Kumamoto Earthquake situation updates

Humanity Road has detailed updates with extensive links about the situation in Kumamoto. Also, if you view Kumamoto in Google Maps and turn on the traffic view, you can get a very good idea of the road situation. A few years ago we had a partial Kyushu Highway road collapse after heavy rain, and the situation […]

Earthquake Report, Kumamoto, Kyushu, Japan

Here’s a good report with a lot of technical data on the recent earthquakes As I was preparing an aftershock map for yesterday’s earthquake, an earthquake with a magnitude of M = 7.0 happened. This turns all other earthquakes into foreshocks, though this terminology may not really be important (foreshock vs aftershock). The M 7.0

Japan’s insane train ticket machines

We were lucky enough to be about to exit the station when a technician was finishing up his servicing of a machine, so I could capture the incredible sophistication of these machines and what they are capable of. Services on the shinkansen lines require multiple tickets for each trip, so the machines have to be […]

Kissing in Japan

If you’ve ever wondered about the display, or rather, lack of display of public affection in Japan, it has been the basis of essays, believe it or not! Cultural historian Mark McLelland, in an article titled “‘Kissing is a symbol of democracy!’ Dating, Democracy, and Romance in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952,” notes that a statute against […]

Tips for Westerners coming to Japan, Part 2

Almost as soon as I made my previous, long guide of tips for Westerners visiting or coming to live in Japan, a bunch of people pointed out a number of things I’d forgotten to mention. Updated for 2019. Street addresses Except for major roads and route numbers, Japan doesn’t have street names. No wonder, with […]

Why good Wi-Fi is so hard to find in Japan

A good article from the Japan Times on Why good Wi-Fi is so hard to find in Japan. In Japan, most demand for email and Web access outside the home has long been satisfied by mobile phone features such as NTT Docomo’s i-mode service, which began in 1999. Years before the age of the smartphone, on […]

Emergency kit for people living in Japan

With the anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami approaching, I asked the students in one of my classes if they had an emergency bag and, if so, what was in it. The results were quite interesting and contained a number of items I hadn’t previously considered. A radio seems kind of obvious. I’ve […]