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

Gas vs. Current

June 29th, 2014 | Tagged | 4 Comments | 6485 reads

Homeowners in Japan (but certainly also elsewhere) often come to the pleasure of unexpected visits by field service sales staff, who want a turn on all sorts of things around the house. What is interesting is the energy sector: As would be the Scheme A, to be persuaded by the house owners to, less or to use no gas, but to rely only on electricity (this is then called オール 電化 All Denka – All current). So you throw the boiler out and produces hot water with an inverter and on stock. The advantage: You get such a special electricity tariff, in which you pay less at night than a third of the daily rate for electricity. So, it is producing the daily requirement of hot water at night. If you want to dispense with all gas, then throws even the gas cooker out and buys for an induction cooker. The highest level is finally overheads, purchase of a solar system. The hot water maker, the most popular model is called Cute Eco Cute (a play on words: Kyūtō = boiler and the English “cute” are almost pronounced the same), a long time were even subsidized by the State. Solar systems have also been many years ago as part of the 100’000-Subsidized Roofs Initiative, But gone are the days, and the feed solar energy to the grid today is no longer worth.

But then there are the gas people, not give up easily: Try homeowners a so-called ENE-FARM Ene-Farm for sale. The extracted hydrogen from the town gas and burns these then, womit a) hot water produced and b) alongside current is generated. The course also sounds tempting, even if this system has disadvantages. Without electricity, the Ene-farm does not work.

From these models we can grow, was man will. In severe earthquake, a current solution is certainly practical, because electricity is restored first. And Eco-Cute-systems can serve as an emergency water storage. Since the cost but for all devices are quite high, you have already expect carefully, to find out, if it's worth something. In addition, of course, comes a healthy dislike of TEPCO, the only electricity provider in the Tokyo area and primarily responsible for the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

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News from the Front energy

November 6th, 2013 | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments | 9582 reads

Even though it may not be as clear is abroad – in Japan rages still a bitter dispute over the future of Japan in terms of energy. While the current government under Abe is basically pro-nuclear, there are quite too serious resistance. Sometimes even from within the ranks. As weighty opponent occurred recently Koizumi, the Japanese standards, surprisingly, quite popular ex-prime minister and. Mentor of many of today's politicians, government. Koizumi was transformed from Saul to Paul obviously: Once it was the promotion of nuclear energy in Japan his profession, but now he is in favor of a nuclear-free Japan. The comments of the government bench to were mostly negative. It is not actually common, to contradict his mentor, but it fell. Comments such as “there is just a lot of different opinions” to “(Koizumi's attitude is) irresponsible. However, Koizumi countered completely true at an event – and been accepted in so: "Before the accident, we did not make it, To solve the problem repository. Who now thinks after the accident, that nuclear power is feasible, by dissolving the repository problem, thinks optimistically and irresponsible ". ¹

Mini-Solarkraftwerk: Solarzellen auf einer stillgelegten Bahntrasse (Präf. Miyazaki, 2012)

Mini-Solarkraftwerk: Solar cells on a disused railway line (Präf. Miyazaki, 2012)

Interestingly, a message of yesterday, the 4. November 2013: In Kagoshima was solemnly “Mega Solar "inaugurated ² – a giant solar energy plant. On an island territory, was for a long time no user, were a total area of 127 Hectares have been there 290’000 Installed solar panels – namely from 京セラ Kyōcera (short for “Kyoto Ceramics” and a company name, which is always pronounced terribly wrong in the German area, but this only marginally). Chinese solar plant builders had some also to the 220 Advertised million euro project, but according to the official speech stabbed the domestic consortium led by Kyocera, IHI usw. competitors in terms of robustness and quality of. 70’000 Kilowatts to supply the plant – enough for about 20’000 Households or nearly 10% the energy needs of Kagoshima City. A price guarantee on 20 Years for the injected current of the system ultimately made this project possible.

