Ladies' plans

| Jul 15, 2010

Ladies' plans

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, What the heck are “lady’s” discounts? I’ve only been in Japan for six months, but I’ve already been served a “lady’s lunch” (free coffee and dessert); been to “ladies day” at the movies (almost half price); and went to Kyoto on a ...

Vader ladies

| Jun 17, 2010

Vader ladies

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, What the heck is with all the Darth Vader impersonators in Japan? You know who I mean: the middle-aged ladies who bike around with menacing-looking windshields attached to their heads. I steer clear because the shields completely obscure their faces and I ...

Ear rakes

| Apr 15, 2010

Ear rakes

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, Imagine my horror when I came home one evening to find my Japanese wife bent over our little son, about to thrust a sharpened stick into his ear! I shouted at her to stop, giving her the fright of her life. She ...

Scary crow

| Dec 17, 2009

Scary crow

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, I live in rural Kyoto and am puzzled by what seems to be the local version of the scarecrow. They take plastic crows and hang them, usually upside down, on a string off a pole. I can’t figure out what the heck ...

<em>Ishigaki</em>

| Jul 16, 2009

Ishigaki

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, Is it weird to love a wall? I recently visited the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and was totally blown away by a high rock embankment on the far side of the moat. That rugged face! Those elegant lines! I am completely enchanted ...