A day-to-day, true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Jamaicans in Japan (JIJ) Link up 2 / Visit to Sendai / Lifehouse Conference / Pikachu Parade / Performance on the beach 2017

Hey guys, just got a chance again to write. For the last 3 weeks, I don't think I got to sit and relax even 1 day until today. 

This time, let me show you a bit of Fukuoka. The Fu is pronounced like fo, in foot. Not like fu in fun!  

Fukuoka is a pretty exciting city. I went there once back in 2008 and I had a grand time.

ACROS (Asian Cross Road over the Sea) Fukuoka Building

Fukuoka is said however to have the most Yakuza syndicates of all prefectures in Japan.  

There are many attractions there tho and it is one of the biggest cities in Japan in terms of population. Now, I believe it is number 5. 

In the 1200s, the growing Mongolian Empire tried 3 times to conquer the area but 3 times they failed because of a hurricane. 

Fukuoka is definitely worth a visit, especially Hakata, Kitakyushu and Fukuoka city.


Day 3334 (Jamaicans in Japan - Link up 2)
Saturday, July 29, 2017

So we had our first link up event in April in Tokyo, then the second one today on the beach in Kanagawa. Not many people turned out but it was still a very good time on the beach.

Days 3337 - 3339 (Training in Sendai, Miyagi)
Tuesday, August 1-3, 2017

Went to Sendai via bullet train today to help with the training of some new English teachers to Japan, and pretty much to help manage the training sessions. This was my first time going to this area of Japan and I really enjoyed it. 

Day 3340 ( Embassy Function - Jamaica's 55th Anniversary)
Friday, August 4, 2017

Then after a fun but tiring 3 days in Sendai, back to normal work then to a Jamaican Embassy function at Hotel Okura in Tokyo, celebrating our 55th Anniversary. All kind of ambassadors and other Japan big wigs were there. 

Long time friends Janell and Kevin. 

Vice Admiral Otsuka - President of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

Day 3341 ( One Love Festival Pt2)
Saturday, August 5, 2017

Still busy going to events. Today was another One love Jamaica Festival Event.

Wait, Rasta inna Japan?!?


Day 3347 (Lifehouse Conference 2017)
Friday, August 11, 2017

Today was a holiday in Japan (Mountain Day). Me and Takako went to our church conference in Shibuya, Tokyo yesterday and today.

Lunch at the JAmaican restaurant in Shibuya

Day 3348 (Performance at Oasis, Hayama Beach )
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Performed at a yearly Jamaican event on the beach in Hayama today. It was good again to see many Jamaicans and to get a Jamaican vibes in Japan.


Day 3349 ( Pikachu Parade in Yokohama)
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Was coming from church with Takako and just by chance we saw the Pikachu parade in full swing.

Day 3356 ( Barbecue by my House)
Sunday, August 20, 2017

The people who live near my house decided to have a barbecue today (most of them over 60). It was great to finally meet some of them. One guy was actually head of the Tokyo Police Bureau 20 years ago!!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Jamaicans in Japan Link up 2 Plan / Jamaica's Ministry of Education Visit / Tokyo Plans to Ease Commuter Issues During Rush Hour

Here again here again. 

I took a few days off this month. So now I can actually get to write something.

This month, I'm going to start with another one of my favorite locations in Jamaica. Negril ! 

This area is a prime tourist destination with white sand beaches and lots of hotels. Some are crazy expensive and some are quite reasonable. 

Everytime I go back home, I try to visit here. Even though it's usually a 6-hour bus ride from where I live. I heard the 6 hours recently got cut down to 4, not sure how true that is. 

Negril has peace and quiet, party if you want to, amazing food and pristine scenery. 


Day 3303 (Motivation Presentation)
Wed, June 28, 2017

So I'm going around to different branches in my company and doing a motivation presentation. Today, I presented it for the first time to a group of teachers in Yokosuka (Near the US Naval base). I pretty much spoke about how to be an impressive worker, and stuff you can do outside of work to sharpen your skills and build your confidence.

Day 3314 (Visit from Life Church Memphis Tennessee)
Sunday, July 9, 2017

Went to church today where some members from a church in Memphis, Tennessee (Life Church) came to visit our church. The pastor was really encouraging and the group was very inspirational. 

Me and Takako at Church

Days 3317 and 3318 (More Presentations and Jamaican Embassy Visit)
Wednesday July 12 and Thursday July13, 2017

Did 2 more presentations to a group of elementary school teachers, then to a group of junior high school teachers not too far from Ginza in Tokyo.  

After my presentation on Thursday, I went to the embassy for a function, where Jamaica's Minister of Education, Youth and Information came. It was a group of them that came to Japan and were involved in some high level talks with the Japanese government. 

Jamaica's Minister of Education, Youth and Information - Senator Ruel Reid

I started talking to one member of the delegation and found out that she was the manager of the academy I was working at in Jamaica, before I started working there. When I started working there, she was like the boss for my manager's boss, if you get what I mean. A senior director, second only to the chairman. The academy I worked at had about 26 campuses all over Jamaica. This lady is now the right hand of the Minister of education. 

Day 3322 (Visitors to Our House)
Monday, July 17, 2017

Today was a holiday in Japan called umi no hi or marine (ocean) day. I had some friends come over and we had lunch/dinner and lots of chatting.

Check out my friend's Vlog, inside my house. 

Day 3324 ( Planning For Jamaicans in Japan Link up 2 )
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Still off from work. Went on the beach today to scope out a proper beach house/shop to have our next Jamaicans in Japan event. Did some negotiations and got a place for us to have the event.

