You are currently browsing the archives for August, 2012

Please note: This is a machine translated version. The original article is in German and can be accessed .

New and certainly only in Japan: Handy with Geiger counters

August 30th, 2012 | Tagged , | 6 Comments | 902 reads

Sharp mobile phone with Geiger counters. Those: Softbank website

Comes with one and a half years late there, but still it will not be too late: Softbank, one of the three mobile operators in Japan, throws a new smartphone on the market – PANTONE ® das 5 107Sharp SH. The highlight of the device: It may also include violinist. A push of the button, and off you go. According to the manufacturer, it can measure γ-rays and used cesium 137 (137Cs) as a guide. The span between 0.05 and 9.99 Microsievert (see description at Softbank). Since the mobile phone of course also has GPS, You can use it to perform great field measurements. However, it takes approximately 2 Minutes, until you receive a useful result. Splash-proof, it is also, According to unconfirmed rumors, and you can even make calls to.

The main events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in 1 are now more than 17 Months back. In the area around Tokyo, the radioactivity appears to have fallen near the bottom, but it is of course still there and will accumulate mainly along rivers, to finally arrive in the Bay of Tokyo. For the inhabitants of the eastern part of Fukushima prefecture this phone is still propagated useful and will certainly well received. The price does the rest – the phone costs just 23,520 Yen, so good 200 Euro.

Mediator being, you can even the way in Tsutaya, the largest video rental chain in Japan, free (for a day) Geiger Counter Select. Certainly not in any branch, but still.


Green. Clouds. Onsen. Heat. Green. Kyushu II

August 28th, 2012 | Tagged , | 7 Comments | 944 reads

This is the continuation of Part 1.

If I were a cow, I would want to stay here

This was followed, further away from Kumamoto, always along the crater rim, Following the Milky Way. Or how would the so-called Milk Road translate elsewhere. Which is called so, around because there due to the truly juicy looking the meadows 1,000 There m high plateau many cows. The farmers can buy some milk products directly, but prices have washed yourself. You pay for a gallon of milk there ever loose almost 10 Euro. Not, that one would get really taste (all tried it), But what does not do everything for happy cows. It went on to Ao Asu (Hinter-Aso), to a small village called 产 山 Ubuyama, and then the world ends. A road leads into, and the same road out again. That's it. Many roads in the area were washed away in the torrential rains in June this year and is still not useful. On the way we came here on a couple of magnificent mud- and landslides over, The wide aisles had cut into the woods. Relatively young volcano same high slope equal unstable slopes equal gravity in action: For geomorphologists is a paradise of Aso.
There is an old hostel in Ubuyama, and in which there is bubbly, Hot water from the subsoil. This can be tested at the entrance, for there flows a little hot water from a bamboo cane. The hostel is set up almost entirely of wood and tasteful. I was just surprised, to read, that the hot spring water until a few years ago it was. The owners have to be drilled deep – until nearly 1,000 m depth they were successful. But this was obviously a good idea: The hostel is now considered 秘湯 hitō – as “Secluded hot spring” (hi this actually means “secret”), and thus is a treasure for fans Onsen. In addition, the water is perfect: It is enough, no need to add water, and warm enough, so you have to heat it to cool down or not further.

The most beautiful Onsen often look quite spectacular: The water here was definitely very good

Oh, Onsen! The first time I had such a hot spring 1997 visits. This was in a small village in Nagano. In hot springs separated mostly by men and women. Sometimes there are also family rooms (家族 风 吕 Kazoku-buro). Onsen in Nagano in those days there were only separate rooms, and I was there with a female companion. The instructions were extremely tight: Take off, wash, purely in the hot bath, namely naked, understood, and relax. Again right then wash thoroughly and finished. When I asked my companion, how long you stay for so in the hot bath, I was told “in, so 30 Minutes”. Said, done. I was the only male in the area. And the water was really hot. After a minute or two but to rise again from the water I thought was strange: When 30 Minutes is said, I'll probably have to go through, to understand an onsen, I so thought. After not even 10 Minutes I was but somehow blümerant. After all, I noticed it in time and crawled out of the water. It cost me a lot of self-control, not to collapse soon: Onsen baths go hard on the circuit, namely fortiori, if you sit longer than necessary remains stubbornly. Well, at that time I was still young, and obviously pretty stupid… This first encounter with an onsen first coined. Circulatory collapse? No, Thank you. But of course it was later in Onsen, and if you are not so stupid hires and listen to your body (Hot! Very hot! Get out!), Onsen make great fun. However, the onsen are in fact very different: Some are warm, other hot, others scalding hot.

