FINDING OUR ROOTS
Our mother (okasan) treated the entire family (12 members) to an all expense paid trip to Japan so we could visit her mother’s and father’s village.
We rented a 14-seat van and driver to take us to Shiga Prefecture which is situated on Biwa Lake, the largest lake in Japan.
Our mother found the houses from memory and the neighbors still remember her family.
At the age of 10, she was repatriated by the Canadian government in 1946 even though she and our grandparents were Canadian citizens.
Here we are at Hassaka-cho (translates to Eight Hills) where our mother grew up from 10-24; she returned home to Canada as soon as she could afford to do so because the Canadian government had confiscated all assets to prevent their return.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
Took the opportunity to check out Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan.
We purchased tickets through the Klook app.
The younger family members took an early train to be the second in line.
The key is to plan your visits in advance and get the QR code for the timed-entry tickets.
Nintendo World is popular and fills up fast. When this park reaches capacity (by 10:00am), you can only enter with a valid timed-entry QR code.
One of the surprises at The Thousand Kyoto hotel is the use of an amenity robot that delivers small items such as ice, coffee, tea, towels to your room.
It is programmed to remotely ring your doorbell and a message is delivered in both English and Japanese with a touch screen to open the top or bottom drawer.
After delivery, the robot returns to the elevator, activates the lift remotely, and enters if the car is empty.
If the car is occupied by a person, the robot will not enter.
During peak times such as check-in and check-out, the robot provides prompt room service with an average response time of less than 2 minutes.
JAPAN TRANSIT APP
Navigating the rail system in Japan is bewildering with the Tokyo metro, Toei subway, Japan Railway (JR East), and private trains comprising 29 railway lines operating on 28 platforms with 930,000 passengers per day; and that’s not the busiest station.
JR Rail Passes are green tickets with a QR code that you insert into a slot when entering a gate and you pick up the ticket as you exit the gate.
A Suica or Pasmo card is a pre-loaded card that can be swiped on local trains and at convenience stores such as 7-Eleven; balances are refundable less a Y220 fee.
Did you know CupNoodles started off as Instant Chicken Ramen, a 1958 invention by Momofuku Ando?
Admission is free and for Y500 or $5.00, you can customize your own CupNoodle, select your favorite soup base and toppings.
The Japanese have perfected the freeze-dried technique because the CupNoodles in Japan taste much better than the ones available in North America.
It starts off with taking your socks and shoes off; free lockers are provided.
Warning: mirrors are everywhere so avoid dresses (shorts are available for rent).
Your journey begins by wading through a manmade stream (towels are provided when you exit). into an infinite light room, a pond filled with light images of koi fish, a room filled with oversized balls, a rotating flower room (a few people got dizzy and nauseous), finishing up with an endless hanging flower room.
There is a bean-bag room that our mother could not manage; it took 3 of the sisters to help her out. She used the detour.
WHY INVEST IN REAL ESTATE?
Adding real estate to your investments boosts your diversification, which can protect you in times of economic turmoil. Say certain stocks are suffering because of an economic downturn. The investment properties in your portfolio might still be increasing in value, protecting you from the losses your other investments are taking.
About July Ono.
JulyOno.com is a real estate investment company. We have been actively involved in the Lower Mainland area real estate investing for a number of years. Our mission is to provide local housing and commercial workspace to quality tenants while at the same time providing an above average return on investment (R.O.I.) for our investor partners and for ourselves. It is truly a win-win-win way of investing!
July offers her investor partners hands-free investment opportunities. If you are interested to learn how to earn an above-average return on your investment, backed by a solid asset, and without the hassle of being a landlord, please contact July Ono.