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Posted in: Go To Travel campaign may partially resume after state of emergency lifted See in context

I've got my two inoculations and am hoping to be back in Japan a month while the GO TO TROUBLE campaign is still on. Looking for the discount travel.

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Posted in: How to turn your leftover instant ramen broth into 'chawanmushi' egg custard See in context

Innovative, but who has leftovers from instant ramen?

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Posted in: Japanese style home-made vegetable stock: A warm nutrition boost See in context

Japanese cucumber is great lightly oiled and braised. It does not fall apart, and tastes great.

Making stock is easy. Most of those things listed are fine to eat - brown onion skins and bones are the difficult exceptions. For the others, cooking in a stockpot and then liquifying makes a rich stock. The shitake stems give great umami. The Costco roasted chicken carcasses also make excellent stock - just got to take the meat off of the bones after a brief stint in the pressure cooker. Stock is great for ramen.

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Posted in: Woman hitchhiker stabbed by man in car in Kochi Pref See in context

I've both hitchhiked and picked up Japanese hitchhikers throughout Japan from Hokkaido through Kyushu. It helps if, as a gaijin, one has a sign with the direction of travel written on it. My longest set of rides was from Beppu to Nagoya.

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Posted in: 15-year-old boy arrested over fatal stabbing of woman in shopping mall See in context

More details of the story can be found in the Nishi Nippon Newspaper at

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Posted in: Japanese couples who want to try living together can now rent apartments for as little as one week See in context

So how is this different from renting an Air B&B for a week? What is a typical weekly rental rate?

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Posted in: Bad weather delays launch of UAE Mars mission from Japan See in context

What will the Martians think with all these probes from Earth arriving at the same time?

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Posted in: Why the U.S. might not open up to international travelers any time soon See in context

Well, some of us are wondering when Japan will open back up. A 14-day quarantine period is hefty if you want to go to somewhere beyond the few international airport cities. I don't see the Trump administration working earnestly to get foreign destinations to ease up on restrictions for Americans; I expect the administration would rather have Americans traveling and spending money inside the United States (and sharing Covfefe-19 domestically).

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Posted in: Hong Kong history exam on Japan questions sparks China rebuke See in context

browny1 Actually, similarly such questions could not be posed in Japan's entrance exams as for one - the right wing reverbs would be quake-worthy and secondly - essay discussion and opinion writing are not a feature of the public exam system here at all - unfortunately.

When I saw the headline, I thought this was a Japanese University history exam question, and I rejoiced that a university would ask such a question. Too bad it wasn't so. This is an excellent question for Hong Kong, Chinese or Japanese students, especially exchange students studying in one of the other political units.

A similar exam problem could be: Discuss the US occupation of Okinawa until 1972. Include both pros and cons. In you opinion, did US occupation of Okinawa end with the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972? Why or why not.

Questions like this years after an event ends stimulate creative thinking and test both students' knowledge of events and their ability to reason and draw conclusions.

I could see Chinese leaders piqued at a Japanese university history exam asking such a question even more than a Hong Kong university history exam having such a question. Perhaps a similar question would be, did the GOJ protest the inclusion of the question in the HK university exam? Why or why not?

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Posted in: Road accidents in Japan fall to record low in April See in context

Japan has a higher percentage of pedistrian deaths in traffic accidents than several other developed countries. I wonder if the percentage of pedistrian deaths went down more than the total deaths, as it could be possible with less old people walking in and crossing the streets without regard to traffic signals and crosswalks.

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Posted in: Road accidents in Japan fall to record low in April See in context

Japan has a higher percentage of pedistrian deaths in traffic accidents than several other developed countries. I wonder if the percentage of pedistrian deaths went down more than the total deaths, as it could be possible with less old people walking in and crossing the streets without regard to traffic signals and crosswalks.

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Posted in: What Japan's 'hikikomori' can teach us about self-isolation See in context

It's a shame that Kyodo couldn't find any women hikikomori who would be interviewed. Or is this just a male thing in Japan?