Sweet and sour pickles Need?

The bathroom in the hostel in Ubuyama fit. There were two small 露天 风 吕 rotenburo (Bathrooms outdoors), and had I not there immediately stung two brakes, I probably would have stayed a while penetrate.
The dinner at the hostel was not bad also. The area is known for 漬け物 tsukemono – at New Germany “pickles”. Und zwar all-you-can-eat. Of course there were a lot, more, and especially rich. Our son had somehow later smuggled his food bowl out of the dining room and stood in front of us with just that – therein: Crushed ice. “Nanu, where's he suddenly crushed ice ago?” thought we were so. And then: Why is not the ice cold?! The solution: The room was a large container of jelly balls, which should serve, the air to remove moisture. That had been sorely needed, as it previously, as mentioned above, had been raining for weeks without ceasing. The jelly chunks were now everywhere. In his hair, in bed, on his clothes, and one… where else, in mouth. Slightly acidified we called the matron. The place, however, the right note, made everything clean quickly and even called a doctor, to hear, what about “Toddler vs.. dehumidifying jelly chunks” had to say. Now – nothing new. Child Watch. Child not heat too much (onsen!). If foam comes out of your mouth (What is also so quite normally the case), start, Worrying. The upshot: All-clear. Son quietschmunter (according to 10 Clock in the evening even more alert than usual at this time – my God, what was in the jelly inside?) and everything's alright. And it should make us the next day and again a lot of fun.
Then we went to a famous namely source close (池 山 水源 Ikeyama Suigen), with clear, potable water. It tasted really good. There was also a small pond. For a few hundred yen can there small fish (Char) catch, which you then rammed the spot a long stick in his anus, she then rolls into Salt, them to grill over charcoal then. No, Fish I do not want in this country. In the small pond was crowded dozens, if not hundreds of these fish. The qing is: Fishing rod for 100 Yen borrowed. In addition there was a large lump feed. Made familiar with daughter Angel. Someone called “(Schwieger)mother, pass times on the little short on!”. The little left slouch not made it into the two seconds overseers change, cling to the large food chunks and toss with momentum into the pool. And even the little pond was transformed into a whirlpool! What fun!

Cold, clear water in the Ikeyama source

We spoke briefly with someone from the source. The allegedly spits per second 30 Allerfeinstes tons of drinking water, and that is remarkable. This water is also sold – and after the earthquake they made big profits. Also, we moved after the quake, our water here, since the drinking water in Tokyo temporarily (?) radioactively contaminated was. An iron emergency reserve Ikeyama-spring water is still with us in the shoe cabinet. O-Ton: “We hope not, of course,, that happen again, but…”

Continuation follows.

P.S. You know a nice Onsen? Then over here so! After 47 Prefectures I'm looking for new destinations!



August 24th, 2012 | Tagged , | 7 Comments | 637 reads

The Kyūshū-To be continued later. Today a few lines to a modern, but very important tradition in Japan. From current cause. Because today hosted the finals of the high school baseball championships in Japan. I write deliberately High School, because the Japanese senior high school with similar or only a very limited, translate in German business language can.

This final will has always been (more precisely since 1915) in a baseball stadium 甲子 园 Koshien instead of. That in turn is a district of 西宫 Nishinomiya, located between Kobe and Osaka. And the name is still in Japan for the most popular sport in the country (although football in recent years seems to catch up) and – for dreams. Baseball is very popular as a school sport, and who makes it to Koshien, is already in hero. Who wins there with his team, is the generic hero – and for some players, the finals there also opens the door to professional baseball. No wonder, take part in the competition for more than 4’000 Schools nationwide participate. And one has to say: The atmosphere in the stadium is huge – It is drummed, sung, made, done. If we know anything about football, even louder and more organized.

Now, it is interesting, die Stimmung zu sehen bzw. to hear (I once passed the stadium, there as a semi-final took place). It is also fairly interesting, the summary of the game on television. However: Even after all these years in the baseball nation of Japan I can not personally get at the Sports. And I firmly still, the only reason why fans make so much mood, because there is nothing else to do during the game. The rules of baseball is, now so, initially hard to digest. The focus: A thrower, a guy with a baseball bat and a catcher. Litter. Not taken. Captured. Litter. Not taken, captured… Gääääähn. OUT! Next Pfriemel. Litter. Oh, made! Ball flies. Suddenly it looks like on the field like a beehive. Etc.. There is no time limit – this can go on forever.

