Yokohama and Niimi/Extremely Cold Week

Days 1411 - 1417
Sunday, January 29 - Saturday, February 4, 2012 

Day 1411 ( Differences Between Yokohama and Niimi )
Sunday, January 29, 2012

Today we had another big earthquake. No stranger to Yokohama. I was in a coffee shop with my friend while she was studying for a test. Then suddenly a big tremor. But it only lasted like 5 seconds.


Stewart that is an interesting question which lead me to write this week about the major differences I experienced between Niimi and Yokohama.

To answer you though, in Niimi I realized that initially most people were just curious. But after they got to know me, they were some of the best persons I met on earth SERIOUSLY!!! I still have at lease 5 really good Japanese friends from Niimi. One of them even referred to me as his best friend. I can't recall experiencing any kind of racist behaviour from Japanese in Niimi. So in Niimi, some people maybe a bit xenophobic. But people were interested in knowing the foreigners.

I really can't say the same for Yokohama though. I think both xenophobia and racism exist here. I get a  strong feeling that some persons here in Yokohama don't know you and really don't wish to know you if you are a foreigner. Even the children I teach in Yokohama seem more xenophobic/racist than the ones in Niimi.

So here are the differences that I can think of now.


The major difference is that Yokohama is in eastern Japan while Niimi is in western Japan. Eastern and western Japan has 2 different cultures in general.


Yokohama has 100 times more people than Niimi. No I'm not kidding. Niimi has a population of a little over 30,000 while Yokohama has a population of over 3,000,000.


Surprisingly enough Niimi is almost twice the size of Yokohama. Niimi is 793km sq (306 sq miles) while Yokohama is 437 km sq ( 168 sq miles )


Niimi  people were really kind and friendly. But not many people are like that in Yokohama.


Almost everyone in Japan knows about Yokohama, which is just a city in the prefecture/state of Kanagawa (Well the largest city in Japan actually). Yokohama is even more popular than Kanagawa prefecture name wise.

But ask anybody anywhere in Japan about Niimi. Outside of the people in the Okayama prefecture where Niimi is, there is a 99.99 % possibility of them never hearing about it.


There are more opportunities for side jobs in Yokohama but my pay was higher in Niimi. They gave us a higher pay because Niimi is in the middle of nowhere. However, at the same time, I had a TV show in Niimi. This made me immensely popular other than the fact that I am Jamaican. I signed up with 2 model/acting kind of agency in Tokyo but nothing :( too many foreigners around.

I have to say though that anywhere in Japan a foreigner goes they will be stared at. The only places I got few stares at are Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kobe/Sannomia area.



Day 1412
Monday, January 30, 2012

Just sat in after work doing nothing.



Day 1413 ( Blizzard Deaths )
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Again just stayed in, playing games and surfing the internet because my student canceled today.

51 deaths laid to blizzards; more snow forecast

Blizzard conditions had caused 51 deaths nationwide as of Tuesday, and most of the victims died while trying to remove snow accumulations, the government said.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency found that 35 of the casualties were aged 65 or older and that 42 died while removing snow, including those who fell from roofs while shoveling snow.



Day 1414
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Met a friend of mine in Shibuya, Tokyo after work today. We had dinner and talked a bit about random stuff.



Day 1415 ( More Blizzard)
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Another Lazy day after work.

Deadly blizzards have wreaked havoc in coastal areas along the Sea of Japan, including an avalanche that killed three spa bathers.
The latest blizzards have claimed over 50 lives and snow levels are nearing levels last seen in 2006, when around 150 people died amid the bitter cold.



Day 1416 ( More Salsa and More Cold News )
Friday, February 3, 2012

I met up with a friend of mine in an area of Tokyo name Nakameguro. We ate at an expensive restaurant then we went to salsa club in Roppongi, Tokyo.

Japan experienced severe cold weather Friday and morning temperatures dropped to record lows at 38 locations nationwide, the Meteorological Agency said.

From Tohoku to Kyushu, 16 prefectures recorded their lowest temperatures ever, including the town of Kusu in Oita Prefecture, where the mercury fell to minus 14.7 degrees, and Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, where the temperature plunged to minus 8.4.
Temperatures were below zero early Friday at more than 90 percent of 927 observation points across Japan, the agency said.
The lowest figure was minus 32.6 in Esashi, Hokkaido.



Day 1417 ( Cancel Day )
Saturday, February 4, 2012

Was supposed to go to the movies with a friend of mine but it got canceled. I was to also meet up with some friends in an area called Ofuna but that too I cancelled because I thought I was going to the movies to see Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol.


Dave - the article about Spa bathers dying in Blizzard?


They decided to go to a spa during the Blizzard?
davay colly said…
Yeah Richard, many Japanese like to go to the spa when it is extremely cold... They like the mixture of hot and cold together... They say that its Kimochii (Feels amazing)...

I don't get it either man.