Monday, December 25, 2006

X-Mas celebrations in Japan

With just 1% population of Christianity, Japanese seems really excited with the celebrations of Christmas Eve. My recent visit to Yokohoma has showed me how best Japanese to take up festivals for celebrations.

Promptly all the people here adopted western style food, culture, dressing and even the celebrations. I recalling the words by my mentor in the recent past meeting, he was stated that the Japanese are the people who accept all the religions so easily. We have religions for finding reasons to celebrate; otherwise religions are here for the funeral ceremony he said. Now I understand how much truth it is, as everyone is set their mood for festival time.

Shopping malls are filled with x-mas trees, some places looks like a forest with full of lighted x-mas trees. To make the customer happy, some shopping malls organized Santa like dressed people to give chocolates and small gifts to the kids visiting their complex. These people also do some performance to enlighten the people with joyful evenings.

Another reason for Christmas getting so popular in Japan and other nations are that this festival falls slightly before Georgian calendar New Year’s Day. That is again a universally adopted celebration, hence having Christmas almost on the same week makes it a grand success. But to consider the Japanese holiday calendar I wonder the Christmas is not mentioned as holiday.

Neither the people nor the Government is interested in taking or announcing leave on that day (In fact today is Christmas as I’m writing this blog from my office desk). I’m watching the television in the past very frequently as my new apartment’s DSL connection is having some trouble, I see almost all the programs are to show their festive mood towards Christmas. Every single person appeared on the TV programs seems to pronounce Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Airlines that I flew from/to Japan

Sri Lankan Airlines:
My trip to India was in Sri Lankan Airlines carrier, it was 14hours air time with 8hours stop over in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Actually the flight I took flew to Male then to Colombo. The experience in Colombo is really pathetic as the immigration process to get transit visa took nearly an hour and half. Then waiting time to get the Airlines arranged taxi to the hotel eaten up another 45minutes. In spite of all the waiting I had to travel 45kms to the hotel from Airport crossing several Army check posts in Colombo. I had reached the hotel by 1:45AM in the early morning and took rest for only 3hours later rushed back to the airport again to catch my flight to Chennai, India.

Most of the airlines crew members were elderly and rude in behavior, after seeing the Japanese way of treating customers it were un-justified to see them in service sector. In addition due to the WAR bound situation in Sri Lanka my advice to all my readers not to engage in flying Sri Lankan Airlines. I feel cost wise the Thai Airlines can match Sri Lankan Airline fares.

Malaysian Airlines:
My visit back to Japan was in Malaysian Airlines. A young crew awaits in the plane to make you feel comfortable. They are kind and pleasing personalities. The Boing 777 aircraft with Malaysian Airlines has plenty of leg room and seats are really good to provide travel time comfort.

The trip had 6 hours stop over at Kualalumpur (Capital city, Malaysia) but the pathetic thing is that I had to reach KL around 4:20AM and till 11:00AM have to wait at the airport chairs, the Airlines has a waiting lounge only for business class travelers and not for Economy class people.

After a long wait in KL airport my flight to Narita had to swing its wings towards Japan. There was another thing happen during my flight to Japan that is an announcement from the captain of the flight saying a failure in aircraft made some electronics to non-working state. Following that announcement all the lights were switched off and also asked the passengers to shutdown all kind of electronic devices for emergency landing. We were really scared and finally landed safely at Narita Airport.

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Back in Japan

Day before yesterday I have made my second entry with Immigration Department of Japan.

After long holidays in India today I’m back, here is some information on my trip to India. Now I got my new apartment in Baraki-Nakayama. This extends my trip daily to Tennoz Airu with change of trains in 3 lines (Tozai Line, Asakusa Line and Tokyo Monorail)

I felt very cold compare to my previous stay in here; however I still have to bare lower temperature in the forthcoming days in Japan.

Days in India

There is no were in the world can match the place Home. I really enjoyed my whole holidays spending time with Aditya, Adhava (My kids), my wife and my parents. I couldn’t really go to the locations I planned as got up into really tight schedule organizing the pending works.
My 1946 Willys CJ2A gave me a real good time in off road events during my holidays; it is a sturdy piece of machine American ever produced. With its short chassis and low bonnet I could literally travel in any terrain in India.

There was some thing bad has also happen during my visit. We lost my cousin (Younger to me) as result of his depression due to failure in his studies.

My work visa got stamped in India to visit Japan in just 3 days time. I got a new tenant to my house behind Chennai Airport (MAA) who is working in a ship as chef.

Getting NRI account in India is gone much simpler with Nationalized banks rather the modern private banks. It was just 20 minutes process with State Bank of India to create a NRI account with 0 balance facility. All you have to do is to visit a SBI branch with your Passport with long duration Visa stamped, Employment order from foreign country, 2 passport sized photographs and a local resident proof (Ration card, Telephone bill, Bank passbook and Company certificate). The International debit card will be dispatched to your door step in India/Abroad based on your application option with in 15days time. However the Internet ID and Passbook for your account will be issued at the desk during the account creation process.

Many of the Indians visiting abroad first time in work permit may not know why they need a NRI account. Actually the NRI account provides you nothing other than the tax exemption from Indian government. Even without NRI account you can transfer fund from abroad to your local bank account but the money transferred to normal bank account attracts Income tax from Indian Government, if it is NRI account the tax is waived as it is a proof for your income outside India.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Sayonara Japan ...

Ah, the time has come. I have to leave Japan this week Thursday. As I came to Japan for client meet and product demonstration purposes on a business visa, now to work here I’m undergoing the Work permit process.

Actually got the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Japan government, but wanting to apply the work visa from India. I would have been applied the work visa from Japan itself, but this is a reason for me to visit India. I feel home sick now, anyway for another 15 to 20 days I will be out of Japan.

This is the primary reason for not been able to update the blog for couple of days. Lots of purchase and preparation for the visit back to home country made me really tired. Also in the work place I had to type lots of documentations made my fingers go red.

In fact I also had plans to visit Tokyo Sea Life Park last Saturday; unfortunately the baggage preparation took my whole week end. I’m pretty sure now I won’t be able to post anymore blog in this trip in Japan. Hence making this Bye Bye Bye to Japan as last blog in this trip.

I hope to spend my holidays in some places in Karnataka or Kerala states of India during my holiday out there with my family. I will try updating this blog at least once during my stay in India.

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Thou matha! (See you soon) Thou Arikathou gosaimasu (Thank you verymuch)

Essential application tools – Japan visitor

Japanese to English and English to Japanese translation tools – Initially I used Babelfish, Yahoo and Google translation tools to run my life with minimal communication to my colleagues in the work place. Later our company provided Atlas 2006 a translation tool from Fujitsu, a must have stuff it converts web pages and inbox content automatically in a single click. For those who cannot afford the tool can still use the online translation tools mentioned above, what you need to copy and paste regularly. However both the online and software based translation tools are not 100% good but its better know something. The online tools could be reached from the below URLs:

World Clock – It’s again useful for a foreigner visiting Japan. It makes life easy and makes you aware of your home country time to enable you calling and chatting etc. – A website that makes you to login to many chat application online without being the messenger software installed in the computer. Many companies here are not allowing people to install the messenger applications. This makes really a handicap feeling as our only communication is the messengers which enable us to chat with our friends when you can’t able to speak to a person next to you.

Weather indicator – You can obtain one of the many available weather tickers to your computer to know the outside weather. These tools can even help you deciding on your dress for the next day and to carry the umbrella etc.

Currency converter – You can probably depend on to know the current or conversion rates for the currencies of your nation and Japan vice versa

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Most heard Japanese words in Japan

arikato, arikato gosaimasu and Thou arikato gosaimasu are Thanks, Thank you and Thank you very respectively in English are Japanese words most pronounced among Japanese people.

Sumi masen means excuse me; you need to know this to get japanese attention during the busy hours train journey to get way for you. Not only that for many places like asking for a path or information from a station master you can use sumi masen as sorry or excuse me.
Thou chou means Sorry; you can use this instead sumi masen too. Based on location you can change between sumimasen and Thou chou.

