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Hokkaido sightseeing

    • November 30, 2022
    • December 5, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Japan is the Kingdom of Planetarium

    When did you last go to the planetarium? If you haven’t been there for a long time, like since you were a kid, you should go. It would be much more fun than you think. When a show starts in pitch darkness, I always get overwhelmed by a huge number of stars that look to reach to my eyes, and feel like being hurled off into space. Planetarium shows remind me that I rarely look up at the night sky. In fact, we can’t see such a sky full of stars in real life because of the city lights, though. I went to the planetarium two times this month. The first time, I fell asleep as soon as the show started. I know. It’s so embarrassing even for me to confess this after talking passionately about the attractiveness of the planetarium, but I’m the type of the person who will […]

    • November 16, 2022
    • November 17, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Snow and Ice Igloo Hotels in Hokkaido

    Do you know a Japanese elementary school bag? It’s common in color, design, size, and everything, a symbol of Japanese elementary school students. The bag is called “Randoseru” in Japanese which originates from the Dutch word “Ransel” meaning a bag in English. Let’s call it Ransel here in this article for your pronunciation convenience. Can you believe it? All the elementary school students use it across Japan. In my childhood like more than 30 years ago, only two colors were available: black for boys; red for girls, though any color seems to be available now as shown in the above image. A Ransel was very expensive. As I remember, it was about 500 USD at that time. However, elementary students are supposed to use it for the whole elementary school period of six years. Considering the promised quality to survive long-term super-rough usage by kids, I’m sure the price was […]

    • November 9, 2022
    • November 9, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: A Hokkaido Restaurant (Curry Rice)

    Do you think you can tell good rice from not-so-good one? If you think “Rice is just a foil to the main dish. There is not much of a difference,” that’s completely wrong. Today, I’m going to introduce a restaurant famous for good rice in Hokkaido. More than 30 years ago, when I was a kid, rice made in Hokkaido (our home prefecture) was not so good, but most of the Hokkaido people ate it because it was much cheaper. The times have changed, and proudly enough, Hokkaido rice has become a brand in Japan. Now, due to the breed improvements made repeatedly over time, I think it’s almost impossible to judge good or bad rice, but there’s only one way: Try it after rice gets cold. Really good rice is delicious even after it has cooled down. Some of you may think “What’s the point for the difference? A […]

    • October 4, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Don’t Underestimate Budget Hotels in Japan

    Japan will lift restrictions to foreign tourists On 11th October, the entry restrictions to Japan will be lifted. It’s the dawn of Japan! Are you ready to come to Japan? Of course, we are ready to receive you. Let me know if you’re interested in our factory tour. Today, for those who have longed to visit Japan, let me share special information about accommodation. Before getting to the main point, can I brag a bit about the Japanese hospitality? Japanese budget hotels are good in cost performance I’ve been traveling around the world and staying in many hotels, though most of them were cheap ones. In my experience, Japanese budget hotels are best in cost performance. Even in such budget hotels, I ensure you wouldn’t feel frustrated with their services, basically. They are trained by picky Japanese guests and survive the harsh market in the super-long deflation that has lasted […]

    • September 28, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Magnificent View We’ll Want to See before We Die

    The winter in Hokkaido is beautiful but too long and harsh A hometown is a place to long for from a distance, not to actually live in. This is the English translation of a Japanese famous proverb that often crosses my mind especially around this season. After graduation from college, I had been outside my hometown (Asahikawa, Hokkaido) for about 15 years. Indeed, for a while after coming back, I was just glad to escape from the crazy summer heat and humid climate of the main island of Japan, but now I have been fed up with the long, cold, and snowy winter in my hometown. I know this is man’s foolish nature, like crying for the moon, but the winter in Hokkaido is so long and harsh. The autumn in Hokkaido is short but beautiful Due to the long winter, the autumn in Hokkaido is relatively short but very […]

    • July 21, 2022
    • September 17, 2022

    The Economics of Superstar: Billionaire Architects Will Emerge

    The e-sports industry grows to make million-dollar players Do you like video games? Me? I have no interest at all. When I was a kid, almost all the classmates had Nintendo Entertainment System, but I didn’t. No matter how hard I wished for it, my parents didn’t give the nod. Alternatively, I sometimes went to my friends’ houses to play video games, but it was not so fun because the friends were much better. When I was a college student, Biohazard was released. I bought PlayStation myself to play it. The time came when my dream came true, but probably it was too late. I didn’t get into it. Due to the background like this, I had no idea why e-sports are so trendy and how they can make sense as a business, until I learned the popularity of gameplay videos. It was unbelievable for me that there are many […]

    • July 4, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Economic Psychology: What If You Were the Last Person on Earth?

    What would I do if I were Will Smith? I like sci-fi stories (and movies). I think they are excellent thought experiments to create a completely different world, which always stimulate my interest. For example, “1984” by George Orwell is the story of what if the world is completely ruled by totalitarianism. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (the movie was titled “Blade Runner,” and I really like it) elaborates an imaginary world where androids evolve their intelligence to become more human than humans. The starter of this article is “I Am Legend” starring Will Smith. As most of you know, it’s the movie portraying the last man on earth. If you watched the movie, I believe you’ve imagined “What would I do if I were Will Smith?” In fact, I did many times and was shocked every time to find the simple fact that I can’t live long by […]

    • May 24, 2022
    • October 14, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: What Is Good about Travel by Train?

    Trains are still the king of transportation for tourism Which transportation do you think is best for your trip? By air, sea, or road? According to a report by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the share of travel by train is highest in the domestic market in Japan. The number-based share of travel by train was about 70% in 2020, and has been increasing year by year, along with a trend that young people turn away from driving. It’s not only about the Japanese people. Almost the same thing can be said about tourists from overseas. The share of rail transportation for such tourists to move around Japan is about 55%. For your information, the second is public bus service with a share of about 30%. The advantages of train transportation over other means I don’t know if it’s the same in your countries, but there are […]

    • January 14, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: The World’s Largest Chair Collection in Hokkaido

    Most of the kids are collectomania As I think I’ve learned the figure somewhere, 70% of kids under 6 years old are collectomania. At the age of around 10, I was devoted to collecting stickers that came with chocolate cookies. The stickers were very popular among boys at that time. One day, I found a girl in a car running next to my mother’s car, and showed her the best one from my sticker collection through the car windows. My mother, seeing me, said “Stop it. It’s embarrassing.” I still don’t know why my mother felt embarrassed, but I clearly remember that was the moment I quitted collecting the stickers. Soon after that, I made big money for a kid by selling all the rare stickers to my classmates, by the way. Sorry, the introduction has become a quite long. Today’s topic is collection. Valentino Zagatti Collection: The world’s largest […]

    • January 6, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Asahiyama Zoo and CondeHouse in Hokkaido

    The rebirth of the small zoo on the edge of bankruptcy Do you know the best zoo in the world? It’s San Diego Zoo. In Asia? It’s Singapore Zoo. In Japan? It’s Asahiyama Zoo in our hometown, according to the world zoo ranking of TripAdvisor. Asahiyama Zoo is not biggest in size and the number of visitors in Japan, and doesn’t have any rare animals like pandas, but it’s very popular. In the early 90’s when I was a kid, the zoo was so boring and a little creepy. It was like a horror movie scene of Stephen King: there were few people; animals were deathly still; old and rusty attractions made a squeak (in the amusement area in the zoo). In 1995, the zoo took the first step to the great comeback by the inauguration of a new director. Back to the basics of entertainment The director said “All […]