Example of lean thinking in Japan's railway ticket gates

Why are Japan’s ticket barriers always open in railway stations?

It’s true that on Japan’s railway network and especially in major cities, the ticket barriers are always open. But try to go through without buying a ticket and you could be in for a nasty shock! The ticket barriers are designed to only close if someone attempts to pass through without having already presented a valid ticket (a paper ticket,…

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how to get a job in japan

How to get a job in Japan as an expat

If you’ve been to Japan and fallen in love with the place, you may be thinking, “how can I stay here longer, for six months, a year, or even longer?”. Japan isn’t the easiest country to emigrate to. The immigrant population is tiny relative to other countries like the US, Australia, UK or Germany, and there is not a shortage…

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Beautiful videos of Japan on YouTube – roundup

Here are some of our favourite videos of Japanese scenery from YouTube, available also in 4K/UHD

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Is it safe to eat raw egg sauce in Japan?

Many dishes in Japan, especially Sukiyaki (a hotpot of meat and vegetables) and Donburi (meat on rice), are meant to be eaten with a ‘golden egg sauce’ – but egg sauce is basically a raw egg, or sometimes just the raw yolk of an egg, slightly beaten. Sometimes it may have lemon juice or soy mixed in with it. But since…

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kyoto day trip 24 hours guide kiyomizu dera temple

One day in Kyoto trip guide

Kyoto might not be as big a city as Tokyo but there’s still more to see that can easily fit into one day. It is possible however, if you catch an early enough bullet train from Tokyo (before 7AM at the latest), to see many highlights of Kyoto if you really only have time for one day there. Arriving by about…

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Make your own McDonald’s Melon Ice Cream Soda at home

This is a McDonald’s melon ice cream soda from Japan. Common throughout Asia, McDonald’s offer a Coke variant as well, while in other regions like Singapore, you can get a ‘McFizz’ ice cream soda, made with Sprite mixed with fruit cordial to provide other flavours. In the case of Japan, it’s a Fanta Melon soda, melon being a popular soda…

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Ride the Tube in London and get twice as many competition entries in Android Pay promotion

To encourage take up of their newly launched Android Pay system, that lets you use your NFC enabled Android phone in place of your Oyster card or contactless bank card, Google are running their shop.tap.reward promotion throughout December in the UK that offers a chance to win a gift voucher up to £500 or cinema tickets at a number of UK…

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kyoto to tokyo

Kyoto to Tokyo and back again – the cheapest, fastest way to travel

The Japanese bullet train, or Shinkansen, is probably the best way to travel around Japan – fast, comfortable, smooth and reliable. But unfortunately also, expensive. Return journeys between major cities can cost more than US $400. Single trips can cost more than $200. About 20 years ago, foreign tourists used to be able to buy heavily discounted Shinkansen rail pass,…

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Great article on Japanese convenience stores at nippon.com

Live in Japan, or indeed anywhere in east asia, and you quickly become reliant on the ubiquitous convenience stores (or konbini in Japanese) of 7-11, FamilyMart and Lawson, not least because of their wonderful egg sandwiches and other ready to eat snacks. Over at nippon.com they have a detailed report on the origin of these nourishment-giving centres of excellence, check…

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lighting moon mobile phone shop singapore

Best place to buy latest mobile phones SIM free in Singapore

Shopping in Singapore can be a bit hit or miss. Many items can be found a lot cheaper in cities like London or Hong Kong. But if you know where to look there are definitely bargains to be had on certain kinds of items (but not cameras. NEVER BUY A CAMERA IN SINGAPORE!). There’s one place however where you can…

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