Thursday, October 23, 2008

Its My Last Night

Saddened these last few days that I have to return to the U.S. I didn't want to leave behind such nice friends who have been so kind and accommodating to me. I really felt at home here in Japan. "If I could take them back with me to Los Angeles..." I could only wish. Its been a wonderful 54 days. So we all got together in an Izakaya. Back to where it all started when I met my first friend Yohko. We ordered those interesting foods and shared each one picking them with our chopsticks. And shared our experiences, memories, laughed and took pictures. And talked about my return to Japan or their visit to L.A. if they could get the chance. I promised them I would give them as great experience as mine was.
From Japan
To all of them and all you readers, I wish to say, "Domo arigato gozaimatsu." It seems that two different worlds met, mine and theirs, and now It feels like it has been dramatically altered forever. When I see my friends back in L.A. again, I will probably be telling them my stories of Japan again and again for many years to come. Good bye, Japan and beautiful friends. On this last night you made my wish come true and came to see me. (The others who couldn't make it, it's OK, I'll miss you all too.) To my cousin Jorence, thank you, I hope we will have many more fun times in the years to come. To my cousin Hans: Please take care of yourself and don't work to hard. I am very grateful to you and your hospitality. I hope you stay healthy and strong. I will never forget the fun times we've had. God bless all you you.

Toshiba Hospital

I managed to get a tour of Toshiba Hospital by a friend who works for Toshiba Corporation. Apparently, Toshiba has its own hospital that also caters to its employees as well as the general public. In fact most companies in Japan have such an arrangement. Even Kikomann Soy Sauce Corporation has its own Hospital and it says "Kikomann" on it. Toshiba Hospital runs on Toshiba products. Everything! Even the elevators is Toshiba.
From Japan

I looked around and its similar to U.S. hospitals. I took careful attention to the nurse's station, in case I want to work in Japan someday. Well at 8pm the hospital is empty of nurses. I wondered where they are. Usually nurses would still be busy at this time doing medications, charting, and double checking orders.
In Japan, they work 8 hour shifts (8-16, 16-24, 24-8). I wouldn't be happy with that schedule, 12 hour shifts is where the money and the free time is.
My friend says because of the laptops that she noticed, Its more likely they don't do a lot of charting either. And the patient charts maybe on the server instead of the books that American Hospitals still use.
From Japan

Its a nice hospital, but the shifts are the deal breaker for me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

News Flash: Japan's Nav Sys Kicks Butt!!!

I rode in my friends car last night. Her GPS system is nothing like I've ever seen before. And she drives a Toyota Yaris! She has features on it like it was a Lexus. And it was all Original Toyota! Not after market.
From Japan
Here are the features I saw and the ones she showed me.
*Slow traffic notifier and also calculates it into the travel time.
*In this city of tall buildings, its still pretty accurate. Right up to the moment of the turn.
*It tells her exactly which lane to take, ie. take the 3rd lane from the middle to turn left because she needs to be on the right side of the road for the next turn.
*It shows here a pop up window of the turn coming up if she needs to take to ramp going up or the ramp going down with arrows pointing to the direction.
*It comes with a back up camera and sensors that detect her parking alignment to the painted parking dividers.

Something has to be wrong if she is driving a state of the art Yaris and in the U.S., I've never heard of anything like these features in a car let alone a Yaris!

An Evening Drive (Golf)

I've tried a lot of things in Japan, so how about golf? Well I couldn't afford the green fees so the next best thing is to hit the driving range... at the biggest driving range in Tokyo! The Lotte Kasai Golf Range. Three decks high and just over 250 yards far. Its automated. It tees up a ball automatically and adjustable height too. For the amount of 3600 yen, I get a card worth 136 ball at the upper deck and two golf clubs of choice.
From Japan
It was well lit and beautiful astro turf greens. One cool thing is when the balls are recovered the flags fall horizontally and sweep the balls off the greens and into the gutters. Then balls roll back to the collection point and the flags prop back up. Toshie tried it too. Not too bad for her first time at golf.
From Japan