hazycake comments

Posted in: Palm-sized camera has more to offer than meets the eye See in context

Toy cameras like this can be fun, but I can't imagine it being anybody's main camera if they already have a smartphone. For budding enthusiasts that have a bigger budget, there are cheaper options available on the market these days for mirrorless cameras.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Fukushima peaches: Worthy of the praise given to them by foreign Olympics teams? See in context

@David Brent

They're nice, but like all fruit in Japan, way overpriced. For some reason Japanese people seem to think their fruit (and veg) is the best in the whole world, despite never having even tried stuff from outside Japan.

This is just a theory but I imagine the reason why some Japanese people think their fruits and vegetables are the best in the world is because they've been conditioned to think so in order to support the domestic market.

In terms of price, Japanese produce cannot compete with foreign produce. So the only way to gain support for domestic produce is to market them as "better," "safer," "more delicious," "cleaner" and of course, "more beautiful." They spend a lot of effort on packaging, finding the the most perfect looking fruits with no blemishes and adding a premium price.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo's drinkers drown frustrations over virus restrictions, Olympics See in context

It’s easy to blame these people for being selfish but context is important.

The government asks the people to stay home, refrain from drinking and enjoying entertainment outside of the home. Given the current pandemic, that’s a fair request.

However, the same government is prioritizing an event that clearly will heighten the risks of infection and is purposely ignoring the will of the majority of people.

In addition the same government continues to put people in harm’s way by not mandating mandatory work from home policies, stuffing them into trains every morning and as salt on the wound, try to take away the few joys that people have in an already stressful society.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Nike commercial about gender inequality in Japan receives backlash online See in context

Regardless of how you feel about the ad itself, the comments, presumed to be written by Japanese people, highlight a worrying tendency: the lightning-quick defensiveness of anything perceived and/or judged to be less than praising of Japan, particularly by "outside" parties.

Of course, not all Japanese people have the same reaction and I've met my fair share of Japanese people who are more than willing to criticize their own country. But as an overall trend, it's worrying that some people don't look at a chance to think why this ad is being aired in the first place, but only that it makes them look bad.

It's a childish mindset at best and does a disservice to the country and its society at worst.

The reactions aren't surprising when the populace is bombarded with how sugoi Japan is all the time on TV though.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Local governments seek solutions to fixing mangled English See in context

A little late to the party in commenting but, as a part-time freelance translator from Japanese to English, one of the most frustrating things to deal with are arrogant clients who, just because they know some English, think they know more than the native speaker and "correct" the translator's English.

The main obstacle for getting more natural-sounding English in this country isn't to just hire professional translators but to hire them, trust them to do their job, not be arrogant just because they know some English, and not make silly corrections that often sound unnatural and stilted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Shinkansen driver leaves controls for toilet while train running at 150kph See in context


100% JR's fault for not having a backup driver. Instead of blaming the driver they should issue apologies to all travelers for being cheap on resources.

Yes, especially considering that at full price, shinkansen tickets are not cheap and can easily cost more than a plane ticket abroad.

I always feel like in these sorts of incidents, corporations always want to put the blame on one individual, never thinking about the big picture as to why these things happen until it's too late.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese transport group aims to set up public ropeway transit system by 2025 See in context

Since it's not physically possible nor fiscally feasible to subway stations or train stations everywhere, a system like this should be used as a local method of transportation in a small area/neighborhood/district that has a large pedestrian presence, rather than a large city-wide system to compete/compliment regular train services.

For example, a circular line that runs throughout the main Shinjuku station area from the east side to the west side - allowing for commuters to easily get from one area to another.

Or a line from the Enoshima stations (Odakyu, Enoden, Monorail) to Enoshima Island and around that area. Tourists and locals could benefit from the ease of movement. (Yes, it depends on how it looks, it could potentially make the area look messy though...)

The Enoden, which is notoriously crowded, could use this system to alleviate the crowds that go from Kamakura to Hase.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Some people took up two or more jobs because their incomes fell; others started them to improve their skills after remote work set them physically and mentally apart from their firms, and got them to take a fresh look at their careers. See in context

I was one of those people last year who lost their job in 2020 due to the pandemic. Panicking, I applied to every single thing I thought I could do, used so many recruiters (to no luck) and ended up having to work multiple jobs and buff up my freelance work to stay afloat.

Although I sometimes am still miffed I couldn't ride out the pandemic with my cushy full-time job, the whole experience taught me several things: 1) nothing is ever guaranteed 2) I work better doing multiple jobs rather than go to the same place everyday 5 times a week 3) I love my freelance work and generally don't feel like it's a burden to work on a Saturday or Sunday if need be and 4) having a sort of resiliency in times like this is really invaluable weapon.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: So you want to start a blog in Japan? 5 tips for beginners See in context

I find content (in a blog or YouTube) like "X foreigner living in Y country" to be interesting because you can get an insight of that country from that person's point of view, which is something you can't get from sanctioned official websites.

