Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Super Mega Important Debate is back! This weekend, we’re putting Japanese TV under the spotlight and asking you, our good-looking and never-shy-to-venture-an-opinion readers, whether you think the TV shows broadcast in Japan are wonderfully entertaining or a big bag of steaming horse poop.
Super Mega Important Debate
It’s time for another Super Mega Important Debate, folks! This week we’re talking about Japan’s famous capsule hotels. The question is, are they cool, cheap ‘n’ cheerful places to stay, or is slipping into one like spending the night in a morgue drawer, albeit while being serenaded by an overweight businessman snoring through the night?
They may have come from China originally, but Japan has made gyouza – those little parcels of deliciousness that go perfectly with a cold beer – their own just as much as they did ramen. Tasty and moreish whether made fresh at home or bought in bulk at the supermarket, gyouza are one of the simpler foods you’re likely to encounter on a trip to Japan, but one that you’d be a fool to miss out on.
But while we may all agree that these things are delicious, one issue divides us on the gyouza front: namely, are they better 焼き yaki (fried on one side before being steamed in the pan), or 水 sui (gently boiled and often served with, or sometimes even containing, tasty soup)? Some argue that sui is the purer, not to mention healthier, form of gyouza, but others will tell you that yaki is infinitely better.
Let’s find out what you good people have to say on the matter!
In Japan, the majority of people bathe at night before going to bed. Even if they don’t stick to the traditional routine of rinsing off before soaking in a hot bath, most Japanese find the idea of climbing into bed without having at least hopped in the shower first supremely icky – almost as icky as walking around your home while wearing your outdoor shoes.
In the west, however, many of us prefer to shower before leaving the house in the morning. No matter how well you slept the night before, the thought of not washing prior to putting on work clothes and heading out for the day seems pretty gross to most of us.
So for this week’s Super Mega Important Debate, we’re asking you to answer this one simple question: Do you bathe before bed or before work each morning?
Picture the scene: you’re waiting for your number to be called at City Hall or some other municipal building in rural Japan, when suddenly your stomach starts growling and your gut begins to twitch and spasm as that super-greasy kimchi ramen you had for lunch is pushed at top speed through your digestive tract. If you don’t go now – right now – things could get messy fast, so you make a beeline for the restroom and hope that there’s a stall free. Inside the restroom, you charge towards the half-open door on the end, a layer of sweat forming on your brow as your body starts counting down, T-minus 10 seconds to total evacuation.
Then it hits you: the stall you’re standing in is fitted not with a luxurious, bidet-equipped, warms your backside and plays music at you Washlet brand of toilet, but an old-school, upside-down urinal built into the floor Japanese squat toilet.
There’s no backing out now. The deed must be done. The question is, how traumatised will you be after using it?
You knew it had to happen at some point. Sooner or later we were bound to ask you to choose which of Japan’s biggest and most famous cities is best. That’s right, folks, it’s Tokyo versus Osaka; Kanto versus Kansai; east versus west.
Click the link, make your choice, argue about it in the comments section. No biting, hair-pulling or bringing our mothers into it.
Sometimes our modern lives lack conflict. Let’s remedy that today by having a massive fight about something that doesn’t really matter.
This week, we’re talking about the fermented soybeans known as natto, and there’s one question we need you all to answer: is this dish “nom” or is it decidedly “vom”?