New Year’s Day Ritual

Here in Sapporo, mass of the people pay a visit to Hokkaido Jingu (shrine) during the new year holidays.  Particularly on the fist day of the year, you will witness that people are jammed in line all the way from the nearby subway station up to the shrine. This event is called “hatsumoude” in Japanese. People pay a visit to a nearby Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple during the new year days.  It is intended to drive away any defilement and pray for the family’s health and prosperity. I think it is safe to say that shrines (Shnito) or temples (Buddhism) do not matter in this occasion. I know it sounds strange …

Public Free WiFi in Hokkaido

Did you know that Japan is one of developing countries when it comes to public free WiFi?  I hear that many foreign visitors are surprised to realize that free WiFi is not available even in the New Chitose Airport Terminal, where free WiFi is available only after the application is filed to acquire the password.  It’s not very convenient, is it? Free public WiFi should be regarded as a part of the infrastructure. As a result, foreign visitors gather in Starbucks Coffee in order to get connected to their home countries.  We all know that Starbucks offers free WiFi, right?  I guess this is a typical example that the Japanese become …

Japanese Cooking Recipes

Now that Washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine, is added to UNESCOs’ Intangible Cultural Heritage List, I somewhat feel obliged that I should be capable of interpreting and translating talks about the Japanese foods. So I hit a bookstore downtown Sapporo, only to be surprised to see a variety of bilingual cookbooks already made available.   I did not need to have a recipe book like this, because my grandmother was a good cook of everyday meals.  I am sure, however, I will learn some basic and authentic Japanese recipes in English with this book and will post the photos of typical Japanese meals here.  I love cooking, after all 🙂

The Hokkaido Shrine

Located in an old-growth forest, Hokkaido Shrine is a popular dating spot for the local residents.  People of course visit the shrine to pay respect for the deities in the new year holidays, however, it is a national and cultural event rather than a religious ritual. I was surprised to see many foreign visitors here today; guided tour groups as well as young couples. Couples like shrines,  right? That’s probably because we somehow feel the placidity and the purity of the atmosphere in the shrine.  Hokkaido Shrine, after all, is one of the power spots in Hokkaido.

Brand Comes Second, Far Distant Second

In case that you are a mac user, CTRL+ALT+DELETE is usually used to forcibly shut down and restart your PC.  This book is, however, is not about PC.  It’s about how to think and act “social” not businesslike. The author warns that the world is not linear anymore but its squiggle, so that conventional pushing mass marketing should be replaced by utilitarianism marketing, if we want to survive in this moment of business purgatory. My conclusion? “In the world of the web, I do not sell.  I just add value and let the reputation sell.  So many businesses misunderstand that the web is the quick and easy way to sell.  No …