Shipwrecker comments

Posted in: How difficult is it for you to avoid to looking at work-related emails on your days off? See in context

I'm freelance so I check it every few hours but if my kids are home (evenings and weekends) I only respond to something if its truly urgent. I always put my phone away in my office before I go to bed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: The program will have a positive impact because it provides timely support to child-rearing households considering having more children. See in context

The savings our family has made through this program, while welcome, have been more than offset by an increase in our health insurance payments. Also, even though hoikuen is now free for our oldest child, we still have to pay for required extras like hats and smocks. If a family is seriously considering whether to have another child, I doubt this will be enough to tip the scales.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Liverpool, Barcelona dig out wins in Champions League See in context

The Liverpool vs Salzburg game was fun one for the neutrals. Although I'm a bit suspicious about a big corporation owning multiple clubs in different countries, Red Bull seem to be doing a good job of scouting and developing players.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Vinyl records, paper books and magazines are showing growth in some markets. For example, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl album sales grew 12.9% in the first half of this year. What do you think is keeping these old formats going in the digital age? See in context

I still read paper books because I like to go to the library and choose a book based on its cover and blurb. It means I read things I probably would not have come across searching online. It's also a nice break from looking at screens. My Gran has switched to e-books because she can make the font bigger. Different formats meet different needs, so I think there will always be demand for old and new.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: After the Oct 1 rise in the consumption tax from 8% to 10%, do you think the one-yen and five-yen coins will gradually disappear from circulation? See in context

If 5 yen coins disappear from circulation, what will people use for shrine visits?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's first free water refill app, MyMizu beta version, now available for download See in context

If I'm in an unfamiliar area, I usually open up Google maps and look for the nearest park. Probably about 8 times out of 10 it has a water fountain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What habits have you picked up from living in Japan that you sometimes have to try and stop yourself doing when you go overseas because you don't think it will look right? See in context

I've got into a weird habit of adding "ne" to the end of English sentences when I'm talking to my kids. Last time I was in the UK I became hyper-aware of it and irritated myself no end.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What to do if you are stopped by the police in Japan See in context

This article seems to be aimed at British fans in particular and the message is ”Keep your trousers on." Fair enough. The rugby team at my school would strip themselves naked at the drop of a hat (sometimes for charity, often not).

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Having a ball See in context

Mascot for the next World Cup in Australia?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Former Empress Michiko to have surgery for breast cancer on Sunday See in context

Hope it goes well and the cancer is totally removed through the surgery. There are no real positives when it comes to cancer but a removal without the need for chemical or radiation treatments is probably the best outcome for a bad situation.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: 15 rude things not to do on trains in Japan See in context

No. 6 really annoyed me when I lived in the Kanto area. It's really simple - first the people getting off get off, and then the people on the platform get on. It was amazing the amount of barging and shoving some people were willing to do in the slim chance of getting a seat.

Now I live in the inaka I don't take the trains often enough to get bothered by much, but people (usually high schoolers) eating McDonald's can be annoying. I have no problem with people eating on trains, but choose something that doesn't stink out the entire carriage.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Peach Aviation 1st Japanese carrier to drop S Korea flights See in context

LCCs operate on really fine margins (which is why they are so cheap), so a service needs to be about 80% full on every flight or it gets dropped quickly. This is almost certainly an economic decision.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Flat-packed cities: Wooden skyscrapers sprout over concrete concerns See in context

Although it's better than concrete, I wouldn't really describe their properties as an "advantage," just slightly less of a burden. Once wood and bamboo start becoming used in greater quantities, I'm sure it will result in other negative effects on the environment. Urbanization and environmental conservation are not really compatible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan’s problem with noise pollution See in context


A few years ago I had finally got my infant daughter to sleep when she was woken up by one of those cars blaring out the promise of "a quiet neighborhood in which to raise your family."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Johnson assures Abe of smooth Brexit See in context

Caption for the photo above:

Johnson: "Brexit will be smooth."

Abe: "That's a good one. Did I tell you about the time I told everyone Fukushima is under control?"

