Tokyo Olympic ticket prices are surprisingly affordable...

Good morning everyone,

It's hot. Real hot. Damn hot. Insanely hot. Drink lots. Don't go outside...until the middle of September or so...

Tokyo Olympic organizers on Friday unveiled ticket prices for the 2020 Games ranging from 2,020 yen up to 300,000 yen, largely in line with prices at the London Olympics in 2012. More than half the tickets on sale will cost less than 8,000 yen, according to the organizers.

Tickets for the opening ceremony are priced between 12,000 yen and 300,000 yen, but sporting events will be much cheaper. For those, tickets will start at the symbolic price point of 2,020 yen, but only for group sales, with the cheapest individual tickets on sale for 2,500 yen or just over $22.

While fluctuating exchange rates make comparisons with previous Olympic ticket prices complicated, the Tokyo prices are roughly in line with those for the London Olympics, but more expensive than in Rio in 2016. There, the best seats at the opening ceremony cost 4,600 reais or $1,200 at today's exchange rate. In London, the top category opening ceremony tickets cost £2012 or $2,616 at today's exchange rate.

The most expensive sports event at Tokyo 2020 will be track and field, with tickets ranging from 3,000 yen to 130,000 yen. But fans of the marathon, softball, hockey and other events will be able to score tickets starting from just 2,500 yen.

The organizers said in a press release that they created 2,020 yen tickets for groups, so that "families and groups with children, older people and handicapped people can come to the events" together.

Tickets will go on sale in Japan from spring next year, with a precise date not yet set, and Olympic enthusiasts hoping to score seats will need to register online first at https://id.tokyo2020.jp.

I'm Canadian and we're not that good at the summer Olympics...I'll probably go if I can crash at a friend's place in Tokyo. Otherwise, I'll just be satisfied to watch them on TV. How about you? Will you sign up for tickets?

Have a great day!

Honestly, this isn't April Fool's...it's real

Good morning everyone,

Have you ever stepped outside and wondered if God had decided to turn Hiroshima into a sauna. Go outside around 1pm today or tomorrow...or the next day...or the next day or...well, you get the picture, and you'll know what it feels like.

Over the past several years, the underground pedestrian walkway that connects to Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station has become one of the most coveted advertising hot spots in Japan, with thousands of people walking by and seeing such creative promotions as every Yu-Gi-Oh! card ever made, giant gift-giving cats, and an eye-catching exhibition of anime eyes. But Japan’s Wakino Ad Company thinks there’s an even better place to put an ad, and it’s right there in the company’s name.

Waki” is the Japanese word for “armpit,” and sure enough, Wakino Ad Company is all about getting your product or service promoted via young ladies’ armpits.

The company has just started operations, and so armpit advertising remains on the untested frontier of Japanese business strategy, with an yet unknown, and thus possibly limitless, potential. To help us visualize the possibilities, Wakino Ad Company has released concept stills showing how this strategy could be applied to detective agencies…

...acting schools…

…and even job-hunting websites.

And lest you think this is all a weird joke, Wakino Ad Company has landed its first paying customer, beauty treatment and dermatology chain Seishin Biyo Clinic, which is, appropriately enough, using armpit advertising to spread the word about its painless underarm hair removal procedure.

The concept is reminiscent of the one from Absolute Territory PR, which sells advertising space on women’s thighs. Wakino Ad Company’s focus on a less typically sexy body part could perhaps make it the better choice for companies who want to maintain a wholesome image while still dabbling in anatomy-based marketing.

For those who’re looking to get their foot, or armpit, in the door of the professional modeling world, Wakino Ad Company is currently recruiting models through its website (male applicants are also welcome). Or, if you’ve got competitive confidence in your armpit allure, the company is also holding an armpit beauty contest, once again open to both sexes and with applications being accepted on their website.

Hmmm...I don't think my armpits are silky smooth enough to go for that job...how about you? Tempting?

Have a great day!

Healthy foods that aren't so healthy

Good morning everyone,

It's hot. If you want to know what the weather is going to be like, look at last week's forecast (highs of 34C or 35C) and then add 2C. Yep. It's going to be even hotter than it was...

