Raymond Coerwinkel comments

Posted in: WikiLeaks says US spied on Japanese government, companies See in context

Americans often say that the US is so great because of freedom but they are spying on everyone.

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Posted in: 70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive See in context


Well said!!


I think colonisation almost always starts with a lot of blood but after a while the blood becomes less because it is clear to the subjugated that they can't win (after many of them died). A war of independence brings new bloodshed. Japan was still a 'fresh' colonizer when they commited the Nanjing massacre.

The American natives are totally subjugated and outnumbered and live often in deep poverty. Seeing how they lived made me very sad.


Steven Pinker argues in his book 'The Better Angels of Our Nature' that the world is slowly becoming more peaceful, let's hope he is right.

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Posted in: 70 years on, survivors keep memory of Battle of Manila alive See in context


The Philippines was an American colony, not a European colony.

So what do you mean with "This is something you rarely hear, and I wonder if it's not residue of the Eurocentric Colonial days where Manila is considered a secondary outpost when compared to the war in Europe at the time." ?

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Posted in: Record high number of tourists visit Japan in January See in context

People from Thailand visit Hokkaido in winter to experience the snow...

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Posted in: What are some of the challenges that you've encountered when traveling in Japan? See in context

I really enjoyed Japan. I didn't join an organized tour. I don't speak Japanese.

It is easy to get around by train, bus and metro and there is plenty of English signage at the train stations and the Japanese are very willing to help. I also liked cycling in Japan, for example in Nara, Kyoto, Takayama and the Kibi plane, renting a bicycle is not expensive.

I could get money everywhere at the 711 ATMs with my debit card, no problem at all, there are 711s everywhere. I never use traveller checks, even Laos has plenty of ATMs nowadays.

One restaurant didn't have an English menu and no plastic dish examples in the window but I pointed at the food of other eaters. Japanese food is yummy. Even the 711s have good food. It suprised me that the ryokan wanted to know how late I wanted to eat breakfast but the next day I understood because that breakfast was a really complicated meal consisting of many different small dishes for 1000 Yen.

I travelled during the Golden Week but it was not too crowded, except in the Matsumoto castle and the Ginkaku temple in Kyoto. I reserved the trains via the JR Railpass just after arrival at the airport.

I flew from Amsterdam to Osaka Kansai and I departed from Tokyo Narita, that is easy and it saves one ride with the Shinkansen.

A two person room in a hotel is usually only slightly more expensive than a one person room, same in Europe, I don't understand the issue.

Tokyo is not a grid city like New York so finding your way around is a bit more difficult, once I couldn't find a restaurant from the guide book and I went to another one instead because I was becoming a bit tired. I tried again the next day and had no problem finding it.

You don't have to tip unlike the US. Japan was cheaper than I expected. The Yen is lower nowadays so Japan has become even more affordable.

I will return!! I have also visited and enjoyed other Asian countries (China, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam) but Japan is the most interesting imo when it comes to crafts, art and culture.

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Posted in: Why is Japan such an unpopular tourist destination? See in context

I think visiting Japan is great. The Japanese are very friendly and they are willing to help and it is not expensive despite its reputation of being very expensive. Tokyo is a lot cheaper than New York and the people in Tokyo are friendlier than the people in New York.

I don't speak Japanese but I didn't experience any serious communication troubles, I was never lost or something like that.

I really liked visiting China, Taiwan and South Korea too but Japan art and crafts are more interesting imho. You can see a lot of stuff in Japan that you can't see anywhere else. Visit South Korea if you want to visit South Korea, don't visit South Korea because you think that Japan is too expensive, that is unfair to South Korea. South Korea can't substitute Japan, it is too different.

Asia is becoming wealthier so I think that more and more Asians will visit Japan.

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