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

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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.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Jamaica One Love Festival 2017/Jamaicans in Japan Information Session / Ginza 6/ Drunk school teacher, visits student’s house and beats him /

So I made 2 posts in April none in May, then here I am again in June. May was extremely busy!!!

I promised in my last post to feature some where from Jamaica, and another from Japan. Last post I featured Dunn's River Falls, one of my favorite spots to visit in Jamaica. This time I'm going to feature my favorite place in Japan..... Which is Kobe.


Actually, before coming to Yokohama, I reallllly wanted to live in Kobe. But I couldn't get a job there. So I chose Yokohama instead, which actually kind of resembles Kobe but with more historical significance.

Kobe (神戸, Kōbe) is the capital of Hyogo Prefecture and one of Japan's ten largest cities. Located between the sea and the Rokko mountain range, Kobe is also considered one of Japan's most attractive cities.
Kobe has been an important port city for many centuries. Its port was among the first to be opened to foreign trade in the 19th century alongside the ports of YokohamaNagasakiHakodate and Niigata.
In 1995, Kobe was hit by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed over 5000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Today the city is completely rebuilt, and few signs of the terrible event remain.


Day 3243 ( Got back 30,000 yen [US$300] from Softbank )
Saturday, April 28, 2017

So we got back some money from one of the main phone providers in Japan, Softbank. When we got the house, we decided to use softbank's internet and TV antenna services. With their TV antenna, we don't need to purchase the outdoor thing and put on our roof. However, it is a bit more expensive. They promised us if we used their service for 3 months, they would give us back 30,000 yen. So we did and we got the money!

Day 3246 (Final Day in Iidabashi, Tokyo)
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Today was the last day in the office at Iidabashi. Did some final packing and pretty much everyone was busy packing for the move to Ginza, Tokyo.

Day 3247 ( Meet Friends in Aoyama, Tokyo )
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Went to a Burger restaurant "Shake Shack" in Aoyama, Tokyo with my friend who was the best man at my wedding. The line at Shake Shack looked like this:

It was the start of Golden Week (A string of holidays in Japan) so everyone was out in their numbers. Waited for about 45 mins in the line but the food was worth the wait. Not usually a huge fan of hamburgers but this was exceptionally good!

Afterwards we took some pics. Already posted a couple of them on FB.

Then we went to Ginza to check out the Ginza six building, where my office is relocating to. Actually if my memory serves me right, I think this is the first time I was going to Ginza.

Then we went to Ueno, Tokyo to an art gallery, because my wife loves art stuff. We went to the National Museum of Western Art, which is actually a World Heritage site.


Day 3250 ( Fast and Furious 8 )
Saturday, May 6, 2017

Watched Fast and Furious 8 with Takako. It was reallly exciting... Impossible, but quite entertaining.

Day 3252 ( Started Working in Ginza! )
Monday, May 8, 2017

Started working in the new office in Ginza today. It looks quite fancy. Just that the security is at paranoid level. But nice office and nice building. And it cuts off about 20-30 mins off my transportation to work now... So mostly a win-win situation for me.

Day 3270 ( JIJ - Information Session at Jamaican Embassy )
Friday, May 26, 2017

The group that I'm a part of, Jamaicans In Japan (JIJ) had an information session today at the Jamaican Embassy in Tokyo. It was really to address some questions and concerns of the Jamaican community in Japan. Loads of questions and queries as well as future plans were revealed. 

I was operating the Live Streaming but I couldn't see the questions popping up and at one point mistakenly shut off the live streaming. I got it back up but left it alone afterwards.



Day 3271 (One Love Jamaican Festival - Chiba )
Saturday, May 27, 2017

Been going to these yearly festivals since 2009. Missed the one when I first came here in 2008 simply because I had no clue about it. This year, it was a bit scanty to be honest. Well, today it was... on the Saturday.... Heard and saw some pics from the following day, the Sunday and it was packed to the capacity it seem. 

I must mention that I also created a Christian Support Group for Jamaicans in Japan. If you are interested in joining, drop me a message on FB. It's pretty much a daily devotional resource for Jamaican Christians in Japan who are far away from a church family and needs encouragement or any form of help.


Day 3273 ( Happy Birthday Takako )
Monday, May 29, 2017

Today was my wife's birthday. I was actually having a slight stomach ache so I stayed home.


