Archive for the ‘Kaffeeklatsch’ Category Matter if you hate it or love it, you cannot escape McDonald’s in Japan. No other country in the world, except the US of course, has as many ‘Red and Yellow’ Restaurants as Japan. In fact it has nearly as many as Canada, Germany and the UK (Number 3, 4 and 5) together.

Egal ob man es liebt oder hasst man kommt in Japan um McDonald’s nicht herum. Kein anderes Land der Welt, natürlich mit Ausnahme von den USA, hat mehr „Rot-Gelbe“ Restaurants als Japan. Genauer genommen hat es fast genauso viele wie Kanada, Deutschland und Groβbritannien (Number 3,4 und 5) zusammen.


My Home Station

Whenever I arrive at my train-station after work, in a relatively small Japanese city, I have the choice of not one or two but five McDonald’s in the radius of 200 meter. All nicely positioned around the exits so that you definitely have no excuse not to get a Burger for Dinner, or Lunch, or Breakfast. And then when I go to Tokyo on the weekends…OH BOY.  Everywhere, popping out of every corner, in every shopping centre, in every Metro-station like mushrooms in a forest.

Jedes Mal wenn ich an meinem Bahnhof nach der Arbeit, in einer doch recht kleinen japanischen Stadt ankomme, habe ich die Auswahl zwischen nicht nur ein oder zwei, sonder fünf verschiedenen McDonald’s im Radius von 200 Metern. Alle sind super um die Ausgänge positioniert, sodass ich auch ja keine Ausrede finden kann nicht einen Burger zum Abendbrot oder zum Mittag oder zum Frühstück zu essen.  Falls ich dann mal am Wochenende nach Tokio fahre…ALTER SCHWEDE. Überall, an jeder Ecke, in jedem Shopping-Center in jeder Bahnstation, kommen sie wie Pilze herausgeschossen. (more…)


Japan is a weird country, in many ways! So far I had about a thousand moments when I thought: “Really?? Only in Japan!!” There are however also a few strange things that actually make sense and where other countries could learn from Japan. Here are my top 10!

Japan ist ein seltsames Land, in vielerlei Hinsicht! Ich hab bis jetzt schon mehrere Tausenmal einen Moment erlebt bei dem ich mir dachte: “Wirklich?? Das gibt’s nur in Japan!!” Es gibt aber auch ein paar seltsame Dinge, die tatsächlich Sinn ergeben und bei denen andere Länder noch was lernen können. Hier sind meine Top 10!

1. Masks

Japanese are infamous for their daily use of face masks. No place or situation is safe of them (not even the own wedding). However it makes actually sense to wear these masks! Pollution, viruses and allergies; from a medical point of view the mask are a brilliant tool to protect oneself and his follow citizen.

Japaner sind für die tägliche Benutzung von Gesichtsmasken weltweit bekannt. Es gibt keinen Ort oder Situation (nicht einmal die eigene Hochzeit) an dem man vor ihnen sicher wäre. Es macht jedoch auch Sinn sie zu tragen. Umweltverschmutzung, Viren und Allergien; aus medizinischer Sicht sind die Masken ein geniales Mittel sich und seine Mitmenschen zu schützen.

2. Music at Train stations

In Tokyo every big station has its very own song that is played when a train arrives. Sounds weird, but it is a brilliant way to recognize your own station if you are napping at the train. It takes some time to get used to but it actually works.

In Tokio hat jede große Station ihr ganz eigenes Lied, welches abgespielt wird, sobald ein Zug einfährt. Klingt verrückt, aber es ist eine brilliante Methode um die eigene Station wiederzuerkennen, wenn man sich im Zug im Halbschlaf befindet. 

3. Explaining Pictures

That Japan is the unchallenged Master of graphics is a fact since the global emergence of Pokemon and Mangas. Japanese use pictures however also in every part of daily life. Explaining the emergency exit, the usage of a microwave or the national retirements system; all is supported by cute little pictures . Sometimes a bit childish but a brilliant way to understand and remember crucial information (especially for me as a foreigner)

Japan ist der unumstrittende Meister von Grafiken seit dem Aufstieg von Pokemon und Mangas. Japaner benutzen jedoch Grafiken und Bilder auch in jeder Facette des täglichen Lebens. Ob nun der Notausgang, die Benutzung der Mikrowelle oder das nationale Rentensystem erklärt wird, alles geschieht mit süßen kleinen Bilder. Klingt kindisch ist aber ein genialer Weg um alle wichtigen Information zu verstehen und nicht zu vergessen (besonders für mich als Ausländer). (more…)

Baby Pigeon

Baby Pigeon

What are you doing when you discover a little pigeon baby on your balcony and you have to protect it against your ‘evil’ landlord?

About 2 Weeks ago when I first moved in my new apartment in Japan, me and my housemate realised that we had a daily visitor, who was a quite noisy pigeon. Apart of doing big business all over our balcony it was also waking us up every morning with its “gurr gurr guuuur guuuur”. So we complained to our landlord.

Then 3 days ago we found a little nest with one egg in it. My housemate wanted me to throw it in the trash but I was a bit unsure, so I left the decision for the next day…when it was already too late.

