Don’t believe it when you read that Japan in a technophile’s dream. Free wi-fi hotspots are not available anywhere and at home, internet speeds are not super fast everywhere. Especially not in my house where streaming a clip from youtube and navigating a web page at the same time is considered an event to be celebrated for generations.
Having had to deal with my terrible internet for over a year, I suddenly snapped, decided to cancel it and bought this instead:
This little device is the EMOBILE Pocket Wi-Fi D25HW. It basically uses a 3G signal and broadcasts a wi-fi one so you can use any wireless device anywhere. It can achieve speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps which, unbelievably, is miles better than my home internet ever achieved. It supports up to 5 devices at once and now I can use my iPod Touch to surf the internet when out and about, rather than using my mobile phone and incurring mad charges from my phone company. Also now I don’t have to use the terrible Japanese Twitter mobile site, but that is another story.
The device is small an easily fits in your pocket but I have yet to take it to deepest, darkest Japan. So far it has worked great anywhere I have taken it except, oddly, my bedroom at night (which may or may not able to be classed as deepest, darkest Japan depending on your opinion). So it sits in the living room charging most of the time, it’s battery life is perhaps the only drawback. They claim it lasts about 4 hours of constant use and that seems about fair but if you use it while it is charging it does not completely fill the battery, which can lead you to being caught short.
All in all, this is a great little device that frees me from the shackles of an immobile internet and allows me to procrastinate wherever I want.
Everybody knows about the reputation Japan has for space age toilets. Bidets, deodorisers, massages and heated seats are commonplace. However you never hear about the flushing options that are available to you.
Almost every toilet I have seen in this country presents you with a dilemma: Do you go big or small? You see, on every flush there are 2 Kanji, 大 (big) and 小 (small). 大 gives you a big, strong, powerful flush, capable of sucking down an elephant while 小 gives you a refined, personable flush.
For all my time in Japan I have always used 大 (you know, just to be certain) but fairly recently it was Earth Day. While attending the festival in Yoyogi Park I felt a little guilty at my lack of “ECO” and started to think about ways to help save the environment. Using only the small flushes was just about the only thing I could think of.
So now I am an Eco-warrior, saving the planet’s water supply one flush at a time.
Hamami literally means “flower viewing” and is a time of year around the end of March to the beginning April where people go for picnics in parks with lots of cherry trees. Everybody loves cherry blossoms here, for about 3 weeks everyone is talking about them. Being from England I didn’t see what the excitement was all about. Sure they are kind of pretty but nothing to get worked up about.
I recently discovered that the fun to be had was sitting under the tree rather than looking at it. Basically people use it as an excuse to get very very drunk. People place their tarpaulin on the ground and sit there all day drinking alcohol, eating food and drinking yet more alcohol.
Everyone joins in too, young and old alike. In fact, during Hanami season the office junior is sent to find a spot in the local park in the morning and sits there all day to save it until after office hours.
So now I agree, cherry blossoms are great. However, they often leave me with a headache in the morning.