There are some things that travellers think they are prepared for, only to find that the guidebook said nothing about it. In this case, it’s that Tokyo is made of stairs. Well, mainly the subway public transport system; and not just Tokyo, but also Nagoya and Osaka too. As you will quickly realise on your first day here, it is tiring. Your feet may be sore, and your leg muscles worn, and you have quickly faded at the end of the day.
Before you come to Japan, I strongly, strongly urge you to do a lot more walking as a part of your preparation. If you can use a stair machine, do. Sure, there are escalators and elevators, but stairs are the mainstay. Elevators are few and far between. Even though there is at least one elevator per station, these are impossible to find, or are very inconveniently located. So, if you’re carrying heavy suitcases, have a pram, or in a wheelchair, you will have troubles; so leave earlier than most people would. However, you will have a great time here. Bring high energy snacks to help you get about the place, but you will be a lot fitter for having lived or been here.
This Photo of the Week is of a great model I recently worked with, Eri in Tokyo. Every once in a while I take a photo that seems special; this is that photo. The interaction of the interior light and the outside light, the reflection; and importantly the model’s own talent. I’m very grateful for her talent, assistance, and the patience of the taxi driver who helped with this shoot.
Both Japanese Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) ground their fleet of 787s because yet another electrical problem, this time a battery fire (BBC, Japan Today). According to NHK, evacuation caused some passengers injuries whilst using the deployed inflatable chutes. Since most aircraft use hydraulics, but the 787 uses electrics and manufactured by a multitude of companies, the compatibility of the electrical system may be the underlying cause of on-going problems. One Japanese industry analyst, on NHK news, described the 787 as an “electrical monster”, because of its heavy reliance on electricity.
The Sasago tunnel collapse has triggered many questions that were not taken seriously until now. It was known that much of the transport infrastructure of Japan was built during the post-war period of rapid rebuilding and economic expansion, including the 35 year old Sasago tunnel. Consequently, there are many highways, bridges, and such that are aging and deteriorating (Japan Today). A current hypothesis is that the 16mm bolts that are drilled 13cm into the concrete, which support the one tonne ceiling panels may have deteriorated. The manufacturer said that their testing sees that the bolts may have had a life expectancy of about 30 years, but ‘should’ last about 50 years. However, no questions were asked about the maximum weight these bolts were expected to support.
Since it’s also national election season, inevitably politicians have started to claim that they have been calling for investment into infrastructure maintenance and updates.
Cars lined up at traffic lights by road works, under an overhead express way, Nagoya, Japan
…is an division of the Virgin airlines group owned by Richard Branson. Virgin Blue services mainly domestic Australia and has international services between Australia and New Zealand. In ten years, Virgin Blue has come to rival Qantas Domestic and has the possibility to displace Qantas.