Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Flexible working hours, what about lunch time?

At first I am extremely sad that we all are going through the tough and strange times due to COVID-19. Being isolated is not fun at all and many pleasures such as socialising, events and sport games have been taken. We also lost opportunities to get refreshed by going out. Restaurants, cafes and bars are shut mostly in the world, therefore people cannot enjoy fine cuisines or great drinks.

Meanwhile Governments and Society are seeking the new life style and social standards. Here in Japan, we are encouraged to reduce human contacts by 80 per cent to avoid getting infected. Like in the other parts of the world, we are encouraged to work at home when possible and companies are suggested to introduce flexible working hours as well as roster for working at the office.

Commuting on packed trains has been stressful for decades and now produces chanced to get infected. Therefore the Government encourages the public to spread hours to get to work and leave the workplaces. Setting flexible hours is essential. But what I have not heard about is setting flexible lunch times.

Dining under the same roof with many people may cause being infected and therefore restaurants are closed. Even after the disease is settled down, floor plans will be revised and premises will be less patronised. Restaurants and cafes had been packed before the pandemic happened.

Although many employees would work at their homes, those working at the offices would dine at restaurants and cafes. Also companies' cafeterias can be packed. Then to reduce chances of getting infected, why not spreading lunch hours? Flexible working hours would benefit both customers and businesses. Customers will be served their meals faster. Hospitality workers would be less stressed because of dealing fewer tasks at times. And virus will be less infected for everyone.

I suggest the society to introduce flexible lunch times under the rostered flexible working hours.

Stay strong and safe. We will beat COVID-19.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

What are happening with retailers, restaurants and accommodation in Kyoto

Coronavirus hits the economy heavily globally and social distance is required to avoid spreading the virus.

Many shops, restaurants and bars have shorten their business hours or shut down their premises temporarily.

Worst cases were Japanese inns and accommodation having relied on Chinese tourists went bankrupt and had to shut down their businesses.

Several three to five-story accommodation buildings have been established recently around my apartment, and I have seen them closed temporarily. Bed sheets being placed on the lobby table can be seen at one of those premises.

Obviously they targeted inbound tourists. I was not surprised to see such situations.

I had been thinking about what to write for this blog and other platforms to keep me occupied, and then I started wondering what would happen with backpacker’s hostels.

In the last sixteen years, I have been staying at hostels to meet my budgets and because I love meeting new people.

Guests are sleeping on bunk beds in shared rooms for low costs. Strangers are sleeping closely in such premises. But in return, we can establish long-term friendships. I have done and enjoyed the company and keep in touch with great friends.

However with the coronavirus crisis, how can guests keep social distance in bedrooms, I am wondering.

Then I have decided to walk around to keep fit and to see what was going around.

Not surprising, I have seen many notices of shutting down restaurants and bars, and of shorting business hours. Even a butcher closes the shop at 4 pm.

Hiring kimono is popular amongst young Japanese and Asian tourists, and these shops are not exempted. I saw temporary closing notices when I was walking in between Yasaka Shrine and Kiyomizu Temple.


Closed noodle restaurant in the Gion District, Kyoto

Walking down from near the temple to Gion district, I have seen a closing notice of a Japanese inn. It's run by the same chain who owns one of the premises situated around my apartment.

I was not surprised with shutting the accommodation temporarily, but couldn’t believe them placing a noren (a curtain putting on the entrance’s top showing the business is open) even if they are closed.



Closed Japanese Inn at Gion, Kyoto

Then eventually, I got around Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Railway.  With my knowledge of two backpaper’s hostels situated in the area, I started investigating.

Having seen only a few foreigners everyday in the recent days, seeing a sign of the accommodation fully booked at the first backpacker’s was not what I had expected. Why don’t they just inform potential guests that they are temporarily closed?


Are you sure you're fully booked?

Moving onto the next hostel located in the north of the same street, I saw a quiet adjoining bar and expected them closed too. But I haven’t seen any notice and instead a staff wanted advertisement is placed there.

Keep walking, I happened to get to another premise in the North East of the district. They only have information in Japanese placed at the entrance. And any sign of the closure wasn’t found around the accommodation.

Sensing having not got answers, curiously continued and I visited their websites as well as the one of the Japanese Inn.

