Posts Tagged ‘News’

One benefit of working in the Japanese Car-industry is that you get to see a lot of very nice cars. Right now for example Tokyo hosts a massive Motor Show, with many new cars from Japan and the world. So my boss gave me a ticket and the day off in order to “educate myself about the newest trends”. And since most of you probably won’t have the chance to see the Tokyo Motor Show yourself, I thought I share some of my impressions with you.

Die Arbeit in der japanischen Autoindustrie hat den Vorteil, dass man eine Menge wunderschöner Autos zu sehen bekommt. Im Moment ist Tokyo zum Beispiel Schauplatz einer riesigen Motorshow, mit vielen neuen Autos von Japan und der ganzen Welt. Aus diesem Grund gab mir mein Chef ein Ticket und den Tag frei „um mich über die neuesten Trends weiterzubilden“. Und da die meisten von euch wahrscheinlich keine Chance haben selbst zur Tokyo Motor Show zu gehen, dachte ich mir, dass ich einige meiner Impressionen mit euch teile.

I saw old cars, new cars, big cars and super tiny cars; family cars, transporter cars, sport cars, racing cars; cars running on fuel and millions of electric cars; many Japanese cars and lots of German cars (French cars too, but hey who cares, they are French); cars in every possible colour, shape and even material (one had a skin made of Jeans),  cars standing still, spinning around and even cars hanging from the walls; cars that looked like Motorbikes, Motorbikes that looked like cars, toys in the shape of cars and cars in the shape of toys; and on top of that all lots of sexy girls(Believe me even a booth advertising tires became super crowded once a cute little Japanese model was standing next to them.) So yeah; all in all the perfect place for grown up boys!

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Japan is a weird country, in many ways! So far I had about a thousand moments when I thought: “Really?? Only in Japan!!” There are however also a few strange things that actually make sense and where other countries could learn from Japan. Here are my top 10!

Japan ist ein seltsames Land, in vielerlei Hinsicht! Ich hab bis jetzt schon mehrere Tausenmal einen Moment erlebt bei dem ich mir dachte: “Wirklich?? Das gibt’s nur in Japan!!” Es gibt aber auch ein paar seltsame Dinge, die tatsächlich Sinn ergeben und bei denen andere Länder noch was lernen können. Hier sind meine Top 10!

1. Masks

Japanese are infamous for their daily use of face masks. No place or situation is safe of them (not even the own wedding). However it makes actually sense to wear these masks! Pollution, viruses and allergies; from a medical point of view the mask are a brilliant tool to protect oneself and his follow citizen.

Japaner sind für die tägliche Benutzung von Gesichtsmasken weltweit bekannt. Es gibt keinen Ort oder Situation (nicht einmal die eigene Hochzeit) an dem man vor ihnen sicher wäre. Es macht jedoch auch Sinn sie zu tragen. Umweltverschmutzung, Viren und Allergien; aus medizinischer Sicht sind die Masken ein geniales Mittel sich und seine Mitmenschen zu schützen.

2. Music at Train stations

In Tokyo every big station has its very own song that is played when a train arrives. Sounds weird, but it is a brilliant way to recognize your own station if you are napping at the train. It takes some time to get used to but it actually works.

In Tokio hat jede große Station ihr ganz eigenes Lied, welches abgespielt wird, sobald ein Zug einfährt. Klingt verrückt, aber es ist eine brilliante Methode um die eigene Station wiederzuerkennen, wenn man sich im Zug im Halbschlaf befindet. 

3. Explaining Pictures

That Japan is the unchallenged Master of graphics is a fact since the global emergence of Pokemon and Mangas. Japanese use pictures however also in every part of daily life. Explaining the emergency exit, the usage of a microwave or the national retirements system; all is supported by cute little pictures . Sometimes a bit childish but a brilliant way to understand and remember crucial information (especially for me as a foreigner)

Japan ist der unumstrittende Meister von Grafiken seit dem Aufstieg von Pokemon und Mangas. Japaner benutzen jedoch Grafiken und Bilder auch in jeder Facette des täglichen Lebens. Ob nun der Notausgang, die Benutzung der Mikrowelle oder das nationale Rentensystem erklärt wird, alles geschieht mit süßen kleinen Bilder. Klingt kindisch ist aber ein genialer Weg um alle wichtigen Information zu verstehen und nicht zu vergessen (besonders für mich als Ausländer). (more…)

Tokyo will hold the Olympic Games in 2020! Just the night before the decision was announce, I was taking some shots of the Tokyo Tower. The wonderful thing about the Tokyo Tower is that it often changes its lightning according to special occasion. For the 2020 Games the building presented itself in the following colours:

I started my journey at Limbo, the midpoint between two different worlds, the dividing line between my past live and an unknown future… or in my case the Berlin Airport. 30 minutes ago I was still in my own house, surrounded by people that speak my language, understand my habits and culture. That is all gone now. I am at the one place that no one really wants to stay long at, unless he is hiding from the NSA, and I know as soon as I board the plane there is no turning back: A new life awaits me…

Ich begann meine Reise im Limbo, dem Mittelpunk zwischen zwei unterschiedlichen Welten, die feine Line zwischen meinem bereits gelebten Leben und einer unbekannten Zukunft… oder in meinem Fall der Flughafen Berlin Tegel. Vor 30 Minuten war ich noch in meinem eigenen Haus, umgeben von Menschen, die meine Sprache, Gewohnheiten und Kultur verstehen konnten. Das ist nun alles Vergangenheit. Ich bin an den einen Ort angekommen, an dem eigentlich niemand so recht lange bleiben möchte, es sei denn er versteckt sich vor der NSA, und ich weiß sobald ich in das Flugzeug steige gibt es kein Zurück mehr: Ein neues Leben erwartet mich…

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Ueno at night

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Being able to work in Japan as a foreigner can be a long and nerve-racking process! There are many different websites and blogs (further down is a list of useful sites) on how to get a Job in Japan, but I have the feeling that around 90% of these sites only talk about teaching positions. What about NON-teaching jobs? What kinds of jobs are there? How can I apply for a job in Japan? What skills do I need to bring? I am certainly not able to answer all the questions regarding Job-hunting in Japan. However what I can do is to share my own experience in the field of Shuukatsu (就活, Japanese job hunting) and how I got a workplace there. If you really want to work in Japan you have to keep the 6 P’s in mind!

