been a line of chief crocs and it can been seen on many a person who spends hours on their feet each day.

Even for fashionistas, designers such as Pleasures, Christopher Kane and others have attempted to bring a new insight into the world of crocs- but to many it is still seen as a childish and ugly shoe.

But with Ariana Grande rocking a while pair with socks, there is a revival (finally) in the western world, but that’s never been a problem in Japan.

Japanese fashion has always been different- what may be fashionable in the UK and the USA, could be (and usually is) seen as fashion don’ts. But there is one thing to be aware of in Japan, fashion is usually prefectural and sometimes varies by city!

But crocs are worn by all across Japan for several reasons- with the most important being comfort. In Japan, you can go for a short walk to the shops (at least 30 minutes), walk to the bus stop (20-40 minutes one way), walk when you arrive at your destination and be required to remove shoes at school, the office, temples, clinics etc.

For these problems crocs are the answer and will always be the answer for many in Japan. (just don’t try and buy 30cm sized crocs- they don’t seem to exist)

As Always, enjoy exploring cultures.