Economically, this is a fine thing for Japan, especially as the local solar industry benefits. For geographic and geological point of view the site is admittedly daring. The nearby Vulkan Burn has the habit of, to coat every few years the area with ash. Should this still raining, and that is in Kagoshima God knows not infrequently, you can probably throw away the plants. Even a moderate tsunami would wash away the entire power station. And how far the plant severe typhoons bursting, remains to be seen. Considering also the area consumption and power output, is clearly, that solar power will make no great contribution in Japan. At least not in the form of large-scale systems. A retry of the 100'000 Roofs Program, thus decentralizing the production of solar energy, is worth considering.

¹ speech and manuscript see Huffington Post: The rebuttal lecture details "primary zero irresponsible" to former Prime Minister Koizumi, Abe's, et al [issue: Energy](4. Nov. 2013)
² See, among others Nikkei: Japan's largest mega solar, etc. complete Kyocera Kagoshima (4. Nov. 2013)

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Now it is linearly

September 18th, 2013 | Tagged , | 5 Comments | 9154 reads

JR-Maglev in Yamanashi. Quelle: Wikipedia

JR-Maglev in Yamanashi. Those: Wikipedia

Today JR (Japan Railways) – the former state, and still propagated by far the largest railway company in Japan, the application for a Environmental Impact Assessment presented for the maglev line¹. The project is under the name Chuo Shinkansen Chūō-Shinkansen (Central Shinkansen) known and will be driven by a magnetic levitation. This is as Super-power floating-type magnetic Genki Railroad (literally: superconducting magnetic levitation train type designated, but the word is so long, that the train has already gone away, to you it's pronounced. Therefore, the name Maghreb Maglev (von Magnetic levitation) common.

The application had been waiting a long time, because many potentially affected (not only in the negative sense, mind you) Communities want to know naürlich, where it goes long for now. The maglev is ultimately Tokyo with Osaka connect, but the first part of the route only used to Nagoya. This section is a total 246 km lang, in which 42,8 already exist km of track: As a test track, in der Präfektur Yamanashi. Three routes were available, but two of them were at least from the optical (ie: the look on the map) forth no sense, and so it was decided not surprising for the shortest route: Südalpenroute, with one station in the prefectures of Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Nagano and Gifu. The train can be up to 505 km / h, and the journey time is down to Nagoya from now 1 Hour 19 Minutes 40 Shorten minutes. The fare is rumored between 110 and 140% amount of the Shinkansen current price.

Teilstück der geplanten Route. Quelle: Siehe Link unten

Portion of the planned route. Those: See link below

The total cost of the first section are enormous: Good 5 Yen Billionen, Also key 40 Billion €, to cost of construction. The trail crosses through the middle of the pampas and the mountains – 89% the route will see tunnel, and so is the train ride certainly very, very exciting. Or similar 40 Minute subway ride.

Of course, there are critical voices: Some are doubts, whether the train will be busy enough. The stations are located partly in places, which no man knows: Sagamihara, Kofu (now well, which is quite well known, because prefectural capital), Iida and Nakatsugawa. However, the revival of rural areas is a central project in Japan, Nakatsugawa von und Wenn man Nagoya bis statt 1.5 Hours only 10 Takes minutes, that certainly makes a lot of. JR has chosen a clever strategy, in order to have peace in the project planning: The rail company announced, that you will pay for everything out of pocket.

¹ A short version of the application, including route planning and Bahnhofsbaublänen etc., you can download it here: Chuo Shinkansen (Tokyo, Nagoya City room) to prepare an environmental impact evaluation book Full thou ら ma expands (PDF)

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Microwave Oven

July 16th, 2013 | Tagged | 22 Comments | 8955 reads

So here again, to first time in a long, Post a Geek on Japanese electrical appliances.

