A few weeks ago I visited Hong Kong to deposit part of my fixed amount savings, deposited in Japan's post office and matured last month, in HSBC Hong Kong where I've had my bank account for 13 years, and to buy some gold which was a bit inexpensive than what you buy in Japan. Since nobody can predict what will happen to Japan and its economy in the future, I think it is reasonable to diversify assets both nationally and internationally to reduce risks of the loss due to possible economic confusion.
I found out two notable things through this trip. One is that Kagoshima is in fact one of important gateways of Japan for some foreign travelers. From Tokyoite's point of view Kagoshima looks the southernmost far end of Japan, but for some people it is not. I heard that a sales clerk of Chou Sang Sang's Central store who sold a gold necklace to me saying that she had ever been to Japan for leisure, entering Japan at Kagoshima Airport and then moved east to Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo, where she departed. She also said that it was a golden route for travelers from China and Hong Kong. Those facts suggest that cities like Kagoshima, Nagasaki and Fukuoka should look at Asian countries rather than Tokyo to survive in the future.
The other thing is my lacking ability of English conversation. When I talked to the sales clerk or any other people in Hong Kong, all I could say to those people were one-to-two-word sentences like "Yeah," "No," "Thank you," "Oh really?" or something like that. Response speed to English was apparently slower than that of a few years ago. It is clearly because I haven't used English so much for years as it is now irrelevant to me in the workplace. All I can do (and need to do) would be to have at least my home Englishized to get accustomed to English environment and help live in an English way.
I’m going to Hong Kong tonight. I last visited there six years ago. I’ll be back to Japan on Sunday 6th.
Action items in Hong Kong: to get SIM-lock-free iPad2 and, if possible, iPhone4S at Mong Kok; registration of new address and passport number for my account of HSBC; and sightseeing at Stanley, Aberdeen and Lamma Island.
I returned back from Shanghai Tuesday night. I couldn’t see so many things there because it was completely a business trip, not a private sightseeing trip, and I had a lot of work there. But I found out how exciting and mysterious that city was.
I’ve updated a set of the trip on Flickr though I couldn’t take so much pictures.
It was my first time to visit mainland China other than Hong Kong and Taiwan. In some points they were similar but in other point they weren’t. Oncoming cars in Shanghai didn’t stop even when we were crossing the street on a zebra crossing. In mainland China cars have the right-of-way so pedestrians have to give way to them when crossing the road, not to disturb the flow of traffic. When we caught a taxi cab, the driver honked at an old pedestrian pushing a cart and beginning crossing the road and ran into the crowd of pedestrians crossing the crosswalk. It was amazing.
There were plenty of tall buildings in the Pudong area and all of them were illuminated by gorgeous floodlights. I was surprised at those floodlights which were so showy that you couldn’t have seen in buildings in Japan.
Foods tasted very good and they were much cheaper than in Japan. It was amazing that even if I had eaten plenty of garlic and spicy Hunan foods for dinner I didn’t upset my stomach and my mouth didn’t smell badly at all!
Security measures seem to be more advanced than in Japan. Luggage scanning and body screening were mandatory at every metro station and most of major building entrances. Officers did screening very roughly though.
Anyway, Shanghai is very close to Japan so I wish to visit it again in a warmer season. It was so snowy and chilly there that I couldn’t walk around the city very much.
I’m going to Shanghai for 100% business trip this time. It snowed very much near Narita Airport when I was coming in the Limousine Bus, but it’s fine now.
I wonder if I will be able to use Internet in China because I hear Twitter and Facebook are all blocked there….