New Nest

New Nest

So now we had a little baby bird, a mommy pigeon that was noisier than ever, a super dirty balcony and a landlord, who wanted to finish it all (my housemate kind of too). In a surprise push forward I decided to clean the balcony and build a second nest in a tree nearby.  I know you are not supposed to touch/move a birds nest, but under the circumstance I didn’t have much choice. 2 hours and 4 kg of pigeon poo later I finally managed to bring the little chick in its new home. The mom was watching me the whole time so I am pretty sure she will find it. I will also check on it in the coming days. Japan life really is an adventure…fingers crossed everything works out!

Globalisation is seen to have a huge impact on cities all around the world. Especially so called Mega or Global Cities becoming more and more similar to each other. Advancement in technology and the global spread of ideas and architects have lead to the phenomena that similar forms, shapes and eventually buildings can be found in different places all around the world. City planners are confronted with an increasing homogenisation of architecture resulting in a lack of individual identity of these Global Cities. In order to prevent the loss of identity and to even promote the uniqueness of a City ‘Landmarks’ are gaining more and more importance for architects, places and people.

Historically a Landmark describes a geographical feature, that helps people to navigate through a particular territory. By identifying and relating the specific geographic feature to a place they know, they associate certain memories to it. These days the term Landmark is usually used to describe a specific architecture or building that people can easily relate to a certain place or city. These buildings are therefore linked to a certain memory or image that people have about a place. They represent the identity and sometimes even the values of the place and its people. The Statue of Liberty in New York, as such a Landmark, represents not only an extraordinary piece of architecture or aesthetic but it deeply incorporates the main idea and values of people from New York and the US as a whole. Having the same Landmark in Las Vegas or Odaiba can therefore not have the same effect, since these places are associated with different values and ideas. Landmark, incorporating the identity of places and people, can become more than just sole architecture, they become the icon and the symbol of the nation.

Also Tokyo/Japan has created a new Landmark, which is suppose the have a huge importance for the region. The new Landmark, The Sky Tree has three main purposes. The underlying reason why the tower was build is the transmission of digital terrestrial broadcasting. Since buildings in Tokyo, in particular Skyscrapers are getting increasingly higher every year the old Tokyo Tower has become to small to effectively send a broadcasting signal to every household. Six Japanese broadcasting Companies therefore joined forces and planned to build a higher tower: The Tokyo Sky Tree.


Japanese people love to play! When they want to spend time with you, they literately say “Let’s play” ( 遊びに行かない). This form of playfulness reaches a whole new level in Osaka, where a whole city seems to follow the rule of one Game “The Osaka Bang”. Apparently you can approach every random person and pretend to ‘shoot’ or ‘cut’ them. Many of them will react with a theatrical  performance of their own death. When I first heard this from my friends that been to Osaka, I couldn’t quite believe it. So I started asking my friends living in Osaka and they reaffirmed that this game actually exist. Finally I found this clip. Impressed from the whole story I had to upload the video here. Enjoy and let’s hope we will witness soon the emergence of a Berlin, London or New York ‘Bang’.

(Thanks to Pauline for showing me the Clip, and check out 1,44 min!!)

Japaner lieben es zu spielen! Wann immer sie Zeit mit dir verbringen wollen, sagen sie Wortwörtlich “Lass uns spielen” ( 遊びに行かない). Diese Form der Verspieltheit erreicht ein komplett neues Niveau in Osaka, wo anscheinend eine ganze Stadt den Regeln eines Spieles folgt: “Dem Osaka Bang”. Anscheinend kann man zu jeder zufälligen Person hingehen und so tun als wenn man sie ‘erschießt’ oder ‘durchschneidet’. Viele von ihnen reagieren mit einer theatralischen Performanz ihres eigenen Todes. Als ich das zum ersten Mal gehört habe, konnte ich es nicht so recht glauben. Also fragte ich meine Freunde, die in Osaka leben, und sie bestätigten mir, dass es das Spiel wirklich gibt. Und nun habe ich diesen Clip gefunden. Beeindruckt von der ganzen Geschichte, musste ich natürlich diese Video hochladen. Genießt es und ich hoffe wir werden bald alle Zeuge vom Erscheinen des Berlin, London oder New York ‘Bang’. 

A little collection of funny English that can be found all over Japan.

You better watch out, these Zombie-Birds just won’t die…




Yeah, that’s a statement that I support completely



Sorry, what? If they don’t sell, just change your marketing strategy!




Because of the epic and spectacular victory of the Japanese Women football team at the 2011 World Cup (I was really lucky to be in Germany at this time) and because I promised one of my friends to make this special article; here it comes: a Special about Japanese football!  

  • Japan is currently in the international FIFA ranking on rank 3 (women) and 19 (men)
  • The Japanese Football Association (JFA) was founded in 1921 – but the domestic media still call the sport soccer
  • The first worldwide popular association football-oriented Japanese animation (manga) series, Captain Tsubasa, was started in 1981. Captain Tsubasa was extremely popular among children (boys and girls) in Japan. Its success led to many more association football manga being written, and it played a great role in association football history in Japan. Captain Tsubasa has also inspired the likes of prominent footballers such as Hidetoshi Nakata, Seigo Narazaki, Zinedine Zidane, Francesco Totti, Fernando Torres, Christian Vieri, Giuseppe Sculliand Alessandro Del Piero to play association football and choose it as a career. (more…)