Despite living here in Japan for over 10 years though, I have always been hesitant to do something like this for success/fame because it seems unsustainable in the long run. What if you go back to your country? All that time and effort to build an audience that looks forward to your content would go to waste.

Of course, it's not an all-or-nothing situation but I've always wondered about the viability of this type of content where being X foreigner in Y country is the main attraction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Anti-Olympic petition tops 200,000 signatures in just 2 days See in context

I personally don't think hosting the Olympics is a great idea given the state of things here in Japan and abroad in regards to the pandemic, but the cynical part of me wonders if there's any point to this petition.

Everything the government has done so far, has been for the Olympics. Not listening to the general public, they have implemented half-hearted policies that puts the burden on the public to lower the number of infections to gain approval without having to make a serious effort and/or implement policies that would benefit the general public.

With only three months until the games, do you think the government will back out now?

This is an unpopular opinion, but we should just have the games because clearly the government does not care about anything else right now. Once it is out of their system, perhaps they can go back to focusing on the real issues at hand and implement policies that benefit the general public.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Golden Week travel begins despite pleas from governors to stay home See in context

Regardless of your personal feelings on COVID-19 (i.e. to stay home or not), you have to wonder if the government is so out of touch with reality as to not realize that this would be a product of their half-hearted measures, policies unfairly targeting "fun" establishments, government workers hypocritically enjoy themselves in those "fun" establishments and obsession with looking good to the world for the Olympics.

All these policies have treated the average person unfairly, taken out all the (retail, restaurant, entertainment) joy out of life, yet still put them in danger, i.e. commuting back and forth in a stuffy train to work in a stuffy office.

Basically the government is saying, "you should stay home and work from home or ride the train to go to the office and work but you should not be shopping, you should not be eating, drinking or having any resemblance of fun especially during the times you normally would have fun such as GW. You should listen to what we say not what we do, because our ultimate goal is for the numbers to lower so we look good for the Olympics even it means that YOU sacrifice your enjoyment in life."

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Ranks of 'refugee smokers' surging with no place to puff See in context

I have never smoked in my life, not even once to try it for fun. I understand though that we're all human and we have all our own vices, whether it's food, alcohol or smoking.

My general motto is, live and let live - do whatever you want to your own body. Smoking, unfortunately, is one of those vices that affects others very easily, mainly through secondhand smoke. I appreciate that many places are becoming nonsmoking because I am allergic to the smoke itself, the smell really annoys me, and it stains my clothes with an awful stench.

But I do find the following phrasing problematic:

rights of smokers

People have the right to smoke, but they should not be treated as a protected class of citizen. This is habit you pick up along the way, not something you are innately born with.

I wonder though, if any of these people who have hard time finding a place to smoke, ever thought to themselves, "Smoking is no longer a viable habit, it's getting harder to find places to do so, maybe I should just quit?"

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Mt Nokogiri one of Tokyo area’s best day trips See in context


Thanks! :)

I took the long way around Tokyo bay and through Chiba on the way to Nokogiriyama but took the ferry back across to Kurihama and rode the Keikyu line through to Tokyo to go back home.

Although time-wise, I think they are about the same, I chose the scene route of taking the ferry (it takes 40 minutes to cross) and then the Keikyu line because 1) I had never ridden the ferry before and 2) 40 minutes on the ferry seemed better than spending another hour on the train.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Mt Nokogiri one of Tokyo area’s best day trips See in context

After years of contemplating about going there, I finally went two months ago. It was definitely worth the trip. Quite nice views of the surrounding areas, beautiful flora and a spectacular Buddha statue.

Although it's often lumped together with other daytrip places from Tokyo like Kamakura or Yokohama, it is quite far, especially if you live in west of central Tokyo. I woke up at 5AM and only got to the nearest station at 9AM. There's actual hiking to get to the main attractions so by the time you reach the views, it's 10AM.

If you live south of Tokyo like Yokohama or Kamakura, I recommend taking the ferry from Kurihama that takes you straight to the nearest station. In beautiful weather, it's quite the view from the boat.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Man robbed of ¥3 mil on Nagoya street See in context

Obviously, I have no proof of this but it sounds like 1 million for each guy, including the "victim."

I find it hard to believe it was a coincidence that these two men attacked him not knowing there's three million yen in the bag.

If it is an inside job, I hope he's a good actor.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Leisure teleworkers - supposedly working but in fact gaming, day-trading, or scanning for new job opportunities See in context

As long as the work gets done when it needs to get done, then it's all good I suppose.

But Japan is a country where the process of doing things (or looking like something is being done) is just as important as the results (if not more important), so I imagine more traditional companies that have implemented WFH will try to go back to the old ways.