Kann fast alles - außer Abwaschen: Ein Mikrowellenofen

Scan fast alles – except washing: A microwave oven

19 Years she has done faithful service, but now it has gradually become obsolete: Our Microwave oven ōbun renji bzw. oven range. A strange hybrid of microwave and oven, the there seems to be little outside Japan, but is absent in Japan in almost any kitchen. This microwave oven agree almost two devices in one – a Microwave denshi renji – Microwave and Oven ōbun – an oven. Why are these things? It's simple: In Japan there are no ovens in the kitchens. Instead, there is usually a Gas stove (gasu konro) or Electric stove (Denki konro) (Gas- oder E-Koch Platte), the only 20 inch or so high, and are usually limited to two cooking surfaces – plus mini barbecue grill in the middle of the fish – and microwave. Or even a microwave oven.

Creates our 25-kilogram monster 250 Degree, but eventually he began to, vigorously to smoke. So screwed device, semi disassembled and thoroughly cleaned, and then it went back. The game was repeated several times, but now I can not even find the latest source of qualms. And the unit smokes from 150 Degree so strong, I've certainly legitimate concern, that the sprinkler system could address in the kitchen.

After a bit of research we found a device – See photo – has the looks fit and get good reviews: Also, a microwave oven naturally, yes because you want to occasionally bake what. Pizza, for example, or casseroles. Or bread. And what the devices can do everything these days. This thing rivals in terms of features at least with Blu-Ray HD recorders and who knows what else. The interior mimics probably a stone oven, can be up 350 And heating degree to 400 Degree hot steam blow. I hope, only inside… This is all still 8 rotating infrared sensors. And 31 Liter capacity. For larger microwaves are probably the 20, approximately normal ovens 50. Microwave ovens are really so in the middle.

Next, our rice cooker will probably have to be scrapped – the good piece is about as old and battered already abundant thanks to diligent hands of children. Let's see, how much we will let the cost… wer will, can be up to 1’000 Spend € for a rice cooker. Of course then the rice tastes quite, quite different… say the Japanese…

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Entertaining mobile

June 28th, 2013 | Tagged | 4 Comments | 5840 reads

Erdbebenübung: Meldung auf allen Handys

Earthquake exercise: Message to all mobile phones

When I recently sat in the office and phoned with a Japanese partner, it went off suddenly: A strange squeaking threatening large numbers of mobile phones around the office. So spooky, since it is common practice normally, Phones on mute in the office. The squeaking was so clearly audible, that my counterpart on the phone (is in Osaka, I in Tōkyō) It even noticed and asked: “Is everything okay with you?”. I did the first with a “And” From hoped, that which was really as.

Now, looked after the phone call first: An urgent message was the, vom Stadtbezirk Shibuya (my work). The message included two words with Latin letters, the rest was Japanese: DRILL und DISASTERDRILL. The Japanese said in sentences about: “Evacuation preparation information” (oh, I love German). Among them was, the places where people can record how many.

Plötzlicher Anstieg von Radioaktivität!?

Sudden increase of radioactivity!?

So it seems, that municipalities and towns can now send messages to all mobile devices, which at the time in the city- are or neighborhood area. This is good news (and especially in Japan more than necessary). I just hope, Alarmtun not have to hear this too often. Although the disaster two years ago is now quite a while ago, but the memory of it still more than alive.

There are also numerous apps for Android, Windows and iOS phones – for example from Yahoo. These warn of earthquakes, Heavy rain, Hurricanes… and from radioactivity! One day I had the beautiful times Breaking News “Attention: Increase in radioactivity around the 5-fold in Nagaoka, Niigata!” on display. 10 Minutes later there was another message: “Sorry, was a measurement error!”. The main thing, it will not be boring…

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Smoking obstacles on the rails

June 21st, 2013 | Tagged , | 1 Comment | 3511 reads

Japanese trains are known worldwide for their punctuality yes. The opinion was slightly changed, if one day in years, day out is traveling by train in Tokyo, but all in all the railway traffic is remarkable. This affects not only the timeliness and cleanness of itself, Instead, the system simply: Draws, for example, someone on one of the many JR lines in Tokyo the emergency brake or presses the alarm button, a driver, available within seconds, all JR lines (There are also numerous other, private Bahnlinien) still. Only when the Einatzzentrale has become clear, what happened where and why, move all other, not affected paths again. And then the really remarkable: Although everything is clocked down to the second, “recovered” the system very quickly. In a network of dozens of railroad lines, with trains, often in 2-3 Minute drive, this is really amazing.

