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www.abbotts-web.com/shop/index.html These are the four most important maps on the Web for anyone living in Japan. They guide you to the latest U.S. fast-food chain mining the country for franchise locations. And if you were happy when Starbucks and Tully’s jumped across the Pacific, wait till you try frozen custard, which makes ice cream taste like soda water. Oh, the chain is called Abbott’s; it’s out of New York.

www.net-ibaraki.ne.jp/aboys/jreport.htm
A rather concise essay on how capitalism and consumerism have trashed Japan. Find out who “the single-most environmentally destructive corporate force on Earth” is. There’s plenty of scary stuff here that’ll make you want to stick your head in the sand.

rainforest.care2.com Or if you don’t want to do the ostrich thing you can type in the above URL and click to save a patch of rain forest. The Spudster just gave 12.4 sq. feet (1.2 sq. meters) of forest the chance to photosynthesize some more oxygen for the 6 billion-plus of us. Now if I could just get rid of all my used PET bottles as easily.

www.tokyocrier.com Just about anyone can put up a Web site and just about everyone does. Perhaps the easiest kind of page to construct is a bulletin board of links to news articles on a narrow subject found elsewhere on the Web. But Tokyo Crier gives the feeling some thought is put behind it. It feels something like walking into a small-town bakery with a wild assortment of breads and the baker behind the counter proudly explaining the subtleties and fragrances of each. The explanations here are of a variety of news stories on Japan that go beyond the humdrum. Updated daily, along with some book reviews and other original content.

www.bento.com/tokyofood.html Quite expansive, the Tokyo Food Page is a restaurant guide, a cuisine directory, listings, photos, recipes, descriptions and instructions. A good site for anyone who eats to get lost in.

www.short-temper.com Almost 2 years old, the Short Temper Gallery offers inexpensive floor space to up-and-coming artists in Tokyo. Its site gives glimpses of some of those artists and their work.

www.infoasia.co.jp/subdir/matsudae.html With sites like this the Internet will help ensure once-forgotten art forms are never lost. The Japanese Silent Films Site is a peek into a subculture that appears to be thriving, and it’s updated on the 10th of each month to keep you abreast of what the silent movie buffs are up to. At least check out the photographic history and time line. Maybe you’ll be moved to purchase one of the restored treasures on video.