It's ultimately all on a case by case for each company what to do once things calm down but imagine a society where you aren't limited to a geographic location, allowing to focus on family, friends and hobbies. It will also allow Japan to breath, instead of bottling up all in Tokyo.

That sort of relaxed lifestyles that WFH potentially offers could allow for better quality of life for many, more relaxed atmosphere, revival of the countryside and other regional cities in Japan (and thus more ties to the local community), and potentially give people breathing room to innovate and create in ways that the whole 1 hour rush-hour train commute every morning suppressed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Kobe neighborhood occasionally held hostage by owner of only bridge out See in context

It's pretty clear that the seller and buyer are both greedy (the seller, to get rid of a bridge that is usually given away for free, and the buyer to have leverage over a group of people who rely on that bridge). However, the buyer really should have down their homework before purchasing it.

Nobody buys the sole entrance and exit to an area out of the benevolence of their heart. No, it's not a crime to want to make money but when it infringes on the basic rights of freedom of movement and livelihoods (if you read the Japanese language articles, the owner could be in trouble for 往来妨害罪 or the obstruction of movement), that's when it crosses the line. If this bridge was only one of many, the owner could do whatever he pleases with it.

I do think the city is being cheap and should offer some compensation but it's very clearly that owner bought this bridge with the sole intention of eventually making money on what is essentially a monopoly on movement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese, Korean, Chinese: Which language is the easiest to learn? See in context

As a native English speaker who has studied all three to a varying degrees: Japanese (15 years), Korean (3 years) and Chinese (1 year) - they all have various points that make them difficult.

Reading Japanese is probably one of those most difficult things because there's just so much involved in reading fluency for the language. It takes awhile to get use to the different readings and of course when you think you got it, it's a different reading! And there are words that mix both on and kun readings... Needless to say, it is definitely something you got to put a lot of time in to get proficient in.

Chinese pronunciation is tricky to get right. With 4 tones for Mandarin, people who don't speak a tonal language, it will take some time to get use to. It will require a lot of listening and practice. Even though I speak Thai fluently which has 5 tones, it still found the tones difficult.

Korean grammar is more involved and complicated than Japanese. With more irregular verbs and forms than Japanese, it takes awhile to get use to the conjugations. The listening is also tricky because what's written isn't always how its actually pronounced.

Anyway, these three languages are definitely life-long efforts.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Women in Tokyo strongly back single-sex transport amid security fears: global poll See in context

Although I think the attitude of some men toward women in the country  could use improvement, I think, at its core, chikan is a crime of opportunity.

With trains running at over 100% capacity every weekday morning, they are presented with many opportunities to slip a hand here and there without getting caught. Once they start, it becomes an addiction.

The most effective approach is to avoid having overcrowded trains in the first place, to get rid of the opportunities for it to happen. For example, increasing the train frequencies during rush hour or more drastically to work on decentralizing the country so that overly crowded trains don't exist in the first place. Of course, the second solution is not practical nor easy.

People respecting each other without having to go through various measures would be ideal, of course, but as it stands, this is a problem that isn't so easily fixable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Panini Passion: Get a taste of Milan in Ikebukuro See in context

What a coincidence, I was just here last night.

The food is really good, I had the Imperiale (sp?) salad and soup of the day. The place makes for a good light lunch food but during the day it's always packed. No problem getting a seat at night though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Finding a half decent gym in Japan: A survival guide See in context

Has anyone tried "Anytime Fitness" gyms? Supposedly 24/7 kind of a big chain.

I currently go there, there are actually two locations within walking distance from my apartment. The one I mainly go to is spacious, with most of the weight lifting equipment I need and plenty of treadmills as well. Since it's 24 hours, I find easy to fit into my schedule. The staff are friendly and the facilities are kept clean.

The great thing about it is that you can go to other locations (after a month of being a member). I haven't really used this but it's nice to have this option just in case.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: The X-Men are back, this time fighting 'Apocalypse' See in context

I enjoy the X-men films as well and try not to think too hard about the disparities about the timeline - I was looking foward to watching it this month along with the rest of the world but found it's going to be released....in August here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fuji Shibazakura Festival See in context

Very beautiful picture!

I'm going this GW as well... but clicking on this picture and reading the comments brought me back to reality that it's probably not going to go as smoothly as I imagine it in my head.

Funny and sad part is after 5 years of living in this country, you'd think that I avoid going anywhere remotely touristy on GW but alas...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan camera makers battle smartphone onslaught See in context

@ Strangerland

I don’t know about the latest DSLRs because I haven’t really looked but the mirrorless Sony NEX 6 I have (a model that’s a couple of years old) takes great pictures and I can wirelessly upload my pictures via bluetooth to my iPhone. Very convenient without too much hassle.

I think that camera makers should focus on web access friendly and fast/responsive user interface similar to smartphones to go with that web access. Being able to edit photos and upload to social media directly from the camera may convince people to upgrade for quality.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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