Halloween and North Korean Missiles

Today was Halloween, and while I’ve already discussed the festival’s growing popularity in Japan’s modern “culturescape”, I was introduced to another recent addition to Japanese life. At 9:30 this morning, the local emergency sirens and a guff voice could be heard through the speakers. It was a clear day so it couldn’t have been about a typhoon or tsunami. The ground wasn’t shaking and there wasn’t a raging inferno. Instead, the word “missile” was continuously used throughout the 3-minute period. It turned out that the city’s “Incoming Missile Alert System” was being tested.  Continue reading “Halloween and North Korean Missiles”

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Fun Times at the Driver’s Licence Centre

I recently had the ordeal of renewing my Japanese driver’s licence. In fact, during the summer I actually had to renew my UK Driver’s licence too. Unlike Japan, the process is a lot more simple over there. You can actually do it online. I chose to renew mine at the post office, where they took my soon-to-expire licence, took a photo in a “special” booth, and recorded my electronic signature. After paying a fee and waiting a couple of weeks, my new licence arrived. Continue reading “Fun Times at the Driver’s Licence Centre”