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February 10, 2006

The Omotesando Hills

In the rich and high-class neighborhood of Omotesando where a number of luxurious boutiques attract madams and moussiers, a new landmark "Omotesando Hills" will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow (Feb 11).

Alongside of Ginza, Omotesando is now a very popular place for worldly famous luxurious brands, and I hear that the land price here for 3.3*3.3 square meters is 200 million yen (approx. 1.7mil USD, 1.4 mil EUR). (Although, no one really sells it so it has high scarcity value.)

Ooh, they can't fail this business at such a place.

Omotesando becomes a "pedestrian paradise" (no car traffic allowed) on weekends and there are really tons of really nice stylish shops, so I recommend you to pay a visit when you come by to Tokyo :)

http://www.omotesandohills.com/eng/index.html (English Site)

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February 08, 2006

gougai!!!!

I wonder if "gougai" papers exist anywhere else than Japan. "Gougai" is a free newspaper which literally means "extra editon", and here in Japan they distribute "gougai" papers on the streets when some biiiiiig news come out. The most recent one was on the arrest of Takafumi Horie, the chief executive of the Internet startup Livedoor and also the "Hero" of Japanese venture companies, a couple of weeks ago.

The publishing of "gougai" means that the mass has strong interest in that issue, but there was another one coming out just yesterday.

http://www.toonippo.co.jp/gougai/gou2006/0207_l.pdf

Of course it's in Japanese, but the title is "Princess Kiko Expecting a Baby".

If Princess Kiko, the wife of the Imperial Family's second son, gives birth to a boy, it will mean that he will be third in line to the throne following his father Prince Akishino, and is highly likely to become the Japanese Emperor some day.

I don't know how many Japanese laypeople care so much about the Imperial Family, but a news like this does gather some attention.

I guess the submission and enactment of the bill to revise Imperial House Law to admit female emperess is going to be postponed.

February 07, 2006

"Go through hardships even by buying one"

February in Japan is the coldest time of year. I understand that, but even then yesterday was really freezing.
The scenery I saw from the commutor train this morning was just snow, snow, snow...
But they say that the highs will go up to as high as 16C, which is pretty much the same as early April. What am I supposed to wear on a day like this?

The blossoming of cherry flowers is so important for Japanese people that there are even specialists of "cherry blossoming forecast" in the Met Office, but when the weather is so uncertain the cherry blossoms may get confused when to bloom.

One of the cherry blossom forecaster said some time ago, that as soon as the first cherry blossoms fall the next ones start to get ready to bloom, and therefore cherry blossoms are always standing by to bloom.
But he also mentioned that the blossoms don't bloom unless they overcome cold and austere winter.
In Japan we say, "Go through hardships even by buying one", but I guess it means no flowers bloom without any suffering.

February 06, 2006

Get all warmed up with a piece of cloth !!

This winter has been so much colder than the past few winters. I heard it's because of the cold wave coming from Russia. It snowed pretty heavily in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago
(I mean, fairly heavy for Tokyo) and the weather forecast says that it may snow this evening, too.
As I was thinking about the cold air here, I received an e-mail from Finland. He says the temperature is -18C (just about 0F, I believe? Correct me if I'm wrong) over there! It barely goes below freezing here... Gee, I can't complain about it!

Japanese people in the old days had this custom called "kanpu masatsu" - to get his top off and rub bare skin with a dry strip of cloth - to warm up the body. I can't really recommend it to those who have sensitive skin, but it does help your blood circulation, so just give it a try on a cold day.