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David Cope comments

Posted in: Japan’s 'station closest to the sea' lives up to its name See in context

Yes, this (and many others) are beautiful lines - but surely none can compete with the Gono line in Aomori?

The Gono train even makes an extended stop so that passengers can go to explore the amazing coastal scenery - and sometimes the driver has to take a special advisory, as to whether the sea is too rough for him to take the train on one stretch, where you do literally feel that you are riding a "train in the sea".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Manchester City title celebrations on hold after losing to Chelsea See in context

Thank you to all Chelsea's Japanese fans.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: British citizen arrested for dumping bento trash in mailbox See in context

His name is "Tanaka"? Not exactly a common Brit surname!!

But on behalf of all truly British people who love Japan, I apologise for his transgression, especially if he did it in such a wonderful place as Kamakura.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Will a pastoral town in Nagano be the model for a 'super smart city' of the future? See in context

Large drones delivering cold storage? Please enlighten what is the overall payload of these drones and what is the "useful" payload?

Also - all those drones nipping about in blizzards in Nagano - how wonderful!

The sily hype about drones continues.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese milk cartons adopting plastic caps amid pandemic See in context

But they allow the milk to last much longer!!!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's national park facilities upgraded with 'workation' in mind See in context

Putting aside the stupid comments from some respondents, this seems to me like an interesting idea coming out of Japan.

I'm going to explore whether we have any similar schemes in England and if not - recommend this initiative.

I only wish I could come back and use that scheme at Chuzenjiko - or even better - one at Towadako - what a knock- out place that is! I hope Aomori prefecture is exploring these initiatives.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics will be most costly Summer Games, Oxford study shows See in context

The really interesting question is how does one actually stop a juggernaut like the Olympics - and I for one feel it is time to do so.

I supp;ose the answer is when no city/country is willing to put their name forward to host them. Poor Tokyo made a grievous mistake, even without the postponement - as did my city back in 2012.

The entire farce of all these international games should be wound up as soon as feasible.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe faces backlash after Tokyo residents excluded from Go To travel campaign See in context

How long is this scheme scheduled to last for?

Do foreign visitors also qualify?

At the moment I can't enter Japan but that may change at the end of the month.

Then I could have a tourist bonanza - 50 per cent off a JR pass? (bought in Japan as you can now do). I'll have 3 months worth please! Plus 50 per cent off Toyoko Inn? And domestic air fares?

What's not to like? I'll go from Yonaguni to Wakkanai, or more probably the other way round.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Posted in: With one year to go, experts warn of high-risk Tokyo Olympics See in context

Clearly the games should be cancelled.

I am not one of those on this site who froth at the mouth with their anti-Abe incoherencies but we must force him to accept they are OFF.

Indeed - the entire fallacious concept of the "Olympic Games" should end with the symbolism of the "non-games" of Tokyo


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Flowers unexpectedly bloom at Fukushima school closed by virus See in context

Careful - the authorities will bring in a grass mower to cut them all down - to discourage people from oming to view this wonderful sight - and thereby infringing lock doen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: These English signs in Japan have us scratching our heads See in context

Yes, but it cuts both ways.

A few years ago - there was a billboard campaign in England by a car manufacturer - probably Toyota.

What did it have - a large photo of a very desirable car - and in one corner - some kanji. I've no idea what the kanji said - but the inference was clear enough - this is a damned good car - because it's JAPANESE! You had to go right up to it and read the badge on the front of the car. Brilliant, I thought.

But, while we are on this Engrish, I'm surprised that no-one has yet re-posted the all-time gnomic example - the sign outside the rather good "Café Dorf" coffee shop on Takaragaike-dori in Kyoto.

I can't post a picture here - but it reads -

"Café/Restaurant Dorf (with picture of a Dutch woman in clogs)

Ladies use the word 'sweat' when they feel it best for their best."

Every year, I offer my lecture class students fifty pounds if they will give me a convincing explanation of what was in the translator's mind.

No- one has yet won it - some say - oh, they men 'sweet' but have spelt it 'sweat'. I don't buy that!

Most of these translation infelicities are actually rather touching (and a few teach us about our own language) - and hey - do you see similar translations into Japanese in any place in the USA or Britain? - no way - so don't take the piss, as some posters on here tend to do - at least the people are trying - and probably making a real effort in doing so to show thay welcome 'gaijins'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Stormy year ahead for Japan's tourism industry See in context

What intrigues me is what are the chances of a second outbreak wave around the start of next year?

Would there then be a total reprise - e.g. Olympics postponed for another year...?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Olympic torch relay to proceed as planned See in context

Of course, given what is currently known about Covid-19, there is no guarantee that even were the Olympics postponed until 2021 (and hopefully to a more clement time of year) that there will not be a 2nd or even 3rd re-emergence of the affliction in the months and weeks preceding any rescheduled event.

As things stand at the moment, might a better strategy be to say the Olympics are but the most prominent of a whole "genre" of supposedly global events, sporting or otherwise - that are now outdated and dysfunctional - and which should be ended, forthwith. Sorry Japan.

For a starter, the whole idea that "national" teams compete in sporting events is outmoded. There could be all manner of other taxonomies - e.g. teams based on age (with agreed handicaps, if necessary, for those younger or older than a median). There could be many other discriminators.

On another point - how shortsighted of the Japanese authorities to focus the now pathetic-appearing Olympic flame event primarily on FUKUSHIMA.