None of them made any announcement of the temporarily clouser on their websites. Trying to figure out if they are still open or not, I went onto the booking sections.

The Japanese Inn and the second hostel (who has an adjoining bar) had no room available on their websites or online travel agency’s sites.





What Accommodation's websites respond to potential bookings - no room is available tonight

As seen in the news, some hotels are afraid of being avoided to stay after the coronavirus issues are getting steady, as potential guests would doubt staff members and guests would be infected. Then they just inform potential guests that they are fully booked.

I could understand, but integrity is needed, I think. Due to the situations, we would understand the circumstances and not blame the clouser. Honesty is more important to establish better relationships between customers and establishments.

Meanwhile independent chemists in town put notices of unavailability of masks, thermometres and disinfectant. These items have been short stocked and purchased quickly to customers when being put on shelves.


Independent chemist noticing no stocks on some goods

Also city buses are much less patronised these days and running slower. I can’t believe that the major public transport in the city was always running late with high patronised a couple months ago.

On the other hand, some restaurants and cafes attract customers by putting signs that they change the layout of tables in order to keep distances between customers, their staff members are wearing masks, disinfectants are placed and also they are cleaning tables regularly in order to keep hygiene and to reduce infection.


Izakaya appealing customers how they deal with coronavirus

That’s all me reporting what happens with retails and hospitality/tourism in Kyoto. I wish you all the best and stay safe!

Friday, 27 December 2019

Yoshi on online dating - More games than proper process

Match.com, Tinder, Plenty of fish and etc.

Such online dating app/sites are supposed to be created to help singles finding a love.

But the reality of online dating app/sites are more games than proper processes to establish a relationship.

This conclusion is based on my experiences and what I have seen on the Internet.

Users are only those who want a partner: that should be true.

But predators and players are in the league of online dating scene.

In my experiences, I had had good talks with ladies and thought it was time to ask them to meet in person, like:

Me: Are you free on Sunday?

Woman: I am available in the morning on Sunday.

Me: How about having coffee? What time and where shall we meet?

Woman: Where is the best place to meet up?

The woman doesn't answer my question and seems to derail the entire process.

Then it's the game and not the process to establish a relationship.

In the above case, she had told me that she was fine if we dated (she's 20 years junior to me). Then she behaves so weird.

Other experiences were ladies who were supposed to meet me in person didn't turn up - other games.

In my researching, online dating users complain about no existing of chemistry, I found out.

It's extremely hard to detect chemistry from text messages (online communication).

Chemistry occurs from facial expressions, presentations of verbal communications (how s/he talks) and non verbal communications in front of you (like her/his physical contacts).

How can we find chemistry from only text messages? People think what s/he says reflect on her/his personality, characters and attitudes?

As long as people can pretend who they are online, these communications often don't reflect on who they really are.

Then when woman and man meet in person eventually, both of them are disappointed. Because they played games.

In other words, they had played in an online soap opera.

Online dating users are required to be a sales person as they want to attract opposition sex. But as above, it's the part of the game. And to attract more people, they have to mislead public so that opposition sex will buy their product.

Although this sad reality, many people still rely on such services as they think they have the same purpose to be on with others - finding a love.

Even I am single and turn 47 in two months, I won't reply on online dating sites for a love. Even I won't be a member of any Facebook page establish to seek a partner. It's all rubbish for me.

I will meet a woman in person and deepen a friendship both off and online.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Sicking of Selfish Political Leaders

Before Christmas, I felt anger with two Prime Ministers.

F***ing Shinzo Abe (Japan) and Scott Morrison (Australia).

They are both Conservative political parties leaders, but only think themselves. Why do these ***ers do whatever they want and not care their citizens?

The former whom I hate a lot don't provide information about annual cherry blossom party that are held at tax payers' expenses. Opposition parties want to know about participants and selection criteria of them.

C*** only destroy information after he had been asked to provide by opposition parties. Citizens have right to gain access to the information because we fund the party.

His behaviours destroy integrity of politics and organisation. He should resign right now and f***ing Liberal Democracy Party is not eligible to form the Government. My anger goes towards their f***ing Treasure.

The latter went on a holiday when his country faced huge bushfires in New South Wales. Volunteers deal with big fires caused by arsons. They put much efforts with risks of losing their lives.

