Umi no hi (Ocean's day) - National holiday in Japan [Others]

Every 3rd monday in July is called "Umi no hi" (Ocean's day) and it is a national holiday here in Japan. It used to be July 20th but due to change in policy of national holiday by government, it became every 3rd monday in July. (To avoid lap over with weekends and reduce number of holidays - Japan is always said to be only a few holiday compared to other countries, government decided to avoid national holidays to overlap with weekend thus changed many holidays to monday so that everyone enjoys three day weekend.)

We really don't know why "Ocean's day" is a national might be because Japan is a insular country. Even the Wikipedia in Japan doesn't clarify the origin of this holiday.

However, this "Umi no hi" (Ocean's day) is the start of summer break for students! They are looking forward to go for a swim in the sea. And it's good for business person like us because the commuter's train is uncrowded for a month till the summer break is over. I love this season because of this reason :)

Unfortunately, there is no national holiday in August. But most of Japanese companies take a week off in mid August due to "Obon vacation" - which is a festival of souls, show respect to our ancestors, and pray for them to come back to our house for this specific time of season (Obon).

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Yawaraka Sensha - Soft Tank (Can you imagine?) [Others]

I love this stupid character called "Yawaraka Sensha" in Japanese. It means a soft Tank (combat car) which is so weak and useless but heals a wounded world and people's heart. I love the concept of this cartoon, which teach us the lesson that "there is nothing useless in this world. YOU have some meaning that you were born in this world".

Sorry that there aren't english caption in the Youtube, but I guess you can feel the funny part of it!

You can find the other stories and blog parts (Official Site ) here

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Women-only train car in Japan [Others]

Starting from year 2000, several railway companies started "women-only train car" during the rush hours. Tokyu Toyoko line which I use often also has women only car on weekdays. Starting from the first train to 10AM to Shibuya and 5PM to last train from Shibuya station. The middle car (car number 5) is the women only car. Most of the train company sets the women only car in the very front or very but Tokyu Toyoko line has it on the middle. Please watch out! [どんっ(衝撃)]

By the way, is there any "women only car" in other western countries? I know that there are one in Taiwan and South Korea but I don't know other example in western countries. I think these custom are going too far but there were so many harassment case back in year 2000 and before.

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Place to Jog in Setagaya Tokyo [Others]

Setagaya Park

My daily duty is to jog for about 90mins (approx 10km) every day except when raining. I'm on a diet to loose wait and started a year ago but still keeping the pace :) Setagaya park is one of my favorate place to jog around, there are baseball field, tennis court etc and you can enjoy watching amatures playing baseball during the jogging. Next to Setagaya park is Japan Ground Self-Defence Forece (JGSDF) base and its row of cherry blossom trees are so beautiful! You can enter the JGSDF base in cherry blossom seasons!
Negative ions and phytoncide from the trees will make you so healthy...there aren't many places in middle of Tokyo where you can jog in the woods. If you are living close to Setagaya Park, you should visit al least once. There are baseball field, tennis court you can rent (though there would be a drawing) and open air swimming pool in summer. And the feature of the park is a small railway running around the park (about 1.1 km circuit) [電車]and small kids and their parents are in line in the weekends! I'm sure small kids will love this [るんるん]

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Doraemon from our office building [Others]

1624348 Doraemon (Japanese famous comic character) is flying! I've seen this from our office building may be 5 years ago. Does anyone know where this place is? (Hint : very close to one of the most major park in Tokyo)

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