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

Snow Chaos (last part)

February 18th, 2014 | Tagged , | 16 Comments | 2749 reads

Normal auf Hokkaido - aber ungewöhnlich in Tokyo

Normal auf Hokkaido – but uncommon in Tokyo

Three posts in succession snow… but it is worth a further contribution still. Tokyo and the surrounding area have in recent days, the heaviest snowfall since 45 Experienced years: At the 8. February fell around 30 inches of snow in the center of Tokyo, and at 14. February again a similar amount. This naturally leads into Tokyo itself well to traffic chaos, but much arrant it has other hit prefectures. In the prefecture of Yamanashi, and even in the west of Tokyo did not fall centimeterweise, but the meter snow. Central railway lines no longer drive, Highways and many other roads are closed permanently, and thousands of households are without electricity for days.

Some places in Yamanashi and Tokyo are completely cut off from the outside world, everywhere and stuck cars and trucks for days in the snow firmly. Hall roofs collapsed and some of trees fell. 23 Deaths were counted as far as ¹, and the blocked roads begin to have an impact: There are first delivery bottlenecks. In supermarkets, for example,, But even with the big auto companies – several works were forced to close temporarily, because the supplier stuck somewhere in the snow. And as if that was not enough, is it on Wednesday and Thursday already snowing again. This winter thus becomes quite dramatic for the Capital Region. In the prefectures on the Sea of ​​Japan and Hokkaido to fight every year against the snow, but for a region, which brings together an average of only a few centimeters per year, that was just too much times. In other words,: It's about time, that it is a little warmer…

¹ See, among others here


Whiteout in Tokyo

February 9th, 2014 | Tagged | 1 Comment | 2558 reads

Tokyo und Umgebung mal ganz in Weiss

Tokyo and the surrounding area times all in white

Who was staying today in Tokyo or the surrounding area, was treated to a rare weather event: Snow. Very much snow. And even in freezing temperatures (naja, exactly one degree minus). Since the amount of snow was enormous and the days previously relatively cool, it was not long, until the snow remained lying. And was always more. In the city center of Tokyo were the evening 27 cm measured – the highest amount of snow since 1969, and it's 20 Years ago, more than 20 inches of snow in Tokyo lie remained. In Chiba was 30 Centimeters measured since the beginning of records highest snowpack. On my balcony – and which is covered, mind you, lie 40 cm of snow. On average,. In the corner there are 80 cm, am Rand nur 10. Because of snow coupled with high winds, reached the local storm strength.
The kids had their fun of course, and already lower snow amounts are usually sufficient, bring to a halt at the traffic partially. So much snow melts not overnight (especially since it is still snowing), so that the elections for governor of Tokyo are under a bad star tomorrow.
Now, the average temperature in Tokyo is the day this time of year at 10 Grad plus, but if ever falling snow, then usually only in February or March.


Novum: Imperial Palace is open. However…

December 18th, 2013 | Tagged , | 5 Comments | 6179 reads

Nijūbashi - Die Doppelbrücke - einer der Eingänge zum Kaiserpalast

Nijūbashi – The double bridge – one of the entrances to the Imperial Palace

… there are a lot of fine print to. The 宫内 庁 kunaichō – Imperial Household Agency announced today, that on the occasion of 80. Birthday of the Emperor in the next year, some areas of the Imperial Palace to the public should be made available. Such a thing has never been more – it is a sensation. Finally, there is a always been heavily protected area in the midst of one of the largest cities in the world. At the 24. and 25. May and on a Saturday and a Sunday in early October 2014 it is three groups on the day be possible, otherwise be allowed to enter inaccessible areas in groups. Maximum 50 People should be able to belong to a group. So that makes 50 times 3 times 4 Days = 600 Visitor. And to be selected by lot. If I do not sleep through it, I will also take care of a lot, for the opportunity I will not miss me.

