hooktrunk2 comments

Posted in: Starbucks vs two popular Japanese coffee shops: Which gives best value? See in context

With that reasoning would you call McDonald's a Japanese restaurant or 7-11 a Japanese convenient store or Mr. Donuts a Japanese doughnut shop? They might be run better than their American counterparts, but it doesn't make them Japanese. Right? Or am I wrong? Anyway, my vote is Dotour, but their smoking policy keeps me away.

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Posted in: Starbucks vs two popular Japanese coffee shops: Which gives best value? See in context

Moderator, Tully's is an American coffee shop. Founded in 1992 in Seattle, but I guess since it is run via a franchise instead of directly from the US H.Q. like Starbucks is, you are thinking it is a Japanese coffee shop?

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Posted in: Mountain hikers warned to protect themselves amid spate of strandings See in context

These days checking the weather is so easy to do in order to get an idea of what might be coming(even though weather forecasts are still very inaccurate). The Weathernews app is pretty comprehensive and has two rain radar models that are sometimes completely different, but good enough). Also carry meds like ibuprofen and bandages(doesn't take much room). I got received a thigh injury after both heels slipped in a clay area of a trail when I was still 5km out from the trailhead--calmed my muscles enough to be able to reach my car. I will never go hiking the day after a typhoon again. Way too wet still.

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Posted in: JR East aims to launch ferry route linking Haneda with central Tokyo See in context

I wish they could update that ancient monorail service instead. It creeps along at such a slow pace. I'm bummed that Delta is switching to Heneda. That Skyliner is nice! Oh well.

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Posted in: Come on in See in context

BTW, I've never been there, but a google search of what that sign says in quotes and I found this story on the place: https://www.inhaleexplore.com/single-post/2018/10/30/Golden-Gai-Shinjukus-Bar-Wonderland-in-Tokyo

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Posted in: Come on in See in context

@Euro Dude: That's Ace's in the Golden Gai: https://goo.gl/maps/Wgc9HUqw1NKNCE8r7

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Posted in: Portable fans a breath of fresh air in sweltering summer heat See in context

Haha. Speaking of cake shop ice packs...I don't know where my wife gets them, but I prefer the larger sized ones. They last longer(and look funny as heck). I will have to try what @Educator60 says and put them in front of my neck(somehow not choking me in the process). As for fans, my JH aged daughter showed me a fan she bought the other day that could connect to her iPhone for ¥300. I have yet to see her use it.

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Posted in: Portable fans a breath of fresh air in sweltering summer heat See in context

I wonder what percent of those will be in the trash within a year? I know it doesn't look very stylish, but I wrap some of those cake shop ice gel packs in a long handkerchief and wrap it around the back of my neck. Works wonders.

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Posted in: Japan-S Korea dispute puts U.S. in bad position: Trump See in context

Unless it involves religion, disputes will work themselves out...in time. Historically, the British and the US were bitter enemies for almost 100 years, and now, for the most part, we are great friends. If the same formula is followed, by 2045, Japan, China and the Koreas will be great friends. Sincerely, I hope the Asian powers can finally sort out their differences.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic construction worker dies of suspected heatstroke See in context

Man, I hate to hear this. I often think of construction workers and road workers during the summer months. Thank goodness we have people willing to do such work. There is a team of workers renovating the elementary school across the street and they've been working with jackhammers up on the roof this week. I can't imagine how hot that must be. RIP

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Posted in: Heat headache as Tokyo swelters a year before Olympics See in context

A little too late for next year's olympics, but I sure wish they would stop trimming the trees back to their stumps in the fall. People complain about the leaves. They should have the same crew sweep the leaves instead of pollarding the trees.

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Posted in: Fukushima eyes 2020 Tokyo Olympics for recovery message See in context


My point of sharing that radiation map is to point out that not just Fukushima has been affected, but Miyagi and Yamagata as well, yet the radiation levels are really low. I recommend checking out this map and visiting where you feel comfortable. People noticed that our car was from Tokyo several times during our trip. As we drove back from Shiroishi to Yonezawa along route 113, a woman running a gas station gave us a pamphlet of upcoming festivals as she proceeded to fill up our car's tank at the 'self-serve' gas station. Obviously she was encouraging us to spread the word about Miyagi. Stunningly beautiful route through the mountains.

As for the J-Village sports complex indeed shows acceptable amounts of radiation, especially being so close to the nuclear facility. Surprising.

