Oregonians pride ourselves on being on the fringe. “Keep Portland Weird” is the unofficial city slogan. Darth Vader riding a unicycle while playing flaming bagpipes near a major downtown street? No biggie. We have 171 different brewing companies operating in the state and a new one probably opened while I typed this sentence.
It makes it all that much more odd to see our “brand” as part of daily life in Japan. Granted, our city of Kawagoe is Salem, Oregon’s sister city, but products pop up all over Tokyo. Three varieties from Airlie Winery in little old Monmouth, Oregon is sold in a supermarket under the shadow of the Tokyo Dome.
I try to snap pictures when I see these snippets of home. Here’s a few…
Langlitz Leathers, maker of premium motorcycle leathers, has a shop in Shibuya.
This postcard was wedged in the end of the bar at Baird Brewing Company’s taphouse in Harajuku
Rogue Creamery blue cheese made its way from Central Point, Oregon to a supermarket in Ikebukuro.
This advertisement for Tokyo International University mentions its sister city of Salem, Oregon (オレゴン 州 セイラム市 – Oregon-shū Seiramu-shi)
This book featuring Portland hotspots was on a shelf at a restaurant in Shibuya
This case at the Kawagoe International Center had souvenirs from Salem, including Marionberry jam and hazelnuts.
I always wanted to travel, but never took the first step until I met my awesome travel buddy and wife. Together, we've been to more than 20 countries on five continents and don't plan on stopping anytime soon!
I’m amazed you found that many references to Oregon. The people from most of the places I’ve traveled to haven’t even heard of Oregon, let alone Portland – or Salem. Sheesh! I do see a lot of Japanese students in Oregon whether it’s at Willamette University or the Hillsboro airport (helicopter training). You really seem to be enjoying yourself Robert. Very happy for you!