Teacher disciplined for drinking alcohol during class in Japan

Students driving you to drink is no excuse to open a cold one in the classroom.

Japanese schools are known for enforcing strict regulations, and one of the most common rules implemented by a large majority of schools is a no-drinking policy during class-times. It’s not just students who aren’t allowed to drink during class either, it’s a frowned-upon act for teachers too, given that they should be setting a good example for the children.

Sadly, not all teachers care about setting a good example, however, as evidenced by one elementary school teacher on the main island of Okinawa Prefecture recently. According to the prefectural board of education, the 51-year-old teacher wasn’t just sipping on water or juice while teaching — he was found to have been imbibing alcohol during class.

The incident occurred on two occasions, with the teacher drinking a 350-millilitre (12.3-ounce) can of chu-hai at the front of the classroom during class on 22 February, and then again on 26 February, while the students were working on individual tasks.

▼ A Chu-hai (often rendered as “Chu-Hi”) combines shochu, a distilled spirit, with carbonated water and a flavour like fruit juice, and can contain as much as 12-percent alcohol.


A wide variety of chu-hai brands exist on the market, and while it’s not known which one the teacher was drinking, a student in the class at the time recognised the can to be an alcoholic beverage and reported it to another teacher on 26 February.

When questioned by fellow staff, the teacher admitted to drinking alcohol in class, expressing remorse and saying he “drank it on impulse“.

On 15 April, the Okinawa Prefectural Board of Education told the media that the teacher had been disciplined with a ten-percent reduction …continue reading


A Lot More Fudo at Myo-on-ji Temple

I usually limit the number of photos in a post to just 5. This time I post a lot more, mainly because I realize that at my current rate of posting I will be dead long before I get to post everything. I previously posted 5 different Fudo Myo statues from Myo-on-ji temple, a small temple near the start of the Sasaguri Pilgrimage near Fukuoka.All 11 photos in this post are also just from Myo-on-ji

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What to Expect At Japanese Weddings

japanese wediing2

Congrats! You’ve been chosen as a special guest for someone’s big day. Yet, you stand there puzzled, Japanese wedding invitation in your hands, sweat dripping off your forehead, wondering how different the experience would be from what you’ve seen back home and whether you’ll be able to pass through all formalities in grace and style in this culturally challenging land of emotions. Well, wipe that sweat, start reading and get ready to celebrate your Japanese wedding debut.

A Japanese wedding — no matter if the ceremony and celebration are traditionally held in a shrine or western style in a hotel — has got little to do with what you might have experienced so far.

First of all: feel very honored, because it’s generally only family and close friends who get the invitations. Your second task? Start preparing right away.

When choosing your outfit, present, even the congratulations card, make sure you follow some (rather non-negotiable) rules.

How to RSVP

No matter if you attend the wedding or not, you are expected to send a written answer. You will find a card along with your invitation, which requests you to confirm your presence or absence. If you’re attending, circle 出席 (shusseki) and if you’re not, circle 欠席 (kesseki). Make sure to delete the honorary ご (go) before each word with two lines, and write a short congratulatory message in either Japanese or English. Send the card back as soon as possible.

How to dress

No big difference here with other countries — it’s a formal event, so wear something formal unless you’re specifically told not to. However, there are a few taboos for women that you’ll find everyone silently obeying, regardless of the type of wedding you’re attending. The biggest of them all is to never wear white at a wedding, because, well, the color’s already taken by …continue reading


Why you should visit Osaka in the spring!

Spring is a very fun season in Osaka. Lots of sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom and there are many beautiful places to visit. During this season, temperatures in the city are between 15 and 25ºC, which makes it one of the most ideal times to visit it. Similarly, in Japan both the school year and the work year start in April. Therefore, spring is a season full of new encounters, activities, and life. We gather here some of the best sakura viewing spots in Osaka and some of the most impressive events and festivals held in this city during spring.

Places to see the sakura

In Osaka, cherry blossoms usually start to bloom in late March and last until early April. During this period of time many parks and gardens turn pink and offer unforgettable views.

