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April 2012


McDonald’s and Softbank in Japan

I had to try it.  The other day the exchange students all went to the larger mall in Yamaguchi-shi  to get our cell phones figured out.  The name of the mall is YouMe Town (YouMe also sounds like ‘yume’, which means ‘dream’ so there’s some good puns happening in this mall’s name). 

I saw the golden arches as soon as we entered the parking lot. Aha! I had been curious about trying McDonald’s in other countries.  I remembered getting McBeers from the McDonalds in Hamburg, and I wanted to add to my list of foreign McDonald’s experiences. Really, it’s no different than McDonald’s in North America, except a lot of the stuff has been designed to cater to the Japanese palate. There were teriyaki burgers, burgers with eggs instead of cheese, lots of sesame-flavoured things…etc. (meat and eggs often go together in Japan, whereas they’re not big consumers of dairy). And of course, there was the “Big America” burger, which is exactly the cliché that it sounds like. I opted for what basically equivocated to a Value Menu double cheeseburger. How did it taste? The exact same as it does in Canada. Don’t think I’ll be doing too much McDonalds’ing while I’m here. For what it counts though, the staff were all super friendly.

Thank you to the staff of the Yumetown McDonald’s for being so kind as to pose for me! ゆめタウンマクドナルドの職員、ありがとう!

My roommate in the Softbank store. Making sure our phones work!

Destinations Japan

How To Get Internet in Japan: An Illustrated Guide for Exchange Students Living in Miyano

This is how I get my internet in Japan. To get the ethernet cable up and over the balcony, I was up at 7am one morning, in my pajamas, trying to lasso the thing over the railing while some Japanese schoolchildren watched as it invariably came back down and hit me on the head several times before it successfully lodged itself between the rails. Win.

I ‘ve asked around, and this strange method is apparently the same in all six houses like mine that house the exchange students. I don’t know why no one has gotten a cheap wireless router. I’m sure it’d only cost the equivalent of $40 or so. I’m going to investigate later.