But good – one can safely describe as a baseball and football in this way. And in baseball, there are – normally – a winner, in football, however, often do not. And so I will Koshien Baseball and remain a mystery. The finalists this year were a high school in Osaka (also Lokalmatadoren) and one high school from Aomori in the north. Ōsaka gewann 3:0. Maximum ball speed of the best thrower: 153 km / h. Thrown by hand, mind you!

Below is a video montage from Koshien 2011, the meaning and the feelings summarizes quite well:


Green. Clouds. Onsen. Heat. Green. Kyushu I

August 21st, 2012 | Tagged , , | 5 Comments | 642 reads

So, I'm back, back in the juggernaut, after a full week on the island of Kyushu. It was the fifth trip to the island, and that's for sure: Out of this world. The landscape, human, the food - it's almost all there. Temperatures vary little from those in Tokyo – on the contrary, if you drive into the mountainous interior, it may even be quite enjoyable.

A must see when in Kumamoto is(s)t: Tonkotsu windows

On Sunday we started with the family: Mrs., two excited children and parents were of the party. No 2 Four hours of flight, and immediately began the first freestyle: Erst zur Oma in Kumamoto, then along to the cemetery, to care for the grave of the deceased grandfather many years ago. After the continuous rain in June and July it looked pretty desolate. Then we went to the well-mandatory Tonkotsu ramen meal in the city. Kumamoto is famous for some tidbits – including raw horse meat, filled with mustard paste, lotus roots, and said “Pork Bone Ramen”. A poem, and with 700 Yen a steaming bowl of thick pork slices and affordable.
The hotel was a surprise of another kind. We wanted to stay in the center and had been looking for something family-friendly. We have also found: A hotel room with family, spacious and equipped with bunk beds for children. What we did not: When we showed the concierge's room, We boarded the elevator with him, and he expressed not a number between 1 and 10, but the button under the 1. B1. Goodness, they bring us into the basement! As the hotel manager was obviously a clever idea: On an old plan of escape, we saw, that this was the break room of the former employees. So that was the family room. Admittedly, the facility was in order, and since we were the only ones down there, Children were able to live it up, but we usually prefer even rooms with windows….
In the afternoon we went to great heat of the former “Places of activity” my wife, including their primary school. Since holidays were, was the gateway course to, but that should not prevent my wife: “Oh, already fits” she said, as they tore open the door and the children dismissed in the big yard. At the entrance there is a great foot bath, because: Many schools in Kumamoto is still played barefoot in the schoolyard.

Kumazemi (Cicada) in Kumamoto

It was interesting to cicadas density: The soil in the park looked like a swiss cheese, and the branches hung full of empty cicada shells. The former residents of the brown shells screamed the hell out of them or were half eaten on the floor. In Tokyo there are almost only the already impressive Aburazemi, But in Kumamoto will meanwhile be temporarily (There are more and more) Kumazemi, and are even larger. And loud as hell. My daughter also started a one hastily and ran to the zeternden, black beast, beaming through the area. Well, that she has no fear of insects.

The next day it was the car to Aso 阿苏 go. Aso – This is the volcano with the largest crater in the world. Fit into the crater a few cities and areas of several square kilometers and a couple of new volcanoes, who have since formed in the center of the ancient crater. The crater walls are several hundred meters high and very clearly – there is only one breakthrough, and is located conveniently in the direction of Kumamoto City. Before 10 Years ago, I was already good friends with the top of the crater of the volcano's side only currently active, and then I saw almost nothing. This time it looked like this again, as if I had bad luck. But sometimes the clouds cleared for a few minutes and gave sight to the throat of the crater-free.

Looking into the crater was aktiven Vulkan Naka-dake

The 1,506 m high 中岳 Naka-Dake (Mean peak) is still quite active and sometimes spits out a little more – witness the concrete bunkers and quite frequent warnings gas: Puffs of wind suddenly the sulfur vapor to the top, everyone needs to leave as soon as possible to the top.

As for me, but this time most fascinated, was the Green: In June and July, it had poured with rain almost continuously, and now it was almost all green. So much green I have not seen for quite a while, and it was good for the eyes.

In the interior of the Aso volcano massif: Everything Green. Might as well be somewhere in Mongolia

After Naka-Dake went back to the valley north of the volcanic group. The floor of the old caldera, located at about 470 m in height and is in many places completely flat. The valley is bordered, South and east of the approximately 500 m tall, old crater wall bounded, and that is truly impressive. And everything is just green.