By members of the imperial family, Except members of the said imperial Hofamtes and high-ranking diplomats and dignitaries, no one is allowed to enter the facility. Only a very small area is open to the public – and then only twice a year, at the 23. December (Imperial birthday) and at 2. January for New Year's speech.
Of course, not all areas will be made publicly – but the splendid lobby 正殿 松 の 間 Seiden Matsu no Ma and the halls 豊明殿 Hōmeiden and 長和殿 Chōwaden to be visible. The most important sanctuaries 皇 霊 殿 Kōreiden (Ancestral hall), 神殿 Shinden (Gods Hall) and 贤 所 Kashiko-dokoro (Place of reverence) will as always remain ever closed.

More about Palace opening there here in English and because in Japanese.


Robot, half-naked women and business

October 3rd, 2013 | Tagged , , | 3 Comments | 9481 reads

Roboter + α: Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku/Tokyo

Robot + a: Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku/Tokyo

Yesterday a meeting with two business partners had agreed – Japan both seasoned experts from the English-speaking. One of them had already been arranged long before a suitable place for the meeting: Das Restaurant in Robot Shinjuku, more precisely in the infamous Kabukicho district. From my own experience, the host suggested, to meet before dinner, of the Robot Restaurant Restaurant ist ein zwar, However, the emphasis lies mainly on the first word.
Said, done. Ah, Shinjuku! Before 15 Years I was almost every night in Shinjuku – either to work (weekdays) or pleasure (Rest). Shinjuku was my playground, and this playground was me from the outset rather than Roppongi. In recent years, however, there was a lack of opportunities, and so I hardly recognized Shinjuku. But how much everything changes in a few years. The first thing a lot of my Chinese tour group on, ran a flag waving behind the swinging guide. Well at least they look like the real. Japan. Cough.

The Robot Restaurant is located in Kabukicho midst of all the more or less ambiguous Establishments, because the offer group rates at the massage parlor and… no, which is too long. Even in the blazing Kabukicho still gleißendere Robot restaurant is immediately on. The pricing structure is simple: 5,000 Yen pro Person (also rund 40 Euro), no ifs and buts. Just go to is not – you must book in advance. Then you wait in the entrance area, in the schiesen immediately thanks to the decor tears to my eyes. It glitters and sparkles, the senses over themselves. And – Japanese people have to look after almost. Almost all visitors coming from abroad. Eventually you will be under the
Out earth – three stories deep. There: A small arena, with three staggered rows of seats on both sides and in the middle of a wide side. There are two employees and sell beer from plastic cups. At the entrance you also get inside a cardboard box with food. I had to open not only, to suspect, why should we eat before. No, here you certainly can not go because of the food.

Farbige Panzer und nackte Frauen. Nun ja.

Colored tanks and naked women. Well.

Eventually it started. Many aufgetüterte, half-naked young women with cup sizes, which can not be described by the first three letters of the alphabet, jumped bawling, screaming, swords- and flags waving around the room. Well, the normal average woman just. There were video installations, a kung fu panda rip-off, the fight against villains (then fly across the room) usw. Particularly noteworthy: The drummer with a very sporty, colorful dragon tattoo, which covered half the body. Gee. Sometime yet been finally. Distributed light stick, with which one should waving in rhythm, And most have also gone through properly.

What Forgot? Oh, and, Robot! The course, there was also, ton and in various forms, manned and unmanned. These strange vehicles and much more. After one and a half hours, the show was over, and all left either happy or irritated the local.

Now, I've long since put myself in another world for the first time. And with all kitsch: If you just forget everything around and just does the thing, makes it quite fun. Predicate: Very nerdy, but well done and, if not always, as yet largely, very entertaining.
Well: From the food, I would stay away. The convenience stores, the better.

Here are the Link to the official website.


Doraemon and a typhoon

September 15th, 2013 | Tagged , , | Comments Off | 3298 reads

Taifun Man-Yi. Mehr zum Werdegang siehe hier:

Taifun Man-Yi. More career see here: JMA

September is beautiful – There are two holidays in September, and the heat can gradually. Most of the time. Now, the next Monday is free (and the following Monday as well), unfortunately only have just this weekend a great typhoon ravaged the country for. The typhoon was Man'nyi (Yi Wan) Man-Yi baptized – named after a strait in Hong Kong. This typhoon has, however, not except to Hong Kong, but the most densely populated regions in Japan. Currently it looks like, as if he were on 16. September, also am Montag, will pull away directly over Tokyo. And as so often pushes the Taifu much ahead of it – on Sunday a lot of rain to fall.

