Friday, October 26, 2012


Freshness burger, made fresh. Something different than the usual burger joint. You do not see many franchise fast food restaurants in town. They are there but not on every corner. That is re"freshing." The second picture is the view down the street on an overcast day. It reminds me of my first visit to Matsuyama. The mist just hovers over Katsuyama Hill.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Leaving Black Market Joe's

Leaving Black Market Joe's after a good evening catching up with friends. The smoke rising from the vents is a mixture of charcoal, beef, meat marinade's and vegetable aromas being vented off.

Korean method to grilling beef

Friday, October 12, 2012

Black Market Joe's Korean Style BBQ

The meat and vegetables are cooked over a charcoal grill. The charcoal gets hot so ice is used to lessen the heat over certain spots so it cooks evenly. Nothing better than an evening spent cooking food and enjoying the company of good friends.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Korean BBQ Yami ichi Joe (Dark Market Joe's)

Dark (Black) Market Joe's is a popular Korean style BBQ hidden in the heart of Matsuyama city. Very popular with the locals. They seem surprised when a westerner fumbles their way inside their private party booths. But they are quite happy to see a visitor and the food is top notch. Saki for refreshment on the side.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hotel Parking - Tokyo Dai-ichi

This parking garage is a giant carousel. The car drives onto a large steel plate. It is carefully parked after being guided in by the attendent. The car is locked then it is rotated into place until it is needed again. There are different parking garages in Japan that use the shuttle system vs. the carousel. This takes up much less space than traditional western style parking garages where you drive to your spot, park the car and walk out. The round steel plate in the foreground is used to rotate the car to face the street after the car is reversed out of the parking carousel.

Friday, October 5, 2012

How to spot beginning or novice drivers in Japan

Driving a car, much less owning one, is a big deal in Japan. Student driving is a big business in Japan and anyone who has ever navigated Japan's back roads can attest to the skill that the drivers must have to drive on the narrow roads that wind in and around the cities and towns. The roads are narrow and it takes courtesy for the other cars that share the road to let the other car pass. It is not uncommon to park the car and help the other car pass by stopping traffic or guiding them around a tight turn.

This sticker tells other drivers that the driver of this car is a novice or less experienced, so please be patient if they are not as skilled or fast as other drivers. Please be patient.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rural Shikoku

Outside of Matsuyama lies rural Shikoku. It is about as close to old Japan that there is. Family gardens are common all over the place. This is also where killer wasps are found. The residents do not provoke these aggressive insects. If a nest is found, it must be reported to the prefecture office for removal. They are not to be ignored. People tending gardens where white bonnets or straw hats to protect them from the sun with white scarfs over the face to protect them while tending their garden. There are brilliant displays of flowers that are lovingly cared for.