‘Hai’ and ‘So’ in Japanese means yes in English. Some times when a person next to me says hi to somebody takes my attention as I used hi for different purpose don’t we?

‘iie’ in Japanese means no in English, the pronunciation of nei is similar to saying nai in Hindi language.

‘Ah So’ means Is it what sounds to me.

‘Mush mushi’ is another word used very commonly while attending a phone call, this means hello in English.

Adding ‘ne’ in the end of conversation soften the phrase, hence you can hear sentences ending with the sound ‘ne’ very frequently.

Rey, ichi, ni, san , shi, go are zero, one, two, three, four and five in English

Sore wa - this is

Kore wa - that is
(These were corrected spellings by anonymous person, the original comment could be found in the comments section.)

Sayonara is used to say Good bye in Japanese

Othskare Samidesu is widely used to say work has finished, leaving for the day etc. You can see people saying this while coming out of toilet, after smoke, after work leaving home and even after food or tea.

Ohaio Gosaimasu says Good morning, if you look at some of the phrases the Gosaimasu will be prefixed. It is nothing but a word for wish.

Konnichiwa means Good day

Kombawa or Konbawa means Good evening

Othachiwa means I am when you wanted to say I’m Siva(replace with your name), you need to say Othachiwa Siva desu. Looking at this you would have found desu is prefixed to make the proper form of saying I’m Siva in Japanese.

Yoi sumatsuwo ne; the sentence says that Happy weekend to you. Sumatsu means week and sumantsuwo means weekend. Yoi should be happy and ne to soften the phrase.

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Building your community in Japan (for Indians)

I like to get the attention of most lonely and depressed Indians who live in Japan. As mentioned in my blog many times the language stands as a barricade between us and the Japanese. It’s very rare Indians having good friend circle from Japanese crowd. However finding a right Indian friend also not that easy as everybody is programmed to run in the morning and return to the apartment after work hour. In free hours our guys are really busy in preparing food and cleaning stuffs. If life is made to just do some programmed manner, I don’t think it’s worth earning the money. So what is the alternate, I found a way of finding Indian friends over the Internet, many of our fellow Indian Citizens are tech saavy people who knows or rules the Internet. Hence my search and findings were through Internet.

There are lots of Yahoo groups hosted for Indian living in Japan. Some of these groups were active and really doing good progress while some are just name sake acting as group in the Yahoo servers. However looking at their past message history and statistics on the home page you can decide whether to join or not. After careful watch for few days I have choose to join japanindians group of Yahoo! Groups network. They could be found on this url:

But the group is not very active buy the number of members attracted me. After posting a initial introduction message, I really got good response from various people. I made my intro clear on my interest etc, hence got similar interested people buzzing me on my mail. Not only have those who are already staying in Japan also those who plan to visit Japan in the near future. The only different is that with the person who is having planned to visit will get query you for some information and a person who is already living here will get queries from you :–)

Another option is to go and start read/post blog and answer in various forums and bloggers like what I’m doing now. You will get good response and friends. I think this is the second option to you next to making friends with your colleagues. While attempting to make a friendship with Japanese, I recommend you don’t expect them to start the conversation. Most of those guys/girls want your friendship but never open-up. Initially it may be very hard to live in here, but later you will mix and match with the life. After all we are Indian who takes everything easy.

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What will you get for 100 yens?

Actually you can get more for every 100 yens you spent on a 100 yen chain shops in Tokyo. There are 3 different categories of these 100 yen shops. The first category is the common one that sells utility items like vessels, bags, umbrellas, bottles, gardening items and stationary etc. Not only that even tea sets, couple of chopsticks and make up kit are also part of their product lines available for sale.

I was always a great fan of 100 yen shops as it provides some value for money. In 100 yen shop one can even take personal clothing and foot wear also. The most attractive stuffs in the 100 yen shops are the hardware tools. I always wanted to carry as much as them with me while going back to India. Unfortunately the baggage weight may jump double if I do that, hence couldn’t buy most of them.

The second category is the shop 99, this is also a kind of 100 yen shop but for food articles. Like a normal grocery shop. Many of the items are with in 100yens, but they do sell some items above 100 yens you can find the price tag for those items listed in the racks. This is where I used to buy thing to run my life in Japan. If you are worried about staying in Japan with cost effectiveness find a place where you can get all these 100 yen shops nearby.

The third category is not so popular and finding them may turn puzzle game played experience to you. These are the shops which are not available in many places but if you search for it in major shopping areas, you may find these shops inside another shop. They normally share the space with another shop I guess, to provide you the best rate for the items. I prefer to buy the souvenirs from this 100 gift shops. They have plenty of options for souvenirs like Japanese stone lanterns, laughing Buddha, Japanese ceramic items, the traditional masks, small dolls, Lucky cats and so on. Don’t worry they do provide minimal electronic and electrical items for 100 yens like Torches, Cigarette lighters, cassettes, CDs, DVDs, clocks and calculators. One of the 100 Gift shop I found is near the Electronic town exit of Akihabara. I could purchase some articles from this shop for 100 yens which was tagged more than 1,200 yens in Tokyo tower and Asakusa shopping areas.

If you are a person who is not a brand specific shopper, then the 100 yen shops are the digest you are looking for.

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Japan work visa process

The work visa process includes 2 major tasks, one is to get Certificate of Eligibility and other one is to get Work Visa and Alien card. Carry minimal 2 photographs for the COE application along with the sponcership details and the employer details, normally you will be instructed to bring lots of paper along with the COE application. The work visa needs another 4 or more photographs. Hence if you plan to apply work visa from Japan while visiting in business or other short term visa status, carry the couple of passport size photographs handy with you.

  1. Need to have the sponsorship from the company who is employing you in Japan

  2. You will have to provide all your Education and Service background proofs to apply for COE. While applying for COE you will also need to produce your original Academic certificate along with the application, the same will be return to you after verification during the application submission day.

  3. The COE process takes about 1 month to 2 months due various reason, hence it’s advised consider making the COE plans earlier if you are planning to work in Japan.

  4. Once getting the COE then the process of Work Visa starts, the work VISA could be obtained for a maximum period of 3 years. However it depends on your employer and kind of employment you are obtaining. No one can work in Japan without a proper work visa. Once the work visa is obtained the you can enter in to Japan as a long term migrant.

  5. During the entry to Japan with work permit, you will be obtaining the Alien card. That will be used for your identity purposes. When you stay in Japan in a short term visa you need to carry the passport all the time. Where after obtaining the Alien card you can carry only the Alien card for the proof of your stay in Japan. The Alien card helps getting your Tax sheet, Drivers License and Insurance.

If you are in Japan on a short term visa and during your visit if you find a job in a Japanese company, you will be required to apply for work permit/visa. If some reason, your short term visa is nearing or expiring before you get the certificate of eligibility, you will be asked to leave the country and apply the work permit from your home country.

Suppose if you get the COE before the expiry of your short term visa status, then you can apply for work permit from Japan itself. In this case after applying to the work permit/visa before getting the long term visa status in your hand if the current short term visa expires; you can still stay in Japan provided you should hold the proof for the current work permit application process.

Feel free to get in touch with me, if you want more information on this regard.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Trekking on Mt. Takao – Japan

Vipin (an Indian friend) and me had plan to have a trekking experience in Japan; for a long time we have been thinking of Mt. Fuji but we could never make it. After a long search on the internet we found the mountains in Kanto region, filtered the results with a constraint for easy reach from Tokyo that gave the target Mount Takaosan. I also read about the autumn season and the maple leaves of the Takaosan Temple. I was really impressed by many articles on the internet about other's experience with the Mt. Takao.

Last Saturday morning we took the train from Shinjuku station in Keio line which operates trains to Takaosanguchi station. The Keio line starts in Shinjuku as a subway and soon after one or two minutes it comes out of the subway tunnel and runs on the open rails. Hence I liked the train which showcase me the Tokyo suburbs. Takaosanguchi station is just below the Mt. Takao. The trekking trial starts exactly from the station entrance. There is a large size red colored dori (Traditional Japanese arch seen on the temple entrance) erected outside the station in Takaosanguchi.

