The Lazy Man’s Way to Tokyo, Day 15

If you’ve ever wondered why we don’t normally ingest vitamins, minerals and other nutrients through our eyes, I’m about to show you why. As I’m going to drop liquid taurine into my eyes today! Seriously.

But first, breakfast!


I may have mentioned this before, I may have even shown a picture before. But pre-packaged pancakes with butter and maple syrup inside is genius. In fact, here is shot of the inside:


I squeezed it just so you can see the tastiness oozing out.

Had to go grocery shopping for household stuff. Japanese super markets look exactly like super markets anywhere else. So I went to some smaller shops instead, as that is more fun.

Saw this awesome toilet paper on display:


I’m not sure I want to wipe with Hello Kitty, a picture of Shin-chan kissing, or Chiri Mariko-chan. Maybe this convinces kids to wipe more in Japan? (I don’t recall having Thunder-cats or GI Joe toilet paper…)

Stopped by the drug store as well, as I really wanted to share a few things with you.

One, if you are ever in need of western-like antacids (like Tums, Rolaids in the States; Rennie in Europe) while in Japan. Look for this box:


From everything I have tried (which was a lot), this is the only thing that comes close to chewable antacids, and it’s pretty good. Japanese prefer to either mix powder into a glass of water and drink it, or take several small pills (like 3-8x a day!) which is pretty inconvenient to those used to chewables. These are ridiculously expensive, like $7 for 18 pills. So if you plan on using antacids, pack ’em with you (or better, finally go to your doctor and get that prescription for GERD medicine you’ve been putting off :P) .

And Two, the main event of the drug store: The eye drop section 🙂


Japanese are crazy for eyedrops. At first glance you may shrug and think ‘meh, no different than the amount of brands for contact lens solution in my country’. But upon closer inspection, the Japanese have eyedrops ranging from different flavors (like rosehip, cherry, and banana), to taking your vitamins through your eyes.


They also usually come in two ‘feelings’ which they have broken down into Cooling クール to Scalding your Eyes with Paprika and a Hot poker ギャア! That rate this on a scale called 清涼感度 with 0 being the most cooling effect and 5 being the most burning effect.

After hearing of this a few years ago, being the curious (masochistic) person that I am, I always wondered… Since you can put vitamins into your eyedrops, why not use caffeine, or even better, taurine*?

Japan has answered my call with the manliest eyedrops in the world:


It’s called サンテFX. If you take a close look at that picture (it’s all in romaji) you can read the list of ingredients, second on the list is Taurine. Now we’re talking! And if we check the 清涼感度 scale on the back of the box…


It’s a 5+! Sure it’s about $8… but how often do I buy eye drops? Less than once a year. I think I can afford $8 for an awesome experiment in the name of science 😉


And it even comes with a neat case which is the perfect size for holding DS games 🙂

Even after unboxing it, it has an ominous (awesome) shape similar to the Deathstar.


Here is the following progression of how it feels to drop taurine directly into your eyes:




Upon contact with my eyes, I immediately fell back (I was prepared for some stinging…) with a burning pain which I can only describe as pouring Goldschlager+Tabsaco into my eyes (…but not for this!). This continued for several minutes.


I was found like this about 3 minutes later, apparently calmed down a bit:


With the pain supposedly over, I tried to open my eyes and was met with even more pain:


This was me trying to keep my eyes open for the next 5 minutes while tears streamed intermittently until the surface of my eyes had adjusted to real oxygen again. 🙂

Once I recovered, I was of course fully awake and alert, after that much pain I believe anyone would be. In addition to making my face look fat in steps 3 and 4, I’m not sure this really did anything positive for my health 🙂 So perhaps you should stick to Red Bull for taurine intake for now.  I’ll keep trying though (it was $8, after all!)

After that adventure, I walked down to ジョナサン Jonathan’s, which is a family restaurant similar to ガスト although a bit pricier (this seems to be the theme for today) :/


Ate the following:


French Onion soup (or, as they call it in France: onion soup)


That’s 豚丼 (butadon) which is similar to 牛丼 except that it has pork instead of beef. While it is missing the magical flavoring from virgin faeries, it is still delicious. It also came with some 味噌汁 Miso soup.

I was artistically bored at some point after eating and made this crossbow from a tooth pick:


Perhaps I had DeMenchev on my mind 😉

That’s pretty much it for today. No more adventure. Tomorrow, I swear I’m going to 秋葉 (Akiba) even if I have to use those eyedrops again to get there 🙂

Oh, and for those still scared about Swine Flu: Don’t worry, Japan is fully stocked on all sorts of crazy masks for you:


じゃ またね。G’night!

*A note on Taurine: For those that are still un/mis-informed, taurine is a chemical which is naturally occurring in the human body (and many other animals). Taurine occurs naturally in food, especially in seafood and meat. Studies have shown that it is needed for proper maintenance and functioning of skeletal muscles, it’s effective in removing fatty liver deposits, preventing liver disease, and reducing cirrhosis. There is also evidence that taurine is beneficial for blood pressure.

It also has purported benefits of keeping you awake, similar to caffeine. It has been used in energy drinks since the 1960s yet never made any sensational headlines about being bad for you until recently when people mistook Red Bull for Idiocy and scared France and Germany enough to ban the sale of it. The only highly scientific studies showing any negative effects of taurine is that it can make your ‘blood sticky’, which sounds as stupid as it sounds… and they don’t know what that means either.

Go back to Day 14.

Continue on to Day 16.

Ice Cream Caps, Razor Blades, and Scary Japanese Gum