Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
"Is Japanese tradition fresher to you than foreign cultures. Hey youngster, stop by and have some fun. Respect the old ways and develop the new. Isnt that whats interesting."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
BBC News, Tokyo
Tokyo police have begun a week-long crackdown against the twice-daily scourge of gropers on commuter trains.
Undercover teams have been deployed on some lines in a bid to catch molesters in the act on crowded trains.
Last year more than 6,000 people were arrested on suspicion of groping or taking unsolicited photographs.
According to one survey, nearly two-thirds of young women have been groped on public transport. Some train lines have introduced women-only carriages.
Tokyo police have begun what is being described as a "groping prevention week".
There are conspicuous extra police patrols in stations handing out leaflets, and undercover teams have been deployed on trains to try to catch men in the act.
Gropers can be imprisoned for up to seven years in Japan.
Local reports say the police are particularly concerned that gropers are using the internet to co-ordinate their activities and form gangs.
Several suspects arrested in recent months are said to have told officers they had targeted particular train lines because of recommendations they had read on websites.
Published: 2009/09/14 11:23:21 GMT
© BBC MMIX
Monday, September 14, 2009
Another fun-fact (lifted straight off AFP): Japan, located on the tectonic crossroads known as the "Pacific Ring of Fire" and dotted with volcanoes, is one of the world's most quake-prone countries, and Tokyo is located in one of its most dangerous areas.
As they say at the British school, Crikey. (Lots of Ozzies at BST.)
I must confess I don't really think about the earthquake threat very much, but as it was the topic of conversation at my last book club meeting (we did discuss the book -- Robert Harris' The Ghost, which most of us agreed was entertaining if not terribly deep) I decided to dig up the earthquake prep kit that Terry ordered from his employer shortly after we arrived here, about 18 months ago, and make it more accessible. Or at least take a look at the contents. It now sits on our kitchen counter, ready to go.
I was delighted to discover that the kit included this fireproof, stylishly metallic rucksack (my friend Mizuho says the kanji printed on the pocket means EMERGENCY BAG) into which I have tucked a Swiss army knife, some beef jerky, a few granola bars and several bags of nuts, along with the other items that came with it: tweezers, Qtips, gauze, scissors, a length of rope, a flashlight and batteries, a whistle (in case I am trapped in rubble and am too weak to shout out for rescue? will I be Kate Winslet in Titanic?), a votive candle and matches, work gloves, a blue tarp, a plastic rain poncho, two tins of rice crackers and a single bottle of Mt. Fuji mineral water.
I added the case of six 2-L bottles. It makes a handy shelf for the pack. Mizuho says I should buy a portable toilet, but I'm not sure it would fit in the bag.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Wish I had seen the sleeveless version sooner. Genius.
This, above, is the Ladies' toilet guide. Terry reports that the one in the men's room is a bit different, in that it includes urinals, and does not have the shelf-and-mirror area for fixing makeup and hair, represented here by a backwards L of little black squares (stools, so you can sit while you fuss). A line of sinks, each with its own motion-sensor-triggered hand dryer, runs the length of the stall room.
...especially when we were in Athens, Georgia, watching my sister play ultimate frisbee, miles from any obtainable beverages other than whatever you thought to bring from home.