When we hear stories about people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off for years, the key to their slimming success is rarely the result of trading in whole, natural foods for something they bought in a box. However, with so many foods on the market that claim to be able to get us into the killer shape we've always wanted, it's often difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to what's actually good for us versus what's simply lower in fat, sugar, or calories.

In fact, many of the foods commonly touted as being diet-friendly alternatives to your usual meals are actually doing more harm than good in the long run. While they may shave a few calories off your daily total, the damage they're doing to your diet and overall health simply isn't worth it in the long run. We're not just talking about slimmed-down versions of your favorite unhealthy treats, either—in many cases, foods that seem perfectly healthy at first glance are actually sneaky diet saboteurs. Before you take another bite, let's look at some "health" foods that are actually terrible for you. 


There are so many great things about Japan, but...

Good morning everyone,

There's not much new to say about the weather...it's going to be in the mid 30s all week. If I don't answer the door when you get to my school, it's because I've melted!

Of course the obvious choice to make about things that aren't great about Japan is 'summer' with this heat. However, summer has lots of good points as well, No, the real problem with Japan is...the politicians.

And here's a good reason why...

The Diet on Wednesday passed a bill, sponsored by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party, to increase the number of parliament seats by tweaking the already complex electoral system. The bill is seen by many as the ruling party doing what they can to help the re-election of certain incumbents. The approval of the bill by a majority vote to add six seats to the House of Councillors, or upper house, came despite ongoing debates over downsizing parliament in a country with a shrinking population.

So, here' s the problem put simply. There's a huge imbalance in Japan between the value of a vote depending on where you live. Votes in rural areas can count for as much as 4 times as those in the larger cities.

This is caused by the population shift from rural areas to urban areas, but the LDP (PM Abe's party) is reluctant to redraw the voting map because they get most of their votes from rural areas so the current imbalance benefits them.

Two or three years ago, they made a slight change to combine 4 prefectures into two seats to fix the imbalance. However, that would mean that two of their seats would be lost, so they added six more this year to give the current Diet members a chance to keep their seats.

This, despite the fact that Japan's population is shrinking by about a million people every year. Because, you know, the one thing we need to do is pay more politicians, right? <--that's sarcasm.

Have a great day!

I want one!

Good morning everyone,

It's still hot as hell out there. Keep hydrated and find an indoor hobby...the gardening can wait till it cools down a little.

When it comes to Instagrammable food, it’s form over flavor. It doesn’t matter if the food tastes good or not; if it’s pretty on the plate (before you dive in, of course), it’s going up on the ‘Gram.

While ordinary food artfully arranged like high cuisine is also Instagram-worthy, as a chef, the most sure-fire way to get your food shared on social media is to make it unique, like pancakes on a stick; cute, like food shaped into characters; or colorful, like rainbow grilled cheese.

That’s why Kenko, a company that provides packaged foodstuffs to the Japanese food-service industry, created their new “Ocean Blue” dressing: so that restaurants can produce colorful, beautiful, Instagram-worthy plates.

But not at the expense of personal health! Ocean Blue’s blue color comes naturally from Spirulina, which is a powder formed from a certain type of algae that is packed with protein, antioxidants, and vitamins. The dressing also contains collagen, which helps keep skin and joints young, and it’s oil-free, meaning it’s low-fat.

According to Kenko, this healthy, blue dressing can be used in any number of dishes: as a salad dressing, as a pickling agent, with noodles, as a component in sauces, and even on desserts. It’s flavored with grapefruit, which gives it a bite of acidity and a tang of fruitiness that should complement any dish.

If you’re a color nut like me, you’re probably wondering, “Where can I get it?!”, but sadly Ocean Blue doesn’t seem to be available for general purchase by consumers, at least not at your local grocery store. You can always pretend to own a restaurant and order a case from their online shop, though, where it sells for 502 yen for a 500-milliliter bottle.

In any case, you might find a lot more blue foods at restaurants in Japan over the next few months, as chefs begin to experiment with new menus using this new “superfood” dressing.

I'm guessing it'll be ages before we see anything like this in Hiroshima...I guess I'll have to go to Tokyo to try something blue. Or...I'll just pretend I'm a restaurant owner and order a whole case! Ha ha!

Have a great day!


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