Smoker awareness campaign

Japanese cities are pretty strict “against” smokers, in most areas it is prohibited to smoke in the streets and they can only smoke in designated areas. The problem is that there are not many rules for restaurants and closed areas where smoker and non-smoker areas are separated by just one sign. And the worst is that there are so many smokers in Japan, for non-smokers is very difficult to find smoke-free areas.

Here are pictures I took during the last week with some ads from a campaign that is trying to explain to the smokers why do we hate their attitude. And what could they do so we the non-smokers and everyone in general can live better. I like the campaign because it’s original and pretty detailed, there are things that I never thought before.

If you are a smoker, you are not a cowboy 🙂

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Ninja restaurant

Last Saturday went to a “ninja” restaurant, where the waiters are “real” ninja. When you enter the restaurant you to go through some dangerous narrow passages with mysterious ninja stuff. At the end you arrive to a little ninja village and you enter a house/cave with your table.

In order to call your waiter you have to press a hidden button that is at the bottom of the table. Then a fast ninja will come running and shouting weird stuff ending his performance next to your table doing a ninja salutation (Both hands together with index fingers pointing to the roof) and giving you a scroll (The restaurant’s menu).

Ninja greeting.

Foot was pretty good but it was a little bit more expensive than in restaurants of the same level. From 6.000 until 10.000 yens per person.

Scroll formated menu.

Detail of the scroll where they suggest you to ask for ninja help.

During the dinner a “special ninja” comes to your table and performs a show with pretty amazing little magic tricks. Then you can talk about the tricks during the rest of the dinner time. At the end of the dinner, a ninja goes with you till the street and….

There was not many people walking over there at that moment.

For the people interested here you have the restaurant’s website with a map , it’s next to the Akasaka Mitsuke metro station at Tokyo. You can even celebrate a ninja wedding party! here you have the special plan for weddings.


Loan ATM

I don’t know exactly how it works but there are some Loan specialized ATMs around Japan where you apply for loans in just some minutes. I guess you can get much more credit money than with a normal ATM but less than going to the bank. Nowadays people is so used to live in red numbers…

It says: machine for loan applications.



Just came from Eyevio presentation, a website that will start to work tomorrow. It is a Japanese Youtube clone made by Sony, they are not planning to launch it in other languages at the moment. Japan is the second country in the world after United States with more access to Youtube. But I’m pretty sure that if Japanese people have something similar to Youtube with a Japanese interface they will change fast. Let’s see if Sony can do it.

With Eyevio you can upload videos but you can also easily download them. They make it specially easy if you want to donwload videos into Sony gadgets like Walkman or PSP (Typical Sony strategy). Moreover, if we think from a general perspective, right now Sony will have a Youtube clone, an Ipod clone, an Itunes clone… They are cloners!

The event was full of Sony employees and IT people from Tokyo area. I suggested to one of the guys working at the PS3 department if they could make the PS3 cheaper, but he told me that right now they can’t do it ;). Another guy explained me the strategy they’re gonna follow in order to be legal, how are they gonna make sure that their videos do not violate copyrighted material. We all know Youtube’s passive strategy, they just wait untill companies/people complain and then delete the videos, at Eyevio they’re going to be active. That means, that from tomorrow there will be a bunch of Japanese “experts” reviewing user uploaded videos in “real time” and deleting those that they consider that are violating any kind of license. By default, all contents at Eyevio will be Creative Commons, that’s good! and it doesn’t look like a Sony idea, it’s not “typical Sony”.

Here there is a video and some pictures I took at the event.

I went to the event with the tireless Dannychoo, that we all know as the Stormtrooper in Tokyo.

Trying Eyevio with champagne.

2Gb Walkman.

I got a blue Walkman. Cool! But now I will need to spend many hours trying to make it work with a Mac.

This is how Eyevio looks like.

A guy that played soccer in Spain was there!


Walking around Tokyo

I love strolling around Tokyo taking pictures. Here are some pictures I took during a two hours walk around Minato-ku. If you’ve never been in Tokyo you will be impressed by the variety of things/people/places that you can see in just two hours, also look at how clean are the streets! I use a
Finepix s9000 that has a 28-300mm objective, pretty good to take photos from far away without anyone noticing 😉

Japanese World Trade Center. The building is really ugly.

Spanish style siesta.



