I don’t watch a lot of TV in Japan, because, quite frankly, it’s not very good. The more I understand it, the worse it gets! More than the programmes, however, it’s the credulous commercials that have me accelerating towards the off switch, thanks to the obligatory cheesy jingles. Maybe there just isn’t enough sarcasm for my British tastes.

However, one of the things I do like is the “Gomi Yashiki” or “Garbage Houses” programme. They find garbage houses—really extreme examples—and set out to help the owners clean them up. This usually involves a big pickup truck to dispose of the vast amounts of trash. I’m watching it now.

I thought that the house a few weeks back was impressive. The owner had so many bicycles in various states of repair piled around his house and garden that they reached to the roof.

However, they’ve gone one better today. The perpetrator of the current mess has managed to stow ten tonnes of garbage floor to ceiling into her flat. The toilet being inaccessible, she is forced to use the public conveniences at a nearby park. She lives and sleeps in a nest in the middle of piles of waste.

Highlights so far:

  • Rediscovering the bed
  • Extracting pots and pans from the bath
  • Finding decomposed food with an expiry date of December 1988
  • Opening a box of satsumas and finding it full, not of fruit, but all manner of invertebrate life.

I’m also intrigued by the fact that they censor all the cockroaches.