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Cold days and hot corn soup

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments
I grew up in Northern Michigan, so needless to say, I am accustomed to dealing with cold weather. The average year in Upper Michigan can be characterized as 9 months of winter, and 3 months of bad skiing.
Well, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but the winter snows can start snowing as early as late October and the snow is not usually all melted until well into April.
I even remember one time when I was a kid, it actually SNOWED on the 4th of July. True Story! That was before the record snowfall winter of 1978-1979 when 390.4 inches of snow fell in one winter season. That’s 32 and a half feet of snow!!! Pretty crazy.
But seeing that I have not spent a winter there since 1994, I have started to get a little soft when it comes to cold weather. Just today I took a trip to Kamakura, via Yokohama. (Pictures from Kamakura to follow on the next journal entry) The day was really overcast. A thick blanket of clouds had set in the night before and the whole day was dim. Kind of like fluorescent lighting outdoors.
Without any sunshine it never really had a chance to warm up during the day. And after the sun went down it really started to get cold, relatively speaking.
I spent most of the day walking around Kamakura taking photos, climbing a lot of temple stairs and bobbing and weaving my way through the crowds. I kept moving enough so I was able to stay warm.
After taking a couple hundred photos I then swung through Yokohama on my way home. I stopped at Yokohama station so I could do some “guy shopping” as I like to call it. Guy shopping is just like girl shopping, the only difference is the type of products that are being looked at. I checked out all the major camera and electronics stores around the station. I always like to poke around and check out the latest gadgets to hit the shelves, just in case I happen to find something that I just can’t live without.
I found a couple of neat things, but not anything I had not seen before. I expect that with the holiday season coming there should be some new gadgets entering the stores in time for the holiday buying rush. I’ll check again in a couple of weeks to see if there is anything new.
After the sun had gone down it really started to get cold. (Not that I actually saw a sunset, it just got dark, like a big dimmer switch being applied to that outdoor fluorescent lighting) Since I was no longer hiking around and generating enough of my own internal body heat to keep me warm I stopped by one of the ever-present vending machines to get myself something hot to drink.
The great thing about vending machines in Japan is that they vary the selection depending on the season. While there is always a wide range of flavors to choose from, in the winter the increase the number of hot items for sale and also add a couple of interesting choices.
One of the most odd, at least before you get the chance to try it, is hot Corn Soup in a can.
I know it sounds a little weird, but believe me. Nothing hits the spot when your cold like a can of hot corn soup. The only gripe I have is that the can is really small. The word “dinky” comes to mind when I start to describe it. I am able to suck the entire thing down in one gulp. I guess I could buy a few more, but at 100 Yen a mouthful, it could get pretty expensive to fill yourself up on the stuff.
In addition to warming you on the inside, the hot cans also serve to warm your hands up. Many times I have seen people buy a can of hot corn soup or hot coffee and use it primarily as a hand warmer. Only drinking it after they have transferred most of the cans heat to their hands.
I hope you enjoyed this journal entry….^_I grew up in Northern Michigan, so needless to say, I am accustomed to dealing with cold weather. The average year in Upper Michigan can be characterized as 9 months of winter, and 3 months of bad skiing.

See todays pictures HERE.

I grew up in Northern Michigan, so needless to say, I am accustomed to dealing with cold weather. The average year in Upper Michigan can be characterized as 9 months of winter, and 3 months of bad skiing.

Well, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but the winter snows can start snowing as early as late October and the snow is not usually all melted until well into April.

I even remember one time when I was a kid, it actually SNOWED on the 4th of July. True Story! That was before the record snowfall winter of 1978-1979 when 390.4 inches of snow fell in one winter season. That’s 32 and a half feet of snow!!! Pretty crazy.

But seeing that I have not spent a winter there since 1994, I have started to get a little soft when it comes to cold weather. I recently spent a day in Kamakura, via Yokohama. The day was really clear, but there was still the definite chill of approaching autumn in the air.

I spent most of the day walking around Kamakura taking photos, climbing a lot of temple stairs and bobbing and weaving my way through the crowds. I kept moving enough so I was able to stay warm.

After taking a couple hundred photos I then swung through Yokohama on my way home. I stopped at Yokohama station so I could do some “guy shopping” as I like to call it. Guy shopping is just like girl shopping, the only difference is the type of products that are being looked at. I checked out all the major camera and electronics stores around the station. I always like to poke around and check out the latest gadgets to hit the shelves, just in case I happen to find something that I just can’t live without.

I found a couple of neat things, but not anything I had not seen before. I expect that with the holiday season coming there should be some new gadgets entering the stores in time for the holiday buying rush. I’ll check again in a couple of weeks to see if there is anything new.

After the sun had gone down it really started to get cold. Since I was no longer hiking around and generating enough of my own internal body heat to keep me warm I stopped by one of the ever-present vending machines to get myself something hot to drink.