It will be right here
If you are a Jamaican living in Japan and want to meet other Jamaicans in Japan, come on down. It will be at Morito kaigan beach near to Yokohama. All you need is to take a train to Zushi station (about 2 stops from Kamakura), then take a 10-minute bus ride to Morito Kaigan (森戸海岸) on the number 12 bus. 

It will be:
On: Saturday, July 29th
From 5:00pm - 7:00pm

We have to leave at 7pm or the people going to run wi. 

We are going to talk mainly about more events and initiatives we can do for Jamaicans living in Japan, as well as other things particular to us. 


Tokyo plans new effort to ease commuter hell on rush-hour trains

Photo by Yoshiaki Miura

Daisuke Kikuchi - Japan Times
Riding packed commuter trains pressed against strangers may be one of the worst parts of living in Tokyo, made worse by groping and long delays from people who commit suicide by jumping onto the tracks.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has declared that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will take on the congestion problem starting July 11 with a campaign that encourages employers to provide more flexible hours to ease the morning commuter rush.
“To resolve the issue of Tokyo’s packed trains, it’s important that firms, railways and riders cooperate,” Koike says in a statement on the official Jisa Biz website. (The word “jisa” means “time difference” in English.)
Even before she was elected governor last year, easing overcrowding was one of Koike’s policy priorities. In a suggestion that surprised the public, she once proposed running double-decker trains on regular commuter lines that would have doors on both levels and building two-story platforms to accommodate them. The idea, however, drew a lukewarm response.
In the Jisa Biz campaign through July 25, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will encourage firms to let employees arrive for work before 8 a.m. or after 9 a.m. and urge railways to offer incentives to support the effort.
“Our aim this time is to raise people’s awareness of the practice of flextime,” said Keiichi Tanizaki, head of the metropolitan government’s Traffic Planning Division, which is leading the campaign
The metropolitan government decided to launch the campaign in the summer because the warm weather causes many people to wake up early, Tanizaki said, adding that the campaign has no set goals.
About 200 firms including Microsoft Japan Co., Panasonic Corp. and Suntory Holdings Ltd., as well as railway operators including East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), Odakyu Electric Railway Co. and Tokyo Metro Co., are taking part.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp. said it is making a greater effort to encourage employees to start work earlier ahead of the campaign.
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc. hopes the campaign will act as the trigger for getting more of its workers on the flextime and telework systems it already offers. Because the days in July are usually longer than at any other time of year, it is a good time for businesspeople to try new working styles, Sompo Japan said.
JR East, used by about 17 million people a day in the Tokyo and Tohoku areas, will start giving early commuters extra points on their Suica mobile payment cards in August. If riders spend over ¥200 at the New Days or Kiosk convenience stores between Chiba and Akihabara stations before 7 a.m. on more than 10 different days this month, they can join a lottery where 500 people will win ¥10,000 in Suica points, the railway said on its website.
On July 11, Tokyu Corp. will start the Jisa Biz Liner, a special express train for early commuters bound for downtown Tokyo from Chuorinkan Station on the outskirts of the capital. The train will leave at 6:04 a.m. on eight weekdays through July 21.
Tokyu will also use its app to offer special shopping vouchers to commuters who pass through Shibuya Station by 7:30 a.m. on weekdays from July 11 to Aug. 31. There is no need to disembark at the station.
Railways have been trying measures to alleviate overcrowding for decades, including more train runs and track sharing, but a transport ministry official says the congestion won’t ease unless passengers stagger their commuting hours.
Setting more flexible working hours “is the most accessible approach” to reducing congestion, said Hideyuki Yamaoka of the ministry’s Urban Railway Policy Division.
Naohisa Okamoto, a professor at the Urban Transportation Lab at the University of Tsukuba, said Jisa Biz may produce better results than past campaigns because it is a short-term deal that can encourage many businesses to take part easily.
“If, for example, one in every five people decides to shift (commuting times), the congestion in trains could be resolved, even if just by a little bit. With about 200 firms involved, I expect it to have a positive result,” he said.
The Jisa Biz campaign will only affect 10 weekdays this month, but Tanizaki of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said it may launch similar campaigns from time to time during the lead-up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Guide to rush hour congestion rates

How crowded are Tokyo’s trains during the morning rush hour?
The transport ministry has a list of congestion rates that explains what it’s like to ride those jam-packed trains.
100 percent — People still have enough personal space and are able to take a seat or stand while holding onto the straps or hand rails.
150 percent— It’s a little more crowded but still roomy enough to read a newspaper. At 180 percent, newspapers must be folded to read.
200 percent — At double the capacity, passengers are squashed against each other in each compartment but can somehow manage to read small magazines.
250 percent — Passengers are like sardines, unable to move and swaying to and fro at the mercy of the train.
According to a transport ministry official, the average congestion rate for a Tokyo rush-hour train was 164 percent in fiscal 2015, down from 203 percent in fiscal 1990. But that’s still a lot higher than Osaka and Nagoya, which averaged 124 percent and 134 percent, respectively, in fiscal 2015.
Here is a list of the five train and subway lines that had the worst congestion rates in the Tokyo metropolitan area as tallied by the ministry in fiscal 2015.
Tokyo Metro Co. Tozai Line, between Kiba and Monzen-Nakacho stations, from 7:50 to 8:50 a.m.: 199 percent.
JR East Sobu Line, between Kinshicho and Ryogoku stations, from 7:34 to 8:34 a.m.: 199 percent.
JR East Yokosuka Line, between Musashi Kosugi and Nishioi stations, from 7:26 to 8:26 a.m.: 193 percent.
Odakyu Electric Railway Co.’s Odakyu Line, between Setagaya-Daita and Shimokitazawa stations, from 7:46 to 8:48 a.m.: 191 percent.
JR Nambu Line, between Musashi-Nakahara and Musashi-Kosugi stations, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.: 190 percent.