Wendy's

Out of all of the American fast food franchises in Japan, I prefer to go to Wendy’s because it is relatively cheap, and their burgers are more palatable than the other option (McDonalds). I rely on the 150 yen menu, Japan’s version of the 99 cent meal, . Using components from this menu, you can make some pretty badass combos:
Frosty Fries:
I can not take credit for this, as it sprung as a collective idea between me, my brother, and my sisters while cramped in the back of our Dodge Ram Prospecter, most likely headed to or from a vacation to Mammoth. Although counter-intuitive, the best way to enjoy french fries is dipped in a Frosty.
The Chili Bacon Cheeseburger-
Wendy’s is the only place I know where you can make a Chili Cheeseburger in Japan. Unlike In-N-Out, you can not order this because they don’t have a secret menu. You have to assemble it yourself.
Buy a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, extra packs of ketchup (not only does this improve the taste, but it also contributes to filling your stomach- something I was always trying to do in college), and a small chili. Load the burger with ketchup, and spoon chili on your burger with each bite. Not only is this a fun and less messy way to enjoy chili in your burger, but it maintains the integrity of the ingredients (doesn’t sog up the bun or wilt the iceberg) until you are ready to eat them. Why doesn’t Wendy’s sport a Chili Bacon Cheeseburger already? I don’t know, but they’re missing out on a great untapped market with great potential.
The only other way to obtain a chili cheeseburger is to go to Mos Burger (although chili cheeseburger-esque, a mos chili cheeseburger’s components qualify neither as “chili” nor as a genuine “burger”) or to make it yourself.
If you happen to find yourself in Kumamoto City, craving some good genuine American food, drop into Masa’s and you won’t be disappointed (huge burgers and even locomoco!).

All Dressed Up But Nowhere to Whore

I’m on another business trip. It’s late, I’m sweaty. In a suit. Wasted from a day of picking up on the subtle nuances of Japanese corporate doublespeak, flipping the sentences backwards and into another language, then funneling it down the client’s ear.
Now I’m back at the hotel with several hours worth of work ahead of me and the shrill ring of an alarm clock not mine own to look forward to in the morn.
Time to sign off, folks, but before I go, let me give you the Buddha’s One True Way to get an annoying fat gaijin perv in a middle management position to leave you alone and quit dropping hints like, “so what are Jap girls like?,” and, “so what’s the deal with those hostess clubs we passed earlier?” over a business dinner:
When he gets all drunk and alco-sentimental with your boss later on and lays pictures of his kids on the table, echo everybody’s remarks about how cute they are and what a lovely family he has, then lean over the table and hiss, “God hates sinners.”
Note: It’s all in the angryasianman.jpg

Deja Vu

Well not quite, but the civic that I spotted on the streets of Osaka seemed pretty close to the one in True Crime: Streets Of LA (this game is pretty fun, and mixes genres from GTA and Max Payne pretty well, if you ask me).
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On the streets of Osaka.
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On the streets of L.A.
Put these kanji on your car, and gain the respect of the racing community.

Kobe License Plates

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Today I changed my car’s registration from Nara to Kobe. I don’t like the new number plates as much as the old ones – Kobe plates are a kind of status symbol in Kansai, much as Shinagawa plates are in Kanto. I have this nagging feeling that these plates might get me pulled over more often than the old Nara ones, although I can’t really explain why, it’s just a feeling I have (that I hope is never proved).
A few months ago I heard that Kobe plates illicitly exported from Japan were selling in LA for a pretty sum, mostly because of the Kobe Bryant case. In retrospect, I think the high price is justified; the process to get new plates in Japan is a colossal pain in the ass if you do it yourself (Most people just pay to have car shops do it for them; I did it by myself partly just to see if it was as a big a hassle as I imagined and I was not disappointed.)