What I also appreciate the railways – and what has always driven me, for example, in Germany on the palm – the information strategy. If a train one, two minutes late in Japan, will be announced in due time on the display panels and speakers. And as long, until the train comes. Since many trains are now equipped now in metropolitan areas with TV board, is also shown in the trains, currently the reasons which have delay lines. Sometimes there are 0, in extreme cases up to 23 Lines (the highest, I've seen so far – with typhoons and earthquakes by). Sometimes amusing is the English translation for the reasons of delay. The most common are

  • Inspection of door / vehicle – Wagon / door inspection or. Problems with the selfsame
  • Signal Suites ra bulldog – Problems with the sign Alan Long
  • Strong wind – Storm
  • Personal accident – Personal injury
  • Abnormal noise – Strange noises

represented. No.. 1 and 5 are quickly resolved, at 2. it can sometimes take hours, at 4. typically least 2 Hours and at 3. one can only pray, is the weather better. Sometimes, however, one reads about creative reasons:

Trouble on board

Trouble on board

The reason for the delay is always right: “Trouble on Board” usually means, that people get into the wool or a full drunkard has fully rolled the wagon. It happens, especially the latter…

Smoking on Tracks?

Smoking on Tracks?

In this case it was the result display to “Smoking on tracks”. What had happened? Someone had smoked on the tracks? Only gives information about the Japanese: Smoke on the route.

Obstacle Thing

Obstacle Thing

Unfortunately, something difficult to detect, as recorded from a distance in the well-filled train: Here was a “Obstacle Thing” – a “Hindernisding” root of evil.

Who wants to know the way, as it looks, if so please rest pretty much all lines: See the advert (these are found in the major interchanges) below. The display is normally completely white. Orange stands for lines, the only run late or limited, red represents lines, the complete stand still. The photo was taken on a Taifuntag:

(Nahezu) kompletter Ausfall

(Almost) Complete failure

Yet – the most beautiful announcement I once heard in Germany. In EC from Strasbourg to Frankfurt / Main somebody said somewhere before Darmstadt: “Dear passengers, at the present time we can not say with certainty, that this train will make it to Frankfurt. We have a Lokschaden. Those in a hurry, may change in Darmstadt in the ICE, But perhaps (!) We also manage to Frankfurt”. Simply divine.

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What the build because only / Infrastructural

December 7th, 2012 | Tagged , | 9 Comments | 684 reads

Street Art mal ganz otherwise

Sometimes I think, that in Japan only builds and tinkers, to build and tinker. Thus, in the area of ​​my company. Since last year was the road sawed at every nook and corner. This of course makes one hell of a noise. Here is a rectangle, as a rectangle. This went on for weeks. Then the bodies were torn. Then came other men, put cameras in the rusted pipes and looked, because what is going on in the pipes. Everything was closed provisionally again. Then again, everything was sawed in spring. And now, in the fall or winter again. The streets now look really colorful: Black asphalt patch here, Patches because – bare chaos, and everything looks only provisionally. And not somewhere in the border area, Although in a quiet but, but very central area, which is famous for its fine boutiques and stores very well known (Ebisu / Daikan 'yama).

Somehow somewhere current flows through ...

During the construction, I could not help but naturally, A glance to throw out, because what the ground so rumliegt. And the pipes do not look very trustworthy. But they still look better than standing around the open transformer poles. The fascinate me after all these years still. How can a country, etc permanently from the typhoons and earthquakes. is haunted, all the wiring can easily around a makeshift stand so? It's simple: Japan, the country with the high-tech image, is in fact a low-tech country, if you look around once in life. This need not necessarily bad, but the Tunnel accident on Monday im Sasago-Tunnel Tokyo mit bei 9 Deaths can certainly be regarded as a warning sign. In detail-obsessed Japan is also a very profane tunnel collapse possible (it was not the first) – and do so without earthquakes, and only a short time after a general inspection of the tunnel. Which means, Japan there are plenty of trouble, its infrastructure to keep in excess, but a lot is in a bad, and there is currently no better straight but rather worse, because as soon, was such as built during the boom in the 1980s, is stretched to about 30 Years with the Maintenance are hard behind.

