Daylight Saving Time

Geographical spot of Tokyo is 35 degree north and 139 degree east. On the Winter Solstice Day in Tokyo Sun rises at 6:47am and sets at 4:31pm,daylight length is 9 hours 44 minutes. On the Summer Solstice Day Sun rises at 4:26am and sets at 7:00pm, daylight length is 14hours 35 minutes.
In North America the Daylight Saving Time (DST) starts in March and last till November. Japanese once introduced it during the American occupied era of right after the second World War but have never have done it. After 3/11 of Fukushima disaster there will be expected power shortage but seems no one is talking about introducing the DST.

I'm not sure about the saving of energy from the DST but it is obvious Japanese are wasting almost two hours of day light in summer as most of people don't wake up at 4:30am and sun sets at 7:00pm. It is hard to believe sun sets at as early as 7:00pm in the middle of summer. Most people enjoy the daylight after the work in Europe or North America but without DST it is very dark evening in Japan. They should apply DST of two hours instead of one hour all year round. Then Japanese can enjoy daylight until 6:30pm even in a middle of winter.

# by urashimataroh | 2011-12-20 17:45

Public Transportation

When you ride subway, bus or any public transportation in Tokyo, people go through ticket wicket by just placing their IC card pass on the sensor. Sensor instantly shows how much money you have in your pass.
When you are getting off through the wicket, the sensor shows how much was the fare and how much left in your pass. You touch the sensor just one second. You don't need to pull out the card from your wallet. Just touch the sensor with your wallet. I have three or so other cards with IC chip in my wallet but it seems to be no problem.

TTC, Toronto Transit Commission, ride fare is $3 flat at the time of September 2011. Paying $3, you can go all the way wherever TTC route go. Switching from subway to bus, bus to subway or bus to bus are all included. You can go to your destination by changing all the routes without paying additional fare.
So it is very cheap if you go very long distance however it is very expensive if you go just one bus stop.

TTC increases fare almost every year but if they make one time investment of introducing IC card pass then they have some room to improve fare system.

# by urashimataroh | 2011-12-19 14:40

Different Cultures

Urashma Taroh is the mythology of a fisherman who rescued a turtle at the beach from kids abusing. The turtle thanked him for the rescue and took him to the Shangri-La at the bottom of ocean. After spending beautiful few days there he came back to fishing village with a secret box which was prohibited to open. He was told that the box contains HIS TIME so do not open it. The village was completely different and he knows no one. He thought opening box may take him back to the village he knew. He opened it and he suddenly aged hundred of years. It may suggest "Relativity" where people fly with a light speed not to age but people remain on the ground age naturally. The mythology may have created from Alien Abduction.

I moved to Canada in early 80's and now back to Japan. It seems that I feel like I'm a Urashima Taroh being in Japan as so many things have changed in bad or good way. I wanted to share my Taroh's feeling of how things are different. Taroh is also a Yogi and feel many things being right or not from ecological or Yogi point of view.

This is the major annoying thing in Japan and I wanted to share with you at first.

At the local train station, computer generated woman voice makes announcement such as "The train is arriving please wait to stay inside the yellow line as it is dangerous. The next stop will be SHINJUKU. After SHINJUKU the train will stop at each station." After you get in the train "The next station is XXXXXXXX. The door on the right side is open. You can switch to the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx lines" almost 10 other routes are announced in Japanese and English. In most case the train conductor also makes announcement such as "Please do not leave your personal belonging and be cautious to get off the train" or whatever he or she feels comfortable to do it. Some point on the route the announcement is made such as "We operate the train carefully but we may have to apply a sudden brake so please hold on to the hand rail" again in Japanese and English. It is very noisy inside and outside the train when you need to ride a train. Are they listen to those announcements ? Perhaps these bother only non-Japanese. One time I went shopping to the famous Swedish furniture store in Yokohama. There is a shuttle service from the convenient train station. The shuttle arrived and all the people got in and there was about ten minutes wait before the shuttle leaves. "Welcome to our store XXXXX. You can xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, all kind of instructions how you shop the things at the store" pre-recorded announcement repeated all that ten minutes until the driver started the engine.
I felt like go abroad to buy furniture because when you are on board the plain they make all kind of announcements like these train ride. It was not like this noisy 30 years ago.

We don't hear anything like this when you are in Canada, US or western European counties.
I though it is a typical east Asian culture for being very noisy. I went to Taiwan few days ago and took several subway rides but WOW ! The Taipei Transit Commission are not like Japanese.
They make announcement only next station name in Mandarin and English. So Japanese are very special now. Why ? I don't know. I need to find it out.

# by urashimataroh | 2011-12-18 09:09