Mount Takao is not a tall mountain. But walking on the trekking route provides lots of fun as we moved in to the wild and steep path. There were three different mountain climb routes started immediately after the station entrance. There were two more routes that are braches for the main route. I got to know these information from the broachers put outside the station. It has lot of information about the attractions but you should know Japanese to understand. I used my intelligence to find the important things by looking at the pictures provided. There are totally six different routes which takes us to the top of the mountain. After carefully reading and seeing the broachers (most of them were in Japanese, hence I was requiring help from others to understand the route) we have selected the route which goes with thickest nature way touching the Takaosan temple. Actually it doesn’t go via. the temple but a few meters away from the temple the path takes a wild route. We can enjoy the core of the nature, the dark green forests while your wet breath fills the air. Another main reason to select this route is that I have seen a rob bridge (hanging bridge) shown on the broachers on this route, which attracted me largely.

The route which we have selected seems to be bit steeper than of other routes, however for the convenient of elderly and fun lovers the local authorities have arranged a Cable car and Chair car provisions to go up to Takaosan Temple. The cost for one way travel is 470yens and for two way its 900yens per person. I liked the Chair car stuff a lot, 2 people in a chair that hang and move on a cable assisted with giant winches to climb the mountain halfway. As we decided to trek on the mountain, we didn’t choose the cable stuffs. The trekking experience in the wild forest was a thrilling experience, many places you can see the path goes very narrow. One side of the path slides deep into the mountain with thickest forest. The path was bit slippery due to the moisture and really a dangerous movement in couple of places. But to my surprise lots of Japanese with kids have came on the same trekking route which we have selected.

I have seen even the elderly women and men eagerly trekking alongside with us. During our walk we reached the hanging Bridge and took some pictures over there, looking at the surrounding of the bride gave us fun as it built on top of a wild water canal. Though it connecting a valley and on top of a canal but the season is autumn and there was not much of water in it. A thin line of natural mineral water flows in the canal with chal chal chal sound. I think this is the same canal which ends in the bottom of the mountain as small water falls; it was just before the chair car station bottom of the mountain.

In some areas of the path, we could get beautiful Ariel view of Tokyo, I didn’t forget to bring my binocular it helped me in this trip. In many places the local body has installed information boards about the animals, birds and insects found on the particular area of trekking path. Unfortunately it was not useful to me as every single letter was in Japanese. It would have been better if they put some English information to promote and encourage tourism and tourist respectively. While walking over the wildest mountain we met couple of people, importantly an old Japanese group of ladies who offered us chocolate candies. They discussed with us in minimal English about our work etc. I have not missed to take a picture with them : -) After a while we have reached an area which turns intersection with three more other paths, from there the travel to the mountain peak is joined and mixed with all the people. I also noticed during my walk that every 50 meters of the routes were installed with some statues of local gods and Buddha. Also I noticed the Japanese have some holy tree and stuffs like that inside the forest.

Later about 4:00pm we have reached the mountain top, as expected nothing was there on the top, but it was crowded. The west side of the top was getting ready for observatory I guess. There was a machine which does some civil construction work to provide barricade. I forget to tell, till the mountain top the automobile are able to reach, but not those of general public but of the local authority’s vehicles. We have seen the sun set from the mountain top and started getting down. While going down our aim to visit the Takaosan Temple. Hence we moved towards the route on our target Takaosan Temple. Soon after few minutes walk we have reached the first level of the Takaosan temple. I think it has four levels, each level is having a temple for different god/goddess. From the top, the first level temple is relatively small and going down you will see bigger sized temples. Actually now the sky became too dark stopping me to take pictures, as I have not carrying my tripod I was really felt too much disappointed. During my trails taking pictures in the 1st level I met a Brazilian lady who was so kind and chat with us for few minutes. I didn’t forget to give her my email id and website address to invite her to my site and friendship.

The temple in second level is really good one with lots of wooden sculpture and pain work. All of these temples were painted with red color and the carvings with multi color paintings. This temple is a must see spot in the Mt. Takao; unfortunately I lost the light before reaching the temple. I wish the temple authorities provide good lighting in the evening to highlight the temple. Finally I reached the main Takaosan temple which is in giant size and brown in color, the entrance facing towards downwards of my trekking path had two god statues with angry face. I have seen similar stuffs in Asakusa and other temple visits in Japan. When I was trying to use the tiny flash to take pictures of the temple, there was guy who came near to me asking me not to take pictures. It was strange to me, as he stopped only me but others.

Now the entire environment turned dark and moon on straight line of my eyes. It was good walking on the pavement towards downside of the hill, in some locations I heard the wild monkey fighting sound and some ku ku ku ku.. Kiiiirriichhh Kiiiirrrrich noise. After a little walk we reached the cable car mountain station, As it turned dark I decided not to walk anymore and decided opted to take he cable chair facility. So I could hang on the chair while moving down top of the forest in sitting position. Unfortunate awaited to disappoint me again, the cable car staff has conveyed me that the cable chair facility ends before 5:00pm, when he said that piece of information to me the time was already 5:30pm. Hence we had left with no option to choose only the cable car. It was nice too traveling on the step modeled cable car. It reached real quick to the bottom of the mountain.

We walked towards the Takao station and had 20mins time before the Rapid train departure, so decided to walk on the local roads to see anything interesting to us. Luckily we found a Trick Art Museum which exhibits lots of art work that trick to fool you of thinking the images are original people. Those were really cool to enjoy, they charge a minimal of 200yen as entrance fee to get in but lots of the pictures are visible from the road itself.

After few minutes of watching, I have ended my trekking day on Mt. Takao and railed on Keio back to Shinjuku. From where I took my subway Oedo Line back to my Apartment.
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

River Valley - Japan

During the Barbeque party on Friday, after one of my friend told me about the river valley next to the park. He also hinted to see me the activities around the river valley and stated that this is how most of the river side valleys in Japan have been used. I was excited and took my camera and walked away from the party place.

Actually the river was in the other side of the road, where the road was constructed in an elevated place in between the park and river. Hence I climbed up on the steps to catch the road and crossed it to go down in to the river bank valley. The river was bit away from the road but the valley was filled with lots of games and sports by people. I think that was a internet school base ball tournament, colorful uniforms wear children playing the baseball and their coaches around boosting them on the game. We in India do not have the game Baseball but Cricket the one which is most famous and crowd grabber sports in India. However for me except the bat nothing seems to be different as I don’t know either Baseball or Cricket.

In the other side of valley I could see some youngsters playing saucer the foot ball game, in between these to activity area in the plains a person with a Golf hitting the rough ball, unfortunately he didn’t have anybody to collect and return his balls. I went near to him to take some pictures of Golf but after seeing me, he stopped his play and started staring at me.
I don’t know why but seems he didn’t like photographed I guess, however I had many other opportunity on the ground hence moved after quickly. I was looking at each sports by small kid to an old man and passing on the valley area. Finally I reached the destination river where couple of people using their fishing rods with reels fitted awaiting for their collection of fishes from the river. Since the sun was bit harsh on the day, I couldn’t click much or better pictures of the fishing stuffs but my disappointment was not lasted for long time. The river banks also had a yellowish followers with lots of Honey Bee flew on it for honey extracts, one of the Bee has reacted well while I clicked him on my camera with Super Macro enabled.

At the river I saw some jet skiis ahead, it was a Friday morning and I really enjoyed looking the jet skii sport is fun on the river parting my daily rush hour commute in the subway trains. After clicking some of their adventure on my digital black box, my foot urged me to walk back to the BBQ area. My return path also pushed me to the circle of surprise as I have seen the first remote controlled miniature flight squeezing the air on top of my head.

It reminded me of my childhood days, I had always wanted to become a pilot :-), and it never happened. I could only fly as a traveler in many flights. My memory shadow traveled on the same miniature flight to catch those undeleted sweet days on my brain cells. I ran and rushed near to the person who operated the remote control, the flight was brought into the valley of the river on a bicycle by a person, I tried to learn the operational instructions from the person, but my unfortunate he couldn’t speak English but managed to get his pose along with the flight. For my request to take picture with him and his flight he landed the flight from the sky, my travel back to the past also landed to the reality along when he landed the flight. My hunger stomach urged me to go the BBQ.