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Posted in: 5 parakeets stolen from pet store in Fukuoka Pref See in context

I grew up in West Africa and a lot of my friends had African Greys. They are incredible mimics. One of my friends' parrot could mimic the sound of the phone as well as the footsteps of the person running to answer it. The thieves better be careful not to make any incriminating sounds.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: For our readers who live in Japan, what are some items you always make a point to bring back to Japan after you return from a trip abroad? See in context

Marmite, tea, Oxo cubes, and liquorice allsorts.

I also bring back treacle, although I'm sure there must be a Japanese alternative.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Powerful storm lashes parts of Japan; snarls holiday travel See in context

We're getting level 3 warnings here in Okayama which seems about right (stay alert and elderly people should consider evacuating). The wind doesn't seem too bad but after last year's floods everyone is a little wary of the heavy rainfall.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Have you ever used a capsule hotel in Japan? If so, what was the experience like? See in context

I sometimes use them when traveling alone because they often have really good baths. One person snoring can ruin your night's sleep though.

I remember staying at a really small, run-down one in Hiroshima around twelve years ago. When I went to the bath, it was just me and an older Japanese guy. He looked like a really ordinary salary man, maybe about 60 years old, in a plain grey suit. However, when he took it off he was completely covered in tattoos, neck to ankle. Added a little colour to my trip (literally).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What are the pros and cons of teleworking? See in context

@reckless: No, but only because my wife also often works from home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What are the pros and cons of teleworking? See in context

I'm self-employed and work from home. The biggest pros are no commute, always being home to have dinner with my family, and starting work when there's work to be done and finishing when its finished.

The only real con has been a significant reduction in social interactions. Probably one of the reasons why I've started posting on here.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Do people think about their retirement money on the assumption they'll live to 100? I don't think ordinary people do. People have to think now about whether or not they've got any money. See in context

I ran this through my Oyaji to English translator. It came out as "I have no idea about the worries and concerns of ordinary people."

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Posted in: Police reprimand over 20 officers for paid work on study guides See in context

And only 20 are going to take the fall?

It could be these guys were the ringleaders or brokers. Reading the Japanese news, it seems that each PD is handling the matter internally and that some of the PDs have yet to decide the punishments and who will receive them. The punishments being mentioned range from being fired to a 10% pay cut for three months. It looks like they will be dished out according to the amount of money received.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: JAXA says space probe landed on asteroid to get soil sample See in context

Excellent. Let's hope they can bring it back safely next year so we can have a look at what it finds.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you think machines will ever be as good as humans at translating from one language into another? See in context

No, but I think machine translation will become increasingly useful as a tool for aiding translation with different algorithms being developed for specific purposes and situations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 630 cases of violence against train station employees reported in fiscal 2018 See in context


It says in the tiny bullet points at the bottom that JR will call the police on any violent conduct and that it can result in jail time of up to 15 years. I agree with you that this should be the main thrust of the poster.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: City begins square watermelon shipments See in context

The fact they are so expensive is why people buy them. Status symbol to show off to the neighbors or an expensive ochuugen for someone you are trying to impress. If they were around 3,000 yen I bet no-one would bother.

Where I live, 10,000 yen gets you an allotment for four years. Plenty of time to learn to grow your own edible watermelons.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of some of the beverages sold in vending machines and stores in Japan? Seen anything really bizarre? See in context

Peaker Bitter Energy

I necked one and spent the rest of the day furiously pacing around muttering, "I'll show them. I'll show them all!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Which of Japan's three mobile operators — NTT Docomo, SoftBank and KDDI — would you recommend and why? See in context

You missed the other option, which is an MVNO. I'm not a heavy phone user, so a few years ago I switched to an MVNO that uses the Docomo network. You can get a decent sim-free phone for about 20-30,000 yen and my monthly bill is less than a quarter of what I was paying SoftBank. So far so good.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony holds 40th anniversary event for iconic Walkman music player See in context

I walk very quietly compared to my wife and kids. I think the reason is because I spent most of my teens trying to walk in a way that wouldn't make my Walkman jiggle, which would cut out the music for a second. The hard Alice-band style headphones would also make my ears hurt after a while. Still loved it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

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