There are some things that are just uniquely Japanese that we will never quite understand. Here are a few of the things that make us scratch our heads a bit...
This isn't a terribly clear picture, but it was taken at the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri (snow festival). You can see two gentlemen in uniforms carefully guarding the pedestrians safetly across the street, deliniating the path with bright red glowing wands. There's only one problem... this is a controlled intersection with a traffic light. The "traffic guards" as it were simply blow whistles and stand on either side of the pedestrians in the street whenever the light is green. Bang up job, chaps! Otsukare sama deshita (good work)!
Right now the most famous American in Japanese culture is Bob Sapp, a K1 fighter. K1 is a blood sport, so it seems a little ridiculous to have him endorsing an inocuous ice cream sandwich with a horribly cheesy smile.
Individually wrapped potatoes. Someone actually has the job of individually wrapping potatoes for sale. Incidentally, 58 yen is about 50 cents... that's one expensive tater.
These are the Japanese equivalent of Saltines... except instead of four large plastic-wrapped packages, there are perhaps a dozen individually wrapped and labeled packages with about six crackers each inside. Where do they put all that garbage? Well, most of it is burned.
This is Print Club, or "purikura" when shortened and transliterated into Japanese. They are small sticker photos that you take with your friends/significant others, decorate electronically, and then collect in books. We think the Japanese high school girls like them because they wash out their faces (thus clearing up complexions) and lighten their hair. Of course, the last thing Peter needs is to have his hair lightened.