Monday, February 05, 2007

A new COSTCO store scheduled to open in Saitama

Hooray! A new COSTCO store is scheduled to open in Iruma City, Saitama next Spring! I don’t know how convenient it is to go there from Tsukuba, but at least we can hope that the new store will ease the congestion at the Makuhari location.

*** COSTCO Iruma ****

- 3169 Miyadera* Aza, Iruma City, Saitama
(near Kenou Express Highway Iruma Exit)
*I'm not sure if this is the right way to read "宮寺"
**It is Miyadera, not Miyatera. Thanks Shaney!

- This Costco will be in the outlet mall tentatively called “Iruma Outlet Park

- The construction will start at the end of March this year, and is scheduled to be done next Spring


Here’s an article about it : NIKKEI NET (Japanese), and
Mitsui Fudosan’s Press release

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

ESA and JAXA Satellites ‘Talk’ to Each Other

From the European Space Agency

ESA’s Envisat satellite and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) data relay test satellite Kodama have successfully completed an interoperability test demonstrating that scientific data from Envisat can be transmitted to Kodama and from there transmitted to the Japanese ground receiving station in Tsukuba.

Read the full article

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Tsukuba in the News

Shaping our future along with robots

Yoshiyuki Sankai is a professor of engineering at Tsukuba University in Ibaraki Prefecture and a front-runner in the field of "cybernics," which combines robotics with a wide array of academic disciplines, including neurology, information technology, behavioral science and psychology. Now aged 48, he is most famous for developing HAL, a "robot suit" that moves with its wearer by detecting the subtle electrical changes in muscles as they move. HAL, which stands for "hybrid assistive limb," can help wearers to perform tasks they would not normally be capable of, such as lifting 180 kg on a leg-press machine, or assist those with disabilities in numerous ways.

Ministry Web site to put child safety first

In cooperation with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, a Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture-based research institute that examines accidents involving children, medical and engineering researchers will analyze children's physiology and behavioral tendencies to determine how accidents occur and then propose preventive measures to the government.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

NPOs Devise Business Model to Revitalize Lake Kasumigaura

A business project involving ecological intervention is in progress under an agreement concluded in October 2004 by two nonprofit organizations and an agricultural company. The purpose of the project is to purify the water and preserve the ecosystem surrounding Lake Kasumigaura in Ibaraki, Japan.

Read the full article: Japan for Sustainability

Subscribe to the Japan for Sustainability newsletters

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Monday, December 18, 2006

December 2006 Alien Times Online

The December 2006 edition of Alien Times is now online.
Alien Times is an English newsletter that has been published in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan since 1987. It has been online at http://www.alientimes.org since 2002. All of our writers and staff are volunteers.

More about Alien Times

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts opens today

The first Krispy Kreme Doughnuts shop opens (actually just about now) in Shinjuku today! It's located in Shinjuku Southern Terrace, which is just outside of the Shinjuku Station's south exit. I think this will be a nice to place to stop by before or after you go to Kinokuniya Bookstores :-)

Man, I hope Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will come to Tsukuba in the near future!

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Long Living Tsukubans

In Japan, there is a special celebration for people who turn 88 years old. It is called "beiju" (米寿) and it is made up of the characters for "rice" (米) and "long life" (寿). The word is said to come from the fact that the character for rice can be broken down into three parts that spell out 88: 八十八 (eight, ten, eight).

In Tsukuba 361 people turned 88 this year (121 men and 240 women). Also, 14 people turned 100 (1 man, 13 women). There are 15 people who are over 100 years old living in Tsukuba (2 men, 13 women).

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Low Ratio of Foreign Researchers

I thought this article was particularly pertinent to Tsukuba:
It is reported in this evening's edition of Nikkei Newspaper (p. 3) that, according to the 2006 White Paper on Science and Technology, the ratio of foreign researchers/engineers (highly skilled people with higher education) in Japan is only 0.7%, mainly due to communication difficulties such as language and cultural barriers.

Generally, English speaking nations tend to have a higher ratio of foreign researchers, i.e, 40.4% for Australia, 34.6% for Canada, 18.8% for the U.K. and 15.4% for the U.S. However, even France and Germany have relatively high ratios, 14.1% and 4.3%, respectively.

Japan needs to lower various barriers in order to attract more foreign researchers and engineers for higher productivity and growth in the future.

Source: Glocom blog entry from November 9, 2006


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Some Recent Articles About Tsukuba

Atop Mt. Tsukuba with Five mm of Difference from valerian

Sunset on Tsukuba from Pacific Islander

Swine Seminar in Tsukuba from piotrowskisatos in Japan

Tsukuba Univ. to commercialize robot suits from the Daily Yomiuri

See also this list of Tsukuba-related blogs.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tokyo Sesame Place to be closed

Tokyo Sesame Place in Akiruno City, Tokyo will be closed at the end of this year, and many "thank you/farewell" events are coming up.

The special "Thank you" stage show: October 7 to November 26

Happy Halloween event: October 28 & 29
- Kids under elementary school age who come in costumes* will get in free, and up to 3 family members who accompany kids in costumes will get 50% discount on their admission prices. All the kids who come to the Sesame Place in costumes will get a free gift.

The 14th "Hataraku(work) Car" Festival: November 18 & 19
- 40 different kinds of special cars such as fire engine, police bike, and other special-purpose vehicles will be on display, and kids get to sit in the driver's seat and enjoy the demonstrations.

The "Thank you everyone" button give away: starts October 1
- the buttons will be given away to kids under elementary school age

They probably will announce more events later on, so keep checking their website!


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Robots in Tsukuba

Tsukuba in the news:

"At Tsukuba University outside Tokyo, Yoshiyuki Sankai and his colleagues have developed a robot suit designed to help the weak to walk. The suit, sometimes described as "bionic trousers," senses motor nerve signals and moves in concert with people's bodies, increasing their strength. Stroke victims and spinal cord patients are beginning to use the suit. It may also be applied to the construction industry to boost workers' lifting power."

Read the full article:
Japan's robots stride into future


Tsukuba Wind Farm

Tsukuba in the news:

"Tsukuba, the town that prides itself as Japan's most hallowed scientific research centre, is the site of perhaps the world's worst electricity wind farm: in the 12 months it has operated, its windmills have consumed 43 times more power than they have generated."

Read the full article:
Calm days are a bit of a blow for wind farm

This is indeed unfortunate.