Map with technology companies in Tokyo area. There are thousands of them in Tokyo and Yokohama, in this map only some of them are represented. The area with more IT companies is Shibuya, also know as “Bitter Valley” trying to emulate “Silicon Valley”.

See bigger picture


Sex in Japan – Part3

Let’s finish the articles about Sex in Japan:

Some more data from Anan . Remember that data is from girls between 20 and 50 years old.

More info about how to give pleasure to your boyfriend.

Where do you practice sex?
31% – Love hotels.
35% – At home.
30% – My partner’s home.
3% – Hotels.
1% – Other.

Ar you satisfied with your sexual life?
41% – Is not bad.
31% – It’s OK.
10% – I’m satisfied.
5%- I’m not satisfied.
12% – I’m very satisfied.
1% – Others.

Now some sections with questions, very similar to those that we can find in any western magazine. I just translate the titles so you can get a sense of what are they worried about.

Being sexless is bad for your health?

Is it rare that you want to practice sex everyday?

Is it necessary to talk while having sex? (Typical question from everywhere in the world!)

Do men dislike girls that do not practice fellatio.

But let’s go back to the first chart I showed at Sex in Japan – Part 1, so we can continue discussing the reasons why Japanese are always the last in sexual rankings.

The first to reasons were: they see their partner more as a family member than a sexual partner and they are pretty fond of affairs. Another big reason is that Japanese are very very humble people, they never exaggerate what they say and they even reduce the importance of their merits. Western people as me like to exaggerate data, “Hey guys! yesterday a saw a chocolate cake in a bakery that it was at least two meters long!” when a Japanese would say “By the way, yesterday I saw a cake that was pretty big and looked like kind of delicious”. For sex questions is the same, if a French guy fucks 100 times a year maybe he will say 125, but a Japanese would say 75. Some people exaggerate, some people just do the other way.

Some other reasons are: Japanese women starting to join the labor force, stress in general all around Japan and mainly in big city, they consider sex as a routine and they sometimes they feel that is just annoying, Bayer survey says that even nowadays 10% of the people thinks that sex is just important for making kids.

I think I talked about many of the main reasons, showed data, charts and surveys that should help you to create your own opinion about Sex in Japan. If you are not tired you can continue reading: Timesonline article, a book about the sexless phenomenon and great article at


Crows in Tokyo

One of the things I really hate about Tokyo are crows. Yes! Noisy and annoying crows that are all over Tokyo metropolitan area. They wake you up Saturday morning at five in the morning when they start cawing, they bother you while you walk to your work because they are always trying to catch food from the garbage and they are ugly-big-scary. I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t like them. Crow population in Tokyo was 7.000 in 1985 and now is around 40.000, the number of people complaining is increasing, and you can count the number of people being attacked by crows by thousands.

Tokyo’s governor Shintaro Ishihara, a pretty radical guy, is doing at least one good thing, he is trying to stop these annoying birds. Tokyo’s government created a “special commando” whose only purpose is “crow extermination”. This commando is starting to destroy nests and kill crows all around Tokyo. I didn’t really notice any difference yet but let’s be patient.

Tokyo Crow
The only “good” thing is that you can take crow pictures pretty easily even without zoom.

Another measure they adopted is to give 50.000 blue nets for free so Tokyo’s citizens cover their garbage bags when they put them outside their homes in the morning, it happens that in Tokyo they don’t use garbage dumpsters or any other type of “recipient” that could hide it from the crows. It’s pretty easy for the crows to eat in a city like Tokyo.


Underage drinking

I saw this add walking around Shibuya.

It says: “It’s the season of congratulations for your entrance to the University, but please refrain from drinking beer till you are 20”. It seems that Japanese like to start drinking alcohol when they start university when they are 18 even though it is not permitted to drink till 20. It’s a big problem that is even worse in Japan because their body doesn’t really tolerate big amounts of alcohol. They lack an enzyme called low-Km aldehyde dehydrogenase isoenzima that makes them to become drunk faster than other people

The previous ad is a campaign that wants to stop underage drinkers, they even have a website called The interesting point is that in the add they make special emphasizes in the word “beer” (ビール), and if you look more carefully the campaign is sponsored by many Japanese beer brewery companies. Suspicious, interesting, smart? If you were the president of a beer company would you pay to make a similar campaign against drinking? Do they want to clean their image?