Since fail with high probability several railway lines, So it was called, to make at least something from the day on Saturday. Not so easy with pretty sultry 32 Degree. From given occasion there so I went with the children to Tokyo Tower, because there is currently an exhibition in honor of the 80. Anniversary of the manga illustrator Fujiko · F · Fujio (Fujiko F. Fujio). This is certainly not the right name – was born of the artist as Hiroshi Fujimoto. Unfortunately, he can not celebrate the birthday also, because the artist died already 1996 on liver failure – quite literally at your desk, with a pin in its hand (so at least he lost consciousness – Three days later he died, without waking again). Fujio’s Leitmotiv war SF, he does not as “Science Fiction” would have understood, rather than 少し不思議 Sukoshi Fushigi – “something peculiarly”. And that is by far his most famous character: Doraemon Doraemon – a large, Blue Cat, but more on that see Delicious: Jean Reno meets Doraemon.

Fujio & Doraemon-Ausstellung am Tokyo Tower

Fujio & Doraemon-Ausstellung am Tokyo Tower

But we are in Japan. The entrance is quite violent for the, what is offered: 1’500 Yen (also rund 12 Euro) for adults and 900 Yen for children over 4. And 2 Hour wait we must expect, we were told – and you really have to be present at that time with the children. Ultimately, it took only an hour. The beginning was quite furious: A mini cinema with a small, white space, state in which only a desk. The whole proved to be a three-dimensional projection, in the books suddenly flew through the area and much more – without 3D glasses, mind you. Even my 2-year-old spontaneously clapped their hands, saying something and wishing. The rest of the exhibition was indeed interesting – in many places, however, interesting for parents, are indeed all grew up with Doraemon: It should under no 50 geben in Japan, does not know the blue cat.

Let me mangas usually cold, but when my children look Doraemon, I sit like this: The characters are pretty funny, and the stories undoubtedly stimulate imagination as. Sometimes you also learn that his employees know better. As an employee of mine once a translated text and the subject line 翻訳こんにゃく Hon’yaku Konnyaku (hon'yaku = translation, konnyaku = typical Japanese ingredient of Konjac flour) sent back, I thought only a witty play on words. But no – Hon'yaku Konnnyaku is a miracle of Doraemons tools: If you rumkaut it, one can understand foreign languages.


Simply dropped into water

July 30th, 2013 | Tagged , | 5 Comments | 12699 reads

Last Saturday found, As every year on the last Saturday in July, two of the largest fireworks show in the Tokyo area instead: The 隅田川 花火 大会 Sumidagawa firework festival in Tokyo and the Fireworks Urayasu Urayasu-Feuerwerksfestival. The former took place this year on 36. Times, attracting an average of three-quarters of a million visitors; the fireworks Urayasu (and, I just tinker at this new website) found to 35. The event has on average half a million visitors (the city has just 160’000 Population).

Both events last a full hour, during more than 6’000 Go off firecrackers. And are meant fireworks: Made by hand, Annual Kawenzmänner. A spectacle. As we live in Urayasu and fireworks is even introspective, if one sits down with food and beer out there somewhere, we went trotting again this year. To a more distant location directly on the shore (The fireworks were launched from a platform in the sea). Among the crowds we did not, because we would very quickly lose sight of our youngest.

To start to 19:30 (and, there is in Japan, even in the summer the light) saw everything from still all right. But that changed within a few minutes. First came a few drops, then threatening looking clouds, and finally, Other strobes, which clearly did not belong to fireworks. The wind freshened considerably on – and after a few minutes it was closing time: Shortly before 20 Clock it poured with rain and lightning flashed and crashed everywhere. Fortunately (or. the foresight) We were right next to a subway, so that we could hole up there. It was better that way, Umbrellas would not have helped because, and the temperature dropped abruptly from 30 on 22 Degree. Although the underpass is very broad, came there, the water almost everywhere.

