What do you drink during working? / 仕事中、何を飲みますか。


Hello everyone,
Have you ever made a mistake or done something wrong because you did not understand their language in foreign countries? I have many!
Today, I would like to introduce an experience which one of my students had right after he moved to Tokyo from England due to a transfer.


One morning he stopped by a convenience store and bought a fruit soda, and then went to the office. His workforce found out that he was drinking it while he was working. She was very surprised and said, “What are you drinking?! It’s still in the morning now?!’


He responded, “ A fruit soda.”  He did not know why his workforce was surprised and what was going on, so asked, “What’s happened?”



Then his workforse answered, “It is not a fruits soda! It is Liqueur!!!”
“Whaaaattttt?!?!” It got him shocked!


There are many kind of drinks at the convenience stores in Japan as photos below. Basically, any information inside of the stores is written in Japanese though many tourists visit to Japan from all over the world in these years.


Now, here is a question. can you tell which one is a soft drink and which one is alcoholic drink in this photos?


The answer is,,, all of them are alcoholic drinks.


So how can you tell alcoholic drinks apart from others. It is easy. Please check the red circles on the photos below.


“アルコール” means “alcohole”. When you see this word, it says it is alcoholic drink. Lately, “Alc”is written on some of them, and it is easy to find out. 


Now please check these photos below as well.

ソフトドリンク:Soft drink
ビール: beer


Now you know how to find a drink which you want to have!
The convenience stores in Japan is very convenient! There are many things you can do like, buying delicious food & deserts, using ATM, borrowing toilet and etc… It is fun to spend time there and please stop by when you visit to Japan! 


In the end, I would like to thank to a friend of mine, Taro who took these photos and sent me for this topic. He sent me 44 photos!
The person who was taking a lot of pictures in a convenience store should have looked weird and suspicious. It was good that a staff of the shop did not came and talked to him.

★おまけの写真 / Extra photos

別腹(べつばら): Betsubara


One day I was walking on the street and this Japanese word caught my eye.

別腹(べつばら): Betsubara

「別腹(べつばら): Betsubara」


Do you know the meaning of this?

★別(べつ: Betsu)=different, separate, another
★腹(はら、ばら: Hara, Bara)=stomach, belly


【Betsubara】A literal translation of this is “You have another stomach”.
Even though you are very full and cannot take another bite, you still can eat your favorite food. ( You always have room for your favarite food.) 

A: あー、おなかいっぱい。もう何も食べられないよ。
B: 今日、ケーキを買ってきたんだけどな。じゃあ明日食べようか。
A: え、ケーキ?!それは食べる!デザートは別腹だよ!

A: Ahhh, Onaka ippai. Moo nanimo taberarenai yo.
(I’m so full and can’t eat anymore.) 
B: Kyoo keeki o kattekitandakedona. Jaa, ashita tabeyoo ka.
( I bought cakes for desert today but we can eat them tomorrow.)
A: Eh, keeki?! Sore wa taberu! Dezaato wa betsubara dayo!  
(Cake?! I can eat it now. I have room for desert always!)


When I went out to have some drinks with friends of mine in Tokyo, I used to say, “ Ramen wa betsubara dayo! ( I still have room for Ramen!.)”  and went to eat it ramen after we had a big dinner and lots of drinks. I think, I can tell that it is usual for Japanese people and many of us do that. There are many good ramen shops in all over Japan and you can not help it! Especially, you feel like eating it after having some drinks though I do not know the reason why,


What is your “betsubara” ?

What is the cause?! / 原因は?!

Hello everyone.


I have allergic rhinitis and usually need to take a small tissues with me for in case, but I don’t have problems with it since I came to Amsterdam. Is the air fresh here? It is really good for me anyway.

However, the problem happened.


One day, I bought a couple of flowers and decorated in my room. Since then, I started to have a reaction on nose. I did not want to think that it was because of flowers and I had been telling myself, “No it is not because of flowers, no, it might be the cause of climate or weather, yes it should be!” 


Well, the condition of my allergy was getting worse day by day. What is the cause of it? I really didn’t know it in fact but I tried to put flowers on my yard. Just as a trial, temporarily…

“feeling-lonely” scenery part 1… The view from my bedroom. 哀愁漂う、寝室からの眺め。
“feeling-lonely” scenery part 2… The view from kitchen. 哀愁漂う、台所からの眺め。

Then, the allergy was recovering.


I still don’t know what made my allergy appeared again. Flowers? Pollen? Weather? Climate? I don’t know the true cause.
Now I just can say that my lovely flowers are blooming beautifully in my yard everyday, not in my room.

They look fine today as usual. 今日も元気な花たち。


By the way, here are few photos of flower shops here.

★One point Japanese lesson.
Flower and Nose are the same word in Japanese but they have different Kanji characters.

Flower: Hana / はな / 花
Nose: Hana / はな /鼻

Do you care about the expiration date? / 賞味期限を気にしますか?


Hello everyone,
First of all, I would like to show people who write their blogs everyday some respect…


By the way, I went to an Asian supermarket on 4thNov. I come from Japan and miss Japanese cuisines of course. Actually I can survive if I only have a soy sauce but sometimes I feel like eating some other taste.

知っての通り、アムステルダムで日本食材はとても高い!なので、時間をかけて吟味し、買うものを決めました。4パック入りの納豆を買うか買わないかで10分ぐらい悩みましたよ。日本では100 円以下で買える納豆がこちらでは€3.25ですからね。かなり貴重です。

As you know, Japanese foods and ingredients are expensive here in Amsterdam, so I took my time to think what I was going to buy. A Japanese traditional food named “Nattou” costs €3.25 with 4 packs here, though you can get it with less than ¥100 (=around €1.20) in Japan. It is very valuable. 

This is Nattou!


切れてるやないかーい!(←For your information, this expression is in Kansai dialect.)

Anyway, I found a Tenpura sauce with 50% off price and I was like, “ Wow, I must buy it!”. It made me so happy and I checked the expiration date just for in case, then…..

It has been expiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrreed!!! 

スーパーに行ったのは11/4。 I went there on 4 Nov.


“ Wait wait wait, isn’t it problem to eat items after the expiration date has past?!?!”  
Lately, the shops selling the item which the expiration date has been past increase in Japan, and this is what I saw on the news. The expiration date does not mean of “Low quality after the date” but “ the date it tastes good by”. If you eat them and you can reduce bins.


I could not buy that Tenpura sauce in this time because I had a little bit doubt, but I think it should be not bad to buy those items if they do not affect product quality.
What do you think?

自転車 / Bicycle


As many of you know that cycling in the Netherlands is the most popular from of daily transport. Basically, there are three kinds of the traffic lights which are for car, bicycle and person. The colour of the sidewalk and bicycle-road are different as pictures below.

Basically, colour red is for cycling. 基本的には、赤が自転車道です。


However, sometimes their colours are the same and it makes me get confused.

Which one is which?!?!  これはどっちがどっちなの?!


It was surprised that there were so many bicycles when I visited to Amsterdam for the first time, and I almost got hit by them several times since I didn’t know the traffic rules here. There is no time to freak out, so you have to be professional when you walk on the street and cross the road. Otherwise the riders look daggers at you or  they give you cold stares. Of course they do since no one wants to be at fault for an accident!
Please watch out for not only approaching car traffic but bicycles in Amsterdam.