Pampered pets

| Apr 17, 2012

Pampered pets

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice,Don’t you think it’s time you did a column on the crazy pet products and services available in Japan? I can’t believe the lengths some dog owners go to — dressing their pets in frilly clothes, pushing them around in baby carriages and ...

Randoseru

| Mar 20, 2012

Randoseru

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice,As a parent of two children who negotiated the Japanese educational system from day care to university, I’ve always been curious about “randoseru” — those box-like leather schoolbags used by every primary school student in Japan. First-graders nearly topple over from the weight ...

Platform doors

| Jan 17, 2012

Platform doors

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice,As a longtime resident of Japan, I have watched with interest the recent installation of barriers on the platforms of many of our subway and train lines. These barriers run the full length of the platform and have sliding gates at just the ...

<em>Yomawari</em>

| Dec 20, 2011

Yomawari

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, I’ve been living in Japan on and off for a few years now, and in the various places I’ve lived I’ve seen groups of senior citizens dutifully patrolling the streets. Just the other day, in my latest location, I encountered a similar ...

Anzan kigan

| Sep 20, 2011

Anzan kigan

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, My friend and I stumbled upon something mysterious on the Izu Peninsula. We were walking along the picturesque Matsukawa River, where it runs through the town of Ito, when we came upon a shrine with no one about. It looked like any ...

<em>Kinpū</em>

| Jun 21, 2011

Kinpū

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice,I am fascinated by the elaborately decorated envelopes offered for sale in Japan. I know they are used for giving money, because the first time I came to Japan to study martial arts a friend taught me to put my lesson fees into ...

Setsuden

| Apr 21, 2011

Setsuden

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, Everywhere I go now I see signs for setsuden (conserving electricity). There’s a notice at my local convenience store explaining that the lights are down for setsuden. My post office has shortened its hours for setsuden. And the subway is running with ...