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gaijintravellerJan. 29, 2015 - 07:23PM JST
What kind of wood was it made of? It looks as if it is a wooden building and not much wood lasts over 1,000 years in this country. The humidity just invites rot.
Posted in: A visit to the Guinness World Record-holding oldest hotel in the world – established 705 AD
gaijintravellerJan. 27, 2015 - 06:38PM JST
8,700 people, that takes some organising. Who is the organiser?
Posted in: More than 8,700 people sue Asahi Shimbun over 'comfort women' stories
gaijintravellerJan. 24, 2015 - 08:32PM JST
We have heard that before. The only change most of us have noticed is increased prices in the shops. I expect more of the same.
Posted in: Japanese economy will show a powerful upward trend in 2015: Abe adviser
gaijintravellerJan. 24, 2015 - 08:30PM JST
Please come to Japan and fight against two-year automatically renewing contracts.
At least we have some choice now with MVNOs starting in Japan, but there is a need for more competition.
Penfold, do what I did. I just dropped Softbank and bought a SIM from BIC camera, so my monthly charge went down to around 1,700 yen.
Posted in: Google planning to sell wireless phone service
gaijintravellerJan. 19, 2015 - 09:24AM JST
The convenience stores will be 24hr. What about flights and trains to and from the airport?
I suppose this is good for people who are stuck in the airport overnight.
Posted in: Exclusive low-cost carrier terminal to open at Narita in April
gaijintravellerJan. 19, 2015 - 09:20AM JST
If the price falls to $50, we should get fuel refunds. That would be fair.
Posted in: Fuel surcharges on int'l routes to drop
gaijintravellerJan. 19, 2015 - 12:02AM JST
There are many reasons. Here is a short list.
There are no good beaches. Well, to be honest, there are, but they seems south of Kagoshima and mostly in Okinawa. You can go there by plane, but why not go to Thailand instead?
The food. If you can are not a Japanese reader and you can read the menu, you are probably in a fast food or family restaurant. How do you order? Also, if you are a vegetarian or have special dietary requirements, good luck. In addition many people do not want to in somewhere that is full of smokers.
What is all this about a beautiful country? Nearly all the river banks are made of concrete, the coastline is surrounded by concrete in the form of tetrapods, the cities are ugly with overhead power cables everywhere and so on. Even Kyoto is ugly for the most part although it does have some beautiful spots, but how many temples and shrines do you want to visit?
In the big cities the interesting eating areas and shopping streets that used to exist are being replaced by new buildings occupied by chain stores.
Everyone knows about cherry blossom, but that cannot be seen most of the year.
As has been mentioned by others, banks, foreign exchange, lack of wi-fi and so on. Why can't I just walk into a convenience store anywhere not just at the airport, buy a prepaid SIM for about 1,000 yen and walk out with a working telephone and new phone number as I can in any other country in a few minutes? Others have mentioned ATMs with no English and ATMs that do not accept foreign cards. Most visitors do no imagine that they must go to a post office or convenience store and no a bank to use their ATM card.
Well, what are the famous sights in Tokyo? The Tokyo Tower, which stopped being the tallest structure in the world many years ago? The Skytree, which is an eysore? Yasukuni Shrine, which is widely publicised by right wingers? Can't Tokyo come up with anything more interesting than shopping in Uniqlo?
The endless noise means it is impossible to relax.
Of course the lack of English is one of the biggest problems. I have been told that in Nisseki in Hokkaido there are many tourists and many English speaking Japanese. This is an exception that should show other places why they are not getting many tourists.
Perhaps, we should add xenophobia.
Posted in: Why is Japan such an unpopular tourist destination?
gaijintravellerJan. 16, 2015 - 06:47PM JST
Sports Nippon quoted people in attendance as saying that Abe was visibly shaken by the words.
It is probably necessary to go to such extremes to get anti-government opinions into the news. Then the news criticises him, not the extreme-right he was satirising.
Posted in: Southern All Stars singer Kuwata apologizes over concert antics
gaijintravellerJan. 16, 2015 - 06:40PM JST
Mcfraw Hill should compromise by adding a line to say that the existence of sex slave is something that the current government of Japan denies.
Of course, the Deputy Prime Minister's family did not have slaves working in their mines either.
Posted in: Japan asks U.S. publisher to change 'sex slave' reference in textbook
gaijintravellerJan. 12, 2015 - 09:14AM JST
Tessa has an interesting point about having to buy land lines. They were about 70,000. You were supposed to be able to sell them to someone else or back to NTT. Can you actually sell them back to NTT now?
Wives became stronger when salaries were paid through the bank. When they were paid in cash, many salarymen would buy an envelope similar to the companies and after removing some money, write out a new payslip. Now their wives take all the salary before giving them their pocket money.
Posted in: Stinky train tracks, expensive imports and no weekends: Netizens remember Showa-era Japan
gaijintravellerJan. 11, 2015 - 10:50PM JST
Coffee in a coffee shop was more expensive than it is now. Drinking was more expensive unless you got a bottle keep of cheap whisky.
There were three or four kinds of beer, Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin and very occasionally Yebisu.
Petrol was about the same price. Well, at the end of the Showa period anyway.
A lot of cheese in gaijin supermarkets was 100 yen for a 100 grams, which compares with Costco now.
Set lunches were 500 - 1,000 yen, the same as now.
Station toilets sold toilet paper.
No smoling on the Tokaido Line until after Hiratsuka. No no-smoking carriages on the Shinkansen, so you would have a sore throat after travelling between Tokyo and Osaka.
