Okay, I swear, last non sequitur post before I write about my April/May Travels. There's just so much to do in life that pulls me away from blogging, but I guess that's a good thing and keeps these interesting!
FIRST! I've been reading the Japanese newspapers a bit more and here's some of the buzz:
Miyajima, home of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE was voted the best tourist location in Japan according to tripadvisor.com (which is according to the newspaper article I wrote :P)
YAY! I already knew that though. It is awesome. My friend Mike is here visiting Japan for the first time right now, and I took him there for the hiking, nature, temples, shrines, and food last Monday and we had a great time!
NEXT! Wifi is finally coming to Japan!
What a minute, wtf? Japan is technology central right? What do I mean "coming to"? Well, lots of people have wifi in their homes here, and even in the 90s Japanese people were the first to use their cell phone to connect to the internet on their laptops. But the concept of a WiFi hot spot never really caught on here like in the U.S.
The reason is smart phones. After the success of the iPhone, iPhone3/3G/and 4, a growing minority of Japanese people are using smart phones and learning about apps, twitter, and facebook (yeah, now, finally!). Even though every mom in America is clambering to post their baby photos on facebook, the majority of Japanese people are shyly creating, and quickly deleting their scary facebook accounts.
Japan, as you can imagine, likes its privacy and being reserved, but the internet culture of voyeuristic friend-stalking is just too appealing to our monkey-brains, and nature is slowly winning out over nurture (i.e. Japanese Culture). I am basing this on my own suppositions btw, there's probably 5 different Master's thesis topics in there just waiting to happen.
But since Japanese people are buying unlimited internet packages on their shiny, new smart phones, and using them, they are clogging the cellphone networks and leading to the complaints Americans are all too familiar with. Japan's solution: make more WiFi spots so they can get their phone content faster without burdening the phone lines. Simplicity is beautiful eh?
So what are they actually doing? Well, NTT the phone tower company is planning to install 50,000 new Wifi spots in popular businesses such as cafes by March 2013, and competitor KDDI says they will be installing 100,000 of their own! This will probably destroy the 3G and 4G internet dongle (what a disgusting word btw) USB business targeting the previous netbook (cheap, light, and little laptops) boom, but it all spells PROGRESS to me!
Last: You may have read this in western media, but Mazda is axing their cooperative efforts with Ford in the US by 2013. You might see see this as weakness or desperate restructuring on Mazda's part, and even now, their main plant in Hiroshima is only operating at 70% due to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, but they plan to be back at 100% by October and have plenty of other plans in the pipeline for Thailand, India, and China, so I think it says more (or less) about Ford and the American economy.
Interesting? Bullshit? Whaddya think? Notice any stories I haven't? Or, if you've read something about Japan and thought "Wtf?", lemme know under "Comments" and I'll get back to ya!