Monday, August 20, 2007

summer in tokyo

It's been boiling hot in Tokyo with temperature reaching 36 degrees (that's about 97F) and humidity at 80%. This is a country with four distinct seasons but I never expected summer here would be even hotter than in Singapore, where the thermometer reaches 32C (90F) all year long.
To save energy and fight global warming the government sponsors a campaign called Cool Biz that encourages the usually formal Japanese businessmen not to use neckties during the summer. As part of the campaign public buildings keep the air conditioning thermostats at 28 degrees!
However, one thing that puzzles me is how a country so concerned about saving energy doesn't adopt summer daylight saving time. Sunrise during August has been around 5:10AM (way too early) and sunset around 6:20PM (too early as well).
I heard some possible explanations, one of them concerning the stress people who methodically run their lives by the time of the 8:02AM subway train would go through to change their habit. This could be an explanation. One website offers the following explanation: Japan used to adopt daylight saving time in the past, from the post-war years until 1952 when it was abandoned following opposition from farmers who complained they had to work longer hours. Currently though it seems the Ministry of Education is the main opposition to the idea, concerned that lighter evenings would entice school children away from their homework!
So that's the secret to Japan's education system. No outdoor light, more children cranking out their homework.

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P.S.: Moving to Tokyo has taken its toll. I've been too distracted to write anything. There's a unique way to do things here, a system that works pretty well once you understand it (but that's the caveat). You have to understand it first and that requires a considerable amount of energy to sort out even the most simple of things.
I still don't know exactly why, for example, it took almost three weeks to have a broadband connection installed at home. I don't know if I blame it on NTT or if I blame it on the real estate agent. Anyway, at least now I have a fiber optic connection that is the fastest thing I've ever experienced.


guscasas said...

hisashiburi da ne

Alex said...

hey! you're back!

Nelson said...

Hi guys, yes I'm back (well, kinda of, but I hope for good).