Tag Archives: England

Police Box

4 Sep

Are there “police boxes” in your country?

I have never seen a police box in America.  I don’t think that there are any there.
But, thanks to the internet, I’ve learned that the UK has them.

A police box in England. Quite different from Japan's 交番 (police boxes)!

A police box in England. Quite different from Japan’s 交番 (police boxes)!

The police boxes in England, according to what I read, are very small and simple. Just a phone that people can use to contact a “real” police station, and a small desk and a first-aid kit.
They aren’t manned by a police officer…just a way for people to contact the police before cell-phones became an item carried by everyone.

These are very different from the 交番 (police boxes (called “Ko-ban” in Japanese)) in Japan!

That particular police box in eastern Tokyo has actually become semi-famous because of a popular manga / anime.

That particular police box in eastern Tokyo has actually become semi-famous because of a popular manga / anime.

In Japan, 交番 (police boxes) are an important and helpful part of every neighborhood in Japan.  They can be seen all around Japan…especially near train stations and many major intersections.  But there are also 交番 (police boxes) at many seemingly random places too.

Unlike the ones in Europe, Japanese 交番 (police boxes) are always staffed by at least one police officer (busy areas have bigger police boxes with more officers) at all times of day and night.
The officers stationed at them make periodic patrols around the neighborhood…so small 交番 (police boxes) that only have one officer will be unmanned during those brief periods – but there will be a sign in the window that says 「パトロール中です。」 (“On patrol“).

交番 (police boxes) in Japan are probably most commonly used by the public for asking for directions. This is no problem. If you’re lost while in Japan, you can go into a 交番 (police box) and ask for directions. The officers stationed there are very knowledgeable about the neighborhood and it’s part of their duties to help people find their way.
Other helpful services provided by 交番 (police boxes) include: “Lost and Found” … if you find some misplaced property (train pass, keys, wallet, cell-phone, etc) or if you’ve lost something, go to a 交番 (police boxes) for help.
Also, of course, they are police officers, so crimes or other emergencies can be reported there.

There are some koban in Japan that are designed to resemble an owl.

Ikebukuro, Tokyo has a 'koban' that looks like an owl because of a play-on-words in Japanese.

Ikebukuro, Tokyo has a ‘koban’ that looks like an owl because of a play-on-words in Japanese (Ikebukuro doesn’t mean “owl”, but the name sounds like some type of an owl in Japanese).

A koban near Chiba train station looks like an owl, too. It's eye light up at night.

A koban near Chiba train station looks like an owl, too. It’s eye light up at night.

A koban in Shibuya, Tokyo looks like an owl, too.

A koban in Shibuya, Tokyo looks like an owl, too.

Please, by all means, leave a comment in this post and tell about your impressions / experiences with police boxes in Japan and/or other countries!

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Women’s World Cup

6 Jul

The final match of the 2015 Women’s Soccer World Cup was played today.

It was Japan vs USA.

The USA won, so they are the 2015 Women’s World Cup champions!
Japan got silver (2nd place), and England won third place!

2015 Womens World Cup medal standings

おめでとうございます!(Congratulations!)

Coincidentally, in the previous Women’s World Cup (in 2011), the final match was played between Japan and America then too. Japan won that time.

America has a strong women’s soccer team. They currently hold the record for the most World Cup champions (three times), and they’re the only team that have been in the top three in every World Cup since the first one in 1991!

Summer Olympics 2012…so far

30 Jul

Everyone, I’m sure, knows that the 2012 Summer Olympics are underway…and that they games are being hosted by London.

Have you watched the opening ceremonies?
Did you see “James Bond” escort the Queen of England to the games by helicopter…and “the Queen” parachuted in?
And Mr. Bean playing with the orchestra? David Beckham driving a speed boat? And the “legend” himself, Muhammad Ali?

It was a pretty good opening ceremony. I enjoyed watching it (on television…I’ve never seen an Olympics event “in person”. The closest that I came was when my wife and I took the 新幹線 (bullet train) to 長野 (Nagano, Japan) in 1998 to see the “Olympic city” atmosphere).

