Japan Today

duncanpa comments

Posted in: Foreign English teacher in Japan calls student’s ability garbage; says it was an 'American joke' See in context

I travel to many countries regularly as a part of my profession. Of the countries I travel to, Japan is at the bottom regarding useable English skills. I remember a time in Sapporo when the only person I could communicate with in English was a clerk at the Tourist Information Office at the main railway station. I visited that Office several times a day just to get by. In the middle of Africa, a person working in the middle of the fields you call will presumably know and be willing to use a few words in English.

The teacher quoted here is inexperienced. However, rather than just bashing him, listen to him as he hints at a systemic problem. While he might be more effective as a teacher, a better teacher for a particular group of students, it can be hard for a single person in a low position to change the system. The latter change may need to come from the top and require consensus building.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Scholar uses trash as treasure to study life in North Korea See in context

Excellent work! Congratulations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: The pros and cons of living in Nakagin Capsule Tower See in context

Interesting lessons valid for any times. The lack of flexibility, conviction that a pinnacle was reached and the future has nothing to offer, accelerates obsolescence. There are many constructions from the same time and older that do perfectly fine now and will do so for decades to come.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Turkish pilots, official face 12 years jail for Ghosn flight See in context

They brought a person in from one country and then out via another flight.

Ghosn was not on the passenger list or any flight details.

He did not go through proper airport procedures.

The rich commonly travel between countries on private planes, largely without any procedures, often not taking passports along, for themselves or their staff. Regarding formalities, Ghosn and accompanying people traveled like hundreds of times before. Those procedures are for the other 98% of Joe Blows. Now, of course, the staff are targeted as it is easy to kick them in the face.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Fujiyama Tower at Fuji-Q Highland will provide an unparalleled view of Mt Fuji See in context

In my memory the Mt Fuji peak is nearly always covered with clouds, so you will be getting up there to get a better view of those clouds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 4 die after being buried by snow in Yamagata See in context

Sorry for the victims. The factor with removal of heavy snow tends to be the unexpectedly significant physical effort that an elder person otherwise manages to avoid.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Passenger killed after minivan fell into river may have been part of insurance fraud plan See in context

While missing the insurance payout, this may still earn a Darwin Award (darwinawards.com).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 6,000 premium apples stolen from Iwate orchard See in context

Some of the 'premium' Japanese fruit were so tasteless, in my experience, that you could well replace them with wax copies, maybe slightly flavored. However, I can't really tell whether this applies to the specific apples.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump blasts Michigan Gov Whitmer; crowd chants 'lock her up' See in context

Dear :O= President Trump, we will pay for your ticket to leave even earlier, family included. The last we heard, N Korea will take you :'‑)

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Posted in: Kabuki performances go online on paid site See in context

No access to the streaming services for foreigners there, so it is unclear why this should be news on an English language website.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Puroland director maps out a future for 'kawaii' culture See in context

Kitsch taken to the extreme becomes strangely appealing with B-movies generating cult following representing another example.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Scientists in China believe new drug can stop pandemic 'without vaccine' See in context

Stupidity certainly kills.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Turkish pilots, others, to stand trial over Ghosn escape See in context

Rich people habitually travel internationally on private jets outside of any border checks, without visas or even passports. Suddenly ordinary employees servicing particular flights are put on trial, blamed for the governments looking the other way.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Baskin Robbins Japan’s princess ice cream cake is perfect snack for Disney marathon at home See in context

I would not want to be in the same room where this were served. In fact, I even have unease when I see it on my screen. Yuck!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ricoh launches high-end compact digital camera See in context

1k$ and no viewfinder - pass

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hikers advised to get insurance against mountaineering accidents See in context

smithinjapan: "no one would need it for Mt. Fuji"

Wow, have you got an actual practical experience?! My head was perpetually banged on with stones blown by the wind. I could not open the eyes because of the volcanic ash boosted bay hail later on. On top you had to run when the wind quieted down and try to grab something or hide in a ditch. At times the distance was too long and I saw people lifted up by the gusts. I lost some items to the wind. Yes, the weather varies, but I believe such conditions are not uncommon. All the directions were in Japanese only. That is not a problem if you go up, but not on the way down. I actually ended up on the wrong side. You may say I should have worn goggles and helmet, gloves, and warm padded clothes, but I behaved like a typical person going on a May (I think) hike - I did actually have a coat, unlike some people there, and a spare sweater. There were plenty of elements there that could escalate into a disaster.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hikers advised to get insurance against mountaineering accidents See in context