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Barbeque party - Japan

"Almost we go out on a Barbeque party at least once in three month” quoted by Mr.Uchida who is also a well wisher and friend of mine in Japan. Almost all our travel schedule in Japan has been drafted by Uchida san. I remember a weeks back he was discussing with me about the BBQ party, I said I was interested in participating. You know as a result he came out with a BBQ party announcement to all of our friends living in Japan.

Till that time I was not sure about the BBQ part of Japanese. The party was organized in a park called Shinozaki kouen in Tokyo. We reached little early in the morning about 8:00am because we were the ones carried the BBQ equipments like BBQ oven, grill, stove and some out door accommodation arrangement. As soon as reaching the park my eyes once again in Japan got stretched to express the surprise that I have seen. Initially I was thinking that the BBQ etc are western countries culture and Japan would have not into it. But to my surprise when we reached the park I found that park’s BBQ party area is divided into 27 boundaries, each hosting a group of people to conduct their BBQ party. And the important thing is that the days when we went, none of the boundaries were free and lots of people everywhere preparing the BBQ. The party place is free but needs to be booked in advance.

The aged people, middle aged person and kids were all part of the BBQ parties here; everybody enjoys cooking and eating etc. Since we reached little early before everybody I started putting the chairs and the oven etc in its places to make the BBQ stuffs ready before others reach in here. Even after we prepared the setup it was not time for other to participate, because as per the announcement the BBQ starts by 11:00 am, so I decide to walk around the park outside area to explore some photography opportunity. Another Japanese friend of mine told me that there is a river next to the park after crossing the Highway. In my next blog the details of my River valley walk will be discussed for your reading. Later spending some time on the valley I started running toward the party location, this time I could see a bunch of people were carrying bag of chips and a can of warm beer with the sun roasting hides. They were waiting for me, actually there were equal amount of Indians and Japanese were found on the party and for the Japanese and Indian we setup two BBQ stove and oven to make dishes from the two Asian countries. Uchida san have harvested fishes, meat and some vegetables for the party and brought those stuffs in his car. The Japanese friends started making their Fish and meat grills and some of my Indian friends demanded me to start the Great Indian Recipes to attract the Japanese around (I know the Indian recipes to an extent), decided to prepare Ginger Chicken to server with the Bread and Buns, actually it was good combination. In fact my cooking tuned to become crowd puller, as we were the only Indo-Japanese BBQ party people on the venue. Initially I told there were about 27 boundaries each hosting lots of people.

The park become fun filled and lots of out door activities happening everywhere around, kids playing with flying saucers, cycling and some people on the baseball practice with their family members and so on. I actually forget to customize my preparation for Japanese, some of them looked really sweat after tasting my food; you know they said it’s hot. I know the Japanese eating habit is not spicy and they liked moderate spicy taste. So I promised to that I will prepare my next item with less spicy and salt, This time I took Kerala Chicken malsala as my recipe and the pan started boiling with me on the hot sun. Oh, I forget to mention I did carry some Indian Spice to make the BBQ with Indian Style, those were brought from Indian during my travel here, I run my daily food with these spices brought from India. My friends were really enjoying the party as many of these folks from India had no experience in BBQ party. There was a guy in the group called Anwar click some best photographs of mine during my food preparations, Being a photographer in many occasions I have made good photos of others when It came to me for my own self portrait picture I always failed but this guy Anwar made few good pictures of mine. By the time I cooked the Kerala Chicken masala there were some kids demanding the food to them to be tasted. We offered my Kerala Chicken masala prepared with coconut milk in a soba paper bowl, you know in return to the single bowl the other BBQ party guys presented about eight number of tin beer and two cups of Japanese fried noodles LOL.

The party was happening with it fully swing and later we were jumped in to the ocean of Alcohol and started swimming, sailing and rowing on the few bottles of Sochu a Japanese made alcohol.

We almost reached the end of day and started packing those stuffs to the car, after the run set we had taken a ride towards Noguchi san apartment who brought man of the equipment. Actually we planned to go his house to drop that equipment, after reaching he invited to his apartment hence we accepted the offer to discover the Japanese house culture treating the guests. Actually it was a good experience and Noguchi san and His wife treated us nicely, we have offered with Japanese Tea, Cake and some snacks. They had a pet dog at their house and named the dog Rokhe. Initially it was scared of seeing me :-) (color problem) but later became my friend. After about an hour stay in their house we said bye and taken the road towards Shin-Egota.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Yahoo Messenger Attacked? I have a solution...

My yahoo messenger is one of the unique stuff with longest buddy list, as I always keep all my contact on in Yahoo, I will be the first person to notify the issues that occurs with Yahoo messenger and its users.


The recent Virus / Spy attack in yahoo messenger is a pain to most of us. It is one of the most powerful Trojan /virus I have ever seen.. If your computer is infected with this virus " It will sends the url to all of your friend list in yahoo messenger using your ID . So with in few hours many of your friends will get infected with it.


  • Internet Explorer homepage is getting disabled, you cannot change the homepage in Internet Explorer

  • Your Yahoo messenger keeps sending junk IMs to all your contacts when you are online

  • Your yahoo messenger status automatically changes to some nasty website url and asking your buddies to visit that url

Solution and Removal Instruction:

Attention: Do the following steps with your own Risc, I'm not responsible for any damage that could occur during the removal instructions. If you are not sure please skip this post and call a System specialist for assistance.

The following solution works for Windows XP only....

This is a very bad virus attack on Yahoo Messenger where it will take control of your messenger and without your knowledge sends some messages with a website links which contains the virus, to your friends list, remind you without YOUR KNOWLEDGE so be careful, try to do the following things to remove if your are effected.

Start Menu -> Run

copy & paste in run & press enter (The below line should be a single line)

REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableRegistryTools /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Once again Start Menu --> Run

copy & paste in run & press enter(The below line should be a single line)

REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and Select Task Manager

Click on the process called svhost32.exe and press the button kill process

if you find more than one process with the same filename keep killing all the processes with this name. Remember you shouldn’t kill svchost.exe but svchost32.exe

Search you entire computer for svhost32.exe, and delete the files svhost32.exe from your comp & temp folder

Once completely killed follwo the below steps to ensure you are safe

Logout of your Yahoo Messenger
Exit Yahoo messenger from the Task Bar

Open Internet Explorer


Tools --> Internet Options

Change the Home Page to some of your favorite website, I wish to put if you wish to help promoting your friend please put this url

Then clean completely your Temporary Internet Files, Cache, Offline files and Cookies from the same window

once done close the IE.

Open Yahoo Messenger and Login back, you will be free from the Virus Attack.

I suggest you always keep a different status message in your messenger to prevent from the attack again.

If it helps you please promote this URL to as much as friends you have, let our community free from the nasty attack.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pagoda Facts

Actually I was wondering about the many Japanese cultural activities which are looked similar to me with those of Indians. In a way that is truth too, because of the Buddhism which spread to the world from the origin India. Other examples which proves my theory of understanding are the Sanskrit word usage in Buddhism even in Japan, The pagodas of various countries and the portable shrines etc. While I visited the Asakusa of Tokyo and Ueno park in the recent past, I have decided to learn more about the Pagodas hence this blog got its shape.

A pagoda is one part of a temple's structure, and we can trace the origin of pagodas back to Great United India. A pagoda has its origin in old Indian culture. The Indians made pagodas as tombs called stupa, before Buddhism began, but the shape of it was completely different from a Japanese or Chinese one. "Stupa" is from a word which means "to accumulate" in Sanskrit, which is the ancient language in India. Its shape was like a dome, and most of them were made from soil or stone. Pagoda was a modification of the stupa

The wooden pagodas are the building with scientific ideas, each story [floor] of pagoda helps to prevent the rainwater falls away from the base of the tower, In addition the cascading of pagoda conical roofs helps preventing the rain water force from top to bottom which may cause earth slides.

