Japan

Japan

2010 Hatsuyuki (First Snow) in Tokyo

English

Last night, Tokyo had its first snowfall for 2010.  Here's a photo of snow-covered houses taken from our veranda.

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Public Holidays in Japan and the Philippines for 2010

English

Here's a parallel list of holidays in Japan and the Philippines for this year:

Keitai Chess

English

Keitai ChessKeitai ChessToday, I downloaded a Chess game software for my mobile phone. Unfortunately, there is one defect that I found. (FYI, Chess is not widely played in Japan, though they have this board game called Shogi which is very similar to Chess.)

Calling international toll-free numbers from Japan

English

I needed to call my bank in the Philippines. Fortunately, the bank has a toll-free number so I can call them without worrying much about the cost. I checked the toll-free number from the website of the bank and this is what is written:

[Intl. Access Code] + 800-8-631XXXX (I changed the last four digits to XXXX.)

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Chirashi, Japanese traditional spam

English

In Tokyo, and in most Japanese cities that I've been to, there are no widely-circulated local newspapers and only national dailies such as the Asahi, Yomiuri or Mainichi Shinbun are being sold. As the circulation of these national dailies usually reach millions, the advertising rate naturally goes high and this makes it very expensive for small establishments to advertise in newspapers. This explains why there are almost no advertisements for used goods, jobs and grocery store coupons in these newspapers.

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Movie-going, from Manila to Tokyo

English

Transformers 2Transformers 2"Patingin-tingin, di naman makabili
Patingin-tingin, di makapanood ng sine
Walang ibang pera, kundi pamasahe
Nakayanan ko lang, pambili ng dalawang yosi"

About twelve years ago, the song with the above passage became popular in the Philippines. It describes the lowly condition of someone who has little money to spend, even on simple things as going to the movies. As a student with a meager allowance at that time, I was able to relate well to the song.

Annual Medical Exam in Japan

English

A few days ago, I had my Teiki Kenko Shindan or annual medical checkup. In Japan, employees who are regularly employed by a company are required to undergo annual medical tests, of which the expenses are to be shouldered by the employer.

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Rizal and the Japanese Language

English

Jose RizalJose Rizal
People studying Japanese could benefit from Jose Rizal’s method in learning a new language. According to historians, Rizal memorized five new root words every night.

For those who do not know Rizal, he is the National Hero of the Philippines and he was a polymath and a polyglot. Rizal knew 22 languages including the Japanese Language. He stayed in Japan for about 6 weeks from February 28 to April 13, 1888.

Just how good was Rizal in speaking Japanese? Was his six weeks of stay in Japan enough for him to acquire proficiency in Japanese?

Baggage and Limousines

English

One of the things that people who are relocating to another place worry about is how to move their belongings. This is particularly problematic when you relocate to another country like Japan. Of course, if you have the money to spend, then it is not actually a problem. But if you're the average "sarariman", it is something to worry about.

In the case of moving to Japan, there are several inexpensive ways to move your belongings from the airport to the place where you will stay (you have a place to stay, right?). Here are some of them:

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