22 Fun and Informative Japan Links From the Past 2 Weeks - Oct 7

fall in Japan

Another two weeks, another round of Japan links! We've got mostly fun stuff today, plus a lot of foodie goodness. Must be because Fall is the season for eating...

Living in Japan

Police mull mandatory safety training for unsafe bicyclists | Japan Times - Whether for or against this, I honestly think something needs to be done about all the kids who constantly ignore the rules and cause, or nearly cause, accidents on a regular basis.

Fukushima offers free medical care for children under 18 | Japan Today

Hottest September in 110 years | Japan Times - And boy was I glad that it was!

Affordable Custom Made Shoes from KiBERA | RocketNews24 - This seems like a good service, although they only do (women's) sizes from 22 to 25 cm, unfortunately.


Random patdowns begin at 30 int'l airports in Japan | Japan Today

Japan Wheelchair Travel Journal - One person's experience getting around parts of Japan in a wheelchair.

Festival of Light: Experiencing the Nebuta Matsuri | Nippon.com


Also in recent food news: Burger King is hoping to encourage sales by offering a black burger, called the Kuro Burger (kuro means black in Japanese), basically with bamboo charcoal to darken the bun. And speaking of black, a lot of tea farmers in Japan are switching from green tea to black tea, due to weakening sales of the former. Surprising to me a little, considering how healthy green tea is... (and delicious!)

And for Halloween, you've probably been seeing seasonal-themed goods everywhere, including Baskin Robbins and Mister Donut (I love the honey pumpkin old-fashioned donut! So good). And you might even come across some Palmer's Halloween peanut butter cups, like I did.


鉄道Now is a neat, potentially train map, which I saw on Facebook via Japanzine, who said it was real-time, but as it turned out, is not. It's based on the scheduled times, but it's still fun to watch the trains travel around. Apologies to those of you who took it be real-time because of my Twitter/Facebook shares; I was so excited about all the moving trains on the map I didn't read the text until later.  That said, if you want to know the status of trains, this site might come in handy (it's in Japanese, but maybe I'll do a tutorial on this one).  

Apple Maps Errors Send Japanese to Homegrown App | NY Times  - If you're an iPhone user and you've upgraded your software to the most recent version of iOS, you'll probably have realized how terrible the maps app is. It doesn't even include the name of my neighborhood or surrounding neighborhoods, and the Shin-Tomei isn't on it at all. But it's not just Japan; it's having problems the world over (literally). There's no good replacement for the previous Google maps that I've been able to find yet, but you can download a Google maps bookmark to your home screen. It will still open in Safari, and is considerably slower, but it works better than other English maps I've used so far.

For those of you ok with Japanese, Mapion, mentioned in the article above, might be an option, although we don't really like it that much. 

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