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Posted in: Please stay away See in context

bareendrodent, the signs say that the public lot is for local citizens and commercial vehicles only through May 6th. The lot is not closed to locals, but to tourists/visitors. That is why they don't chain off the lot. BTW, your point reminds me of several parking lots I saw in Houston on my way back to Kansas City from Japan. I was not aware so many US parking lots had gates so that the lots could be closed. Many lots of restaurants, hotels, and businesses/stores that were closed due to the Corona had gates that were closed. These lots did not have fences around them, just gates over the roadway. It reminded me of the chains across Japanese lots.

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Posted in: Haneda airport to check domestic passengers' temperatures See in context

a better idea.... have people prove a real need to travel for any public transportation out of Tokyo

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Posted in: Store shelves stripped of toilet paper amid coronavirus fears See in context

Bidets spreading diseases? Not unless you are using them as drinking fountains.

A lot has changed since the 1970s oil shock and that toilet paper crisis. 1) most of Japan has flush toilets- those pump trucks really stank.ts. 2) washlets are much cheaper and are almost ubiquitous. 3) TP is much softer and not as slick or sand paperish. 4) if you have to use newsprint or cut up magazines, today's ink won't come off on your fanny as easily. Still can't flush newsprint or catalog paper, though. We are much better off now than in the 1970s.

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Posted in: United Airlines sharply cuts flights to Japan, S Korea See in context

I am flying into Haneda on March 12 on United. Would love to have the plane less than half full. More seat room for all. And perhaps more upgrades too.

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Posted in: Japan announces basic policy to fight spread of coronavirus See in context

@ theFu But aren't all Japanese wearing masks? Doesn't that prevent virus spreading? No?

Answers: Japanese politicians are wearing masks, and they cover their eyes completely. Cofefe-19 is not spreading, and is only in isolated instances. This will not change unless it gets to Nagatacho or Kasumigaseki. Otherwise, it is something to make policy pronouncements about. Until then, we can just wash our hands of the whole thing.

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Posted in: Train operators refining 'live' foreign-language announcements ahead of Olympics See in context

I would be more afraid of drivers if they were trying to make announcements in foreign languages. They need to concentrate on driving. If it were a conductor or another person, fine, but not the drivers. They need to concentrate on the signals, speed, etc, not playing with cell phones or trying to read romaji scripts of foreign languages.

I do appreciate the multi-language taped announcements. I appreciate more understanding the first announcement in Japanese on trains and planes, so that I can be prepared to get off (or head to the restroom before seat belting) ahead of those who are relying on the English or other language announcements.

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Posted in: Sapporo Snow Festival ending after unprecedented lack of snow See in context

"Due to record warm weather this year, we didn't have much snow and the snow contained more water which made the statues melt easily," Suzuki told AFP.

What else does snow contain? Perhaps something was lost in translation.

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Posted in: 13 regional airports in Japan to lose flights to mainland China See in context

So, should I cancel my trip to Fukuoka from the states next month? I am planning to spend a month in Kyushu. How fast will the virus spread from Yokohama? Watching ...

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Posted in: Japan launches new intelligence-gathering satellite See in context

Intelligence without intelligence? Look to the administration in Washington DC for a perfect example.

Congratulations NSADA and the H2A program. I went to Tanegashima to witness a launch once. It was an earthmoving experience.

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Posted in: Seven-Eleven to end contract with franchisee who cut opening hours See in context

The original Seven-Elevens were open from 7 am to 11 pm. At the time, this schedule was scandalously long hours that were convenient for all people who worked and needed to get things at unusual hours - thus originated the term convenience store and later combini. 7/11 holdings has made a mockery of the combini idea through its mercantilistic attitudes. I will try to limit my use of 7/11 too and use the other combinis. 24/7 stores have never been convenient for store employees.