Anyways, are you watching any of the games?
Which events do you like best?

Last night, I watched Japan “almost” get gold in men’s judo…but lost to Georgia.

So far, the top three countries with medals won are China, America, and Italy.

Japan is currently in 15th place.

Arigato in London

12 Jul

To show gratitude to the people of many countries around the world for supporting and helping Japan in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake in Sendai of 2011 March 11, Japan will host a special event in London, England that will be called “Arigato in London“.

This event will feature many aspects of Japanese culture including photos and a movie of the Earthquake affected area that will also include many Japanese children expressing thanks to people around the world, Japanese food, beer and 日本酒 (Japanese sake alcohol), Japanese tradional games and traditional arts and music.

To allow many people from many different countries to attend, this event will be held in London from 2012 July 28 until August 11 to coincide with the Olympics that London will be hosting then.

Click here to visit the “Arigato in London” website.

I Love Rock And Roll

19 Jul

Do you know the song “I Love Rock And Roll“? If you do, in fact, love rock and roll then I’m sure you know this song well. “I Love Rock And Roll” has been covered by many artists since it’s original release 36 years ago (I can’t believe it’s already been that many years!)…but do you know who wrote and recorded it originally? It’s quite likely you guessed it was Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

But, although her version reached the #1 spot on the U.S. music charts, Joan Jett’s version of the song is a remake. She isn’t the original artist. It was Alan Merrill with his band (at the time) The Arrows who wrote and originally recorded the rock masterpiece “I Love Rock And Roll”.

Alan Merrill in 2011.

Alan Merrill is American and currently lives in his home state of New York…but he has lived in both England and Japan for a number of years…and reached celebrity status in both countries. Mr. Merrill was kind enough to do an excellent and interesting interview with me.

Click here to read his interview with me (and then come back and leave a comment on this post with your opinion of the interview).

My favorite country in the world is Japan.

Alan Merrill

(My interview with Alan Merrill: www3.ocn.ne.jp/~tokyo5/interviews.html#merrill.)

Towers around the world to be illuminated for Japan

4 Apr

Towers and skyscrapers around the world will be illuminated in white and red to show their country’s support for Japan’s recovery from the disaster of 2011 March 11.

At sunset tonight (Monday, 2011 April 4) in each country’s local time, the Empire State Building in New York City, America, the Sky Tower in New Zealand, the Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower in Malayasia, the North Tower in South Korea, the CN Tower in Canada, the Macau Tower in China, the John Hancock Observatory in America and the Spinnaker Tower in England will all be lit up in the colors of the Japanese flag.

the Empire State Building in NYC, America illuminated in the colors of Japan's flag.

Do you live near any of these towers? Did you know they will be illuminated in white and red for Japan today?

World’s largest Pokemon collection

25 Jan

A 21-year old English woman named Lisa Courtney has recently been entered into the Guiness Book Of World Records for the “World’s Largest Pokemon Collection”.

「ポケモン」 (Pokemon) is a Japanese abbreviation for 「ポケットモンスター」 (Pocket Monster).
It’s a Japanese franchise of characters used in cartoons, movies, comics, games and toys.

Lisa Courtney said that she was severally bullied in school due to a physical handicap and she began collecting Pokemon toys since she was about eight years old to cope with the bullying.

In the thirteen years that she has been collecting, she has acquired over 13,000 Pokemon items…which qualified her for the world record.

Lisa Courtney and her huge Pokemon collection

She has even been to Japan a few times and bought some “only-in-Japan” Pokemon items. She said that she plans to come to Japan for another visit sometime this year.

I think 13,000 toys is too much personally…but it’s her hobby and it helped her feel better from being bullied (which, by the way, is unbelievable that a child would get bullied because of a handicap!).

When she visits Japan this year, she should order the “Kids Pokemon pizza” from Dominos Pizza in Japan.