Does this exist in other countries? I’m talking about Love Hotels. There are different themed rooms to choose from, they make money (nearly 3 trillion yen in annual sales), but the downside is they’ve been associated with with gangs and red-light districts. Booooo
I read about Love Hotel investing today on Yahoo, Japan’s secretive love hotels are opening up to European investors as one player in the sector prepares for a debut on London’s stock market this month.
Japan Leisure Hotels, which owns five love hotels worth some 21 million pounds ($43.68 million USD) in Japan, hopes to lure investors to its IPO with an 8 percent dividend and promises of fast growth — shedding light on a sector that is often associated with sleaze and organized crime.
Japan’s 25,000 or so love hotels have long provided discreet hideaways for couples, some featuring Karaoke machines or vibrating beds. Guernsey-based Japan Leisure Hotels rents out rooms for short stays lasting only a few hours, but the company’s director believes this system doesn’t just appeal to thrill-seekers…
This might get long so I’m going to give you a breakdown of what I’ll be talking about: Today’s listed exchange rate, today’s Mastercard exchange rate, 2% currency conversion fee, adding this all up you’ll see my true conversion rate.
I know some people have been curious about the conversion rate when you withdrawal from an ATM using your Visa Debit Card or Mastercard Debit Card. MC and Visa are supposed to give you fair exchange rates from what I’ve heard. Today I used my Mastercard to withdrawl funds from my U.S. bank and here’s the breakdown of charges and rates.
Today’s USD to Yen rate from www.xe.com is
1 USD = 114. .735 JPY
The actual rate I received
1 USD = 114.23 JPY
Not bad! But then my bank charged me 1% to do the currency conversion and Mastercard (as well as Visa) charges a 1% fee. So if I withdrawal 11,000 Yen my account would reflect a $96.30 withdrawal amount, a bank fee of $0.96 and a Mastercard fee of $0.96. That means for 11,000 Yen I was actually hit for $98.22 and in reality if you include the 2% in fees my true exchange rate from the ATM resulted in 112Yen per $1 USD.
Some people think that Japan is an expensive place to live. From my experience it’s not that bad. Sure some things are more expensive than other countries, but other things are more affordable. Only Tokyo and Osaka made the top 50 list for the highest cost of living in 2007. Not bad!
1) MOSCOW, Russia
2) LONDON, United Kingdom
3) SEOUL, South Korea
4) TOKYO, Japan
5) HONG KONG, Hong Kong
6) COPENHAGEN, Denmark
7) GENEVA, Switzerland
8 ) OSAKA, Japan
9) ZURICH, Switzerland
10) OSLO, Norway
One of the things I love about Japan >>> “Sonna no kankei nee! Sonna no kankei nee!” Oh hellz yeah! Yoshio Kojima (小島 よしお from Wikipedia) is the guy that’s on TV a lot saying that and freaking out in a small bathing suit. Do I know what he’s talking about? Nope. Good times. Here’s a video I found and I don’t know how long it’ll work. Maybe forever, maybe for 1 hour.
Nova English teacher = you’re screwed and that sucks. Over 4,000 teachers are out of a job! Over 400,000 students haven’t gotten a refund! Nova is bankrupt! This is all total shiznit! It looks like things have come to an end for Nova English teachers that are here on a work visa in hopes of some income and a cultural experience. You’re probably left with very few options such as… finding another job teaching english, or working at some short term job, or working at a bar/club frequented by English speaking Gaijin. (Here’s another job search related link) If you can’t find a job then you can always head back to your home country. For some of you it may not be possible due financial difficulty (aka not being paid by the man) which basically means you’re screwed. If I were in a situation of not being able to find a job replacement I’d either save the money I had to buy a ticket with (while spending the rest partying it up) or in the case I had $0 I’d have my friends/family wire me some money or buy an e-ticket for me to get the hell out of dodge! If you plan on getting a plane ticket you should act soon because after December 20th the rates go up due to the holiday season. If you wait longer than that you’ll just be super screwed. By the way I can’t imagine having a family and working for Nova and not getting paid. Nova carries a debt worth 40 billion Yen. They might have to refund students before paying out salaries and who knows when that could happen. It could be six months or longer.