Nishinomaru Garden in Osaka Castle Park

In spring, this park becomes one of the best places in Osaka for the hanami (cherry blossom party), as there are about 3,000 trees. Included in the Sakura meisho hyaku-sen (“Selection of the 100 best places for sakura”), among its trees there is the one that serves as the criterion to make the “official declaration” of the start of flowering of the city. According to the experts, the Nishinomaru Garden offers the best angle to enjoy the beautifying views of the sakura and the castle. You have to pay a special rate to this area, but it is a really worthy visit.

Besides, Osaka Castle also includes a spectacular night walk called “Sakuya Lumina”. This is a fun-filled castle night tour. There you can feel the magic of the castle and enjoy every corner illuminated with vibrant night lights. What makes this tour different from all the others is that you can walk alongside a girl named Akiyo and her friends, Pulpo, Balun, …continue reading


How to Make Green Tea Taste Good – Lessons From Japanese Tea Experts!

Before I moved to Japan for the first time in 2015, I didn’t really like green tea at all. I had heard about the health benefits, but to me, it always tasted quite bitter, and I didn’t know how to sweeten green tea without adding sugar, which would defeat the point of having a healthy drink!

However, shortly after I arrived in Japan I was offered green tea everywhere I went, at work, in restaurants, even whilst I was waiting at the mechanic’s for my car to be repaired. It would have been rude to refuse the tea, so with no other choice, I drank it, and to my surprise, it wasn’t bitter! It turns out the secrets of how to make green tea taste good are pretty simple, it’s all in the brewing process!

Recently, I joined an online green tea time session with Arigato Japan, one of my favorite tour companies who organize AMAZING food tours and virtual experiences. During the hour-long session, I learned so much about green tea, the correct way to brew it, and some awesome pro-travel tips that I can use the next time I go traveling in Japan. I highly recommend booking one of Arigato Japan’s online experiences, you can choose from making Japanese cocktails, or learn all about Japanese food.

Read on to discover what I learned during the green tea time session about how to brew the perfect cup of green tea with flavor at home and other pro-tips from the Japanese tea masters!

If you are planning a trip to Japan then check out my 3-day Kyoto itinerary <a target=_blank href="https://ryokougirl.com/3-day-kyoto-itinerary-a-guide-for-first-time-visitors/" …continue reading


What’s going on in this brain-breakingly beautiful cherry blossom temple photo?

Moon-viewing pavilion offers out-of-this-world sight.

Generally, temples in Japan close their gates once the sun goes down. On special occasions, though, they’ll stay open later, and these events are a real treat for photographers, since the temple grounds take on a timeless quality as the surrounding modern world fades into the shadows.

So when Mii Temple, also known as Nagarasan Onjo Temple, in the city of Otsu, Shiga Prefecture announced it’d be open after sundown earlier this month, Japanese Twitter user @auki999 grabbed her camera and headed out to snap some pictures.

圧倒的な迫力 pic.twitter.com/Vie8PMjpde

— あゆ (@auki999) April 6, 2021

The glow of the lanterns imparted a comforting warmth to the gateways and courtyard, and what was really special was that the temple, for the first time, was allowing visitors access to its mitzuki butai, or “moon-viewing pavilion.” Built in 1849, as the name implies the structure’s primary purpose is a spot from which to admire the moon on clear nights, but the night of @auki999’s visit coincided with the height of cherry blossom season, allowing her to capture this amazing image.

But as soon as your brain finishes shouting “Wow!”, the next thing it’s going to say is probably “What?” There somehow seem to be sakura both above and below, but this is actually some awesomely clever camera placement at work.

滋賀県のとある舞台がカッコよ過ぎた。 pic.twitter.com/uw44qgDMKJ

— あゆ (@auki999) April 4, 2021

Because of the age of the moon-viewing pavilion, the temple took the precaution of laying down protective acrylic panels in the center of its floorspace. Since the panels are clear, they take on a mirror-like quality when viewed from certain angles, and so it’s …continue reading


UNIQLO’s newest commercial features AIRism casual wear and heartwarming sapphic love

Gal pals? No, gal lovers!

Queer representation in Japanese commercials ranges from the fantastical to the more serious, sometimes focusing on the struggles faced by the Japanese LGBTQ+ community. Like the multitudes contained within personal identity, the individual histories of queer folks are diverse and cover a wide range of experiences. Uniqlo’s newest commercial advertising their AIRism line reflects this by taking a slice-of-life approach in depicting a young sapphic couple.