The great thing about vending machines in Japan is that they vary the selection depending on the season. While there is always a wide range of flavors to choose from, in the winter the increase the number of hot items for sale and also add a couple of interesting choices.

One of the most odd, at least before you get the chance to try it, is hot Corn Soup in a can.

I know it sounds a little weird, but believe me. Nothing hits the spot when your cold like a can of hot corn soup. The only gripe I have is that the can is really small. The word “dinky” comes to mind when I start to describe it. I am able to suck the entire thing down in one gulp. I guess I could buy a few more, but at 120 Yen a mouthful, it could get pretty expensive to fill yourself up on the stuff.

In addition to warming you on the inside, the hot cans also serve to warm your hands up. Many times I have seen people buy a can of hot corn soup or hot coffee and use it primarily as a hand warmer. Only drinking it after they have transferred most of the cans heat to their hands.

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  1. September 27, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    You just had to bring that up about corn soup, didn’t you? It recently got chilly here and I was really wishing there were those types of vending machines here.
    Three excellent pieces of news I wanted to share with you: 1) Four Japanese friends will be visiting me next month and are coming laden with shochu, decent soba and a variety of other goodies that I miss dreadfully. I might ask them to pick up at can of soup at Narita 2) The Rebel’s shutter button finally died and a 5D is on the horizon. And 3) I am hosting my first photo exhibition this Friday here in Lancaster at a monthly art event. Some artsy friends of mine have been following my blog for years and have been begging me to do an exhibition. I never thought they were good enough, but they talked me into it and I chose 20 of the best insect and nature photos I had them printed. They’re billing me as a nature photographer so we decided against any of the stuff everyone’s seen – Mt Fuji, sumo, etc. – and am showing things they might not expect. Needless to say, I am about soiling my drawers with nerves and excitement.

  2. David
    September 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I found the corn soup to be too sweet for my tastes. I don’t care how cold it gets, an ice cold Asahi always taste great to me.

  3. C
    September 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    hey if were going to talk about beer lets get something straight. nothing tastes better than an ice cold sapporo kuro raberu or kirin lager! why spend 205 yen for an ice cold asahi 350ml when you can get the same taste by spending 110 yen for an ice cold bottle of 500 ml water 🙂 i guess each to his own : )

  4. Kurisu
    September 28, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    I remember hitting an Udon fast-food chain when the weather became brisk. They had a seasonal Udon with mushrooms that would keep your belly warm for hours. I am salivating just thinking of it.

  5. September 28, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    O.T. – Have you been to Singapore during the F1 GP days, Jeff? There was a guy looking like you and taking pictures with a DP2 in the City Hall area.

  6. September 29, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Melody,

    I guess I should say “congratultions” on the camera failure. (As odd as that seems) The 5D is a spectacular tool, and will serve you very well.

    Don’t worry at all about your exhibition. We are always much more critical on ourselves, I’m sure everyone will love your work.

  7. September 29, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    David,

    I’m with you on that one. Hyperthermia or not, an ice cold Asahi always satisfies.

  8. September 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    C.

    Agreed, to each their own. 🙂

  9. September 29, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Kurisu,

    I also love the seasonal food here in Japan. It always hits the spot be it either hot noodles in winter, or cold noodles in summer.

  10. September 29, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Claudio,

    I WISH I were in Singapore for the recent F1 GP. (For a variety of reasons…)

    I guess I’ve got a good twin somewhere in Singapore. :p

  11. October 1, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I got the 5D yesterday and I can’t utter anything other than repeated “holy crap, holy crap”. It’s going to take some time to master, but wow, what a machine.

  12. October 2, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Melody,

    Nice! You are going to enjoy your new camera. The RAW files produced by the 5D have a lot more highlight headroom for post-processing than the Rebel.

  13. Allen
    October 8, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Hey jeff,

    I wrote to you once a long time ago, probably a few years now, about Pachipros story on getting into an almost tangle with some young Yakuza. Figured it was
    time to check in and say hi again, being a fellow Michigander (yup, that’s what we Michiganians call ourselves lol). It hasn’t started snowing yet around the Metro Detroit area but it won’t be too long! Enjoy Japan for me, I sure do miss it alot (all except the brutal summer heat in Tsu City)

  14. Al
    October 17, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Hehe Jeff, you son of a gun. I just saw you on “Cool Japan”. Watching saturday morning t.v. on some weird international channel and next thing I know on the nhk broadcast I see you in an “exciting” roundtable discussion about lights in Japan.

    May I say you spoke the best, and you answered the guys weird questions well. Interesting to hear your voice. What a small world.

    How did you end up on this show?

  15. C
    October 19, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Hey, id like to see that video. is there a link i can find on youtube or anything? i know it sounds strange, especially when living on such a technologically advanced rock…err umm. i mean island as japan, but i dont own a tv now, so i have no other way to view this. please let us, or should i say, me know if there is a link. thanks. looking forward to some fall shots of momiji btw

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