I Must Be Back In U.S., I Have To Wipe My Own Tush 

Just call me potty mouth, but not just because I use dirty words. Call me potty mouth because I am going to hound you until you try one of the Toto toilet cleaning machines before you leave this earth. Yes, it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss.

Everyone on our Japan tour group shared how much they loved the Toto experience many times. You can laugh all you want but until you have had a proper dump, you don’t know what you are missing. 

Doing your business on a Toto toilet is like giving yourself a well deserved rest stop. I think it takes the stress out of your day, even for a few minutes. You are sitting on a heated seat that basically warms your heart and your tush. It’s total comfort that reminds you that there are some wonderful experiences in life. These days you need that reminder.    

Toto plays wonderful music so no one hears you doing your business, sprays your private parts (front and back) for total cleanliness, and then dries you off. You do nothing but squeeze. 

By the way. Toto toilets are available everywhere in Japan, even gas stations.

I can hear a few of you now. “My current toilet system is just fine,” That’s like saying you never need a hug. Toto toilets treat you like royalty. You deserve to sit on a high class throne.


Street Art Makes People Smile  

These street art pieces can be seen all over the world. My girlfriend Reva Solomon posted them on Facebook, and I have spent so much time staring at them. You have to look closely to see where the art begins and what was there before. 

These are our last few hours in Japan. It was a wonderful trip and we hope to return again in the near future. Below are our last cocktails at a terrific bar we discovered in our hotel, the Righa Royal. We ate bar food (sushi and fried chicken) and chatted with others hanging there too.

Next stop Los Angeles !  

The Future Of Games Now

Eliot and I gave ourselves a free day today in Japan after touring with a group for 12 days. Instead of going on an optional tour, we decided to pretend we were locals, and do what locals do: go to the mall and to the movies.

We happened to wander into an arcade and saw what teenagers in the United States will be playing a few months from now. Many of the games American teenagers play today started in Asia. 

The game we saw for girls was based on the Snapchat premise. You post quick videos and funny photos of yourself online for a set period of time. Then they disappear. Now the Japanese entertainment industry has taken the concept to a whole new level. 

Photo booths in arcades now let teenagers dress up their faces with makeup and decorative art. Once they like what they see, they take a photo of themselves to share with others. Some even use their smartphones to snap selfies. I’m not sure if the photos disappear. All I know is that teenage girls love trying on makeup,

The big trend for teenage boys is pretending they’re drummers like Ringo Starr. We witnessed groups of young boys pounding drums or other musical surfaces. I’m not sure what this is all about, but it certainly should help to eliminate some teenage angst. Watch the videos to see the action.


Now onto the movies. 

Eliot and I attempted to go to the movies in Kyoto but the only thing we could understand was Food, Drinks and Tickets. Why would that be in English when everything else was in Japanese? 

That’s all folks! 

Shrine and Dine 

Today was filled with Temples, Castles, Shrines, and Restaurants.  We walked close to 13,000 steps through magnificent Japanese Gardens and historic Kyoto streets. Tonight we dined in a rotating, 360 degree view, restaurant on top of the Righa Royal Hotel, our home for the last few days of the trip. Most of our lunches were random sushi or noodle shops. One was better than the other. 

Learn The Text Symbols Your Kids/Grandkids Don’t Want You To Know. 

I thought I would share this with you, even though I am not happy about spying on children and grandchildren. This is probably a handy list just in case there are extreme circumstances that should be carefully monitored. This will help you look for the warning signs: sex, drugs, and suicide 

Thank you USA Today. Click here 

LOL = laugh(ing) out loud

GR8 = great

IRL = in real life

TYVM = thank you very much

IMHO = in my humble opinion

BRB = be right back

J/K = just kidding

L8R = later

NP = no problem

WYD= what you doing?

53X = sneaky way to type “sex”

KMS = kill myself

LH6 = let’s have sex

KYS = kill yourself

MOS = mom over the shoulder

POS = parent over shoulder

CD9 = code 9, parents around

GNOC = get naked on camera.

99 = parents are gone

WTTP = want to trade photos?

LMIRL = let’s meet in real life

1174 = meet at a party spot

IWSN = I want sex now

CU46 = see you for sex

FWB = friends with benefits

ADR = what’s your address

MPFB = my personal f*** buddy

PAL= parents are listening

TWD = texting while driving

GYPO = get your pants off

This Is Cordelia 

Our tour group went to a workshop today which is dedicated to preserving the living art of Gokayama Washi paper making. We learned how the paper is made and then we created our very own post cards. I posted various stages of us hand making the paper, then decorating them. 

Gokayama is an area within the city of Nanto in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. 

One of the instructors was a young gal from Rhode Island. I did a short interview with her to find out how she liked living in Japan, especially in a small town.

A Future Face Mask

A new type of mask to keep you clean and healthy.

Our Japanese tour guide said many people in her country wear face masks because they have allergies, or they don’t want to spread their head cold germs. That’s pretty considerate. I thought they wore face masks because they didn’t want to catch colds from everyone else. 
In any case, a new start-up in Brooklyn, NY, is inventing a face mask that doesn’t have to be constantly replaced. It also does a good job in filtering pollution.  The 0202 face mask has a white headpiece with a clear plastic shield so you can see the user’s face.  

The O2O2 circulates air around the lower half of your face using the two fans mounted on either side. This eliminates that sweaty feeling. The mask is said to feel like wearing a pair of glasses, nothing heavier. The circulation of the air inside the mask is designed to keep outside contaminants away from your nose and mouth.  

The O2O2 will cost $100.  If you want to read more about this new invention, click here.

Meanwhile, more photos from Takayama. 

Entering the Sunday Morning Market


We randomly selected this restaurant for lunch. It turned out to be a popular choice.

Eliot Gets Into The Swing Of Things 

It never takes Eliot too long to adjust to any new culture. He likes to assimulate immediately. 

We arrived in Takayama today.  We took two trains from Tokyo. It was a very easy trip and very comfortable. Of course, we had a tour guide leading the way. 

The minute we got here we went on a walking tour of the Takayama Festival Float Exhibition Hall. This is regarded as one of three most beautiful festivals in Japan.  Here are some of the floats.

I decided to practice my selfies.

More gossip tomorrow! 

Tokyo Travels

We passed this odd looking sculpture in Tokyo a few times in the last few days. I finally got an explanation as to what it is.
“Plopped atop Tokyo’s Asahi Beer building is the famous kin no unchi, Japanese for “Golden Turd.” (Locals also call it the unchi biru, aka “poop building.”) The 300-ton stainless steel sculpture designed by French architect Philippe Stark was meant to look like foam rising from a beer mug. Ah, well”

Photo by Eliot Hess


We went to Nikko today, a small city in the mountains, north of Tokyo. That’s where the famous Shinto shrine was established in 1617.   All Shinto shrines are meant for happy times.  The shrines were magnificent structures and the grounds were beautifully landscaped.


Time For Lunch 


Candid Shots 

We Almost Made It To The Top Of Mt. Fuji

Eliot shot this photo during a few second clearing. The fog was intense.

8,000 feet up

HandL phone case makes it to Mt. Fuji.

A visit to the Mt. Fuji Shinto

I dropped in to say hello

Just outside our breakfast window. Dreamy.

One of the largest roller coasters in Japan