Grand

There are a proliferation of train track-side noodle stands - guarded by a ticket machine, shrouded by thin curtains and peopled by frantically slurping customers planted at rows of counters without any kind of chair for an extra quick dining experience. Suddenly, like bento, they are extremely appealing to me and I lately make it

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Pillow Fight

Sumo matches, defined by spastic bouts of extremely girly slapping and shoving, are usually over as soon as they start. If you're with friends, distracted by questions about where to find the nearest conbini for a beer and bento run, you might miss one all together. This happened continually to Bob, who arrived at Thursday's

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On the Train, from Osaka to Wakayama

I like the houses I see in the patches of countryside, between concrete shopping center strips, convenience stores, stark plots of razed dirt, and jumbled, dingy Post-War housing developments. They are the old homes, compact and white, dotted along perfectly combed fields of rice, the rows parted like hair, with mushroom-capped bonsai out front, their

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