Some random thoughts...

Shoot the breeze, chew the fat or whatever you fancy
Chris64
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Some random thoughts...

Post by Chris64 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:11 am

I think about Japan a lot and have so many questions...
I live in Africa; its dry and hot, there is a lot of crime and corruption, dodgey police and third world drivers. I really want to live in a civilization, somewhere where people respect each other and nature, where there is history and harmony.
I also want the adventure of a new world and since Elon Musk have not replied, Japan seems to be the answer. I want a different life than this African one.

An initial question to throw into the forum is; why did you pick the area that you live in?
If for instance you decide to start a cafe, or a coffee shop, it makes sense to pick an area where there would be a lot or tourists. Some areas are better for farming than others, or the crops that can be produced in that area can only be produced there...

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:53 am

Chris64 wrote: third world drivers.
I think you might be in for an unpleasant surprise when you see Japanese drivers :lol: . I suggest getting a drive recorder fitted as soon as you start driving here.

In answer to your other point we chose our particular spot because it's not too far from my wife's parents and having that family connection has been useful to us, we're not totally unknown and we can visit them easily enough without them being right on our doorstep. Other factors that influenced this choice is that although we're in the countryside we are close to several large cities that provide lots of customers. Also we get relatively mild winters here so can grow vegetables through most of the year if they are given a bit of protection during the coldest months.

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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by Chris64 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:14 pm

You have to experience South African drivers to believe it... Lots of on the road- corruption, so anything goes, after office hours!

Zasso, you seem to have a lot of “mature” knowledge and I need a sounding board to crit my ideas. Is this ( public posting ) the way to go or is a private message facility available?

For instance:
Here at home, I manufacture and supply the market with gluten free health foods. It is a business that I can easily transplant to any country where there could be a demand for gluten-free products. Being able to move my operation to the Japanese country side, would be wonderful on many levels... But, I need to ask somebody questions about business permits, health permits or simply if gluten-free is a thing in Japan?

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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by Chris64 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:52 am

Regarding my comment above about “ mature knowledge”; what I mean is that we are the same age. A person of 50+ is physically mature, all the aches and pains are there and it is becoming dangerous to work on a tall ladder or carry a heavy load all day! A good hospital close-by becomes more important than a good pub!

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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:19 am

I'm easy either way, you have to make a minimum number of posts before you can use the messaging system. I can't remember if it's 10 or 15 but you are well on your way to reaching that. Sorry it's an automatic thing built into the forum software to stop spammers from signing up and sending out masses of private messages. There are advantages to both public posting and private messages.

If you want to keep the topic invisible to guests and search engines then the Free4all forum is only visible to members or you can post in any of the other forums if that's not an issue or you can send me or anyone else a pm once you've made the minimum number of posts. One disadvantage of private messaging is that you wouldn't get any input from other people but that maybe outweighed by a wish to keep things private, mind you we aren't exactly the busiest of internet forums :lol: so you aren't likely to get drowned out in a barrage of replies.

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have and some of that information may be relevant to what you want to do as the permits for running a cafe would probably be similar to what you are thinking of if you go forward with selling food products, we sell packaged food as well as fresh vegetables.

As for gluten free being popular in Japan, I honestly have no idea. Back in the UK I had several friends who were gluten intolerant but so far I haven't met anyone here who is. That's not to say there aren't people who are and maybe you might be able to corner the market if there aren't many offerings in that area yet.
Chris64 wrote:A good hospital close-by becomes more important than a good pub!
But what about a good hospital that also has a pub next door ? :lol:

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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by LeeB » Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:27 pm

Merry Christmas to all the board members.

So what's new?

Well after having a really crappy spring and start to summer, the warm weather finally arrived. A perfect couple of days and a pretty nice Christmas to boot! A nice warm 27C today - yesterday we had 34C. 34 and 35C are forecast for the end of the week.

To much rain and cold weather has really mucked up the garden and vegetables. The cherries were ok - not as good as I thought we were going to have as we had some huge winds and heavy rains that knocked off a lot of the fruit and flowers. We had to pick much of the fruit early because of the rain. Last year we had a huge crop which was spoiled by rain and fungus. This year we picked early and avoided the fungus. Lost count after picking 20 kilos.

Too much rain and cold weather did a number on the spuds and garlic. I put in komatusna, mitsuba, and aojiso this year - they are doing so so. Vegetable prices in the supermarket are ridiculous. The apple trees are full of fruit so I hope that we get decent weather going forward.

We are way down from the averages for sunshine again for November and December. November was down about 15% and it looks like December will be down about the same. Not good for the solar panels and electricity production.

And the economy here is slowing down as the banks have put a big crimp on lending out money for real estate, extra taxes put on foreign buyers by the state and federal governments, and the mess in China.

The press is filled with all sorts of stories about RE prices falling all over the country especially in Sydney - down 10% or more and the same here in Melbourne. Luckily, where I am the house prices never zoomed up like they did in the near CBD areas and heavily bought areas where Chinese people are located.

Our suburb is quite big and has a range of properties ranging from real crap to ultra expensive multi-million dollar properties. So the averages and median prices can be quite different depending on where you are. In my little area there are only a few houses for sale and the prices haven't fallen at all and in fact have actually increased year over year.

In fact within one kilometer of me there are only two houses for sale and one is about 3 times the suburb median and the other is 1.5 times. so hoping that prices stay about the same, but no plans to sell anyway.

I see that Japan had a really mild fall and start to winter with snow quite late. Hope that the winter there isn't too bad after the poor weather and earthquakes and all during the year.

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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by Shizuman » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:32 pm

Gday Chris

Im both gluten free and ive looked into some aspects of hospitality businesses in japan (and live in Japan) if there is anything i can help you with
let me know mate.

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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by Chris64 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:13 pm

Thank you Shizuman! It seems we share the same dream.
I was thinking that I must consider combining a bakery with a coffee shop and focus on western tourists. To look for a spot in a place like Koyasan, for instance, where there are quite a bit of western tourists and eventually do the B&B / coffeeshop/ bakery thing... Target date: two years.
Why did you pick Shizuoka?

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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by Chris64 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:36 pm

A further thought: I visited Japan about 5 years ago, fell in love and since then wondered how to get back there and Stay. People fall in love with Japan and when they return home, can’t stop telling others how terribly nice the place is! With the Olympics and rugby coming and all the drama in the rest of the world, the tourists are coming! According to the BBC, Japan is going to be the next great tourism spot and I agree... It will be nice to be there and ready to go!

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Re: Some random thoughts...

Post by LeeB » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:15 am

"Japan is going to be the next great tourism spot and I agree... It will be nice to be there and ready to go!"

Unfortunately Japan IS already the next hot tourist spot.

Huge numbers of tourists from other countries already visit Japan. When I lived there the number of foreign tourists to Japan was under 2 million a year. Now it is over 2 million a month.

And the unfortunate thing is that most of them all visit the same places and much of the country outside the hot spots don't benefit from the flow of money into the country.

Been to Kamakura lately on a weekend? How about Aeon Mall in Narita?

I wonder how in the world Japan is going to cope with more tourists because of the Olympics?

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