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Soundtüfteleien in Japan / Typhoon #17

September 29th, 2012 | Tagged , | 3 Comments | 934 reads

This Contribution Blogger Umij colleague reminded me yesterday because, I once wanted to write a short article about noise in Japan, and before I forget again, I'd better start at the same.

My first impression, I landed in Japan – that was in April 1996 – was as follows: My God, here is every. Even the doors. This happened in a small shuttle train, that runs between the terminals at Narita Airport. A sweet voice whispered something, I still absolutely not then understood, and the door shut with a satisfied smacking. Well, the last one was stolen by Douglas Adams.

In Japan, one works, it seems, very happy with acoustic effects. And with voices of band, the sonicate always and everywhere the area. S talk. Lights talk (sometimes). Escalators talk. Platforms and trains anyway. Doors. Vending machines. All chatters to himself. Parks are sonicated. Interest in Japan is, how much importance it attaches to the acoustic effects.

Sample Station: Very many railway stations in Japan have a signature tune. This melody is unique to each station – and stamps itself naturally, when you get out there and often passes. This of course has a huge advantage: While we often hear station announcements, the melody rather bored already to mind and gives the dozing passenger ode piffling: Here is your station, get out. At larger stations, there are often also depending on line and / or platform varying melodies. For example, at Ebisu station (Tokyo, Yamanote-Ringlinie):

Recognized? Exactly, this is the soundtrack from the “The Third Man”. And since it eponymous one, and quite drinkable beer in Japan is (which was actually made earlier in Ebisu), same music is also used in beer advertising. But only at the margins.

The tradition of 発車 メロディ hassha merodii – “Departure melody” began 1971 at a private railway line (Keihan Line), because the runs between Kyoto and Osaka. When new rail lines makes you look a lot of effort and can compose some new songs – at each station, we hear a small piece of the overall work.

Sticking to the railway station. Yes trains have usually an alarm signal, which are used primarily in Japanese cities often must, If the platforms are packed. Vor ca. 3, 4 Years ago I fell on especially a train – an express train, the good with 100 km / h directly thunders on the platform of my station. With the usual train whistles? Honk? (like the really hot?) I have wondered many times, if they sometimes cause more harm – They are so loud and shrill, that scares usually, and it would not surprise me, if anyone ever fell in terror on the tracks. When that train is different: The horn is very subtle, a rather faint howl, in which less frightened, but immediately gets the feeling, that imminent danger and something very, rapidly approaching. I'm not expert enough, to analyze the truly can, But I have a feeling, this horn mimics the Doppler effect (In this recording, there are several examples to hear – I mean the siren in the first 10 Seconds):

The recording was made at departure – on occasion I'll take the time to, when a train rushes past really.

About main stations: Some rail lines are used, for example, different speakers for announcements from the band: The following example hear two announcements at the same time: The female voice is the one direction (von Tokyo weg) used, the male voice on the other hand for all trains to Tokyo. This is very clever, because even if both announcements are running simultaneously, can be understood fairly easily (this would explain why Japanese…), what's happening. And – so you get used to it, simply ignored the female voice (in my case, may also be useful in everyday life :-), since one morning always goes to Tokyo:

And finally, in my opinion, still a very good example of sound design: The earthquake early warning. That we have 2011 to satisfy one. Very easy, but very distinct. With side effect: Numerous Japanese 2011 developed a real allergy to this noise – with acute stress outbreak, when they hear the sound. Since the reproduction is prohibited, here only as a link: Official, developed by the state radio earthquake early warning.