Why didn't that c*** stay in Australia and help firefighters? He doesn't take responsibilities of Prime Minister.

These w***ers provide liberal (freedom) to only highprofied people and organisations? Not to individuals.

They reduce taxes to companies and individuals are taxed heavily.

And my anger also goes towards people who vote such parties. I never vote f***ing LDP and stop going to elections because my vote never changes the politics.

I am a Labour person.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Talents in music faded?

The Corrs have been my favourite band to listen to since my precious life experience in New Zealand, sadly over a decade ago.

Irish sisters and brother band heals my emotion while listening to their song on YouTube. Breathless, Radio and So Young are on my top mount music list.

One day a comment made on a YouTube video of one of their songs has got my attention. The commentator is worried of music talents gone.

I love their charming voices and music. Andrea was a singing Engle. Her voices are lovely. Absolutely they are talented and no one else performs like the Corrs. I am sad they no longer perform.

In my youth, I have listened to Japanese pops. Western music had not been influenced at the time. But in my late 20s, I started feeling bored on J-pop because I sensed everything was copied each other. Every song was the same, in other words.

I hated such fashion, so listening to Western music was fresh. Songs played on New Zealand radio programmes were new and had distinction. Different types of music made me happy.

Deep sounds and vocals of British music is my preference to American counterparts, although Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce and Maroon 5 were my favourite American singers and band.

Ellie Goulding and Coldplay attract me with their deep voices with thick English accent. I love their songs, endless to say.

But like the comment I have mentioned above, is there any talented musician these days?

Be honest with me, it's hard to list. I sense many American music is going through the path where J-pop has been through for many years.

Maybe people prefer Orthodox? Or musicians don't want to be behind to others due to the social media in the internet generation?

In my opinion, musicians should appeal their product of music uniquely that no one else can do the same. Some audience don't like it, but it doesn't matter. It's better than all of music is the same where everyone approves. If the latter happens, the world would be boring.

Unfortunately I don't fancy music radio any more. It can be because of less talents in music. But the reason can be because I get older so my interests shift from music to talk back (especially in sports and sometimes current affairs).

Please note:

1. Many J-pop sang by girls are too childish, especially by AKB 48, Nogisaka 46, like that. It's too boring and rubbish.

2. Japanese TV and radio are bloody boring for me. No talk back radio is offered in Japan. I much prefer to listen to ABC radio Melbourne.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Integrity of online contents

The Internet brings us convenience and fast services, but integrity of online contents is in doubt although there are trusted sites.

I have been contributing sports stories for the Footy Almanac, Melbourne based sports writing community, for more than four years. It provides true fans’ voices with great perceptions on sports, especially Australian Rules Football. Their success is magnificent and I am proud of being part of the Almanac family.

Opposed to it, dishonest behaviours are found on the internet so often.

Online dating sites are the platform of dishonesty to attract opposite sex. Giving false age is the biggest lie on the site, I believe. Then they could pretend to have good personalities and/or certain occupations.

Sadly many users are misled and start relationships, but end the romance so fast and easily.

Establishing relationships without seeing chemistry is blamed to such endings. The worst case is married people register and cheat on their partners.

Providers are less keen to inspect such inappropriate behaviours because of fears of losing profit due to decreasing number of clients and increasing cost of hiring more people to do such tasks, I heard.

I would urge them to take issues seriously, but unfortunately it seems users’ responsibilities to detect dishonesty.

However there are people who are bad at seeing distinct between honest people and others. I am one of them and admit I am not a good user of online dating sites.

Online feedback of any products can be misleading. Several years ago, I read an article on the West Australian newspaper’s website about commenting on restaurants’ services. The paper made a point that such comments were made to get discounted meals for the next dining by pretending to get bad customer services. Such dishonest people ruin the business and they might be jealous on success of the business.

The internet provides us freedom of the speech and everyone can create their blogs. That’s why I am writing here! It’s good.

But unlikely to printed contents, online contents can be published without editors’ inspections. Then writers can write whatever they want, even false facts.

Already having mentioned, it’s hard for me to detect dishonesty, I am not sure if I can trust any product/service or not.