A pagoda structure is running down the centre is a giant pillar of tree wood. Around this wooden pillar, the conical roofs are loosely packed, resulting in a highly flexible structure able to withstand earth tremors. This could be a main reason for the countries like Japan, Thailand, China are built many pagoda structure for the religious temples, where the earth quake are common.

The Pagodas also considered as the examples for ancient day’s carpentry techniques

The oldest and tallest wooden pagoda in the world is located in China and it is celebrating its 950th anniversary. This pagoda is called as Sakyamuni Pagoda in Yingxian in north China's Shanxi Province built in 1056.

Pagoda style buildings are not only by Buddhist also Hindus and Shinto religions were build for the temple structures.

It is pertinent to explain the terms “pagoda” “Zedi or Ceti” and “Stupa” all of which refer generally to a Buddhist monument of a solid type. Pagoda is a transportation of the original Pali word “dagaba” (dhatu-gabha) meaning a sacred mound containing the mortal remains of the Buddha or saints.

The oldest pagoda which still retains its original size, shape and design is one of the three at Sre Kestra, an old Pyu City State (1st to 9th century A.D) near the modern town of Pyay about 180 miles to the north of Yangon, Myanmer(Burma). The three Pagodas are the Baw Baw Gyi, the Phayamar and the Phayagyi, all in cylindrical shape, simple, plain and entirely undecorated. The last named, Phayagyi is believed to be the oldest of the three. Oral history and old chronicles claim that they are the surviving ones of nine stupas which king Duttabaung the founder of Pyay dynasty built in his kingdom.

I sincerely thank all the original contributors of most of the Pagoda related content seen here. Visit me at:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Auspicious Asakusa

As usual the weekend excited me to roam around the near by places to discover some new things about the Japan. I like to visit some long distance in the Shinkansen unfortunately the train fare is really high stopping me to think about it. Hence finally declared my visit to Asakusa a old Tokyo entertainment and auspicious location hosting a Kannon [Goddess of Mercy] which is also the oldest temple in Tokyo. It said to be build around year 628 and also known as Sensoji Temple.

I have reached the Asakusa through Asakusa line subway, As soon as reached the A4 exit I could easily identify the difference of Asakusa from rest of Tokyo. The first attraction came in to my sight was the rickshaw. Man powered hire vehicle which is a common thing some times back in India. These rickshaws are replaced with the three wheeled auto rickshaws in India. However today there are no such rickshaws found in my country, very long time back those man powered rickshaws were replaced with cycle rickshaw to reduce the human efforts with gears and chains in the rickshaws of India. There are plenty of these man powered rickshaws [Let me call as man cart] were in Asakusa, these rickshaws could accommodate 2 adult with a child on board while a person pulls them to show around the Asakusa area. These rickshaw had huge two wheels in the back and a bulling road in the front where the person who pulls the rickshaw to roam around. The word "rickshaw" originates from the Japanese word jinrikisha (jin = human, riki = force, sha = vehicle), which literally means "human-powered vehicle." They looked slavery to my eyes pulling the vehicle, however I hate people allowing or encouraging such vehicles even in the modern world, because for no reason we need to making a man acts like a buffalo in a cart.

I headed towards the direction which stated the Sensoji Temple and found the main entrance gate called Kaminarimon Gate, The gate they actually hang a red paper lantern. Actually the Kaminarimon Gate was build during 1651 and got damaged in the B29 air raids of United States of America during the World War II; later the Japanese re-constructed the gate with the same Edo style in 1958 post World War II. Before the entrance I have seen the Information center which provides lots of English information flyers. Both the sides of this gate have God of thunder and God of wind crafted in netted rooms. Once entered into the main gate looking at the other side of this gate was pushed me back to very old days, and seems to be I was in an ancient time of Japan. The shops selling souvenirs, sweets and other arms are all about the old days. There were one or two modern toys shops otherwise all of the hundred of shops selling those of old days. However as I read from the internet the souvenirs and other articles are not cheap in Asakusa, Hence visitors please don’t expect a lower price in the Asakusa rather look around the small shops in Akihabara selling much cheaper of the same souvenirs. A small key chain sized paper lantern may cost you 500yens in Asakusa where in a slightly larger sized one could be purchased in 100yen gift shop near Akihabara electronic exit for just 100yens.

After crossing the shopping street I found some Buddha statues in the right side along with some other statues of human kind a woman with a kid etc. Along side of the street there were several Japanese style temples, some were closed for public visit. The straight shopping street landed exactly in front of the actual Kannon Temple, just opposite to the temple there was a large sized incense burner were many people lit incense stick as part of their devotional activity. I was surprised by the Japanese cultural attraction almost it looked to me like an Indian Hindu way of devotional activities with minimal changes. In the left hand side there was a five storied pagoda gives a greater look to the tourist.

Slowly I moved towards to step into the temple; there was a prayer happening inside the temple, some people were sitting and one priest heading them all. The ceiling of Sensoji temple was having some colorful drawing and had three directional outlets to the temple. After spending couple of minutes looking at their devotional activities I have moved in the left side gate, there are lots smaller and bigger sized temple everywhere near the Sensoji temple. Lots of good landscaping was done for each temple in a different way. Some of the Japanese were come to the temple wearing their traditional Kimono costume; I couldn’t control myself not taking photos of those people. Some of them greatly accepted my wish to take their picture and pose to my camera with a smile. Almost the whole day I was in Asakusa enjoying the old Japan life in the modern days. There was also a river runs along side of the the Asakusa temple area called Sumida River, the other side of the river had the Asahi Building, which is the beer company corporate office and has also considered as a landmark in the area due to the golden flame design of the building top. In some places I really felt the change as if I was in a time craft visiting back to the age.

Asakusa is best place for a tourist the see the old age Japan but strictly not good for shopping as it extracts money.

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Heavenly Roppongi

This is the title suggested by an American whom I met with in the Roppongi. There is a greater attraction for the foreigners in Roppongi out in Tokyo. Roppongi is a place falls near the Tokyo Tower; this place starts its activities in the Night rather in a day.

There are variety of Bars, Clubs, Shops and Cousins to choose from, unlike other Japanese establishment the Roppongi hosts every thing for a foreigner. Here the Japanese accept the culture of western region intact without any change, there is a pickup point where the mix of Japanese and Westerner happens. My visit to Roppongi was to investigate and experience some of the attractions, as described by many of those who have visited. I have landed to Roppongi from Daimon after office on a Thursday. There was a reason for choosing that day for visiting Roppongi. As I have told, there are many bars and clubs in Roppongi providing variety of entertainment activities from bars to strip bars. However I restricted myself only to visit a reputable dance club. My search ended in results saying “Gas Panic” a club with a decent dance floor in Roppongi. Many of those visited have given a positive ranking about that club. The Gas panic club celebrated gas panic day every week Thursday, hence on that particular day of week all the drinks served will be costing 400yen per consumption. Now you know why I have decided to go on this day, otherwise the club serves the drinks in the range of 500-1200yens.

Roppongi has a skyscraper building called Roppongi Hills; it’s a landmark for this area hosting many entertainment and office facilities. Since I visited this area after my office and in the evening I couldn’t carry my camera so have taken few tiny snaps using the camera in my mobile. While I landed in Roppongi and started walking on the pedestrian path towards left from the station searching for the Gas panic club, however it was too early to visit a dance club. I had reached about 7:20pm in the evening hence decided to walk around to see what Roppongi is. Immediately after few meters I have seen the Roppongi hills building and on the entrance a small building with information states that there is a Tokyo International Film Festival. I didn’t try getting on to the Roppongi hills because my priority was different on that day, however added it to my must see locations for future visits.

Then I almost crossed the entire area in a direction so, decided to walk back after reaching back to near the station, I asked a cop how to go to Gas panic he humbly showed me the path takes me to club. I have to “walk straight and take a right” that’s the instruction given to me. After noting the same into my cells of brain I have reached a corner that splits in all the directions with a traffic signal. That’s where the pickup point of Roppongi under the almond coffee shop in pink color. Near to the intersection you can see many people waiting with cigarettes, cell phones or some other stuff in their hands. I earlier was under an impression that this is where the foreigner come and wait for some Japanese to select them for company to get into the bar, but that was wrong as I have experienced to see that this is the place where friends meet before getting in to a Roppongi establishment. Unless other places in Tokyo Roppongi also a bit dangerous area to visit, due to the drunken fights on the road often. Also some of the bars in the area try to fool the customer by giving a overpriced bill, additionally to get customers they use some pretty girls to speak to them and make them like a friend then take them into the hunting net of these bars. However being read so many stories online I was bit careful in Roppongi.

