Archive | July, 2012

I'm still travelling around Okayama and Hiroshima

28 Jul

Hi TKE readers,

I’m writing this post from a hotel in Hiroshima before going to bed. ^ ^;;
I was going to blog while travelling because I thought that would be easier than doing it all at once after going back home…but I was wrong.

Each day I’m so exhausted after walking around entire day in the sun. If you’ve ever been to Japan during summer you know how hot and especially humid it is. It’s quite energy consuming and uncomfortable. My black T-shirt has white spots on the back, which means sweat vapored and salt or waste is left…that sounds smelly and ugly…(lol) and I can’t live without an ointment to put on heat rash that is created each day.

It’s just that I feel as if I were walking in a sauna outside everyday.
However it’s still better than raining. ^ ^;;
I hope to blog some interesting reports on my trip to Okayama and Hiroshima soon after settling down at home.

Talk to you later,


Daichu -Asian zakka + panda goods?!-

21 Jul

Asian zakka shop
Daichu (倧中)
store locations: several locations in Kanto, 1 shop in Niigata, 3 shops in Kinki and Tokai, and 1 shop in Kyushu.
(The pictures for this post were taken at the store in Kawasaki atre.)

The other day after work, I found such kawaii panda goods sold at Daichu. Daichu is a shop that basically sells Asian zakka. It was a bit surprising to find them selling so many panda goods there. Speaking of panda however, Shin Shin, the giant panda at Ueno zoo just got a baby sometime ago but unfortunately the baby died only on the 6th day. I have no idea if the Shin Shin’s delivering her baby had anything to do with so many panda zakka. Or, they sell panda goods all the time because panda is from China and it’s an Asican zakka store and it’s natural they have Chinese themed goods…

Whatever…I found they are so cute! πŸ™‚

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12 Jul

Otsukaresama desu
Otsukaresama deshita

What do they all mean? You may wonder because you’ll hear them spoken in JP dramas probably at the scenes of workplace. Sometimes English sub for JP dramas says “good work” and you may wonder why we greet like that. I think there’s basically no perfect translation for Otsukaresama because it reflects something cultural. In fact, there’s no day without saying these, since I’ve started working at an office.

Basically Otsukaresama is a consoling word and greeting to the colleagues. Let me see in what occasion I’m using them.

Otsukaresama desu

1) When making a call to someone in the same company
The first thing we should say is “Otsukaresama desu”.
For example
person A: Hello this is the sales department, and this is A speaking.
person B: Otsukaresama desu. I’m B from HR department.
person A: Otsukaresama desu.

2) When sending out an email to someone in the same company

It’s a sort of general habit for us to start with Otsukaresama desu. (with Kanji:γŠη–²γ‚Œζ§˜γ§γ™γ€‚γ€€with Hiragana: γŠγ€γ‹γ‚Œγ•γΎγ§γ™γ€‚)

3) When seeing colleagues in a washing room or somewhere outside the office or far from my desk
There’s no equal word for “Hi” in Japanese, we’d use “Otsukaresama desu” as a greeting at work. Of course, I know you learn “Konnichiwa” is like “Hi” but we don’t use it like how you’d use “Hi”. If you say “Konnichiwa” as a substitute for “Hi”, it’d sound too rigid, serious and a bit funny.

4) When someone (colleague) gets back from an outside job or a fieldwork

Otsukaresama deshita

1) At the end of the day, when a colleague is leaving the office
It is a common sense in Japan for a worker who is leaving the office at the end of the day to say “Osakini shitsurei shimasu” to others who are still working (such as doing over-time work). That means “I’m leaving earlier than you” in a modest way. Then the rest of the workers respond to him saying “Otsukaresama deshita”.

2) When someone (colleague) gets back from an outside job or a fieldwork


1) It’s a casual way of “Otsukaresama desu” used between close colleague.
2) It’s spoken from a senior worker to his junior or from a boss to his subordinates.


1) It’s a very casual way used between close colleagues or friends.

I still remember how I was shocked to hear “Otsukaresama” at work when I started working. I felt as if I were very tired when I heard it. “Tsukare” is to be tired or fatigue. “O” or “sama” I think are the frills of consoling or respecting thought. I personally don’t like this greeting honestly. XD

BTW, have you realized we don’t use Otsukaresama to the people from other company or the clients, customers and etc.? Otsukaresama is to be used for inner people not outer people. Then what kind of greeting do we use for outer people? It’s “Osewani natte orimasu” (γŠδΈ–θ©±γ«γͺγ£γ¦γŠγ‚ŠγΎγ™) or “Osewani natte imasu“.(γŠδΈ–θ©±γ«γͺっています)

Well, but I’ll say “Osewani narimashita” (past tense) with thankfulness when I’m leaving the company office this Friday! πŸ˜€

Authentic Onsen after work

4 Jul

It doesn’t always mean that you have to travel to an Onsen resort or countryside to go in an Onsen (hot spring). I suppose Ooedo Onsen Monogatari is sometimes introduced as a Higaeri Onsen (Onsen for a day trip) in a guidebook for foreigners who travel to Tokyo. But it’s not the only option. There are several Onsen facilities in residential area that offer authentic Onsen for the local people at a reasonable price and for daily use. Shiraku-no-Yu is a good example. πŸ˜€

photo credit: Shiraku-no-Yu official website
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Interview with Carmina

1 Jul

If you love Japanese street fashion and especially Gothic/Lolita, you may already know La Carmina. I had a chance to interview her and write about her in TKE blog. (The interview part is after the video below.) πŸ™‚

I was previously sharing some sample episodes from Tokyo Kawaii TV in this blog and at some point she also appeared on one of the episodes. (BTW, for a moment I don’t plan to share any new episodes from Tokyo Kawaii TV because videos are not available and it takes way too much time for me to write up a summary for the whole episode by translating from Japanese to English. I wanted to share those sample episodes so you can basically find what’s going on in the streets and etc. in Tokyo. I believe you can also watch it on NHK satellite broadcasting service provided in your country. πŸ˜‰ )

Rough translation (summary) for the Japanese part:
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