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Old 2007-09-11, 06:02   Link #261
Abbott
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Yes, the Metro covers central Tokyo very well, but the stations are for the most part in obscure places. You usually have to walk 10-15 minutes from a station to get anywhere of any significance. There are of course exceptions, and the Toei lines are closer to places, but more expensive to use.

Basically, you can get everywhere in Tokyo on a 700 yen standard Metro day pass, but be prepared to do some walking as well. The JR is good if you're sticking to the loop, and it does cover most of the major places. But I tend to stay in Asakusa when I go to Tokyo, and that isn't on the JR, so I stick with the Metro pass.
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Old 2007-09-12, 01:25   Link #262
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Apparently, as of tomorrow just after his visit with Bush, Prime Minister Abe is resigning. Can't say I'll miss him.
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Old 2007-09-12, 05:37   Link #263
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Sadly, I'm not looking forward to his most likely successor either. Taro Aso is no stranger to controversy, and quite possible even more hawkish than Abe.

It increasingly looks like Koizumi was a one-of-a-kind, as far as Japanese politics is concerned.
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Old 2007-09-12, 07:42   Link #264
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Apparently, as of tomorrow just after his visit with Bush, Prime Minister Abe is resigning. Can't say I'll miss him.
Hah! So he was just looking for a half-way decent excuse to quit after all. I thought it strange that he'd bring up the issue of resigning if he had no intention of actually going through with it.

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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Sadly, I'm not looking forward to his most likely successor either. Taro Aso is no stranger to controversy, and quite possible even more hawkish than Abe.

It increasingly looks like Koizumi was a one-of-a-kind, as far as Japanese politics is concerned.
In what way? Most of Japan's governmental problems weren't really Abe's fault; in fact, some of them date back to Koizumi and even earlier. Furthermore, Japan's inability to gain allies in Asia is part of an ongoing sixty year trend.

Aso looks like the LDP's next sacrificial lamb - he'll probably stick around for a year or so before the LDP's unpopularity gets to him as well.
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Old 2007-09-12, 12:05   Link #265
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Originally Posted by 4Tran
Most of Japan's governmental problems weren't really Abe's fault; in fact, some of them date back to Koizumi and even earlier.
Well, if we look at it bluntly, Japanese PMs are really no more than glorified rubber stamps. In that sense, we could say that none of them are ever fully accountable for the things that go wrong in Japanese government. It's the LDP that matters, not the the Prime Minister. Can you even remember the PM before Koizumi? I can't.

Which was what made Koizumi exceptional. He lasted five years in the "top" position. Five years! That's an eternity in Japanese politics, lol. The Japanese economy began breaking out of its doldrums under his watch. He probably deserves at least a little credit for that, if not all. He even had enough political capital to drag his party, kicking and screaming, into postal reforms. (Not that those "reforms" actually achieved much, but I thought it was a vital step in the right direction at least.)

In comparison, what did Abe achieve? A spectacular political freefall from 60% in approval ratings to less than 30%. That must be a new record, even for Japanese PMs.
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Old 2007-09-12, 12:12   Link #266
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Aye.... like some OTHER countries that I won't name. Japan has an opportunity here to put a shutter on their wingnut right ultra-nationalist fringe or at least make sure they stay in the "clown" category rather than the "dangerous" zone. The general population's mood against the Abe focus on such rhetoric rather than "mochi and tofu" (bread and butter) issues I found a good sign.

If Aso is the next chief clown.... the LDP may marginalize themselves without any help from the opposition parties

I always tagged Koizumi as a kind of 'japanese Reagan'. Most voters liked him even if they found some of his policies distasteful. Kind of a unique character.

Ah well, I didn't want the culture discussion to ignore the political realm but I also don't want it to smother the more basic stuff like "where are the coolest ryokans?"
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Old 2007-09-14, 02:32   Link #267
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I've seen quite a few depictions of clotheslines in the suburbs of the anime I've seen. Are clotheslines really common in Japan? If so is there any hearsay on why driers didn't become as popular in Japan as they are in the US?
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Old 2007-09-14, 05:40   Link #268
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There tends not to be room for both a washer and a drier in most apartments. With the heat in Japan in all seasons with the exception of Winter, clothes will also dry outside very quickly, so no real point wasting money on a drier and the electricity you need to use it. Apartments also have balconies with handy little overhangs above them, so even if it's raining you can still hang your clothes up outside and they'll dry.
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Old 2007-09-14, 06:31   Link #269
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To take the point further, for the smallest apartments, the washing machine is often placed outside.
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Old 2007-09-14, 11:15   Link #270
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Or its shared by the apartment (see Mahoraba: Heartful Days for a somewhat fanciful look ... or Hidamari sketch for a more typical flat).

