Takoyaki with green onions

Takoyaki with green onions!

There is this shop in Umeda that specializes in takoyaki. They have like 6 or 7 different types of takoyaki on the menu. My favorite is the negi-takoyaki. Takoyaki with heaps of green onions pilled all over. Heaps of them! (Culture lesson. “Heaps” is Australian for “lots”.)

The takoyaki in the back is yuzu ponzu in case you’re interested.

Yum! I love Osaka

[Updated: 10/29]

By the way, if you want to go try this takoyaki, the store information is below!

「茶琥屋」 http://tako.osakazine.net/e14341.html

– Harvey

Anki for Palm OS – Japanese Flashcards for your PDA

Anki for Palm OS
Anki for Palm OS

I ran across the coolest Palm application for studying languages today! Anki!

And it’s free.

Anki (暗記) means “to memorize by heart” in Japanese, and this is a flash card program for Palm OS that helps you ANKI-suru the vocabulary for whatever language it is you’re studying.

You can create your own flashcards using a Windows based builder, but if you’re too lazy to do that, there are lots of extremely well-done Anki databases created by the community available for download on their website.

They have everything: Jyoyo Kanji  lessons,  Heisig flashcards, Chinese lessons, Korean lessons, Thai, GRE vocab… and Gaelic. Seriously – “What you want, baby they got it. ♪” Some of the flashcard sets are based on particular textbooks, so if you’re serious it might actually be a good idea to go purchase the textbooks so you can use the program to complement your learning. Of course, you can always create your own flashcard set for whatever textbook you happen to be using. (Unfortunately the builder only runs on Windows… I’ll stay right here on my Mac thank you very much.)

No matter how long I stay in Japan, I’m sure a quick run through of a random set of the joyo Kanji flashcards while commuting to work will always do me some good.

They’ve even got a “Japanese Places” database, that has the Kanji for places in Japan, and it quizes you on the reading, the region it’s in, and also… wait for it… how to say GOUROUSAMA ご苦労様 in the local dialect.

For example, for Hyogo they say that the equivilant of GOKUROUSAMA is えらいですなー。 Hrm… I’ll buy that. Though I’m quite certain no one would ever use that in the office! In Kanagawa they say that ご苦労様 is ごせーができますね。Apparently in Chiba they say おあがんなせー. Huh? Never heard of it, but I guess it’s extremely local. Fun bonus knowledge anyway!

On a slightly unrelated “note”, if you’re memorizing music, the verb is ANPU-suru 暗譜する, the 譜 is the same character in “sheet music”, which is GAKUFU 楽譜… I’ve got a guitar mini-recital on Sunday so it’s kind of on my mind!

Go download Anki, it’s great!

– Harvey

Osaka Monoliths

On my way to catch the first  train of the morning after a night of clubbing and karaoke, I noticed this building…

With a hole in it.

Unknown building in Osaka
Unknown building in Osaka

What is this?

It was somewhere between Namba and Honmachi. I was walking up the Midousuji subway direction.

Maybe this is the new monolith JCD is going to have to watch out for?

– Harvey

Hizamakura available again

News just in!

That ridiculous “girlfriend-knee pillow” ひざまくら is available again from JLIST [affiliate link].

Their inventory is sporadic, so if you’re still looking for the perfect gag birthday gift for someone, get it while it’s hot. It’s a silky smooth pillow shaped like a ladies lap, so you can put your head down and get your ears cleaned like Japanese guys supposedly love to do. Only, this one doesn’t have a torso… Weirds me out just thinking about it.

Speaking of wacky Japanese goods… You probably saw this vending machine disguise in the New York Times today… If only JLIST had this! The knife proof school uniform mentioned in the article would handy too huh…

JapanProbe has great “coverage” of this urban camouflage.

Crazy consumers indeed.

– Harvey

[tags]Japan, gadgets, hizamakura, knee-pillow[/tags]

Harvey Quest Mission Accomplished

Well loyal readers. There’s some real grit among you yet.

I am speaking of Joe. The man who completed the first ever Harvey Quest.

Joe battled the elements, and in face of total rejection from his family, achieved his goal.

No… He achieved OUR goal. The goal of JapanNewbie’s everywhere.

He has found. Harvey’s restaurant! And brought back the pictures to prove it!

For those of you who don’t know, Joe has been in Japan longer than I have. In fact… I forgot how long he has been here… But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s triple my piddly 5 years. Standing next to Joe, I can really say that I am a JapanNewbie.

Look it says Harvey.

Look there’s a man inside having fun.

Handmade taste baby. Hand. Made.

Curry Fair!

I even have a cake menu!

The air is electrified.

The sign says that you can smoke inside, but lay off the stinky stuff like cigars and pipes.

There you have it. Harvey.

These people don’t even know they’re me…

– Harvey (the real one)

IUC in Yokohama as an Advanced Student

People often ask me why I decided to attend IUC, the advanced Japanese program in Yokohama, after I had already passed JLPT level 1. I also get asked whether or not I thought it was worth the money ($15,000 tuition). Good questions. Time to put it on paper so I never have to answer it again!

IUC is inside this fancy building
IUC is inside this fancy building

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