29 December, 2013

Replacement of a TV

It used to be said that a decade is a generation. Now that in this digital age, it's not a decade any more, probably. Because new devices come out one after another, one of symbolic products is iPhone.

This is not a story about a mobile device rather, it's a fixed material, TV. Approximately 10 years ago, TVs with CRT monitor were a majority of the market. LCD displays were gradually coming out at that time meanwhile. And then to now, a new generation TV has arrived at my home finally.

The TV above has been replaced by a LCD TV at the end of 2013 at my home. It has worked about 10 years everyday. However a few month ago it made some noises whilst it was turned on. And then I have called and asked an engineer of Toshiba to come to make sure and repair the TV. His answer was simply "it's not gonna be repaired because there are no parts remaining for troubles in the power unit". Only thing you can do is just replace this TV in the previous generation to the next one.

The reason that I have photographed this TV was that because this type of TV is so precious to be. Its quality is more utmost than any other alternative devices such as LCD, PDP, EL. In a way, it is a bunch of technologies. When you watch HD films, TV programmes and anything, this monitor shows the best in terms of colour, response and whatever. Even sound quality is better than current thin monitors since this body can integrate bigger speakers than others.

Unfortunately, it might not be a good choice now because CRT displays have got some environmentally unfriendly elements. Firstly it has harmful substances inside when you abandon it, secondly its amount of electric consumption is bigger than new devices. And one of the decisive things for these CRT TV was the change of broadcasting signal. From the year of 2011, analogical broadcasting has finished in Japan, which means that those who don't have digital TVs or any devices that cannot receive digital signals will be ignored. Analogical TVs along with CRT monitors were facing this fate and the TV at my home was not an exception. This was in a way national economical campaign which anybody watching TV was supposed to get involved. Of course those who have got analogical TVs have decided to get rid of them straight away without hesitation and looking back the quality of CRT.

As one of Japanese ideas, throwing away something has been quite common historically. This story is just a small thing about TV however, it seems to me that the fact symbolises the conventional idea even more.

23 December, 2013

My first experience ever - at the Emperror's palace -

23 of December is Emperor of Japan's birthday and simultaneously it's a national holiday. As I have got nothing to do on the day, I have decided to visit the Palace and get involved in the celebration for His Majesty.  

Speeches from the Emperor happens three times in the morning therefore you can't miss it. I got up early in order to get in time at the Palace which is quite close to the Marunouchi area, where west side of Tokyo station.

As soon as got off the station and walked to the palace, there were hundreds of people gathering there including excessive right wings and its cars and foreigners as well. Meanwhile most of participants are elderly Japanese however, various people going to the event interestingly. On the way of the Palace, there were boy scouts distributing the National flags so that participants can wave and celebrate His Majesty's birthday during his speech and then I have got one.

In order to reach the place of the photos above, you have to walk about 10 minutes as the space around the Palace is really large. And there are some gates that you have to pass through, which are securities by the police. The first is for your personal belongings, you can't bring massive bags larger than A3 size with you. Not to mention weapons, knives, any other dangerous things are not allowed. If you have got a bag too big under the regulation, you have to deposit at a secure luggage space offered by the police. The second is body check. Police officers probe through your body and pockets. After this, you can enter the Palace and walk to the top for about three minutes along with a long queue. And again, police officers are literally everywhere. However, you can't normally enter the Palace ordinary days except these sort of events.

At the top of the Palace, there is a massive square and a flat building which is quite long for the sideways. You will see loads of people waiting before you arrive. And then you need to await until His Majesty commences his speech.
Finally His Majesty and the Royal family appears, crowds get stared waving their flag provided earlier. It sounds noisy and you can't see the Royal family because of this. Obviously it's too hard to capture them by a camera.
The event finishes 5 minutes long, a speech from the Emperor is not that long and no speech by other members. That's it all about. And then you leave the Palace soon after this, again along with the queue.

But importantly, this is an annual guaranteed opportunity to have a look at His Majesty, so it must be lucky for those who visit Tokyo from overseas on this particular day.