Even in Oregon, I've taken to hanging a lot of stuff out to dry.... saves a ton of electricity though I'll usually tumble things for 5 or 10 minutes just to knock the stiffness out of things.
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Old 2007-10-10, 17:15   Link #271
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Do Japanese really eat rice with their chopstick? I never understood the reason for doing this, other Asian country eat rice with their spoon and yet it seems that Japanese don't.
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Old 2007-10-10, 17:33   Link #272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperlion View Post
Do Japanese really eat rice with their chopstick? I never understood the reason for doing this, other Asian country eat rice with their spoon and yet it seems that Japanese don't.
I believe it's more of a personal preference. In Korea it's as common to see people eating rice with a spoon as it is to see them eating it with chopsticks... I'm more of a chopsticks person myself. At lunch time in the cafeteria here, most people who bring lunch will use chopsticks so they don't have to carry a spoon with them to school.
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Old 2007-10-10, 18:41   Link #273
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Eriko brought me cake. Boo hoo, I'm so touched. *overly sensitive* ;_;

I've always been amused by the number of times high-school girls in anime go off after school to eat cake. It almost always looks like a high-end bakery, too. What about you college girls? Do you visit the bakery after classes, or are visits to bakery cafes only something girls do when their parents are around the pick up the tab?
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Old 2007-10-10, 19:17   Link #274
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Do Japanese really eat rice with their chopstick? I never understood the reason for doing this, other Asian country eat rice with their spoon and yet it seems that Japanese don't.
It actually depends whether you're using a rice bowl or a plate.

In general, chopsticks are used when it comes to rice bowls. Spoons are used with a plate (curry rice comes to mind).
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Old 2007-10-11, 02:29   Link #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I've always been amused by the number of times high-school girls in anime go off after school to eat cake. It almost always looks like a high-end bakery, too. What about you college girls? Do you visit the bakery after classes, or are visits to bakery cafes only something girls do when their parents are around the pick up the tab?
Eriko and friends were shocked when I told them that at home we only eat cake on special occasions, usually only on birthdays. I've had cake a number of times already since arriving... and yes, I hit the supremo bakery nearly everyday. All the girls around here seem to like going on the weekends and when their afternoons are free.

There are also a good amount of restaurants here where you can buy a set - lunch, drink, and a dessert of any slice of cake you see in the window.

I love how Japanesey cakes aren't too sweet. There are also fruity cakes, which are delish!

The reason why I was so touched that Eriko brought me cake even though eating it here is so common was because she'd gone about 40 minutes out of her way late at night just to deliver a surprise custard-filled slice of cake and custard pudding to me. (I gave her a Mister Donut keychain I won from playing gachapon as a thank you. )
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Old 2007-10-11, 03:08   Link #276
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Originally Posted by Risaa View Post
Eriko and friends were shocked when I told them that at home we only eat cake on special occasions, usually only on birthdays. I've had cake a number of times already since arriving... and yes, I hit the supremo bakery nearly everyday. All the girls around here seem to like going on the weekends and when their afternoons are free.
It makes you wonder why those girls aren't perfectly spherical in shape.
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Old 2007-10-11, 03:30   Link #277
Vexx
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I've come to the conclusion that the secret is --- walking and mass transit.
You can eat damn near anything you want if you have those.

about chops vs spoon: I've had a number of people tell me that chopsticks and bowl are an integrated unit, as in its stupid to use one without the other.

Our typical place setting is chopsticks and a soup spoon. We use whatever makes sense for the food.
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Old 2007-10-11, 05:06   Link #278
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spoons are common in most asian homes nowadays.

when i eat food from a bowl with chopsticks i kind of use them more like a shovel

I think going to cafe's is more common in the EU, but you can still find lots of them in big cities. Im sure NY has lots of places.

I would guess the biggest reason is walking. since everyone drives in more rural cities, take time to stop at the deli just isn't common place.

I recently moved to dallas and I was pretty surprised to see so many shops in or close to residential areas. there are like three target stores within a few miles of my house at most.
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Old 2007-10-11, 13:59   Link #279
Terrestrial Dream
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Originally Posted by Risaa View Post
I believe it's more of a personal preference. In Korea it's as common to see people eating rice with a spoon as it is to see them eating it with chopsticks... I'm more of a chopsticks person myself. At lunch time in the cafeteria here, most people who bring lunch will use chopsticks so they don't have to carry a spoon with them to school.
Really? I guess it must be different from elementary school, when I went elementary school in Korea I have never seen any kid using chopstick to eat rice. I don't like to use chopstick for rice, since it's hard to clean up all the rice that is sticked in the bowl and I use chopstick only for the side dishes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by X10A_Freedom View Post
It actually depends whether you're using a rice bowl or a plate.

In general, chopsticks are used when it comes to rice bowls. Spoons are used with a plate (curry rice comes to mind).
So only time they would use spoon for rice are for something like Curry, but now I think thought of another question. Do most Japanese eat rice that is sticky or dried?
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Old 2007-10-11, 15:42   Link #280
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Quote:
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Do most Japanese eat rice that is sticky or dried?
I can't speak for any exceptions, but I was raised to believe that if it's not sticky, it's not rice.
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