2 out of 5 people walking up Mt. Fuji I encountered were foreigners. How are they going to be helped by an insurance site in Japanese only? Other mountains are presumably less frequented by foreigners but still why the bias in the area of peril? Ah, I know, presumably the rescue service can only help if called in Japanese, so all is consistent...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Scientists say Harvey may be sign of future storms See in context

A drift in conditions changes mean and width of event distribution. A small change in width, even such as percentages mentioned in the article, can dramatically increase probability of unusual, freak events. This is just a common, essentially mathematical, feature of events that arise from stacking of many circumstances such as in the case of weather.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't considers splitting school holidays to ease travel congestion See in context

As an example, to ease pressure on transportation and vacation resorts and facilities, Germany schedules school holidays at different dates in different states .

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Posted in: Travel without a suitcase with 13 packing tips from a Japanese pro See in context

My most important items are a small container w/washing powder and a small rubber circle for plugging a sink. A couple of folding hangers and a silk pajama are handy too. With this I just need one set of clothes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Digital notes: Wacom sets pace in digital stationery See in context

I prefer pen tablet over paper or writing on screen, as the hand does not shield what I am writing or otherwise working on. With its reduction in size and wireless addition, Wacom Intuos tablet sticks in painlessly into my laptop's pouch and goes wherever I go, as my favorite handwriting input, bypassing the laptop's touchscreen. My notes often blow up to tens of MB in size and I may be scribbling on margins of books in pdf, so Bamboo Paper synchronization may not be quite practical for me. Rather I use the storage of my workplace as a central cloud.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Stats on entertainment businesses show accelerating pace of decline See in context

Oh yes, during my visit to Sendai (1 million inhabitants) street blocks were bustling around the establishments with this kind of entertainment. When I asked at the main tourist information office whether I could attend a concert or a musical play during my weekly stay, they told me that I should go to Tokyo. I thought that there was some misunderstanding and even went back and said that I did not care what kind of concert or play this were, classical music or rock. They said there was no misunderstanding - still my best option was to take a train to Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: When you drink coffee or tea in Japan, do you prefer the chains like Starbucks, Tully’s, Doutor, etc, or do you prefer the traditional “kissaten?” See in context

I drink cappuccino. For that Starbucks and Tully's are generally fine, Doutur hit and miss, mostly miss, and outside it is plain scary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Fujitsu in PC merger talks with Lenovo See in context

Fujitsu document scanners are top notch.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Pyongyang's latest fad: Sightseeing in ultralight airplanes See in context

As to the foreigners, I guess that you already take on so much risk by traveling to NK that you don't up it that much by taking the flight :). Nice flying in the exhaust fumes!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Motorcyclist cut in half after being flung into cable wire following police chase See in context

Invention of guillotine and its heavy use during the French Revolution lead to attempts to communicate with severed heads. In particular Lavoisier, the chemist, made arrangements to communicate with his assistant after his decapitation. The assistant apparently counted over 15 consecutive blinks after the head got severed. Unlike with the guillotine, though, the trauma from flying through air, impacts, getting the torso cut in half, is not likely to leave room for a state of consciousness where one could ponder what happened.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Recharge your coffee mug See in context

My thermos bottle keeps tea or coffee hot for up to 8h and it cost me about $18. And what the heck is Fahrenheit??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Flashlight runs on water See in context

To the best degree that one can tell, when guided by on-line translation, it is flashlight where water activates a regular electrochemical reaction that powers the LED. Once once one or both electrodes get depleted, the flashlight will be dead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Michelin-star sushi restaurant in Tokyo defends foreigner rules See in context

In my memory in the Narita aiport, after all the main international airport in Japan, there are numerous restaurants without an English menu or any non-Japanese sign, clearly indicating that they do not want foreigners hanging out there. There is no issue of being on time or not there.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japanese opera singer records cover of Queen’s 'Bohemian Rhapsody' See in context

At the start I thought it was not original enough, but as it progressed the performance was gaining its own ground in a subtle manner.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.