Monthly Archive May 2011

ByRay Proper
May 26, 2011

Grand Festival of Hanazono Shrine in Tokyo

Hanazono Jinja Shrine is located in the Shinjuku business district of Tokyo. Shinjuku is probably the most famous town name in Tokyo, and the Hanazono Jinja has been used in Shinto worship since at least 1603; though the building is a of course not the same!

The Grand Festival of Hanazono Jinja is held on the closest weekend to May 28 every year. This year, the festival was supposed to consist of mikoshi (floats carried by groups of people) are gathered from eight towns are paraded around the shrine, but due to the Great East Japan Earthquake it has been toned down. There should still be something interesting to see, and some good vendor stall food to eat so if you are looking for something to do this weekend, why not drop in and check it out?

Saturday, May 28 through Monday May 30, 2011
Hanazono Jinja Shrine and other locations, 5-17-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
3-minute walk from Marunouchi Line or Shinjuku Line Shinjuku-sanchome Station
7-minute walk from the JR Line’s (and others) East Exit of Shinjuku Station

ByRay Proper
May 10, 2011

How to Reduce Electricity usage at Home


  • Switch off, and unplug electrical devices when not in use.
  • Check the power settings on your appliances; TVs, for example will often go into standby, rather than turn off. Unplugging your TV is the best option though.
  • Turn down the temperature in the refrigerator, many people keep it too cold anyway, and end up with frozen milk. (Leftovers and Food Safety by USDA)
  • Let frozen food thaw well in advance without using the microwave. (Leftovers and Food Safety by USDA)
  • Turn down the temp on the hot water heater. In summer in Nagoya you do not need hot water anyway!
  • Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket. I used one of those foam mats you sit on at festivals; it cost me 500 yen.
  • Try to use a fan instead of an air conditioner.
  • Don’t try to cool the whole house; shut off the room you are using and run the air conditioner only in there. (If you must use it!)
  • Set the air conditioner to keep the house a little warmer this year, Japanese offices will generally keep the temperature at 28 degrees C. If you need to go colder, try doing so incrementally instead of going immediately down to 20! Every little bit helps.
  • Clean out the filter on your air conditioner. This will lessen the load on the unit, making it run more efficiently.
  • Buy energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Install low-flow shower heads to reduce your hot water use.
  • When you shut down your computer, shut down your monitor as well. Many people just let it run until they start up the computer again.