Cracked Open The Piggy Bank

Today in preparation for my trip to Taiwan, I cracked open my piggy bank full of 100 and 500 yen coins (worth slightly less than 1 dollar and 5 dollars respectively) that I had been saving for the last 6 months or so. It wasn’t literally a piggy bank, it was more like a tin can with a slot for putting coins in. The only way to open it was with a can opener (or a “tin opener” for our non-North American friends). I had 46,700 yen in my piggy bank! That’s about 450 bucks (or 225 quid for our friends from across the Pond)!

There is a big typhoon headed for Japan again. I looked at the satelite photo and it looks like it will be making landfall to the east of Kyushu, so maybe we will be spared the brunt of it. I just hope that I will be fly out of Fukuoka airport to Taipei tomorrow!

Morning Musume Mini Van

A common sight on the roads in Japan is customized minivans. They often feature futuristic (but totally impractical) fins and airbrushed homages to various pop idols.
This is a photo of a Morning Musume Mini Van. I see it parked in the parking lot of an apartment complex that I pass by every day on my after-lunch walk. I don’t know too much about the customized van subculture, but it seems to be analogous to that of low riders. The drivers of these customized vehicles tend to be men who regard themselves as exhuberantly macho.