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Posted in: Fukushima eyes 2020 Tokyo Olympics for recovery message See in context

I just took a trip to Fukushima. It is extremely sad how the area has been affected. Fukushima is a big place and much of it has less radiation than parts of Tokyo. How do I know?


You can change the map to show just the point readings, or an interpolation based upon readings made by vehicles traveling along the roads. I visited cities and mountains, all west of the hardest affected areas. I visited Okama crater at Zao. Most of the contamination is probably stopped from going inland from these mountain winds which persistently blow from the NW and can be seen by how the plants are permanently tilted towards Fukushima, yet the areas anywhere near Fukushima are permanently burned into people's minds as scary places even though they have less radiation than parts of Tokyo. Check out Ayase and Gotanno in Adachi-ku on the map above and the area just south of Misato.

I encourage people to educate themselves before blindly posting fear mongering blather. It really affects people up there. Look at the radiation levels in Aizuwakamatsu and up in Shiroishi, two of the places we went to visit castles. They are desperate for visitors. The authentic castle reconstruction at Shiroishi is stunning and the museum in Aizuwakamatsu is better than at Osaka-jo(a similar, but better concrete reconstruction). There are plenty of other areas with hardly any radiation in Fukushima that should be promoted not blasphemed by folks who have no idea what they are talking about. I am just as scared as everyone else about radiation, but arm yourselves first before saying something that just serves to hurt those who are innocent.

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Posted in: Kyoto arson suspect spotted near sites featured in studio's anime See in context

Why arent the building codes being criticized? In a 3 story building half the people inside die from fire.

In case you missed it, the suspect used an accelerant to make the fire certain to kill. Not much you can do, code wise, when someone does that to a building. Same thing happened with the World Trade Centers with all that jet fuel feeding the fires that caused those enormous buildings to collapse.

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Posted in: Suicide jumper flung back onto train platform, injuring 2 See in context

Someone suffering from depression isn't in their right mind. I never really understood it until my dad's dementia took him there. While he didn't commit suicide, for a while he constantly yelled that he wanted to die to the extent that we hid all the knives in the his home. I wonder if it might help, for those feeling hopeless, yet still able to work and go to work every day, yet considering suicide, if train companies would open up counseling offices in major stations or have poster campaigns on the walls of stations or inside the trains. Or do they do this already?

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Posted in: 2020 Olympic organizers test heat countermeasures in sweltering Tokyo See in context

Just for comparison, the olympics in Atlanta were held from July 19 through August 4 and the hottest day of the year is around July 22. Atalanta has similar hot and humid weather, although I think Tokyo might be a bit warmer. Anyway, I am sure the olympic committee looked at similar locations like this. I'm not saying I like it or anything, but of course they aren't going to change the dates.

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Posted in: Tokyo holds test to ease highway traffic during Olympics See in context

@GW, That's exactly what I was thinking would happen. Back home in The States it seems like there is the opposite problem. Too many freeway entrances, but it is convenient. Is it because of the toll gates or do they think more entrances cause more congestion?

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Posted in: Tokyo holds test to ease highway traffic during Olympics See in context

Oh wonderful(not) Less expressway entrances? Already you have to travel several kilometers out of your way just to fine one. Many times entrances and exits are even not in the same place.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympics 1 year out: Scandal, high costs but unrivaled demand See in context

My wife and I both applied separately for tickets and only I got 1 ticket for mountain biking way down in Izu. My sister applied in the US and got 7 tickets, but prices were 30 percent higher than ours. I suppose @kurisupisu is right. I wonder what percent of those "high demand" tickets were set aside for private tour companies and for company execs to have vs private individuals like us?

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Posted in: Reports say suspect in deadly Kyoto arson attack had grudge See in context

Theft of ideas is a legitimate concern for creative people, but this awful deed is definitely not what one should do. Just awful an preventable! I am an illustrator and I often send a copy of whatever I create in the mail to myself and label the envelope. That way I get an official postmark that shows when I created the piece or idea. It will hold up in court in the US, but I am not sure about Japan. Of course in America one automatically receives a copyright upon creation of a piece of art, but the method above proves the date it was created. Keep the envelopes sealed. Protect your work, but don't be afraid to share it.

