• October 25, 2022
    • October 25, 2022

    Japan Travel in the Know: Hokkaido Is the Kingdom of Bread

    Many good bakeries in Hokkaido “How old are you?” “How old do I look?” Humans have made progress and finally landed on the Moon in 1969, but we continue to return a stupid question to a stupid question as above. When are we matured enough? Is this only in Japan? There are still more stupid questions very often exchanging between Japanese people including me like “Are you a cat person or a dog person?” “Which do you prefer for breakfast, bread or rice?” As some people may be surprised to hear the last question, Japan is not a rice country any more. The annual purchase volume of bread and rice becomes roughly even. Especially among other prefectures, our hometown Hokkaido is famous for bread because here is the kingdom of the agricultural (wheat) and dairy (milk) industries in Japan. There are many well-known bakeries, and one of the major groups […]

    • October 18, 2022
    • October 24, 2022

    How to Deal with Methane Emissions from Cows in Dairy Farms in Hokkaido

    Japan Customs and Coast Guard are different and separate organizations, but they very often work together especially at a sea port. For that reason, when working as a Customs official, I sometimes went for a drink with Coast Guard officials. One day when we were at some Japanese-style bar and I ate mantis shrimps, one of them said with a grin “Be careful to check if there’s human hair in it. When finding a drowned body in the sea, we always see them swam the body.” After hearing that, I can’t eat mantis shrimps. What decides our likes and dislikes is genetic and environmental factors, and negative memories as above are one of the major environmental factors. I believe you, too, have had that kind of experience. We can see how unstable and sensitive our sense of likes and dislikes is. Sorry in advance if I make you feel bad, […]

    • October 12, 2022
    • November 20, 2022

    Giant Tree Hunt in Hokkaido #2

    As I mentioned I enjoy finding big trees on googlemap, I went to the following point when I had to go out to the east Hokkaido. Toyotomi elm stands alone at the roadside in Bihoro town, the northwestern part of Lake Kussharo. Toyotomi elm is 550 years old and greatly conspicuous surrounded by vast farmland. It is designated as a preserved tree by the town of Bihoro in 1977. Although a part of bark is peeling, the tree appears to have been well cared. 550 years ago, Japan was at the height of the samurai era. It is said that Kyoto was burnt to the ground during this time, by the Painting depicting a battle during the Ōnin War. Toyotomi elm is approximately same age with the painting below. Bihoro town was settled by Japanese around 1887. When the area was settled, trees growing in the area were completely deforested […]

    • October 11, 2022
    • October 13, 2022

    Marketing Tips: How to Tell Good from Bad

    We live from feeling to feeling Do you know how many decisions you make in a day? Including trivial ones, like blowing your nose or reading this article, for example. It is said to be about 35,000. Do you believe we can make such many decisions logically and rationally? Of course, not. It’s beyond our capacity. We make most (65%) of our daily decisions based on our emotions and biases. Making matters worse (for marketers to predict consumer behavior), we decide our daily actions seven seconds before we make up our minds according to John-Dylan Haynes, an eminent neuroscientist, as I wrote before. Behavioral economics to analyze and meet customer needs Nevertheless, in classical economics, people were defined as an economic man, who acts individually according to economic rationality. Apparently, the economic man was an imaginary creature like a unicorn. Thus, marketers were forced to fight a losing battle. However, […]

    • October 6, 2022
    • October 6, 2022

    Civil engineering heritage in Hokkaido #1

    What’s the civil engineering heritage? Does your city or region have civil engineering heritage? They may be a big bridge, dam, bund, tunnel, and any construction or architecture that have a significant impact on the development of local industry and have supported people’s daily life. In Japan, JSCE (Japan Society of Civil Engineering) have conducted an award program for such important architectures. Several architectures are selected annually, through nomination and public solicitation. 51 Civil engineering heritages tell the history of Hokkaido Hokkaido has 51 heritages, of the approximately 400 in Japan. The breakdown is as follows: 21 inland waterways management facilities (dam and river bank protection), 10 bridge, 5 railwoads and roads, 4 landscapes, 10 seawalls, and 1 coal mine. All of these structures are recognized for their importance in Hokkaido’s pioneering history, and have supported or are still supporting the livelihood of 5.3 million people today. You can see […]

    • 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 […]