hazycake comments

Posted in: Today’s commute to Yokosuka was my first train ride as Ambassador. #Japan’s world-class rail system is worthy of a world-class country. It did not disappoint. See in context

One of the things I loved about Japan when I first came, like many others, was the train system. It's convenient, it's generally on time, it's generally safe and it's pretty thorough with very little "bald spots" in the 23 wards at least. Whereas other systems rely mainly on a subway system with trains that stop at each station, Japan's initially confusing system of private, JR, two metro systems actually make Tokyo one of the easiest and fastest to get around via trains.

That being said, after years of living here, the morning commute and to a lesser extent, the evening rush back home can be extremely tiring day after day. Being packed onto a train is one thing but dealing with the rude and grumpy attitudes of fellow passengers is another thing. People push and fight over seats as if it's the last thing on their bucket list, people rudely taking up more space on the train than they need to, and people elbowing others.

I'd love to hear what the ambassador has to say if he was to ride the trains day in and day out like the rest of us.

What I loved about this was the Japanese twitter community was eating this tweet up. They loved that somebody such as an ambassador, a representative of the US, would give such a nice compliment. It was the perfect opportunity to pack themselves on the back.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Face mask swallowed by sea turtle caught off Japan coast See in context

This is horrible but really not unexpected nor surprising.

The more disposable items people are carrying around on their person, the more likely it's going to find itself in the environment through improper disposal. People that are going to pollute, will pollute.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Uniqlo Japan’s lucky bag creates chaos at Tokyo store See in context

Living in Tokyo and liking shopping well enough, I never really caught on to fukubukuro trend every new year. Yeah, there are times when there are actually really good deals like iPads plus accessories for like 10,000 yen but most of the time I find them including stuff I don't really need, want or even will want eventually.

Each to his/her own, I guess.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan’s most annoying train habits: Passengers reveal the things that irk them most See in context

Passive aggressive train riders definitely take the cake. Poking their elbows too close, taking up more space than they need to (I once saw a guy spread his legs two feet apart while standing in a packed train), racing to get seats as if it was the last thing on their bucket list, etc.

One personal gripe that I haven't really seen mentioned before in English or Japanese are people who reek of something strong: alcohol, cigarettes, unwashed hair, both women and men who put on way too much perfume/cologne, or people who reek of make up.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese space tourist says he would love longer flight See in context

@Alex

Thanks for that. I didn’t realize that. I hope he keeps up with it.

I rushed my judgement on him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese space tourist says he would love longer flight See in context

Yes, it is his money and he can do whatever he wants with it. I imagine if we were in his shoes, a lot of us would (do whatever we want with that kind of money).

But it's just sad state of affairs of the world when people are losing their jobs and livelihoods, people are dying of COVID-19 and other diseases, people are losing their homes, yet people like him who do have the influence, power and money to make solid and concrete contributions spend it on joyrides like this that get publicized to people who have so much less.

No, I don't think he's wrong for wanting to go to space and using his money to do so but there's this immense tone deafness that ironically reverberates so strongly in his statement, "we should take better care of Earth," it's mind boggling.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 88,000 Hong Kongers apply for new British resettlement visa See in context

88,000 does seem like a small number but we also have to look at what sort of people from HK that are taking up the offer. Are they educated? Do they have special skills that contribute to the local economy? Do they have money?

I'd imagine that a lot of 88,000 have the financial means and background to make such a move but I am not sure. It'd be interesting to see data on that, if there's any because numbers don't always tell the complete story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Theme park giving S Koreans a Japan fix despite pandemic See in context

Regardless of what anybody thinks about the political tensions between South Korea and Japan, there are Koreans out there who enjoy Japan and Japanese culture. And vice versa, there are plenty of Japanese people who enjoy Korea and Korean culture as well. What is so wrong with that? Not everything has to be divided by political overtones.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: Bootleg anime cakes? Charges filed against Tokyo woman for selling unlicensed Demon Slayer sweets See in context

I definitely think it's a missed business opportunity for the Demon Slayer people. Instead of feeling threatened by her abilities and reporting her, they could have collaborated with her to make some sort of special anniversary or offer that would make fans happy and enjoy the manga/anime content in another way. She wins, they win and the fans win.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Mother, boyfriend filmed themselves abusing her 3-year-old son before his death See in context

I just can't imagine the poor suffering the child went through, especially suffering by the people who were supposed to be protecting him.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese woman finds wallet with ¥1 mil, does right thing, then something even better See in context

Why is it every time there's a story like this, people are so quick to generalize entire groups of people? There are honest and dishonest people everywhere you go.

That being said, if this story is true, then it's great she's honest. But modest? She is definitely not. Nobody puts out a story like this without wanting to receive some recognition, praise or brownie points.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Letters from Japan: ‘Am I missing out?’ See in context

What I find tiring about the foreign community in Japan, particularly the English-speaking ones, is the never-ending trying to "one up" each other and the constant judgement.

Whether it's education, careers, Japanese language ability, skills, how "native" you've gone, how "settled" you are in the country, visa status, there's always some sort of paradigm that people use to judge others.

I can understand Lost in Thought's concerns, it's a legitimate one. Is the life here I made in Japan, really living? But then again, who's to say it isn't? Why is success defined only as climbing up the corporate ladder with a "proper career" and owning a home? This sort of thinking really limits the many experiences we can have.

If you enjoy your life but want a change, then focus on what you should do to get that change. If you want a "proper career" then work toward that. If you want to go home and do that, then go home and do that. But you should always be doing it for yourself, not because that's what society expects of you.

In 50 years time, we're all going to be dust in the wind anyway, so make the most out of your life in a way that works for you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Why climate change is making it harder to chase fall foliage See in context

October-November are absolutely my favorite months in Japan (especially November), the weather isn't too hot nor too cold, the skies are generally clear and the colors of the leaves are amazing.

I have noticed that depending on the weather, some leaves have already fallen off before they could change and some trees are half yellow/half green still, some are still green and some already in color. It's definitely not a uniform experience.

@zichi Thank you for the live cam, I am going to Kamikochi for the first time this weekend so I'm excited to see the colors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The fact that small cameras have become easily purchasable online has contributed to the increase... In some cases, a camera is hidden in the tip of a shoe or an umbrella. See in context

Walking around Tokyo, I have seen some guys wear those shoe cameras - which are actually not that hard to figure out because there's a small hole that's covered right at the tip of the shoe.

What I find weird though is considering how easily obtainable these cameras are, how there are so many work-arounds, camera makers still don't allow users to shut off the shutter sound when taking pictures. I always thought that if somebody really wanted to take an up skirt picture, they aren't going to grab their huge iPhone Pro Max to do the job - that's just way too conspicuous.

The fact that this type of voyeuristic photography still exists shows that just forcing the shutter on really hasn't solved the problem.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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

@Eurodude

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

@Spitfire

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 )

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