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Old Steam Engine in kids playground

13 Feb


Nowhere else in the world will you find cooler playgrounds than Japan. I have seen some unique items for kids to play on over the years, including a now-lifeless military helicopter up in the Mito area, but today I spotted this great looking black steam engine in a local Chiba park. Very cool.


Sensor-activated escalators

18 Mar

Sensor-activated escalators are becoming more widely seen in Japan. It is obviously a waste of power to have the machinery going non-stop, so the system only kicks in when you approach the bottom step and starts operating. This image was taken at a JR station.

‘Nintendo’ Dating in Japan

18 Mar

"hey honey, I got a new high-score !'

Society nowadays involves casting your eyes downward to your mobile phone, several times a day.
Nowhere, is that more apparent than in Japan. It is not just Japan, as it occurs on buses and trains and in restaurants the world over. Ten or so years ago the habit of sitting in a train and instantly being fixated on your ketei was already in place, but nowadays it just seems like common place. It is always nice to see someone on a train reading a book ! Three cheers for you ! Recently I was at a popular restaurant here in Japan called Gusto. The attached image of a couple at an adjacent table is something I have seen many times. They walk in, sit down, and then after ordering – take out the electronic devices and are in the drone-zone. Romeo on the right has a Nintendo DS or similar. I observed this couple for ten minutes and there was no talk, no eye contact, nothing. Romeo was moving his upper body regularly as I think he was shooting down aliens or whatever in his game. This image says more about society – not just in japan – (and in particular the lost art of ‘conversation’), than anything I can possibly write. I will leave it at that.

The Japan Times – try it for free for a week

11 Feb

You know after many years I cannot really separate the Japan Times from the Daily Yomiuri. They are both good. Before internet usage was rampant, finding an english newspaper was like gold. Even if it was out of date ! Nowadays of course, obtaining news in english whilst living in Japan is as easy as taking your laptop to a free wi-fi zone and head to your favorite news site. Being old school, I still enjoy holding and reading a newspaper, same with books and magazines too. For some time the Japan Times have offered a 7-day trial subscription, with no strings attached. At ¥180 per issue, for seven days – well you do the math. It’s a pretty sweet deal. Over the course of a week, you get to read the various features and to see if you like it – which is what a trial subscription is all about. So if you’re living in Japan why not give it a try.

English Radio In Japan – Eagle 810

9 Feb

I’ve blogged about Eagle 810 before, but wish to do a further post. They play cool classic rock which I really dig. Ozzy, Kiss, Scorpions, Stevie Nicks – even Airbourne and Jet ! News and Information as well. AFN Tokyo is an affiliate of the worldwide American Forces Radio and they broadcast from the Yokota Air Base. Listening to Eagle 810 does nothing to improve your japanese, but it’s become a part of life here in Japan and is always set on the radio dial. Schedule guide and site info is here. Anyone know what happened to old DJ’s Jake and Danny ?!

Concert Guide in Japan

6 Feb

Many years back, it was quite difficult to locate a decent source of upcoming rock shows. Magazines and newspapers were the go. Nowadays, things are much easier via the internet. If you are living in Japan and wishing to regularly check some sites for upcoming live shows, these ones listed are quite decent. If you like Hard Rock and Metal, you should also get a copy of the magazine Burnn, which contains a thorough gig guide as well. If punk is your bag, read through Doll Magazine as they include a gig guide too.

A belated akemashite omedetou

14 Jan

Happy New Year all. Very much looking forward to posting some great articles about Japan as the 2011 year marches on. The camera will be with me most days so get ready….