I moved on to the right direction after carefully watching some of the happening in the pickup point, in a short walk I have reached the club where I was intend to visit, normally all of the clubs in the area works all night long. There are many of them are here in the roads, lanes and all the buildings. Some of the clubs are charging some money for entrance and some are not. While walking I found many of these bars post a staff on the road to bring the customer in, some times they follow talking to you even if you don’t like to. However the Gas panic doesn’t have an entrance fee but a condition is that, as soon as you enter in you need to buy at least a bottle of beer. The club had an electronic sign board on the road side with some gas reaction in the liquid sort decorated colorfully. And the club was in the 2nd floor but there was a broad step directly from the pedestrian path takes it to the club main door. While I try to open to the door for a second I got just scared because a person dressed in a black dress and with a skull mask on his face screamed to welcome me that was due to their Halloween celebrations. All the staffs inside the club dressed like a Ghost or Evil. I found the entire club had the theme Halloween.

I order the bar tender to offer me some of the available brands of rum, he said only Bacardi. In addition he said today all the drinks are only 400yens. I smiled and said ok let me start with a large. Initially he didn’t understand what is large, then I manage to explain him the measurement what is large quantity in the bars in India.

The club had not packed with people; in fact I was one of the 3-4 customers inside. Actually I have entered very early about 8:30pm. The DJ was playing some rock song and nothing seems to be boosting the 4 customers and we were just drinking our glass of liquor. The bar tender was so kind to volunteer to speak with me in English, also I found him very helpful on the discussions of Roppongi and other clubs in the area. At the end of our discussion he offered me a white paper and a pen to write my wish list of songs to play, I greatly accepted it and Wrote “It’s my life”, ”Who lets the dog out”, ” Rythm Divine”, ”Hotel California”, ”Shaggy” in the paper. The time moved except the Enrique and Eagles the DJ played my requests. The bar had some crowd to dance now, couple of glass of liquor already found its way to my stomach, however for each glass you need to pay immediately along with the order. The world was started rotating in the opposite direction, everything went like a hell and I enjoyed the show for some times, since the last subway train to my place is 00:00 hrs I decided to pack off by 11:30pm.

After I said bye to the staffs there, and stepped down on the roads of Roppongi with a non-steady movements. There was a black American interrupted my walk and said, “sir we are from Gentleman’s club lots of people are there waiting for you, it’s with full of fun I’m sure you gonna enjoy”. I replied him saying oh, my quota over sorry buddy and take care. My walk reached to the subway Toei Oedo line and got the train back to the apartment. I was now walking on the roads of Shin-Egota where my apartment is located, it was half clear sight to me my ears heard the sound of mobile ring, hands went inside the pocket to pickup the mobile, nothing were under control of my own brain everything was happening on its own and suddenly I returned to the normal life after hearing “Hey Siva, This is me, where are you?” [It was my wife from India]

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Japanese a closer view – Work & Culture

Run run run catch the train start the work. This is how Japanese are programmed. They are real hard workers [Mainly physical work] but have lots of dedication and by nature they adhere all the rules and regulations. No hurry and no messy work culture, very professional in their approach to work. The work hours normally starts around 9am in the morning most of the Japanese will be present sharp at the opening hours. Then their scheduled work starts. During the lunch break about an hour time they spent time on eating and sleeping. You can spot many of them sleep in the office during lunch break and resume operations exactly after the break hour.

However, their secret of success with Quality is that they just programmed to do what they suppose to do. Each person in the organization has a particular work programmed and he will know and do only that part of work. The Japanese work men never try doing some thing new. They will just follow those lined by somebody. I also doubt after their inventions during 1945-1967, things are slowed down and not much of improvements or inventions with Japanese products. But they still enjoy those created post World War II like Trains, Electronics and Infrastructure. Their foundations to the work in the initial days are clean and planned with long term view, which helps the new generation of Japanese people shine in their work. However their skills in Information Technology are really not upto the mark.

Though many of the cultural habits have come from China to Japan, the Japanese behavior towards culture is distinctive. Let it be a culture of past or the today’s modern society, The Japanese follow things in a unique way. As I have discussed in the previous blogs the Family and Love the Japanese have already bound themselves in a controlled circle. But they have a passion to look western style. I said passion to outlook of Japanese. If Armani introduce a fashion dress I think Japanese are the first people to dare to wear whatever pattern that is designed. The shy natured Japanese girls towards communication have always seems to be ignoring their shy while it comes for dress, you can see any kind of dress code in Japan from lingerie to a denim jean. Japan hosts people with a wide choice of interest in their dressing, from western style to Kimonos. They both could be spotted simultaneously in the roads, trains and work places.
The Japanese culture have always had a greater feeling of respectfulness, they give more respect to an elderly person everywhere. Surprisingly the younger crowds in the jam packed trains have started forgetting those respectful images. Even in the seat allotted for Patient/Elderly/Pregnant Women/People with infant find it hard to secure their seats from people of other age and category.

In an hand I’m carefully looking at them celebrating and following their ancient way of cultural activities like Obon festival, Family crest, Sumo wrestling, Kimonos, temples and funerals the Japanese also have taken their cultural mix with western society heavily like dance club, ultra modern dresses, divorce, festivals and other sorts. Except in the case of Westerners of Japanese ancestry, Japanese names appear in their proper order, with the surname preceding the given name

Though Shinto religion [followers of Sun Goddess] is their original religious in the early days of Japan history, about 600AD onwards Buddhism created a strong impact on the soil of Japan. Shinto is a tolerant religion which accepts the validity of other religions. It is common for a believer to pay respects to other religions, their practices and objects of worship. However the Japanese emperor is believed to be a descendant of Sun goddess [a God in Shinto religion]. The Japanese Imperial family is the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world. The family's lineage dates back to the sixth century BC, though the title of Tenno (emperor) or Sumera-Mikoto (heavenly sovereign) was assumed by rulers in the sixth or seventh century and has been used since. And the imperial family used to be controlling the entire nation and its invaded areas. The complete separation of Japanese religion from politics did not occur until just after World War II. The Emperor was forced by the American army to renounce his divinity at that time. Shinto and Buddhism are followed by about 84% of Japanese today and Christianity is been accepted by a minority 1% of the total Japanese.

Though all the above information is a share from some of my elderly Japanese friends and Internet, I have also assumed a grater important that Japanese have given from very old days those are Entertainment, Arts and Sports. The Geishas [traditional Japanese artist-entertainers] those who does a wide variety of arts, including Japanese musical instruments (particularly the samisen) and traditional forms of singing, traditional dance, tea ceremony, flower arranging (ikebana), poetry and literature. These people are the examples for the Japanese entertainment nature from very long time. Of course the today’s modern Entertainments like Theme park, Cinemas and club activities are also very much popular in Japan. In other hand I also seen peggers in Japan Railway station, they are neatly dressed unless other peggers of Asian countries. The picutre here in the right side has been taken in Shinjuku Railway station, He is a pegger. Japan culture today stands a mixed mode giving room to the ancient and western force together.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Japanese a closer view – Food & Leisure

Rice, Sea food, meat and noodles are their primary food. However Japanese are highly attracted by western culture and their habitants. The whole of Tokyo is spread with Mc. Donalds, Subway, Lottortila and burger shops. This will give an Idea how much of the Japanese are interested in the western type food items. Not only are the burgers also the Italian foods like pasta and pizza famous too.

