Saturday, December 3, 2011

いいね!(ii ne!)

My host mom (and Japanese people in general) always says "ii ne!" which basically means "how nice!" and is also the "Like" button on Japanese Facebook. So, often when my host mom says it, she says "ii ne, like on facebook which I don't understand." So a couple weeks ago I made her an "ii ne!" sign that looks like the button on Facebook.

She seemed to like it and since then has been using it in her cram school when someone does something particularly good. Or holding it backwards so it's just a blank blue paper and not saying anything when someone does something bad.

So on that note, here are some things in Japan that deserve an "ii ne!"

Toilets! They have heated seats, large and small flushes, automatic flushing, a butt washing jet (oshiri and bidet), and ours at home even has a faucet above it that runs for a bit after it flushes.

Geo! It's a super cheap rental shop chain and there's a ton of them. If I'm not mistaken, you can rent a DVD for a week for only 100 yen (a bit over $1) as well as CDs, video games, and even manga. There's always a wide selection of movies, including American ones, and CDs, including foreign music and soundtracks from movies, games, and anime.

Driveway and front walkway heating (left)! And a bath monitor (right)! Although most people don't use it because of the power costs, some houses like ours has the ability to heat the driveway and front stairs in order to melt snow. Also there's a thing next to it (this is in the kitchen) that monitors the temperature and level of the bathwater so you can let it fill up and then go turn it off when the alarm beeps.

Video intercom doorbells! These are pretty standard in Japanese houses and allow you to see and talk to whoever rings your doorbell, though they can't see you. This allows you to peek at who it is and decide whether or not you really want to answer the door or not. Most of the time it lets you tell them "I'm here, give me a second," without needing to yell it from the other side of the house.

Vending machines! They're everywhere and often have hot coffee and hot chocolate in addition to the usual cold drinks. Instant noodle vending machines are also quite common. Some places even have cigarette and alcohol vending machines actually and rumor has it that if you go to some places (Akihabara) there are even more interesting vending machines.

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