22 December, 2013

A brief trip to Kyoto 2013

By the way, I went to Kyoto during summer perhaps since the year of 2011. And to be honest, this time was the worst visit ever in my life probably.

The reason I have been to Kyoto this summer was to visit an Italian friend studying Japanese language in a Japanese uni as a foreign student for a year. For me it is absolutely envious to study in Kyoto as it is one of the best cities in Japan. I could have done that or lived once in my life, if possible. The friend is a girl that I have met in Turin in 2012 when I was following the series of rhythmic gymnastics in Italy, during the particular period, I have of course visited many cities in the nation and Turin was one of them. We happened to get to know each other at a pasta take away shop when she was working there. And somehow we had a conversation about her study, which was Japanese literature. She was a uni student Torino university. Although I could not communicate with her properly she has mentioned "Kyoto" whilst our talk. At that time I was not sure she has ever visited in Kyoto or she is supposed to come to Kyoto but the answer was obviously the former one.

This was maybe 8th times for me to visit Kyoto, therefore I have visited many temples that I wanted to come already. That means that I mostly came back there just reunite with her.

The reasons that I have mentioned like above are as follows.
First of all, during 2 days of my visit to Kyoto, it was mostly rainy and annoying. So my feet were really wet all the time.
Secondly, the places I dropped by were not necessarily fun for example Nijo-jo. My old guidebook says that it might take 5 hours but it should be crazy. It doesn't take that long. And again, it was literally rainy.
Thirdly, my expectation towards her was too much. My first impression about her was really good because when I have got acquainted with her, I have felt a sort of destiny. And also I talked with her in Italian as much as possible this time and she has understood what I have spoken, and I thought I made it unlike usual. However, eventually it seemed to me that she had a boyfriend who was studying with her on the same course. Not only that, there were some miscommunication between me and her and it has caused me a long time waiting.

I've got something to note here in order not to forget.
Japanese, English, Italian, I can speak these three language in a practical way, Japanese is my native one though. At that time whilst I was in Kyoto, I mainly spoke with the Italian friend in Italian, and English with her friends, in Japanese when I had a casual lecture for her and her friends. This is ultimately exhaustive. Don't do that. It makes your brain literally dizzy.

And this might be the most significant thing to refer though, don't go study abroad just in order to study its local language. It could be miserable.
The Italian girl seemed to me that she was immature in her linguistic skill to be honest. Her attitudes to me proofed it in a way because she hasn't spoken Japanese almost at all during my visit despite she was studying it. Maybe because she was too shy to implement and I could speak Italian however, it cannot be helped to say "wasting opportunities". And even though Kyoto is a massive sightseeing spot in Japan and relatively friendly for visitors yet there are tons of signs written in Japanese anywhere and it is still hard even for those who studying Japanese. It is understandable that people coming to Japan to study Japanese but you need to live in the nation at the same time, which means that you might be getting in a trouble by chance. In that case, if you can't speak and understand Japanese, obviously you cannot solve it by yourself, even it could be difficult to make precaution if you don't know how everything works locally. I'm sure she was one of those examples. Actually she mentioned that it cost a lot whenever she has withdrawn her money from her bank account in Italy from a cash point in Japan because she hasn't got her Japanese bank account, which seemed to me just ridiculous. If your linguistic ability is not enough, you can still ask friends some help to live locally. I never know in her case at all though.
Living in a country unavoidably means to get to know its culture as well. Food is one of typical things and it's gonna be hard to remain in the country if you refuse local food and keep sticking onto food of your country. Obviously if you dislike for example Marmite, you don't need have it. In the case of the Italian girl, she can't eat fish or fish flavoured stuff. When it comes to Japanese food, there is loads of cuisine along with Dashi flavour, which contains fish savour. Therefore anytime she stared to eat, she sniffed over deeply every single plate. It is OK to do but not beautiful honestly. Yet this is not her fault, it could raise the levels to survive. And from native's point of view, it might be seen that you are unwilling to embrace local food.