View of the outer crater wall (Somma - Gairinzan) in the valley and the new volcano group

To be continued…


From the South / Summer slump

August 11th, 2012 | Tagged , | 10 Comments | 592 reads

Kyushu Itinerary 2012

And, It has become a little quieter here in recent days. This is again to excessive work and the general silly season. But now the summer begins well before even properly: A week vacation. Finally. 5 Years old would have to be: My daughter has gone on for three weeks of vacation (from playing in the kindergarten…) and it costs thanks to her mother and properly. For us, this year in the (even hotter) South: It's O-Bon, and time to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of the ancestors. Since the entire relationship is to one half of Kumamoto and the other half of Shikoku, We have of course a little luck: I would be reluctant to spend O-Bon in Tokyo.

The upcoming tour is also something special this time – at least for me, at last it comes to 47. and last Prefecture, still did not have the pleasure of my presence. This is – Drum-roll – Miyazaki, known for his part, subtropical climate, tasty chicken and citrus fruits as well as for, that there should be absolutely nothing going on. But we'll see. Pleasant this tour should always be, because: We also go to a 秘湯 hitō (literally: What Geheime) in Ubuyama (next to the famous active volcano Aso), known for its hot springs. In Takachiho we stay almost directly next to a hot spring. Also Yufuin and Beppu are well known for hot springs. So those are… hmm, at least 5 Days in hot springs!

In this sense, according to happen in the next few days, not so much on this blog – unless, I unpacked the boredom when the rest is already asleep. I hope, my readers have one or another form of summer and enjoy those also due. Finally, a Tokyo-summer sky Photo: Suddenly, the whole office was bathed in orange light, and said a course on the balcony, why. And, it's summer. And the summer sky in Japan – at least on many days – very, very nice (in Germany also, But because of the heat, it often looks a bit wild from here).

Summer evening sky over Tokyo


Oh, oh, Olympics…

August 3rd, 2012 | Tagged , | 7 Comments | 618 reads

So completely I can not and will not close myself to the Olympic Games. At least some sports like I am right, it allows time. But since the Japanese television can provide the non-Japanese viewer sometimes hard to be patient sample. In my case, the particular case of two completely different words in the case.
The first is しかし shikashi and means “but, however”. This is usually so: The sports reporting murmurs to himself, everything looks smug, but just at the moment, in which one thinks “There you are, is still!” is the magic word: shikashi. Three syllables, and then everything goes wrong, only. Na toll. Not, that it would be particularly dramatic impact on my survival and that of the rest of humanity now, when the Japanese wrestler in the 150+ kg weight class to fight for a spot on the podium does not lose or, But bad news is bad news nunmal. And, Japanese sports reporter, I always find it anyway, a wonderful sense of, to place those three syllables like a bomb. Say, they always use the same drama with reports of previous events: Only the positive elements, then the three syllables, and what follows is a sequence of small disasters, where the main character (at New Germany: Loser) Never blame was. Debt was either the weather, bad food on the plane, the nasty foreign enemies or whatever. You do not believe? Simple summaries of times volleyball tournaments in the Japanese watch TV, because as you lose most enjoy watching.
The second word is a little more complicated: 彻底 分析 tettei bunseki, in German “thorough analysis”. This word is used by sports reporters, if the first word unfortunately can not be used, because the object has gained coverage. Something will happen, and it comes at the current Olympics, even relatively common: Japan lies down in recent years not only in football, but also in other sports into the right stuff. If a medal is won (such as in gymnastics yesterday by Uchimura), is the celebrated television miserably long. This is of course fully in order – can be realized in this performance Solz. But the news will start with “In the sports section, we will of course analyze thoroughly, why XYZ has won. Um, I wonder why? Because he was better than the other? Word then come to the former primary school teacher, the wife along with children, if present, the bedridden great-aunt, any random characters from the same village and so on and so forth. Of course, this all somehow knew and expected. Best then is the part, where the Japanese television Fritzen foreigners indiscriminately (in this case in London) Stop and ask, whether they were so impressed by the Japanese athletes XYZ. A reporter reported here today proud, that he has specially painted to a sign, order to be able to tell these poor victims. On it was written in spidery handwriting: “Thanks you”! And, happen gerner! The guy gets at least no gold medal for foreign languages.

I hope, that Japan will continue to win many medals. So many, that they become accustomed. But that will never be the case. One need only look at popular films and TV series on Japanese television, to know, that most Japanese are obviously in this kind of drama. Would indeed prefer to watch live stream on ARD, But I do not want, I therefore once again alone to deal with a variety of proxy must be. Because: Olympics or not, abroad may not be shown live stream. In this sense,: More free!