The event 9 years ago overwhelmingly impacted on coastal areas of Miyagi and Iwate - and that event was - a virtually unprecedented earthquake but mainly tsunami that killed ~20,000 and totally devasted the local economies. Fukushima prefecture was less affected - not that I do not grieve for the local economies there which WERE undoubtedly negatively impacted by the misinformed publicity that followed the minor incident at the nuclear power plant.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Postponing Olympics may be good for Japan's economy See in context

"Covid-19" may well re-emerge as "Covid-20" next autumn. Do we then go through the entire rigmarole once again?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Kobe cruise ship operator goes bankrupt due to virus cancellations See in context

Nice one from Tom re empty seats.

Long before coronavirus, in the days when there were often whole rows of empty 4 wide centre seats at the back of UK-Japan or vv flights, I used to snaffle a row of four, put on a mask and loudly sneeze and clear my throat whenever someone apprached the other three seats. It worked a treat - no-one ever tried to take them. Up with the arm rests - a bit of judicious repositioning of the safety belts - and one had a lie flat bed for the entire journey.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. warns against cruise ship travel in Asia over coronavirus See in context

What will be interesting is how determined the media will be to track down and report on this vessel. Its every name change, refit or whatever. They will.

It is probably going to become a floating pariah.

Would you book a week or whatever on it?

More widely the global cruise business is going to take a huge whack.

It's an open goal for "terrorists" - no need for bombs just spread the rumour you have packed the aircon tubes with zillions of left- over facemasks, etc.

The industry is toast for at least the next five years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Outbreak, economic ills dim luster of Japan's Olympic year See in context

God forbid that London take over the 2020 Olympics.

It was bad enough in 2012 - a curse from which the city has still not recovered.

Sorry for Tokyo but it will soon learn the foolishness of allowing itself to be nominated.

These bread and circus events need to be terminated as soon as possible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Shin-Okubo: Tokyo’s very own Little Korea See in context

We have a similar Korea-town in London.

There are some good Korean restaurants in the centre of London, of course - but there's a wonderful Korean "focus" in a suburb called New Malden - like Ogikubo in Tokyo - where you can get all sorts of Korean food - and indeed Japanese food that the Korean residents import also.

Please - Japan and Korea - sort out all these current political issues - they are so negative. You are both great countries that have so much to contribute to the world - And - if you do it TOGETHER - you will have a huge impact. I wish all the best to you both. You are wonderful countries.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Calling with a conscience: Introducing Mobal Japan See in context

I have been using a Mobal SIM for about 3 weeks now - and can confirm that it is very convenient.

In another 3 weeks or so, I will try to suspend my use for 4-5 months on leaving Japan, and try to resurrect in spring 2019 - again, I don't anticipate any hassle over this.

The web site is also very clear and straightforward.

This is a totally unsolicited comment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. and Europe clash over global supersonic jet noise standards See in context

"Boom Supersonic"! That's a marketing triumph!

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Posted in: Why is the UK called Igirisu in Japanese? See in context

The sun is hardly up here in "Igirisu" but already 50+ comments from the Land of the Rising Sun - and there's little I can add to what I thought was an interesting and amusing article, plus the comments.

First, some historical facts, then geographical

Yes, England and Scotland were separate countries - certainly up to the time when the first English came to Japan in the early 17th century. To confuse matters, from 1603, the two countries had the same monarch - James I of England and VIth of Scotland. He tried to have the countries united legally but this did not go down too well with either country and was never implemented.

For three years, from 1657 to 1660, after the English (and Scottish) king was executed, during the "interregnum", they were (sort of ) united - and Scottish representatives sat in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. This uneasy relationship dissolved with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 - although just to confuse matters even more, the restored king of England also became, again, the king of Scotland (got it?)

The two countries did not become legally joined as one until 1706/7 when Acts of Union were passed in the parliaments of both countries. The Scottish and also the English parliaments were abolished and a new parliament of Great Britain was created. The Scottish parliament did not re-emerge until 1998, although the two countries still currently exist within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. (I guess Japanese readers will have given up on me by now!) As I guess readers will know, there's quite a chance that Scotland will vote to become comepletely independent in a few years.

Now to the geography:

Yes, as others have commented, the term "Great Britain" is a purely geographical term, used to distinguish this part of the world from Bretagne - Brittany in France. Of course, it's often seen as being used by the British to give themselves "airs and graces". I think we owe it to the aforementioned King James I (and VIth!) - he certainly used it. I've several times argued that it ought to be changed to "Greater" - but that still raises the question of "greater than what?"

The term "British Isles" is also a geographical term (solely) and refers to the physical islands of Great Britain and of Ireland. It does give some offence to some folk in Ireland, rather similarly to the Koreans' dislike of the use of the term Sea of Japan, Nihonkai. but I think to start calling it the "Western European Archipelago" is a bridge too far.

I've said nothing about Wales or Northern Ireland. Essentially, Wales was England's first colony, and so too, in many ways, Northern Ireland was Scotland's first, although that's rather a contentious statement over here!

Oh, finally, when was the United Kingdom most recently extended? Well, it was as recently in 1972, when the country unilaterally declared ownership of a forlorn rock called Rockall out in the North Atlantic. Specifically it was claimed in the name of Scotland. The dispute was with the Republic of Ireland - and Rockall does indeed lie closer to that country than to any part of Scotland. But, the wise Irish decided it wasn't really worth fussing too much over this. Perhaps a lesson there regarding the Pinnacle Islands - which is the English (British?!) name for the Senkakus.

To any Japanese person who has read this far, please come and visit ALL our countries and islands - including certainly Ireland - both Northern and the Republic. You will be assured of a warm welcome.

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