▼ Playing in the background is Keisuke Kuwata’s “The Wanderin’ Street.”

The commercial follows the day-to-day lives of a sapphic couple dressed in Uniqlo’s AIRism casual wear. From enjoying breakfast together to snuggling up in bed, the commercial’s atmospheric lighting and its soft, intimate vibes pull immediately at the viewer’s heartstrings.

After a montage of the couple’s daily life, the commercial breaks into a tender moment in a florist shop where the couple visit for a bouquet. Not only does the one-and-only Haruka Ayase make a cameo as a friendly florist, but she also inquires if the happy couple are picking up flowers to celebrate their anniversary, which makes my inner romantic swoon.

▼ Not gonna lie, but I’d kind of freak out more if I met Haruka Ayase in real life.

Near the last part of the commercial, we also see bits of sneaky PDA such as the couple holding hands behind a park bench. Small moments like these are no doubt relatable to any queer individual in a relationship—sometimes you wanna show a little love to your significant other, …continue reading


Segways soon to be permitted on public roads and new rules in the works for electric scooters

Of course, the new rules will come with a few catches.

In terms of public transportation, what you have access to is dependent on where you live. Naturally, some folks prefer to take matters into their own hands, or out of necessity, to purchase and travel by car, motorbike, and/or breakfast bus. And with the advent of new transportation technology, such as electric bicycles, electric scooters, and Segways, Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) has decided to move forward in re-writing the rules for smaller electric vehicles, while also unbanning the Segway from public roads.

▼ People may hate to admit it, but this is the ultimate human form.

Previously, the rules which applied to your electric non-automobile vehicle depended on what kind you had. For example, Segways were only permitted in designated areas, typically a park, and one had to have a driver’s license to operate one, whereas electric scooters could not be ridden if they exceeded a speed of 15 kilometres per hour (9.3 miles per hour).

However, with new considerations underway, the NPA is currently determining what regulations stay and which ones get revised. So far, the NPA has chosen to sort smaller electric vehicles into three categories, each with their own specific guidelines. The categories are vehicles which travel at least or below 6 kilometres per hour (3.7 miles per hour), vehicles which travel at least or below 15 kilometres per hour, and vehicles which travel over 15 kilometres per hour .

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Japan’s response to the coup in Myanmar

Demonstrators gathered near Yoyogi Park and marched down to Shibuya to protest against the military coup and demanded the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, 14 February, 2021 (Photo: Viola Kam / SOPA Images/Sipa USA).

Author: Patrick Strefford, Kyoto Sangyo University

On 1 February 2021, military television channel Myawaddy told the people of Myanmar that a state of emergency had been declared. President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, both senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), had been arrested.

Former vice president Myint Swe — now serving as President — used his constitutional authority to declare the state of emergency, then transferred state power to the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), Min Aung Hlaing.

The Tatmadaw claimed that widespread election fraud in the November 2020 elections resulted in the NLD landslide victory. On 2 February 2021, they announced that a new State Administrative Council had been formed to take over all state legislative, judicial and executive functions. This has been called a coup by most Western media.

After 10 years of varying levels of cooperation between the Tatmadaw and the NLD, the democratic transition has taken a serious U-turn. But given the strained relations between the Tatmadaw and the NLD — and given the fragility of all democratic transitions — the potential for such a reversal was always there, lingering in the shadows.

Most Western governments and media outlets were quick to denounce and condemn the Tatmadaw and tried to draw attention to what they saw as a slow and weak response from the Japanese government. Certainly, Japan was not included in the 15 February statement by ambassadors to Myanmar that called for the military to show restraint and condemned the detention of political leaders.