People did not eat in the street.
Young Japanese with passports were rare.
Banks closed at the weekends, so there were no ATMs at the weekends or at night or any other time they were closed. Strangely, Japanese international cards would work at the weekends but only in other countries.
When you made an international phone call, you watched the time as it was so expensive.
gaijintravellerJan. 10, 2015 - 09:55AM JST
I think this is a very interesting article by Debito Arudou. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/07/08/issues/police-foreign-crime-wave-falsehoods-fuel-racism/
It throws light on the statistics. Debito explains how the police manipulate figures by using statistics for total crimes not crime rates and ingnoring the increase in the number of students. They also include "crimes" that Japanese never or rarely commit, such as overstaying, fake cellphone identification, fake marriages and so on.
Posted in: Impoverished foreign students fall into life of crime
gaijintravellerJan. 09, 2015 - 11:43AM JST
More kickbacks for politicians. More problems and inconveniences for ordinary people. Already JR tells us everyday they are on higher alert. Will this become higher alert?
Posted in: 2020 Olympic planners gear up for high-tech security
gaijintravellerJan. 07, 2015 - 06:48PM JST
Foreign countries have acknowledged that some Japanese chefs have become excellent French or Italian chefs. Surely, foreigners can also become excellent Japanese chefs.
I wonder how many of those cooking in izekaya are Chinese, Vietnamese or some other nationality. Has that lowered the standard of izekaya food?
Posted in: Japanese restaurants are springing up all over the world - most of them fake
gaijintravellerJan. 07, 2015 - 11:59AM JST
No more fake than most foreign food in Japan, which is so often "arranged for Japanese taste". Maybe the Chinese and Koreans do not use enough mayonnaise, the sweetened Japanese variety of course, to satisfy Japanese taste.
It should also be noted that vegetables grown in Japanese soil are not going to be fresh when they get to other countries.
gaijintravellerJan. 07, 2015 - 11:47AM JST
Kariharuka, I also grew up in Britain. There were no "silver seats" as we were taught to offer our seats to the elderly, pregnant and so on. Perhaps, it is more accurate to say every seat was a silver seat.
When I have offered a seat, I have found many people politely refuse. Often they say they are getting off at the next stop. However, some are very glad of the offer.
I once saw a blind man and his dog on the train. At first, no one offered the seat. The dog was brilliant. it just stared at a young person until he felt so guilty he had to get up. I could not offer my seat as I was standing.
Posted in: Schoolboy publicly berated by elderly man for offering him seat on train
gaijintravellerJan. 04, 2015 - 06:42PM JST
In Japan the news wil be dominated by cherry blossom, autumn leaves and similar irrelevances as always.
Posted in: What issues do you think will dominate the news in Japan and abroad this year?
gaijintravellerJan. 02, 2015 - 08:47AM JST
Strange. I always thought Japanese people liked noise and hated quiet.
If they don't like noise, they shouldn't live in Japan.
Posted in: Complaints lead to debate about whether noise from schools should be regulated
gaijintravellerJan. 01, 2015 - 04:27PM JST
Does it have the most sophisticated internet censorship mechanism? If a VPN bypasses it, it is not very sophistcated. We probably do no know which country has the most sophisticated mechanism as it must be really sophisticated and is probably protected by secrecy laws
Posted in: Google's Gmail blocked in China
gaijintravellerDec. 30, 2014 - 10:35AM JST
This article lumps together students and trainees. Trainees are completely different from students. Usually, they do little actual training. Most are basically imported slave labour. There may be a minimum wage, but trainees do not necessarily receive it. Trainees do not have to be paid even the minimum wage. From what little they are paid many deductions are often made, such as accomodation and maybe paying back a loan for an advance for transport to Japan and agent fees. Blame has to be laid on Japanese who exploit foreigners from less developed countries.
I noticed a comment on Chinese prostitutes. Are their customers Chinese, too? I suspect most of their customers are Japanese. Why not criticise these Japanese who in effect pay the Chinese to break the law?
It is also possible that Abenomics is partly responsible. Some of these people may be doing their best to repay a debt incurred in another currency with considerably devalued yen. If there were 100 yen to the dollar when they borrowed money to come here, their debt will have increased considerably. If they borrowed at a high interest rate when there were 70 yen to the dollar, they would have got in a really bad situation.
It would also be interesting to know how the increase of crime in this group compares with other groups such as old Japanese people. I seem to remember Japantoday not log ago had an article on the increase in crime in older Japanese.
Feb. 02, 2015 - 06:10AM JST
The UN should be leading the charge against isis, rallying the military of countries who are…
Posted in: U.N. says violence in Iraq kills at least 1,375 in January
Feb. 02, 2015 - 06:07AM JST
For now, I feel a little bad for Abe.
Posted in: Crisis meeting
I had some additional ideas: make praising ISIS a deport-able offense, put Muhammad on the $1…
Posted in: Fighting Islamic State by military means is one thing, but how do you fight their ideology?
Feb. 02, 2015 - 05:53AM JST
She is a He. That's not an opinion, that's settled science (yes it is politically incorrect).…
Posted in: Cross-dressing Matsuko Deluxe: AKB opening Tokyo Olympics 'would embarrass Japan'
Feb. 02, 2015 - 05:29AM JST
When children watch 'Sniper' they see a really cool guy who shoots really bad guys,
Posted in: Group says 'American Sniper' film spurs threats against Muslims