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Posted in: Kurobe Dam to open to public in 2024 See in context

An interesting topic - the brief article leaves a major question unanswered, namely, how will this route affect the hiking route along the Kurobe river from the dam to Keyakidaira Station? I hiked the 32 kilometer Shimonorouka trail seven years ago and it was a gorgeous route. It is known as one of the most remote routes in Japan and in several places is a narrow path carved into the cliffside above the Kurobe river. Will the hiking route, only open for about two months in late summer before the first snowfalls in the area, continue to be maintained? This is worth a good article about this route and travel ideas for those who would like to take the trip.

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Posted in: Whither thou goest, 'terebi'? See in context

Shouldn’t it be “Whither goest thou…”?

Precisely. "Whither thou goest, I will follow" is from the Old Testament Book of Ruth and was not a question. This misquote comes from a lack of cultural knowledge, perhaps caused by too much television and not enough reading.

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Posted in: 'Folding' compact ramen nabe hot pot cooks up perfect amount of noodles for one See in context

I'll wait for six months and see if I can find one at Hard-off.

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Posted in: Historic Asakusa shopping street in danger as Taito Ward calls for shop evictions See in context

It's not "Taito Ward", rather it is "Tight Wad" government. Go ahead, and ruin one of the few charms greater Tokyo has.

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Posted in: Microwaveable, dishwashable Japanese pet food bowls are made for convenience and good health See in context

Just what I wanted. Now I can throw Taro's leftovers in the frige and pull them out and nuke them when I want a midnight snack. Only the best for Taro and me.

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Posted in: Biden expected to nominate Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan See in context

While I think there could be better picks, as a political appointee Rahm Emanuel is no slouch. He is bright and active, and has the President's ear. There are many other political appointees who would be worse picks for Japanese-US interests.

Kyushu Bill, thanks for remembering the blue and green id card guys. We still work behind the scenes to keep bilateral and multilateral relations calm as much as we can. Hopefully, the current administration's foreign policy will be more stable and even-keeled than that of the last. It was hard to go to bed wondering what top-down crisis would be announced overnight in Japan when the cheese puff was awake and tweeting for US domestic consumption in the states.

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Posted in: Publisher slams gov't handling of virus in 3 newspaper ads See in context

I think the Japanese is stronger than the English - 政治に殺される。I would translate this as “We are being killed by politics” and if I were writing it in Japanese, I would put the blame right on the politicians and say 「政治家に殺される!」or, we are being killed by the politicians.If we were to point fingers further and mentioned which politicians or political parties, we might be censored. Or perhaps that is the point, it is all the politicians and parties, and that is why it is styled as We are being killed by politics.

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Posted in: Pocket Soap lets kids have fun washing hands and destroying kawaii viruses See in context

This is a terrible idea. Firstly, children may likely eat the soap as it is so small. Secondly, there is no such thing as a kawaii virus. If any idea at all, it should be larger soap and it should be kowai. This is just stupid.

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Posted in: Suga receives 2nd vaccine shot ahead of U.S. trip See in context

I wish he and his entire entourage would wait two weeks after their second shot before traveling to the United States and then returning to Japan. It would be safer all around.

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Posted in: Osaka YouTubers’ stupid plan to live-stream marijuana dealer’s arrest backfires See in context

Do the hustle  Why are they in trouble? They carried out two successful stings to get drugs off the streets. They should be contracted by the J-cops.

They are in trouble because the Yakuza contacted their police buddies to arrest and charge the four guys. There is more cooperation between the police, prosecutors, and the yak than is evident here. These four guys embarrassed the police and the yak. This is another police/yak attempt to silence common citizens and remind them to mind their own business. Instead the police prefer to stake out mailboxes and arrest stupid guys who are dumping bentos.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic organizers to consider daily COVID-19 tests on athletes See in context

Hope spectators are checked every day before entering venues, too.

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Posted in: Suga receives COVID-19 vaccine shot ahead of U.S. trip See in context

"Good for him. Get the vaccine publicly and lead by example. He just may last a few years as PM."

Then again, taking the risk of rushing his shots and not being fully protected, he and the whole group might get COVID in the states and he may not last very long as PM. They might all be eligible for Darwin awards, though.

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Posted in: Suga receives COVID-19 vaccine shot ahead of U.S. trip See in context

Please stay in Japan until 27 April, two weeks after the second shot on 13 April. There is no need to rush coming to the United States before you and your entire group are fully protected from the Washington strain of COVID. Don't take anything back to Japan with you that will start another spread of the disease in Kasumigaseki. Why not have Biden come and visit you? After all, he has had all his shots.

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Posted in: 76-year-old woman arrested for killing husband with saw See in context

Japan Today editors - You've reported on several old couple crimes lately. What happens after the people are charged with murder? Do you have any follow-up stories? Are there many old people incarcerated for spouse killings? Or for just putting the departed's body in the closet for several months like other of your reports? While these are horrific crimes, you don't seem to report much on trials or outcomes after the people are charged. No Shukan Weekly or other articles on what happens to those charged?

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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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