But Japan was a signatory to the G7 Foreign Minister’s statement on 3 February, ‘condemning the military coup’. On 21 February and again on 28 February, the Japanese government said it ‘strongly condemned’ the situation in Myanmar. In the same statement it said, ‘the …continue reading


Google Earth タイムラプスを使って、地球の歴史を探索しよう

Google Earth の提供開始から 15 年間で、数十億人が Google Earth を利用し、エベレストに登ったり、自分の故郷を巡ったりするなど、地球の様々な場所を探索してきました。提供開始以来、わたしたち は、世界のあらゆる場所を見ることができる 3D のデジタル地球儀の開発に注力してきました。Google Earth は、多くの人に楽しんでいただきながら、様々な視点で活用され、世界にポジティブなで、スルイ族によるアマゾン熱帯雨林の保護活動がもたらした変化




日本の羽田空港周辺の 変化


Google は、カーネギーメロン大学の CREATE Lab の専門家と協力して、タイムラプスを動かすテクノロジーを開発しました。

地球が直面している変化を観察すると、森林の変化都市の成長気温の上昇エネルギー源、そして世界の儚い美しさという 5 つのテーマが浮かび上がってきました。Google Earth では、ガイド付きツアーでそれぞれのテーマについて理解を深めることができます。

Google Earth のタイムラプスでは、アラスカのコロンビア氷河の後退など、5 つのテーマ別ストーリーを通じて、地球上の急速な変化を見ることができます。


今回、タイムラプス動画を作成するために、Google の地理空間分析用クラウド プラットフォームである Earth Engine で「ピクセルクランチ」という処理を行いました。具体的には、タイムラプス アニメーションを Google Earth に追加するために、1984 年から 2020 年にかけて 2400 万枚を超える衛星画像を収集しました。この数は、千兆ピクセルに該当します。20 ペタバイトの衛星画像を 1 つの 4.4 テラピクセルサイズのビデオモザイクに変換するには、Google Cloud の数千台のマシンで 200 万時間以上の処理時間を費やす必要があります。これは、4K 解像度で 53 万本の動画に相当します。そして、これらすべての処理は、カーボンニュートラルで 100% 再生可能エネルギーに適合したデータセンターで行いました。これは、カーボンフリーの未来の構築を支援するという Google の取り組み(英文)の一環です。

これらのタイムラプス動画の提供は、オープンで誰もがアクセスできるようなデータ公開の取り組みを行う米国政府と欧州連合の多大なる協力によるものです。そして、もちろん、知識と探求の精神のもとに、ロケット、探査車、衛星、宇宙飛行士を宇宙へ送る彼らの長年の取り組みにおける努力によって実現しました。Google Earth のタイムラプスは、NASA と米国地質調査所のランドサット プログラム (世界初、かつ最も長く続く民間の地球環境観測プログラム) や、欧州連合のセンチネル衛星によるコペルニクスプログラムなしでは実現し得ませんでした。


タイムラプス動画は、高度な 3D グラフィック レンダリング技術を使用して、地表の山、谷、建物などの上に重ねています。Google Earth のタイムラプスでは、現在地、画角、ズームレベルに適した動画がその場でシームレスにつなぎ合わされ、パン、ズーム、探索に応じて更新されます。

1984 年から 2020 年までに撮影された 2400 万の衛星画像を分析し、画像から雲などの要素を特定して削除しました。次に、1984 年から 2020 年までの各年の画像で、地球上のすべての場所に対してピクセル単位の計算処理を行うことで、雲のないタイムラプス動画を生成しました。



海岸線の変化、都市の進化、森林破壊などをタイムラプスで体験し、共有することができます。Google Earth のタイムラプスは、広い視点から私たちの住む地球が直面する変化を観察し、理解や行動を促すためのツールです。

視覚的な情報は、言葉では伝えきれない議論の核心に迫ることができ、人々に対して複雑な問題を伝えることができます。一例として、気候変動について教えるためにタイムラプス画像を使用することを計画している Liza Goldberg の取り組み(英文)を見てみましょう。また、2020 年の受賞歴のあるドキュメンタリー「Nature Now」では、衛星画像を使用して、地球における人類による影響の拡大を示しています。

今後 10 年間のタイムラプス

Google はパートナーと協力し、今後 10 年間、Google Earth に新しいタイムラプス画像を毎年追加していく予定です。この機能により、地球全体を見る俯瞰的な視点が議論の土台となり、新たな発見が促され、地球規模の課題のいくつかについての人々の考え方の変化に繋がることを願っています。

Posted by Google Earth チーム

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