I can't imagine the pain of the families of the victims. RIP

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Posted in: Asian shares advance after Fed signals US rate cut likely See in context

Every time there is a recession, it seems that the interest rates never recover as high as before the dip for the savers among us. In 2008, just before the 'Great Recession' I was earning 5% on some CD's. This recovery has taken a long time and rates peaked at just 3% this past spring. I look forward to the next recession and pseudo recovery to see how 'not' high they will climb. Of course this is great news if you are a developer or home buyer. Looks like I'll have to shift to the market.

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Posted in: Taiwan, Japan succesfully replicate ancient sea migration See in context


Why not the other way round. From Japan to Taiwan

The article says this:

Discovery of relics dating back to more than 30,000 years ago on several islands of the Ryukyu Archipelago has made archeologists speculate that a group of ancient settlers migrated to Japan from what is now Taiwan in the Paleolithic era, which extends from some 2.6 million years ago to around 15,000 years ago.

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Posted in: Abe criticized for calling elevator installation at Osaka Castle 'mistake' See in context

These days you can create historic looking structures and still add modern technology like elevators. Many tasteful Japanese onsen hotels have elevators, so it isn't impossible to merge modern and old. The mistake with the Osaka Castle was making the interior look like a 1950's office building. The outside is impressive to say the least.

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Posted in: Olympic spectators may be allowed to bring own drinks to beat heat See in context

I hope they install drinking fountains at least. Seriously. I recently went to a track meet at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama and security said there were no drinking fountains in the whole stadium!! The lines for the concessions were pretty darned long until well into the meet.

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Posted in: Slug blamed for train service chaos in Kyushu See in context

Slugs hide themselves very well during the daytime, out of the watchful eyes of inspectors.

When my son was 4 we enjoyed taking bug walks at night. One night we decided to count the slugs on the concrete block wall surrounding the elementary school we live next to. We counted 84 slugs! Where the heck to 84 slugs hide during the daytime?

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Posted in: Dementia patients reported missing in 2018 hit record 17,000 See in context

My father was tormented with NPH--Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus(water on the brain) for more than 10 years--5 years from diagnosis. Sadly, we didn't catch it early enough for the treatment to have much of an effect. If caught early, his form of dementia is somewhat treatable and in some cases reversible. The first facility he was in had a code to get out of his wing that would have been impossible for him to figure out or remember. At the second place he was in the guests needed to be buzzed out at the door by a staff member. I can't imagine my dad going missing. Sorry to hear that nearly 200 were never found!

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Posted in: Man indicted for dangerous driving over high-speed crash killing 4 See in context


I've driven over 150km and even hit 170km once in my WRX. I hardly feel like a hardened criminal. 

If you regularly drive like this anywhere besides a track you are a "hardened criminal" as you put it You might be the nicest law abiding person any other time in your life, but you doing this makes you a menace to everyone else on the road, I'm sorry to say. I drive all the time and when I change lanes and check the mirrors and look over my shoulder, if someone like you comes roaring up so quickly from behind, it would be next to impossible to avoid having you hit me, even on the expressways. There's not enough time to react.

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Posted in: Gov't unveils measures to prevent car crashes caused by elderly drivers See in context

...and vehicle-free zones around schools,...

I'd like to know what they have in mind for this. Our home is right across the street from an Elementary school. We are extra cautious exiting our drive way, probably more than most people since we continually have to watch for kids as they try balancing on the curb as they walk along side our fence in the blind spot from where we park. It would stink if they banned us from using our own parking space.

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Posted in: Company employee robbed of ¥10 mil See in context

While not 10 million yen, it is not uncommon for folks to carry a lot of cash around in their wallets here and have you seen the armored car guys? Light vans with guys wearing sci-fi helmets and batons. Then there's the bank employees that travel from home to home delivering cash and taking care of transactions with just a black lock box on the back of their bikes. There is a level of trust here that is unparalleled anywhere on Earth. Thank goodness for Japan. Gives me hope.

It will be interesting to hear more details...

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Posted in: 7-Eleven stores struggling in face of labor shortage See in context


Hehe, your honestly is refreshing and slightly amusing.

Ha. Thank you.

If you were organised - and let's face it, if there were no convenience stores you'd have to be - you wouldn't ever set foot in one.

Very true! If I were more organized and if there weren't any convenient stores, I would take the time to pack a lunch. I often commute 10-20km into Tokyo on a bicycle and I find an Onigiri or a bento perfect as I don't have to take as much time to grab a bite to eat. When we go out as a family, my wife wife will often pack lunches for us.

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