Bicycle Parking – making the streets safe for more cycling

Everyone, like even your mum rides a bicycle in Japan.  As transport options go they are cheap, easy to maintain and easy to park.  The last one is a bit too easy sometimes. Railway stations often have large parking areas for bicycles, sometimes outhouses with multiple levels of racks.  Take  a walk around a Japanese … Continue reading Bicycle Parking – making the streets safe for more cycling

Carspotting Japan (1 in an infinite series)

In a word, immaculate. Cars, trucks and buses are all immaculately turned out. First sight was a line of Prius α (aka Prius V) taxis at Kansai Airport, the first of which received further cleaning attention from its driver. They were fitted with steel wheels with hub caps, as for the S "L Selection". Lots … Continue reading Carspotting Japan (1 in an infinite series)

Probability of strong quakes revised upward for eastern Japan | The Japan Times Online

Probability of strong quakes revised upward for eastern Japan | The Japan Times Online. The Japanese seismic intensity scale "shindo" is a measure of the effects of an earthquake.  It is more meaningful for what is happening at the surface and at various locations away from the epicentre.  In general, a higher Magnitude means a higher shindo, but there … Continue reading Probability of strong quakes revised upward for eastern Japan | The Japan Times Online

M7.3 tremblor could have been an aftershock from 3/11

Japan Times is reporting that the Japan Meteorological Agency said the 5:18 p.m. quake was likely an aftershock of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami [東北地方太平洋沖地震], the magnitude-9 quake that devastated the region on 11 March 2011 and warned of an aftershock from Friday's temblor of up to magnitude 6 within a week. A tsunami of up to … Continue reading M7.3 tremblor could have been an aftershock from 3/11

The Japan Times – Japan, Russia to discuss territorial row

The Japan Times - Japan, Russia to discuss territorial row

The Northern Territories (or the Southern Kurils from Russia) are another disputed territory claimed by Japan.  The Japanese and Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers will be meeting about the islands.  There probably still won't be a treaty, but there might at least be some progress.  Protests, on the other hand, are less likely.  My guess is that Noda and Putin would like to show strength and calm and are more interested in Vladivostok and Hokkaido in the context of a regional economy.

(When I was in Sapporo in January 2004, the lady in the bathhouse mistook me for a Russian.  Her inadvertent remark to my wife - that there was a big, hairy Russian in the male bath - was wrong in only one particular.  Everywhere else in Japan they think I'm American.)