I read in many places about emergency loans this, emergency loans that, hoping to get an emergency loan from the Embassy blah blah blah. Good luck with that! I can’t find any information on the web regarding this type of loan. The U.S. Embassy website (tokyo.usembassy.gov) mentions nothing about a loan or emergency funds for people employed by Nova. They do say this:
If you require financial assistance, you could request that your family wire funds through the U.S. Department of State here or purchase an e-ticket on your behalf.
This site is pretty sweet. Check it out if you’re on a broadband connection. You can explore parts of Tokyo
I took a quick screenshot of what I was looking at:
Taken from their site:
About <Tokyo VR Project> … We have tried data-ization for the main area in Tokyo by QuickTimeVR. But it is the reckless project. A new information interface is proposed by connecting much QuickTimeVR movies, data-izing the space, rows of houses, and a building, and constituting false space. By our original know-how, execution of this project was attained only after becoming possible to carry out extensive creation of the QuickTimeVR quickly. By making scenery an interface as it is, the state with a house, a store, a park, a building, and the living information of a there could be sent. It will be useful to barrier-free, safety and the measure against crime prevention and information dispatch of an area and a walk, or an adventure. We are waiting for cooperation of those who can consent to our trial from the heart.
Problem: Can not write in Japanese and English using WordPress. Characters display as ? ?? ???
I was trying to figure out how to write in Japanese on my WordPress blog. All Japanese characters were coming up as question marks, appearing like “????? ? ?? ???” instead of characters. I searched for a solution to this and found a few plugins that did a ton of unnecessary things, and some didn’t work. I tried out Gengo but I didn’t like it very much. However if you’re reading this for a solution on how to write Japanese and English or translate your page it might work well for you! Here’s the link to Gengo.
If you’re running WordPress 2.2 or higher, then the Collation should be set correctly. Here’s a link to their documentation, and here’s an excerpt.
As of WordPress Version 2.2, DB_COLLATE was made available to allow designation of the database collation (i.e. the sort order of the character set). In most cases, this value should be left blank (null) so the database collation will be automatically assigned by MySQL based on the database character set (i.e. DB_CHARSET). Set DB_COLLATE to one of the UTF-8 values defined in Unicode character sets (utf8 section) (see dev.mysql.com) for most Western European languages.
Now if you are running an older version, or you upgraded from an older version, or for some reason things aren’t working out I’ll post my solution below. Continue reading →
I’d like to get away from Microsoft Outlook and just use Gmail for all of my email. I really like the hosted email service they currently have. My only complaint is that this is my personal gmail account and if I send a business related email it’s going to say: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; on behalf of; BizName [email@example.com]
Let’s face it, the majority of business use some form or Outlook for the email client. And the two latest versions show the on behalf message which can look either suspicious or unprofessional. I did some looking into this and I found this
I know this might get long so before I start I’ll give you a summary so you don’t die of boredom. I’ll talk about what I’m eating, why I’m eating it, how things are different, oatmeal, and 15.7 Yen!
Breakfast in Japan is very different from what I’m used to in America. After arriving here when I ate breakfast it was usually a variety that changes daily. Sometimes it was toast… but huge pieces of bread aka ‘Texas Toast’. Other times it was a bakery breakfast sandwich that tastes more like lunch to me. Sometimes it was rice with mackerel. And sometimes a restaurant style breakfast which includes pancakes, eggs, and some bacon. When I ate breakfast alone and I was on my own I would to end up with some toast or some fruit (as a side note – bananas kick ass!) and some coffee.
What food am I used to in the United States? I would usually whip up some instant oatmeal (I’m a big fan of this), cream of wheat, cereal, or some toast with peanut butter. I usually included 8 oz of orange juice (236 ml) and 20 oz of coffee (591 ml). Albertsons usually had the 10 for $10 deal that included a good selection of cereal, granola bars, or instant oatmeal. Continue reading →