For the case, that one or the other reader in Japan and has not heard anything about it: An exceptionally kräfiger typhoon, No.. 17, currently draws across Japan. Currently, the typhoon is about to Okinawa – on Sunday, he will draw the day with relatively high probability of the Kansai region, and in the night between Sunday and Monday on the Tokyo area. With 925 hPa in the center, he is one of the major, and reserves in the course of, Sunday will run transport links into central Japan, not much. To date can be here learn.

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New and certainly only in Japan: Handy with Geiger counters

August 30th, 2012 | Tagged , | 6 Comments | 914 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.

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Tokyo Sky Tree eröffnet Pforten

May 24th, 2012 | Tagged , | 9 Comments | 904 reads

Tokyo Sky Tree im September 2011

Yesterday, at the 22. More 2012, was the 634 Meter high Tokyo Sky Tree was officially inaugurated – Unfortunately, under very unfavorable conditions, because it was raining all day. This means, the lucky ones, The months in advance tickets for the viewing platforms on 350 and m 451 m did not catch, pretty much did nothing. After the opening of the Tokyo Gate Bridgethus, a second new landmark of Tokyo inaugurated within three months of well-. The baptism of fire emblem already had both the most severe earthquake 11. March 2011 were. Although both buildings were not finished yet, but if known, the constructions put away the earthquake problem.

Tokyo Sky Tree – this is not just the tower itself, but also a great, connected building complex called 東京スカイツリータウン Tokyo Sky Tree Town with a total of 230 000 m² of building space. There are housed a shopping center, a planetarium, and the Sumida-Aquarium すみだ 水族館. The latter is in a giant aquarium, underwater world of the Ogasawara(also: Bonin called)Islands to and should probably be quite impressive - a taste of the news section below provides. In addition to the complex is also still the same to another, new shopping center, called 東京ソラマチ Tokyo Solamachi.

From Tokyo Sky Tree promises to be an invigorating effect on the economy of the surrounding area, and that might arrive too, because numerous Japanese love the tower already. Of course, the tower also brought a few problems with it, but it can be heard – this is typical for Japan – little:

The tower construction site September 2009

- the environment is an old, traditional neighborhood (a typical Old town – shitamachi – Undercity, and the tower is roughly the area from the sleeping tear. That's right. Sure, the land prices to skyrocket (or. this will be done already) and displace many long term residents.

- Snow clumps, falling from the tower (600 m as provide for a proper speed) are a problem for the environment, especially strong winds often prevail here

- The tower is currently disturbs the still of the old Tokyo Tower outgoing radio waves, what are some areas in the north of Tokyo is already noticeable

Here are some trivia on Tokyo Sky Tree. Note especially the speed: From initial concept to full completion were not needed 10 Years, what a project this size is more than remarkable.

  1. The idea for the tower was built 2003
  2. The site was 10 Months later, and chosen more 5 Months later decided
  3. In March 2008 was clear plan of, In June, the MSRP (Environmental Impact Assessment) completed
  4. Construction began in December 2008
  5. The tower is lower triangular and round above
  6. The upper viewing platform on 451.2 m is the second highest in the world (more) – according to the World Financial Center in Shanghai
  7. Japanese people can remember easily, the amount, because 634 man kann Mu-sa-shi (Musashi) read (The old name of the area around Tokyo)
  8. The entrance to the lower platform 350 m costs 2,500 Yen (about 20 Euro)
  9. The entrance to the upper platform 450 m It is available again 1,000 Yen (8 Euro)
  10. For now, it comes up with pre-. By the end of July, the tower is already fully booked
  11. An enterprising Chinese has the name “Tokyo Sky Tree” copyright protection in China can, what was the problem for the shareholders: They subsequently had the Chinese name “Tokyo Sky Tree” (about: Tokyo Himmelsturm) in “Tokyo tower clear sky” (about: Tokyo descend clearance Heaven-Turm) modify - the same goes for the station name

Finished Tower - of exactly 10 km

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