Have a PLAN

Just as with every kind of job hunting it is important to have a plan. The most important question you have to ask yourself apart of “Do I really want to work in Japan?” is “When do I want to start?” If you want apply for teaching positions with the JET it is often enough if you ‘only’ apply 9-6 months in advance. However if you are looking for a non-teaching Job in a Company the application period becomes usually much longer. Japanese people tend to start applying for jobs 2 years in advance. I myself got my job offer a year in advance. That does not mean that you cannot apply later, but the earlier the start the better! Most companies have also only one date during the year when they welcome all their new employees (usually in April). So it is important for you to keep in mind for what year and period you will apply for. This however can be also negotiable. My company allowed me to join them 4 months later then everybody else, but again that was an exception rather than the rule of Japanese companies.

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Globalisation is seen to have a huge impact on cities all around the world. Especially so called Mega or Global Cities becoming more and more similar to each other. Advancement in technology and the global spread of ideas and architects have lead to the phenomena that similar forms, shapes and eventually buildings can be found in different places all around the world. City planners are confronted with an increasing homogenisation of architecture resulting in a lack of individual identity of these Global Cities. In order to prevent the loss of identity and to even promote the uniqueness of a City ‘Landmarks’ are gaining more and more importance for architects, places and people.

Historically a Landmark describes a geographical feature, that helps people to navigate through a particular territory. By identifying and relating the specific geographic feature to a place they know, they associate certain memories to it. These days the term Landmark is usually used to describe a specific architecture or building that people can easily relate to a certain place or city. These buildings are therefore linked to a certain memory or image that people have about a place. They represent the identity and sometimes even the values of the place and its people. The Statue of Liberty in New York, as such a Landmark, represents not only an extraordinary piece of architecture or aesthetic but it deeply incorporates the main idea and values of people from New York and the US as a whole. Having the same Landmark in Las Vegas or Odaiba can therefore not have the same effect, since these places are associated with different values and ideas. Landmark, incorporating the identity of places and people, can become more than just sole architecture, they become the icon and the symbol of the nation.

Also Tokyo/Japan has created a new Landmark, which is suppose the have a huge importance for the region. The new Landmark, The Sky Tree has three main purposes. The underlying reason why the tower was build is the transmission of digital terrestrial broadcasting. Since buildings in Tokyo, in particular Skyscrapers are getting increasingly higher every year the old Tokyo Tower has become to small to effectively send a broadcasting signal to every household. Six Japanese broadcasting Companies therefore joined forces and planned to build a higher tower: The Tokyo Sky Tree.

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East Asia is a very spiritual region. No matter where you go you can always find a little temple, an antique shrine or an interesting church. All the different religions often peacefully coexist along side each other, creating a whole new way of thinking and believing. In Japan people tend to say “Japanese are born as Shintos, marry as Christians and die as Buddhist!” I believe that exactly this kind of thinking, where people are free to choose from a variety of ideas, rather than following ‘the one and only path’ can help us to become better humans. This article however is not about Religion but about the most stunning Temples and Churches in East Asia. I am pretty sure, that everybody, no matter if religious or not can appreciate the beauty of these amazing buildings.

Ostasien ist eine sehr spirituelle Region. Egal wo man hingeht, überall findet man kleine Tempel, antike Schreine und interessante Kirchen. All diese unterschiedlichen Religionen existieren meist friedlich neben einander, was einen völlig neuen Weg des Denkens und des Glaubens kreiert. In Japan neigt man zum Beispiel zu sagen: “Japaner werden als Shintoisten geboren, heiraten als Christen und sterben als Buddhisten!” Ich glaube, dass genau diese Denkensweise, in der Menschen von einer Vielzahl an Ideen frei wählen können, anstatt  nur dem ‘einen richtigen Weg’ zu folgen, uns helfen kann bessere Menschen zu werden. Der Artikel ist jedoch nicht über Religion sondern über die atemberaubensten Tempel und Kirchen in Ostasien. Ich bin mir ganz sicher, dass Jeder, egal ob nun religiös oder auch nicht, die Schönheit dieser bewundernswerten Gebäude zu würdigen weiß. 

Thailand: Country of a million golden Buddha

In Thailand Buddha is everywere! And not just one or two but a whole army of lying, sitting, standing, sleeping, eating and meditating Buddhas. No matter what form, size or position Buddha got them all.

In Thailand ist Buddah überall. Und nicht nur ein oder zwei, sondern eine ganze Armee von liegenden, sitzenden, stehenden, schalfenden, essenden und meditierenden Buddhas. Egal in welcher Form, Größe oder Position, Buddha hat sie alle!

Colourful Taiwan

Taiwan is an explosion of the senses. So many colours, so many incense and so many people. Here the religion is truly alive!

Taiwan ist eine Explosion der Sinne. So viele Farben, so viele Räucherstäbchen und so vieleMenschen. Hier ist die Religion wahrlich am Leben.

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