Version 2.0 - Tokyo is coming soon. Please excuse the construction and let me know if you have any problems.

New YouTube video - Karaoke in Japan

Saturday, May 16, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (1)

This video is currently at the top of my YouTube list. Thanks to some YouTube glitch the video is not as smooth as it should be.

I don't do karaoke often but it is a great way to spend time with friends. I like how most places are 24/7 so you can go anytime. The later you do karaoke (and the more you drink) the better it often is. After you do karaoke a few times you stop worrying about how you sound.

In each room is an electronic pad that helps you search and add your favorite songs. People pass it around and add whatever they want. Because I listen to so much music (I have 7,600 songs on my i-Pod) I usually know the lyrics. This is nice if my voice is right for a particular song. People at times choose obscure songs and everyone looks around to see who picked it. Last time I choose Us'2 song "Please" from Pop and everyone was quiet or went to get a drink. The more people you have the cheaper it is for your two hour period. Once you pay the fee you can drink as much as you want. You can see how after a few hours people become convinced they sing better than Elvis, Bono and Sinatra put together.

What surprised me about karaoke is that many Japanese people with a low English level sing beautifully in English. This makes sense when you realize that people grow up singing karaoke and Western music is popular. Still, it is a shock to hear people catch every nuance of a song and then say, "I'm sorry I can't speak good English."


Thank you

Friday, May 15, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (0)

"You Can Never say Thank You or Please Too Much." - Andy Warhol

I want to say a Big Thank You to my Followers here at Z Reflections. A Big Shout Out to my 2,000 followers on Twitter (MindofZ), you guys rock big time. Speaking of my social networks, my YouTube channel is ZTubeJapan. At the moment I have 18 videos and am adding more soon.

If you have a minute please take my two polls on the left hand side of the screen. Lately I have been getting lots of comments which makes me happy. So thank you #3 goes to those that have commented here and emailed. Feel free to write me anytime at

Peace and Love,


Looking out from a Temple in Kyoto Japan

Friday, May 15, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (1)

Forget Yoga! Stretching for good pictures is a discipline unto itself. To take this picture you need the Tall Temple Bad Position move. The difficult part is keeping the camera steady while using the extended digital zoom. If I had mastered this move the above picture would look better. When using the TTBPM it is recommended you take multiple shots.

I hope everyone is enjoying the pictures from my Kyoto trip. Kyoto is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in Japan. As I took 1,100 pictures and an hour of video on my trip there is more to come. As always I welcome your comments (positive or not) and any questions you might have.



Kyoto Station Japan

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (3)

Statue Kyoto Japan

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (1)

When I say this statue in Kyoto Japan all I could think about was the Beatles song, "Let it Be."

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

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Smaller Temple Kyoto Japan

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (0)

Waiting for the bus in Kyoto Japan

Monday, May 11, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (0)

Most of the bus stops I waited at in Kyoto were small and quiet. This was downtown at rush hour so there were tons of people. In this picture it looks chaotic with people everywhere. Closer to the bus stop there were orderly lines maintained by a city worker. Buses in Japan are usually on-time unlike in the West.

When they are waiting at a light or a stop for very long the drivers turn the buses off. At bus stops they stop quickly and soon take off again. I have never seen a bus driver talking on a cellphone. Bus drivers are serious professionals and hate being late. The only serious delay I experienced was during a major rain storm. I got a note from the driver explaining why I was running late. Actually I pointed at my watch and the driver gave me a note in Japanese. When I got to school I gave it to the principal who nodded and didn't seem upset that I was half an hour late.



Crossing Guard by Nagoya Station

Monday, May 11, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (0)

Some things are radically different in Japan but others are familiar. On my ten minute walk to Nagoya Station lights are timed to keep cars moving and pedestrians waiting.

The longest light and most annoying intersection is this one next to the station. Most Japanese wait for lights to change before crossing but here they are taking no chances. Behind this guard are large buses hell bent on keeping to their schedules.

I don't always mind waiting for the light to change but this guy loves to blow his loud whistle. Often there is no logical reason to blow it, the light is still red and no one is moving.

Late at night there are few people around and no crossing guard so I cross when I feel like it.


Orange Heart - Nagoya, Japan

Monday, May 11, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (1)

Colors Mother Nature Never Intended

Monday, May 11, 2009 / Posted by Zackary / comments (0)