Even some businesses are misleading on the Internet. It’s been reported that an online travel agency misled clients on room availabilities of hotels and travellers found out the booking not existed on their arrival and had no alternative accommodation.

Even the website provided false pictures and room types of the accommodation.

Then victims have criticised hotels not providing rooms that they were supposed to book.

I feel empathy to hotels for such dishonesty and troubles caused by misleading.

In my point, users should have contacted the hotels before their arrival to confirm their booking existing or not. In any case no booking has been found, they should complain the OTA.

From my past experiences, I do not trust OTA because of their bad customer services and their policy. I urge travellers to book their accommodation through their website directly.

It applies to airline, indeed. When I flew to Melbourne last year and in July this year, I booked flights directly on Qantas’ website.

We might need to take more responsibilities of trusting online contents.


Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Yoshi's Typhoon Jebi Story

Wednesday, 5 September 2018


On Tuesday, a massive typhoon hit the west Japan and left big messes in the region.

Today, I write what I have seen and experienced here.

It had been said that the typhoon was moving so fast, as fast as cars and motorbikes travelling on the ordinary highway. The weather would change rapidly.

Waking up before 5 am on Tuesday, it was normal. After sun rose, it broke clouds and even sunshine dominated the sky. It would be hard to see the typhoon was heading here, like me unable to imagine it would be raining in the evening on my first day at my second holiday in Melbourne back in July.

As usual, I practised footy (Aussie Rules) at Umekoji Park in Kyoto that morning.

It would not happen in the morning when typhoon would hit around midday...

But the wind got getting stronger at the end of my footy practice.

No rain was still falling around 10 am when I got to work.

It started raining around midday, bit later than the weather forecast. Wind was getting much stronger and it went wild at 1ish.

Objects flew outside. I saw a cone flying from somewhere and sensed the typhoon was hitting Kyoto hard.

Winds yelled loud and hit the wall of my workplace. Custmors and colleagues were scared.

Chochin, the oval Japanese Lantern sign, and noren, the Japanese overhead streamer, were flown out. We didn't lose, but had to put inside to avoid damaging the property.

Over 2:30 pm, power has been cut four or five times for a minute or two each time. A supervisor has cobtacted a chain manager discussing the operation, and before 2:50pm, he instructed us to close the restaurant temporary due to occasional power cut.

We all thought we should end the day due to further potential damage.

No power cut has occurred since then and the chain manager decided to go back on operation at 3:30 pm.

As not many people were walking on the main street our restaurant is situated. As people were advised not to go out unless they had urgent issues, who would dine with us? And many establishments were closed because of cancelled trains and the wild weather. My thought came up that we would only spend money rather than gaining profits.

It stopped raining in the evening and the wind was calmed down too. We were nearly back to normal at night.

Finally the long day ended just before 11 pm. I was tired mentally more than physically.

My colleague was worried of having no power at her home and what she should do if so. I said, it would be alright.

On my way to home, I dropped by at a convenience store for snacks and alcohol drink. I never thought power cut at my apartment.

Walking along the small river to get to home, I found blackout on the street. My fears came up - my apartment would have no power.

I tried to play down, but saw no light was on surrounding homes either.

Before arriving at home, I saw someone riding a bike. I asked her if her house had no power or not. Unfortunately she faced power cut too. She had been to her friend's house to have a bath, and wasn't worried about power cut as she was about to go to bed.

I had drinks and foods without power and used a torch with my iPhone.

The brand new day arrived without power and I started a day with cold shower. Given up having toasts and coffee. No toasted bread and sparkling water were my breakfast. But it was still good to have a meal. Around 5,000 people were stuck at Kansai Airport because it was flooded so no airplane was able to fly out and the connecting bridge to the mainland was damaged (the airport is in a man made island), and foods were running out.

I went to Starbucks in Gion afterwards to charge my iPhone. While charging the phone, I watched the E J Whitten Legends game (replay).

On the way there, I saw some messes on the river side street. Here are some photos.


Flew over garage


Flew over roof top


Fallen trees

It was hot outside so I have decided not to have a lunch at home without air-conditioning. Then I went home and found the power was restored.

Now I can cook rice as usual and wash my clothes too. I had had to go to a coin operated laundry so planned to cut off numbers of footy practices. But now I can do as many as I want!

My life is almost back as usual, thanks!