Bedrohliche Wolkenkulisse beim Feuerwerk

Menacing clouds crowd watching the fireworks

Also the Sumida fireworks had to be canceled – for the first time in its 36-year history. Had the situation can not be estimated beforehand? – The Hobbymeteorologe should be noisy here. Since I have a bit of background information about it: The odds were in my opinion 50:50. You took the risk, because the fireworks are so much preparation time and costs with you. The storm front slumbered already north of Tokyo. But the speed, with the front then rolled towards the sea and was always greater, was truly remarkable and difficult to predict. And you can again draw only his hat to the organizers and the participants: In many places it would come in a downpour with thunder and lightning almost a Millinen people in a small space a riot or panic – already done everything (For example, in football stadiums). But eventually all came while wet, but intact home.

The weather plays this year anyway some capers in Japan: It was the rainy season started much too early. Then it rained not long. Then the rains stopped far too early to. Finally, there was a decent early July heat wave. And for weeks, the Northeast and the West Japan is plagued by record-breaking rainfall, together with floods. In Tokyo, however severe and sudden thunderstorms have become part of everyday life.


Smoking obstacles on the rails

June 21st, 2013 | Tagged , | 1 Comment | 3594 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.


Democracy is a delicate flower

May 28th, 2013 | Tagged , | 3 Comments | 2155 reads

Lage von Kodaira (Quelle: Google Maps)

Location of Kodaira (Those: Google Maps)

Throughout Japan, it is sausage, whether there is a new road is built there or tipping a bag of rice. Ganz Japan? No! Since there is a small town called 小平市 Kodaira-shi (Shi = Stadt) a few kilometers west of Tokyo (and still Tokyo-to belonging), in which it was intended, to be rebellious. The stumbling block is a highway, of the Fuchū-Tokorozawa north of the city until after Kamakura and thereby lead to 1,4 Kilometers in length to pass through the city from north to south. It should disappear as planned, a piece of forest. The planning of this road was already before about. 50 Years initiated ¹.

So just wanted one then but not beaten. A citizens' initiative was established, and submitted the signatures of 7,183 citizens, demand for such a referendum. The city has the way 188’000 Population. The request was granted, and so was yesterday, also am 26. More 2013, first (Fanfare!) Referendum in Tokyo statt. However, only participating 35% of voters in the survey, how last night turned out. The referendum, however, would only be valid, when at least 50% participate. And even then it would have no legally binding effect. Ergo: Nothing there, the road will be built.

However caused outrage today's decision of the Election Commission of the City, not count the votes, since the referendum would not anyway reached the necessary turnout. Voices of criticism were immediately loudly, and not to the wrong. Sure, The referendum was seen as unsuccessful, but the city council should not still be interested, what does a good third of its citizens?

Much will certainly not happen here. Perhaps the city administration bowing to pressure and allowed the counting. Demonstrations with people, which bind to trees, it will not come. But a referendum on the subject of urban planning is a rarity in Japan. After the 2. World War, there has been only 19 Referendums, ultimately led to legislative proposals: The first took 1949 instead of, the last (successful) – 1952. And most of these Umfragungen turned only about, to be explained a town / place at an official sight ².

Who somewhat more The voice of the people needs (however, only in Japanese) – some comments on the subject in the Huffington Post (see first link below) are quite interesting, but one has to bear in mind, to the publication of comments at their discretion.

¹ See here: Huff Post Society: Full Kodaira residents voting, the voting rate of 50% ni ka ず session is not established
² See here: Wikipedia: Special law passed through the referendum


Tokyo Station … and a bored army

March 1st, 2013 | Tagged , , | 18 Comments | 1370 reads

Tokyo station is actually not such a big station. When compared with other stations in Tokyo. Weltweit ist Tokyo Station “only” ranked 8 the world's busiest train stations: 396 Million passengers, So more than one million per day, go into Tokyo Station, from or to. However, there are 4 Bahnhöfe in Tokyo, The more passengers muster (lone runner for a long time: Shinjuku myth 1.4 Billion passengers per year – See more numbers here). Berlin Hauptbahnhof it brings to just 100 Million.

