What happened to Hot Pepper?

Good morning everyone,

Yesterday wasn't too bad, was it? It was a bit cloudy, but still warm. Today will see a high of 26C and a mix of sun and clouds. Tomorrow and Thursday are looking like rain and then it should clear up for the weekend, although it's going to be a bit cooler with highs around 23C or 24C.

It's October 1st today. I know. I know. For us older folks, we think, "What!? How can it be October already?!" and for the young kids, "What?! Still 3 months till the end of the year!".  It all depends on your point of view. One thing it means for all of us is the closing of the Asahi Super Cold bar for another year. I was lucky enough to have the last day fall on my day off, so I headed down there yesterday for one last beer at -2.2C! It was great!

And, while I was downtown, I picked up a Hot Pepper to see if there were any good izakaya that have opened recently...have you had a look at Hot Pepper recently?

For those of you back home, Hot Pepper is a free magazine that appears in many urban centres in Japan. It has listings of bars, restaurants, schools (language, sports, culture, etc.) and beauty salons. You can pick the magazine up almost anywhere downtown.

Anyway, it used to have pages and pages of restaurants that you could check out. There were a ton of restaurants and bars listed and then the schools and beauty salons were tucked away at the back.  It was a great resource for finding a place that you hadn't tried before...and then my life changed...I got busy at my school, my friends all left Japan (or Hiroshima anyway) and I got a bit older and I stopped going out as much as I used to. Because of that, I hadn't looked at a Hot Pepper for ages till yesterday.

What a shock I was in for! Now it has the beauty salons listed at the front of the magazine and the restaurants at the back and it's almost all beauty salons now! I swear it was about 70% full of listings for beauty salons... No wonder the girl who gave it to me was looking at me kind of funny...she must of wondered why a guy with as little hair as me wanted a magazine full of beauty salons-besides, how much more 'beautiful' can I get? Ha ha!

People often say you can tell whether you are in Canada or America by going to a busy street corner. In Canada, there is a bank on every corner and in America there is a bar-now they can add, "and in Japan, there is a beauty salon". Ha ha!

Seriously though, have people stopped using Hot Pepper as a source for finding new restaurants? What do you use now? Just word-of-mouth?

Have a great day!

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