Saturday, September 27, 2014

Garbage Pick-up Schedule

The trash must be sorted in 5 different ways. Each trash type has its own collection date, as well. If you put it out too early or fail to sort properly, you may suffer the scorn of your neighbors or the city of Sakai.

  • Household Garbage - Consisting of food waste, paper, or anything else that is combustible. Picked up every Tuesday and Friday.
  • Plastics - This is mostly food and item packaging. Every Wednesday.
  • PET Bottles - All of Japan's plastic bottles seam to be recyclable, and must separated. The cap and the label, however, go with the rest of the plastic packaging, and no the bottles. Don't forget to rinse. Picked up every 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.
  • Cans and bottles - These are aluminum cans and any glass bottles. Picked up every 2nd and 4th Saturdays.
  • Small metal objects - Scissors, forks, tools, spray cans, pots, and so on. Every 3rd Thursday of the month.
Yes, I do have a special iCal calendar for this alone.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Orix Buffaloes Baseball Game

The greeting at the train station.

I was worried I wouldn't know the way to the stadium.

Instead of cheerleaders, the team has its own pop group. I'm not complaining.

In the sea of Yankee merchandise, a White Sox sighting. 

Even my favorite pop group are fans of the Buffaloes!

3 hotdogs long for only $7. I decided to try all the sauces on different parts. It was pretty yummy.

There is no escaping it.

7th inning stretch!

I remember Wily Mo Peña from his time with the Red Sox. According to Nipon League Rules, teams are allowed only 4 foreigners. 

We went with "infield unreserved" for $24. This lets you set anywhere besides home plate. The only issue is that people rush to the home side and reserve seats with towels. We had to sit with the visitors and casual fans. 

The most important souvenir.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Burger King Black Burger

The Japanese are much more willing to try new and odd flavors. This weekend, Burger King released a couple of black burgers. You know I had to try it.

The D is for Diamond. The other burger is called Pearl.

Squid ink is used to dye the burger. It did change the texture of the bun slightly. The strongest flavor was the soy sauce. The burger was good, but not better than any of their other sandwiches. Which, by the way, are much better here than they are in America. The quality of meat and vegetables is top-notch. Even the fries are better.

Yes, the cheese was black, too.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival

It's Danjiri Festival season. This one took place in the Kishiwada area. Don't skip the videos! They really give you a sense of how lively the place is.

Squid. Chewy, but tasty. 

Danjiri floats are carved out of giant logs of wood. They weigh about 4 tons and are pulled by as many as 400 people. They can also reach a dangerously high speed.

You got to love that rhythm.

Yes, even the Japanse can make a mess at times. This might be the result of the fact that there are no trash bins to be found in the streets of Japan. And I mean none; they were removed several years ago after a terrorist attack.

This officer is being extra vigilant by using his DSLR camera to take pics of the passing floats.

Great chicken at $3 a cup.

Chocolate banana on a stick.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

SoftBank Phone

In Japan, getting a cellphone can be a tricky situation. There really aren't pay as you go phones and sims. If you want a smartphone you have to commit to a 2 year contract. If you want the phone subsidized you might need a Japanese credit card as well.

So I had to settle for an old-school phone without real internet capabilities. But it's all good. It's about $15 a month for service. 

It does include a TV antennae so I can watch live programming for free.

And at the end of the sign-up process they gave me SoftBank branded cup of noodles.

This is what I have to deal with at times.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Random Photos From August

Sensor activated hand cleaner with soap and fragrance.

Small, "J" shaped elevator.

The seal of Sakai.

Rice paddies in front of my apartment.

These puppies go for about $2000.

Sand play-lot.

Personal backyard rock garden.


Cool dart DVD.

I think this sign is much better.

Playing Smash Bros in a bar.