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Posted in: Woman walking her dog killed in hit-and-run incident; driver arrested See in context

While Japan does have a higher proportion of pedistrians killed in accidents with vehicles than many other industrial countries, that does not mean that the drivers are responsible for a majority of the accidents, only that they can be held accoutable. A 78 yo woman walking her dog? Probably oblivious to the traffic on the road and careless in her walking. Perhaps she was hard of hearing, or losing her eyesight, or still mostly asleep, or following the dog rather than controlling it. As I get into senior citizenhood I am aware that both my five sences are diminishing and that my reaction times are slower, whether I am driving or walking.

An awful lot of Japanese walkers appear to have no sense as to where vehicles are around them. And the national police are not in charge of licensing pedistrians. Nor do they write many tickets for jaywalking. While we get mandatory education classes each time we renew our driver licenses, there is no requirement for pedistrians to get equal classes reminding them of walking safety. JMHO

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Posted in: Emperor, empress visit Ise shrine to complete 2 enthronement rites See in context

rcch - Bansai! May the emperor live 1000 years! He is 59 this year, and this may be a once (or twice) in a lifetime event for observers. This is the second enthronement that I've lived through, and I hope it lasts long enough to be my last. I plan to live another 30 plus years. Respect and sympathise with them, and many years from now may you look back on them as curious and ancient rituals that you can relate to those who have never experienced one. Let's hope that Reiwa is a benevolent and peaceful era.

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Posted in: Emperor leaves for Ise shrine to mark end of enthronement rites See in context

kokoro7, i think your points on Naruhito's chance to ingratiate himself and the royal family with his people are spot on, and was not trying to say that long-term observers of Japan and its cultural nuances were not valid. Sorry if it appeared that way. I, too, have lived in Japan for many years (over 17 years); am knowledgable about Japanese society, history, culture, and literature; and am somewhat fluent in Japanese, although my fluency has dropped since I moved to Kansas ten years ago

I was instead trying to point out that non-voters' (I may have incorrectly used the word non-Japanese) opinions were insignificant regarding the spending of Japanese government funds in support of the royal family. This includes the opinions of foreign residents who pay taxes in Japan but are not citizens and do not have voting rights. I did not seek to denigrate short-term tourists, English instructors, or long-term foreign residents of Japan.

Just one foreigner's opinion

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Posted in: Emperor leaves for Ise shrine to mark end of enthronement rites See in context

Condemnatory statements by non-Japanese are of no consequence in Japanese perceptions of the importance of this traditional and historical event or of how the government spends its funds in support of the imperial family. If the same condemnatory statements were overwhelmingly supported by Japanese there might be some significance to them. The Daisoji rites do not have effects on Japan's foreign policy or its relations with outside nations and thus, no gaikoku opinions are relevant here.

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Posted in: Pro-Uighur march See in context

And I thought this was a Blue Men promotional march till I read the caption.

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Posted in: What's app? See in context

I find it ironic that above this picture is the headline for a different article entitled "Illustrator shows different types of perverts encountered on Japanese trains"

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Posted in: Some see Japanese era system as unnecessary, unsuited for modern age See in context

零和 is the kanji for the reiwa geimu or zero-sum game.

I prefer 霊和 or spiritual harmony (maybe departed harmony)

I expect that there are plenty of alternate renditions that will lead to traditional Japanese puns on this reiwa business.

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Posted in: JR to send security camera images to police in emergencies See in context

Great. It is a bit orwellian in theory. I don't mind it at all though. Like I don't mind those infrared cameras checking for people with high fevers when deplaning at Narita or Haneda from overseas. Or being thumb printed every time I enter Japan at immigration. And I am not concerned with facial recognition software at train, subway, and bus stations. Just don't slow us down while doing the extra checks.

Using the train or subway or airline or bus is granting permission. If you don't want to give permission, don't use the services. Pay cash for all transactions. Wear a coat with your face covered. Walk whenever possible. Don't carry a cell phone, smaho or not. Wear gloves so as not to leave fingerprints.

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