Elementary school teacher gets drunk, visits student’s house and beats him with stick

By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

A 38-year-old head teacher at a municipal elementary school in Osaka’s Minato Ward has been suspended by the Osaka City Board of Education, following a late-night incident that occurred at a pupil’s home last month.
According to local news reports, the teacher visited the home of one of his sixth-form students at about 10 p.m. on the night of May 12 after drinking with colleagues. Upon entering the home, he proceeded to beat the boy about 30 times on the back and shoulders, with a drumstick normally used for playing home drumming games.
Although the boy’s parents were present during the attack, the teacher chased after the boy, who ran away and managed to take refuge in the toilet. The toilet door then received a beating, eventually becoming damaged as the teacher attempted to get his hands on the student.
The inebriated man was eventually forced out of the home, only to continue beating on the front door, ringing the doorbell numerous times for approximately 15 minutes after being ejected.
Following an investigation by the City Board of Education into the incident, the teacher claimed he had made the home visit as he was concerned about the student, who was absent from school that day. The teacher remembers little about the home visit and the assault.
Despite the teacher’s violent behavior, and the fact that the boy sustained injuries for a week afterwards, no mention of charges has been made in reference to the incident. The teacher has been suspended from teaching for three months.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Japanese Self Defence Force Member Arrested for forcing Girl Friend to send nude photos / JAmaicans in Japan Link up! / H. Pylori test

Hey it's your friendly Jamaican living in Yokohama, Japan blogger here again.

2 blog post in month!!! I haven't done this maybe in over a year or so. 

Decided recently that I'm going to showcase a place to visit in Jamaica, and a place to visit in Japan, each blog post. I will begin with the places that I've actually visited before then later on move on to places that I'd like to visit.  

In this post, I will start off with a pretty famous place in Jamaica that I've been to several times. Dunn's River Falls, near Ocho Rios, St. Anns, Jamaica.

Dunn's River Falls

Dunn's River Falls is a very famous waterfalls near to Ocho Rios in Jamaica. It receives thousands of visitors every year. 

Climbing the waterfalls is a popular tourist activity, with or without the help of tour guides. 


Day 3224 (Blow in Bag Test)
Monday, April 10, 2017

So if you are keeping up with my blog, a few months ago in December 2016, I had to do a stomach camera check. They found 2 white spots (H. pylori) in my large intestine I believe, possibly caused by acid reflux (GERD). Eventually, I had to go on antibiotics to get rid of them. Today I had to blow in 2 bags to check if the white stuff were still present in my stomach. 

I should be getting back the results in a week or two. 

I also got a chance to see the Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) at a park next to my house. Simply nature at it's best, really beautiful.

Day 3225 (Crowd at Shinagawa station, Tokyo)
April 11, 2017

So I work about 1 hr 30 mins by train from where I live. I have to commute into Tokyo everyday and it is no fun. It get worst if there is rain or some sort of accident or train checking that delays everyone. Today, possibly because of the rain, this was what the Shinagawa station that I had to transfer at looked like.

Sorry dude


Day 3229 (Jamaicans in Japan - Link UP!)
April 15, 2017

Again, I should have promoted this event from my last blog, but alas, it didn't happen.... 

So I'm now a member of a group called Jamaicans in Japan. It was around a while ago, but then it went dormant and recently, we started it back up again. So far we had 3 events: A BBQ, a dinner, then today a Jamaican get together or Jamaican meet up of sorts. We ate, played games, talked about issues affecting us, and how we can be of help to the general Jamaican community in Japan. 

I booked the Jamaican restaurant in Shibuya for 20 people, but about 40 showed up. Unfortunately, only people in Tokyo, Chiba, Yokohama area were able to attend. We do hope to expand our events to other parts of Japan especially to Osaka/Kobe area where there is a huge Jamaican crowd as well. 

We had a pretty good time there tho. Here are some pics from the event.


Day 3241 (H. Pylori Test Result)
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Took day off today and will be taking a day off tomorrow because I worked last weekend Saturday and Sunday. Actually been working non-stop for the past 10-days pretty much. Got back the result for the H. Pylori test today and thank God it was negative. So I'm pretty happy about that.  


SDF member arrested for forcing girlfriend to send nude selfies

Japan today
A 26-year-old member of Japan’s Ground Self Defense Forces was arrested Thursday on charges of making threats and intimidation after he forced his girlfriend to take nude photos of herself and threatened that if she disobeyed him, he would circulate nude photos of her taken in the past on social media and send them to her parents.
According to police, Hiroaki Makino, a private first-class stationed at the Ground Self Defense Force’s Koga base in Ibaraki Prefecture, is accused of sending threatening messages to his 28-year-old girlfriend through the free messaging app LINE on April 14, demanding that she send him nude photos of herself. Fuji TV reported that when the woman expressed her unwillingness to respond to his requests, Makino threatened that he would show previously taken nude photos of her to her parents and post them online.
Police said Makino had frequently demanded his girlfriend send him "up-to-date" nude photos of herself and would act in a menacing manner toward her if she didn't comply.
The two have apparently been together for two years, but the nude photo requests began to escalate recently, police said.
Makino, who has admitted to the charge, was quoted by police as saying he likes women to be obedient to him.