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What I did in-between my holiday workouts

December 29, 2008

The holidays are finally here and with it a break in jiu-jitsu practice. Whew! What a year it’s been. I started my blog a year ago, switched from blogger to wordpress, went from jiu-jitsu in-the-garage style training to jiu-jitsu club and jiu-jitsu school training, moved from the countryside to the city, competed in two tournaments, and had my blog reach the finals of the Fightworks Podcast’s best Blog of the Year 2008.

The only way I can top that is if I get my black belt in Judo next year… hey, now there’s an idea…

In light of the holidays going into full festive swing, I decided to show a little slice of my life apart from jiu-jitsu.

So I live in Chikushino city and it probably has the largest mall to resident ratio in all of Fukuoka. This month a new mall opened up – Aeon Mall Chikushino.


It sits next to a Jr. High School (lucky kids, unlucky teachers) and across the street from a Love Hotel (not kidding). It is also less than a minute away from Youme Town, another shopping mall (not kidding there either).

The mall itself is pretty big. Bigger than what we have in Hawaii. Three floors, a huge bookstore, movie theaters, a bicycle shop (hee!), a huge grocery store, an amusement center, lots of restaurants and retail stores.

I decided to document my afternoon there. Here are some things I encountered in my little trip.

Here is an ad for a rope machine in a Japanese magazine.


You know, because climbing an actual rope is so ineffective. Speaking of advertisements…

Here’s a makeup advertisement. A clear example of still needing English teachers and proof readers. Oh, it makes complete sense, but the context is oh so wrong. Or oh so good if you’re into that sort of thing.

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty hungry now

Since I was hungry I decided to have a pork rice bowl lunch special from Sukiya.

Now you see it

Yes, that’s a raw egg there on the side. Never thought I’d see the day when I’d eat a raw egg mixed in with my meal and not blink an eye. But, yeah, it’s pretty tasty.

Now you don’t

Here is the name of a sports clothing store. Pretty cool if I must say so.

If I ever decide to spread my blogging wings…

Met some celebrities.

Christian Bale

Jack Black

I’m pretty good at UFO catcher games. They’re the games with the prizes you catch with a mechanical arm. I don’t know why they’re called “UFO catcher” here. Every now and then I like to test myself in the art of UFO catching.

Got this in three tries.


Got these little green cute thingies (they’re kinda popular among my students now) in one shot.


But the find of the century was this!


A Barack Obama T-shirt UFO catcher game, yes I can! Turned out to be: No, I Failed!

Eight tries and all I got was this lousy picture

One of my other strong lifelong interests besides jiu-jitsu is motorcycles. I used to ride here and back home. I don’t have a Japan motorcycle license, just getting the driver’s license was murder, so I had to sell my bike. I should have kept it anyway, since I plan on staying here as long as possible and will eventually get my motorcycle license.

Anyway, the Japanese love motorcycles and they love customizing. Here are but two of the custom bike magazines they have in Japan.


Anyone with a passion of bikes should recognize the machine the barely clothed Japanese model is straddling. It’s Captain America from the film “Easy Rider”. Seeing the movie as a young boy, I missed all the drug and political movement references, but it shaped my future interests it was one of the first times where I saw boobs and bikes together.

Never thought I’d see a half-naked Japanese woman next to Captain America

I’d like to say the Japanese version of Captain America would be this…

Wish I could have shown better pictures of the bike
but a naked Japanese girl kinda got in the way.
This was the only “clean” picture of the bike

Unfortunately it’s a lot closer (in what it symbolizes) to this… sigh.

Ride, monkey ride!

I did more shopping for dinner and the next day’s breakfast, before I headed out to do some rope climbs and burpees in my little park. Oh and I picked up a great find in the bookstore which I’ll write about in a later post.

All in all, it was a nice fun afternoon to take in the wonders of the Aeon Mall.

Happy holidays everybody!

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