This week, 28 April through 06 May, is Golden Week in Japan. The holidays are:

The middle bit are usually two vacation days. Some have to work but can telecommute, which is acceptable. Some poor souls have to go into the office for those two days.

I thought I was going to be one of those poor souls, but my project is in a holding pattern. That is great as I can take the days off, but sadly I couldn’t plan for a week-long vacation like I did last year in Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka.

Shed no tears: there are so many events happening in and around Tokyo this week plus the day tripper opportunities abound. Keep an eye on my feed for the “where is he now” updates.

Shibuya 1-chome, Tokyo, Japan
23°C

Also on:

When I wear my Detroit Tigers baseball hat I get treated differently. I’m not an afficianado of Japanese culture as a resident. I’m a tourist when wearing the hat. It sucks. I argued with a waitress at a restaurant I’ve visited many times about the fact that they have an English menu. It took another server to recognize me me get the conversation past the disconnect. Then I visited a pub oriented to foreigners. When I ordered a traditional drink I was grilled to make sure I knew what I was ordering. So, Westerners coming to Japan: don’t wear baseball hats and hide your tattoos.

In case you haven’t paid attention, I live in Tokyo. Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics.

Yesterday I briefly railed against the Olympics. I still think they are a waste of money, resources, and time. I specifically referenced the US.

And then there’s Tokyo.

Train stations across the city are being remodeled and improved. The stations not under construction have likely been already renovated. Hotels are shooing up. Transit plans started testing a year ago. Refinements to messaging to include English and other languages are in their late stages. More and more restaurants, shops, and other venues are taking credit cards.

If someone tries to tie specific economic benefits to hosting the Games, they will still be hard pressed.

But this city can and might just be, by 2020, the most globally accessible by language, culture, and disability. The country might be, too.

That will be a huge economic benefit.

According to what I’ve read, disaster planning includes Olympic scenarios.

You better believe that Olympic folk in Tokyo are taking notes about everything that happens in South Korea these next two weeks. They will break down, analyze, and game plan for everything seen.

I wonder how much raw data Japan gets from South Korea to prepare for their games?

I think the Tokyo and Japan governments are exemplifying something we talk about in Security circles – never let an emergency go to waste.

I am correcting one of my sins – I need to get out of Tokyo into Japan.

I want to visit more of Japan. Kiushu, specifically Yufuin for the onsen, is definitely on my list.

Japanese friends, please weigh in on where I should go, when I should visit, and where I should stay. Once I book my trip I will again reach out to find out where to visit.

I want a mix of multiple days as well as quick trips.

Please help me. I appreciate your knowledge and advice.

https://atadistance.net/2018/01/20/japan-is-the-contactless-payment-turf-war-epicenter/

What’s interesting is that Global FeliCa support in iPhone 8, iPhone X and Apple Watch 3 lets anybody visiting Japan with those devices add Suica to Apple Pay and instantly enjoy the benefits of Japanese FeliCa contactless payments. Apple Pay in Japan is the only place in the world where you can mix and match FeliCa and EMV payments side by side with the same device. That’s astonishing, and lots of fun. I always like Joel’s take on Apple & payments in Japan.

I enjoyed several adult beverages on the ramp up to the ball drop in Tokyo for 2018. I made it home from the izakaya with only one at-the-time-seemed major misstep changing trains, thus delaying me about 30 minutes. That’s not a miracle, though only delaying myself by 30 minutes is fairly impressive.

Once I finally made it home, I made some food. I went to bed. Those are not the miracles.

When I woke up firmly in 2018, I saw my miracles.

My clean laundry was folded and put away. My clean dishes were similarly stowed. My coffee maker was prepped so the brew was 2 button pushes and 8 minutes away.

2018 miracles, no doubt!