How to Eat at a Japanese Restaurant

in Just 11 Easy Steps

Learning Japanese is a great hobby. It requires levels of endurance and discipline possessed by English Channel swimmers, while garnering the respect typically reserved for those really skilled with yo-yo’s. The good news, if one can call it such, is you don’t need much Japanese to get by in Japan.

Nowhere is this truer than at a Japanese restaurant. Instead, what you need is to know how things work. Once you’ve got the system down, it’s amazing how few words are actually required.

First night in Japan

My own culinary journey began after a grueling day-long flight half-way around the world and several hours of wandering lost in the backstreets of Tokyo. I was out of PowerBars, famished, and thoroughly exhausted. Continue reading “How to Eat at a Japanese Restaurant”

7 Rules for Karaoke in Japan

If you happen to find yourself in Tokyo, then Shibuya’s a great place to start an evening. So we were there at Starbucks, just Aki and me slamming back steaming black grandes and Hitomi sipping some kind of whipped cream desert marketed to her as a coffee. I swear I don’t know how she stays so thin.

Then after a while, probably because we’d had a ton of caffeine, somebody said, “We should go get some beers. We really should.”

Probably I said that. But still, it was an excellent idea. So we left, but not before I stuffed a handful of Starbucks napkins into my pocket. They’re high-quality paper, and it’s not stealing if they’re free. I haven’t bought tissues or paper towels in years. Continue reading “7 Rules for Karaoke in Japan”

Japan’s a Scam

I was drinking with Sandy in the park recently. It was dark and naturally we were on the swing set.

“I’ll just never be happy here,” she said.

“Congratulations,” I replied, “you’re finally Japanese. Here, have a chu-hi. It’s got real lemon flavor.”

Then we kampai-ed as our swings passed, which is hard to do without spilling. The great thing about Japan is it has these little dirt plots that serve as corner parks, complete with rusty jungle gyms and broken see-saws where you can drink at night. I guess theoretically kids could play there during the day too, if the population hadn’t all died off. Anyway I figured it kind of worked in our favor. Continue reading “Japan’s a Scam”

Going to Alcoholics Anonymous in Japan

There’s only two things you need to know about being an alcoholic in Japan. The first is why you’ll become one, and the second is how to cure your pickled ass. Fortunately for you, Ken Seeroi has already been there and back, so you’re covered in both departments.

So I recently quit drinking. This was a good idea, why? I’m still trying to figure that out. But okay, I mostly did it because I wanted to get into shape for bikini season. That’s where you as a hot girl wear a bikini while I lounge on the beach with a tallboy on my stomach ogling you. But since my board shorts were getting a bit tight in the old waistal region, I figured maybe I’d better knock off the cans for a bit.

Other good reasons I came up with for quitting booze were saving an amazing ton of money and uh, not dying. Continue reading “Going to Alcoholics Anonymous in Japan”

Hiking Japan : A Survival Guide

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved the outdoors—-exploring peaceful forest trails, sleeping under the stars, making fire from sticks. Plus the fact that you can pee basically anywhere. I conquer you, Nature. Take that.

So when I moved to Japan, the first thing I did was to look for some good hiking trails. Well, I mean, after finding a decent bar with some hot chicks, but hiking was pretty high on the list too. And eventually, I got around to some outdoorsy stuff, until one day, while following a deer path through a stand of trees, I had an epiphany. That’s when you realize stuff that’s incredibly obvious only you haven’t thought of it yet. Anyway, the epiphany said: Ken Seeroi, these two activities don’t have to be separate. Because Japan. Okay, Let me explain. Or as we say in Japanese, esprain. Continue reading “Hiking Japan : A Survival Guide”