Tokyo Station is still something special, because the main building dates from 1914 and has gone through a lot. Recently a major overhaul in 2012, to make the conditions for Tokyo truly historic building earthquake safe. Since then, the structure is even a direct hit of Strength 7 (on the Richter scale) can put away.

Incidentally it has in recent years also still the same a few minor, but quite classy skyscrapers raised at the station and the ground with numerous malls “refines”. An ideal place, when it rains. Who dwells in the rainy season in Tokyo or in principle just unlucky with the weather has, can do the following:

1.) Of the Marunouchi Line (Subway Line) to Keiyo Line run. There are two routes, and both are approximately. 600 Meters long and completely underground. As long repeat, until you no longer runs, and you have around half a day.

2.) Hang out in the malls under the Yaesu outputs. There is a lot to see – and of course plenty to eat. Where the station stops and where the brand new Daimaru department store starts, is it hard to say.



However, if you are with kids, especially those, growing up in Japan, ventured into the bowels of Tokyo Station, be warned: Difficult to get out again. These include, for example, makes this shop here: Tomica is the Japanese version of “Matchbox” (small model cars), and little boys just love them.

If one small Japanese guys auditioning the song cleverly made Tomica, happened about the here:

The attraction is enormous. My son, just 2 become, Although not yet “Toilet” say, aber dank Tomica & Co. He may nevertheless already “Ambulance” say. Well, fast. Actually is not the ambulance in Japanese “Kyūkyūta” but “Kyūkyūsha”, but still.



So that the children will also be pressed simultaneously in the right roles, there is just across from the Tomica business Precure-Shop, and you have to meet two conditions already, for there not to throw overboard his mind: You have to be a little girl, and you have to grow up in Japan. The original song Suite Precure I will not do that to you, so here is the variant of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. I think, they are all on drugs. Tanks and helicopters in the background, and in the foreground plays the Chapel “Suite Precure”. What can I say.

More on the Tokyo Station at some point you again. I think, I deviated from the topic…


Kappabashi – the kitchen paradise

January 28th, 2013 | Tagged , | 6 Comments | 1191 reads

Südlicher Eingang zur Kappabashi-Passage

Southern entrance to Kappabashi Passage

The beauty of Tokyo is, that the specialization of individual districts on specific services or products is still strong. Previously, there was also in the German cities – but usually only announce them the place names, whereupon the district specialized.

The best known example is probably in Japan Akihabara. After the Second World War here growled the black market, where everything somehow need- or. actionable sold. This was a collection of shops, the electrics- and electronic components and products for sale. But there are many more:

・Suidōbashi (between Iidabashi and Ochanomizu) is specialized in printing and publishing products
· Jimbocho (north of the Imperial Palace) specializes in bookstores
· Asakusadōri (Ueno, Inaricho) on Butsudan (Home altars) specialized
· Tsukiji specializes in fish shops
· Shinjuku 2chōme is on… We let the

There would also Kappabashi between Ueno and Tokyo Sky Tree: Here it specializes in all, what is in the kitchen and gastronomy needs. Of Stäbchenablageteilchen (Hashioki) up to giant pots, in the loose one, two children can fit, there is everything, but really to buy anything. This includes of course also stores, specializing for example in Japanese or Japanese ceramic knives. Other stores specialize in everything, what you need as a coffee lover so – For example, who wants to roast his own coffee, find just the right thing.


Knife Shop

Voted, for tourists, are the shops of ユニオン Union – there are excellent knives and 田 窑 Dengama – a shop for pottery from different regions of Japan, To most reasonable prices, and みくら Mikura, a shop, the experts only on chopsticks. Union is located on a street corner in about the middle of the mall-Kappabashi, Dengama at the southern end (compared to the department store with the giant cooking on the roof) Mikura and at the northern end of Kappabashi.

A visit to Kappabashi can however be equated with Ikea: You will definitely buy something – even if you do not know until then, that you really need it. As long as you do not repent later…


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