But the majority people are still eats the traditional Japanese foods like raw fish puffed in boiled rice [Sushi], Noodles mixed with some Japanese masala [Soba] and number of grilled meat items are also consumed. For an Indian most of the Japanese food tastes sweet. Their food items are not so spicy and hot. Not like Indian/Pakistan or Thai rice the Japanese rice is kind of sticky one. Fish broth is mixed in all sort of Japanese foods, as mentioned Fish is their major intake. The Japanese physical look is slim and no obesity this could be due to their high-protein and low fat food preparations. Their meat intake also most of the time grilled ones and not the fried ones. Except the foreign restaurants all the Japanese hotels also provide less fat food items but all of them will have enough Soya sauce content.

The Japanese drink a lot of Tea not those of Indian Nair shop type Japanese tea are the Green tea and without sugar or cream [milk]. Also the fruit juices are available everywhere and those of fruit juice and plain water are in the same price range. He he he I only choose fruit juice for that matter.

One can eat sea foods like Crab, Fish, octopus and prawns along with Chicken, Mutton, Pork and Beef in almost all the food courts. It’s a difficult place for non vegetarians as they will be finding it really hard to get other foods except salads.

This is where Japanese stands apart; their spending on Leisure is really high. Most of the Japanese enjoy their holidays spending on various leisure activities like travel, sports and hobbies.

For me in the initial days at my office looked every other day people say that they take leave, not even a single day with 100% attendance, however later I assumed it is due to their habit of traveling and leisure experiments. To my surprise my mentor in the company where I work here in Japan used to ask me “Siva, don’t you feel bored of not traveling to India for 2 consecutive months, if you want take leave for 10-15 days and go home enjoy then come back”. These words are really unexpected one for me. As I never seen any employer suggesting the employee to go for holiday. This also gives me an Idea of how they keep them self stress free in most of the time. Actually sleeping after lunch in the afternoon, planning for holidays, celebrating all the festivals and the daily visit to the bar or club makes their mind bit free from over stress. Once they are free from stress I think they make quality output in their work. However in the IT scenario due to their awareness issue and Mathematical knowledge they fail in their quality for sure.

Most of their leisure activities are covered in theme parks, Traveling, Barbeque, Trekking and swimming activities. Once can see the most number of Ferris wheel installed in Japan, also the most number of people travel also from Japan. The life in night club also kind of common here in Japan, the Japanese girls are easy going type in the night/dance clubs. In fact Roppongi [a place in Tokyo] is a well know club area for foreigner to have start with a Japanese person.

As stated barbeque is their common attraction too, most of the Japanese show lots of interest on BBQ and they love cooking. Many Japanese leisure activities are family oriented and they interest will be taking the leisure activity with family to an extent. These are could be a reason for Japan to attract more visitors. As the local crowd requirements for leisure activities are boosting the Japanese to create more infrastructures for their needs which also attracts the foreigners. Relatively Japan is a place for culture and modern lovers to enjoy variety of thing during stay in Japan.

to be continued[Work & Culture]...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Japanese a closer view – Family & Love

Today I was thinking what to write and how to make it useful for the readers. Many ideas flew in my mind but nothing impressed me of writing about. Finally I have decided to write a series of articles like Family and Love, Food and Leisure finally Wealth and Culture. Starting with my series this blog will talk on the first aspect Family and Love.

What I heard from my Japanese friends that the Japanese family structure is somewhat same as our Indian joint family. I can see the Grand parents, parents and children and grand children are staying together in some places here. However this is not common in all the places in the modern Japan. In the recent past Japanese women fought for freedom from the men dominated family structure. Earlier it used to be the man who leads the family and earn the income to run the family and women to take care of the children, house and other related things. I have also read in the history articles, in the ancient day’s Japanese male use to get marry and settle with his wife’s family, but it does not exist now. The Japanese families are identified with their family crest, a symbol for each family. This is called in Japanese language as Ka-mon. One can identify this ka-mon in the family member’s kimonos like a badge. The ladies in the family can wear both husband’s family crest and her father’s family crest. In this case the father’s family crust size will be smaller than the husband family’s crest.

In the modern worlds, even now the Japanese marriages are happening with the approval of the Girls parents. To initiate a marriage the Girl takes her boyfriend to her house and introduce to her parents, during this meeting the Girl’s father is the key person taking the decision. Normally it will happen in a very formal way, unlike the western family culture during this meeting the Guy should act not to touch or Kiss the Girl in front of her parents. Also during this meeting the Boy will be interviewed by the father of Girl for his future plans etc. In a normal case they will be expecting a boy to plan for at least 10 years of his future.

My personal observation is that, the male female personal relationship after marriage is gradually getting reduced while comparing their before marriage scenario. People here claim that this is due to the busy work schedule and the dedication towards work of a Japanese male.

I have no idea how it would have been in the history, but the current scenario, Japanese females evaluate a person based on his lifestyle and wealthiest nature. It was said to be big no for having physical interactions like touching, kissing, holding hands etc in the public places. However it’s not fully true, as I myself have spotted several interactions during my stay here. In fact if they find a little private area, they make all such physical interactions in the public places. Holding hands and kiss are not so restricted in the trains. Especially in the crowded trains during peak office hours on can see many such actions by the young Japanese couple.
Basically even the meetings of Japanese young couple happen once in a week or so, for many reason it is widely accepted. Those simple reasons are that the boys are fully involved in the work, due to traveling distances and the higher cost of train fares and burden of shopping with the girl etc. In Japan the females are seems to be more active than male in terms of love and affection.

Love with a foreigner is something which is a rare sight here, as only in exceptional cases Japanese and non Japanese couples are found. Many of the love relationship are getting initiated from the high school level with the classmates. Those who were crossed high school without a partner then they find them in the work places. It is believed to be like a handicap if a person couldn’t find his/her partner by them. Such cases the parents will be finding the appropriate partner for their children.

to be continued[Food & Leisure]...

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

India-Japan Relationship Milestones

Today I was reading some history and political relationship between India and Japan, from which I have compiled some information for my blog reader’s review. There were lots of them, including the World War II and other cultural issues and relationships. Same could be found on the internet search if you are more interested.

600AD - Exchange between Japan and India is said to have begun in the sixth century A.D., when Buddhism was introduced to Japan

1868-1912 - Direct exchange in the modern era, however, began only in the Meiji era (1868-1912), when Japan embarked on the process of modernization.

1949 - Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru donated two Indian elephants to the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. This presentation was considered by Japanese people as a ray of light after World War II.

1952 - Japan and India signed a peace treaty and established diplomatic relations on 28th April, 1952

1958 - Japan started providing yen loans to India in 1958, as the first yen loan aid extended by Japanese government. ["There is a belief among Indians that the first person who does trade in a business house should be lucky and clean from sins. That makes business to do more profit on rest of days" -I remembered this belief when read Japanese first yen loan to India, as they are the most largest country providing loan to the world today]

1982 - License and Joint Venture agreement signed between Maruti Udyog Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan. India's strong admiration for Japan's post-war economic reconstruction and subsequent rapid growth made Maruti-Suzuki in revolutionizing industrial technology and management concepts in the pre-economic reform India.

1986 - Japan has become India's largest aid donor, and remains the same till today.

1994 - The Japan Foundation opened an office in New Delhi that is actively engaged in cultural exchange since 1978

1998 - Indo-Japan relations plummeted after India's 1998 nuclear tests

2000 - The foundation for Japan and India for enhanced engagement for mutual benefit has been laid when Mr. Yoshiro Mori, the then Prime Minister of Japan and Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister of India agreed during the Japanese Prime Minister's landmark visit to India in August 2000 to establish the "Global Partnership in the 21st Century".

2005 - It was agreed during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in April 2005 that the two countries would further strengthen their cooperation and pursue an all round and comprehensive development of bilateral relations, with a particular and urgent focus on strengthening economic ties, through full utilization of the existing and potential complementarities in their economies.

Today - India is the Information Technology Giant where Japan stands on the peak of Hardware, both the countries relationship may turn a new era of economic development in the Asian region. Around 70 Indian IT companies have already established their offices in Japan; many IT professionals are still employed by Japanese companies’ everyday. I’m one among those who work in Japan from India.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shake shake shake

Do you think I’m going to write about hip-hops here today? Nope let me not encourage that at this time. However I will write about it in the future after visiting Roppongi. But what is that convinced me of writing today’s blog is that Earth Quake.

Except one incident in my whole 29years of life in India, earthquake is not so easy to accept thing for me. But today’s scenario of earthquake in Tokyo has changed my mind to ignore to an extent about the scary feeling that we always had, It's still not out of danger but I’m getting used of it.
It was second week after I started working in my office in Tennoz at 14th floor; I was in a discussion with my co-worker on some technical study. I felt like somebody hitting the chair from back bottom portion. Turned real quick to see who is that, but before my head took the turn to see behind my chair I felt like the entire building was in a shake and continued to shake, a panic handshake me and a very strange experience. There was a dark line of scare just attached in my face; I got the dews of sweat on my face in a second. My muscle started loosing its tension, so many things in my mind popped up. Will I stay alive? I can’t use lift but running on the steps is also ruled out since I’m in 14th floor, how will I secure my family? The thoughts in my mind started moving on its peak speed, the blood pressure increased and I could feel the heat my body cells generated in a short duration of time. But my co-worker [Japanese] who was sitting with me in the discussion did not even bother about the shake, he continued to speak what he wanted to convey. It was a surprise to me, but couldn’t digest to hear that these shakes would happen in a regular interval. The Japanese co-worker was amused by looking at my fear, and said “no problem”.

My hands fired the phrase in the browser and started searching the earth quake related information of Japan. There were many articles with much more information on the regular earthquake details. A history of Kanto Earth Quake which shook the Tokyo by year 1923 and made the death toll to 1,20,000 innocent people and a great loss of property and infrastructure. All of my reading caused my mind to rethink on the decision of my stay in Japan for long time. My colleague was given me a lecture “even if you sleep at home you are not safe, then why you should worry about earthquake? Don’t you see many people stay in Tokyo and used of the earthquakes. You will also be like that after a while spending time in here. Take it easy my friend”. But I couldn’t accept it that easily, as reducing risks on life is important to me on these days.

The Time started taking its swing, seen few minor earthquakes within couple of weeks after the first one. My continued search of earthquake information updated me with the knowledge that the Japanese constructions are normally planned to withstand 6-7 points of Richter scale of earthquake. The older buildings are at least 5-6 points of Richter scale level. But what if there is a higher scale of earthquake? God knows the future. I won’t be able to guess whether I will be in the 14th floor of office or 2nd floor of my apartment or on the 300ft underground subway train or in the roads. But there is a danger alert always hanging on my face. In the very recent day of October, an early morning about 6:30am my steel cot had a shake I was in deep morning sleep and felt like swinging. All of sudden I got the conscious and made myself into alert mode. It was again a bit major shake after the first one I had faced in my office about 2months ago. But this time my expressions are not that bad as the initial one. In between the first and the recent earthquake there were quite a few experience of smaller scale tremors. Inside my mind actually I’m feeling uneasy in my daily life, I’m still really terrified of the tremors of Tokyo.

Immediately after few seconds of earth quake here in Japan, you can see the earthquake technical data in the TV, on your mobile browser and other channels. The Japanese way of measuring earth quake is mostly not the Richter scale model, they use a Japanese scale called “Shindo”, and unlike Richter Magnitude scale the shindo scale refers the intensity of earthquake at a given location. If you are a person interested in knowing more on the Shindo scale I suggest please search on Google to get more information. The scientific facts are stating that Tokyo may have a larger scale earthquake in the near future considering the past cycle history of earthquakes in Japan. The reason for Japan having many smaller and larger earthquakes every day in some places are because of the several continental and oceanic plates of earth meets at this geographical area. These plates said to be moving everyday slowly due to the circular rotation of the earth. This nature of earth plate movement resulted in crashing one on other that explods as Earthquake. When an Earthquake happens near or on the ocean it can trigger Tsunami[Word tsunami is orginated from Japanese language for big wave] the Tidal wave. I still remember the recent Tsunami hit in India due to the earthquake of Indonesia caused loosing of hundred thousand people life. Not only Tsunami and Earthquake also the Volcano, though there were several huge sized volcano present in Japan at present not many are active. The largest one called Mt. Fuji is hybernating and Japanese are also considering the Mt. Fuji as their goddess and even have temple for Fujiyama. The volcano results not only a threat also a number of beatiful Hot springs to Japan.

Now a days after learning many information on Earthquake, started myself adhering the safety precaution during the earthquake. Those are like not to run over the streets, hiding our self under a table and caution to any sharp or heavy objects fall on us etc.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Tennoz Parkside Window

Cluster of taller buildings, sideway water canals, neatly dressed office goers, mono rail station are the attraction of Tennoz Isle. A location in Shinakawa ku, a place I work :-), As usual we have landed in then Tennoz Parkside building in the opposite side of the mono rail station. All these buildings are interconnected with overhead bridges from the station, so never see the black roads while walking down to my office from the station. In general tennoz is a busiest place in Tokyo, has a good landscaping of lots of Bay of Tokyo.

Today we reached little late due to some official schedule for the night work. But I was the only person to go late, everybody was involved in their work, I know its time for them to take a break. Siva san [The word san will be attached to all the conversation while mentioning a person's name, San means a respectful or a title word like Mr. Mrs. Ms. in English], come for a smoke… A colleague of mine called me affectionately. Do I accept the offer to go along with or should I say that for the past couple of days I stopped smoking. Hey that’s a news I have stopped smoking for the past 1 week. No, nothing enlightened me to stop smoking, but I’m taking a trail of my own mind control. But I feel quitting the smoke habit is not that tough now, but is it possible for me to forget the window where we [me and my colleagues] used watch the most matured modern attractions of Japan in a single sight.

Yes, I’m talking about a window not made of Microsoft one made by civil workers, this is the window which shows all the most modern infrastructures of Japan just in a single sight. For the past 2 months, I have spent enough time in this window looking at the outside world during the business hour; there is no breeze that passes through the window. It’s a glass filled an elevated fixture in the 14th floor of my office. In Japan most of the offices provides Vending machines that provides the Japanese famous Green Tea, Coffee, Chocolate drink and soft drinks with yen tags attached and some without tags. Adjacent to this vending machine, one can always find a Smoking area to call for the smokers. I think the most number of smokers are found in Japan, Many Japanese of both gender smoke regularly and I have seen several chain smokers too. The Window which I was talking about is one in that sort hosting the smoker’s area for my company. Through this I have discovered the technical information how the Tokyo Monorail floating on its concrete rails, I admired the Shinkansen with its most faster speeds, Wondered the organization of Local flights landings to Haneda Airport, seen the ships touching the decks in the Harbor some times the giant ships taking U turn at the bay of Tokyo, Distance view of Fuji TV building, and the Odaiba island, the Rainbow bridge, Tunnel road exhaust of Bay of Tokyo, Modern Roads with ultra modern automobile passing on, Crystal Lady cruiser boat, Asahi Neon site, Tennoz station and the three buildings of CitiGroup, Seafort and JTB, the worlds second largest Ferris Wheel in Odaiba with its colorful lighting in the evening and the Tokyo garbage house and finally the night sky of Tokyo south. Opps, this is enough there are many more I have seen over the window, this is the window provide all this in one sight. This is not a paid observatory not a tourist attraction but in my own office where we used to smoke.

All of the attractions of the window came in a fraction of a second before I decline the proposal from my colleague to go for a smoke. However my mind is still stable hence politely told him, “oh not now have some work to do, I’m sorry buddy”. But later he left the place; I recalled my own wish to take a picture of this window and the world outside the window and carried the tiny mobile phone camera to have a try with the window. Oh boy here comes the no so clear picture of what I was telling you all about. however due to the smaller wide angle capacity of the mobile phone I couldn't show all the attraction at single picture. I have just taken a picture which can be shown here with a minimal area of outside world that I see and enjoy daily. Look at this picture a monorail passing on while my favorite Crystal Yatch Club's boat floating on the water. Also in the distance spot the Harbor, the Odaiba island's buildings and shinkansen track but when I clicked the shot there was no train passing on . Thanks once again to the technology for make my desired wishes always on its path to reality.

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