UBS Wealth Management’s annual survey of 72 cities examined the price of a basket of 122 goods and services, adjusted for currency fluctuations. The cost of living index was calculated by dividing the price of goods by the weighted net hourly wage in 15 sectors.
UBS has been conducting this study since 1970. Some figures are updated yearly, and the entire survey is recalculated every three years. The study was last updated in 2009.
Over a monthlong period, researchers in each respective local market collected more than 50,000 price and earnings data points, creating standardized baskets of goods for comparison purposes. Prices and earnings very converted into a common currency, using exchange rate averages over the monthlong period during which the data was collected.
Researchers noted that currency fluctuations are one main reason why figures can change sharply between one survey and the next. “When comparing data over an extended period, exchange rate trends play an especially crucial role,” they wrote.
Policymakers’ responses to the financial crisis were also reflected in the ranking. “The appreciation of numerous currencies against the major currencies since 2009 has been additionally boosted by the expansive monetary policy in the euro and dollar zones,” the report said.
For beer lovers, this weekend could be considered the official kick-off to summer — or, patio season.
The Great Japan Beer Festival, the biggest craft-beer festival in the country, starts from June 2 in Tokyo. But the capital city isn’t the only place getting in on the action, the event will later move to Osaka, Nagoya and Yokohama.
The two-day festival is organized by the Japan Craft Beer Association and this year marks the event’s 15th anniversary. Visitors can attend one of three 3½-hour sessions, two of which are on the first day and one on the second day. Each session is limited to 1,500 people.
The first Japan Beer Festival was held in Tokyo in 1998 with around 100 craft beers. The number of exhibitors has increased year by year and around 21,500 people visited the event in all four cities in 2011.
Attendees can taste more than 120 craft beers from all over Japan, as well as some from overseas. Most of the Japanese beers will be sent directly from a brewery, so organizers guarantee they’ll be fresh. Brewery staff will also be on hand to serve up the drinks and answer any questions attendees might have.
Visitors can drink as much as they like once they’ve paid the entrance fee, so if you go then be sure to pace yourself.
The Great Japan Beer Festival takes place at Ebisu Garden Hall in Tokyo, on June 2 11:30 a.m.; 4 p.m. and June 3 12:30 p.m.. Tickets are ¥4,500 in advance and ¥4,900 at the door. The festival will take place in the Sky Hall at Kyosera Dome in Osaka on July 14-16, the Shirotori Hall at International Congress in Nagoya on Aug. 4-5, and Osanbashi Hall in Yokohama on Sept. 15-17. For more details, visit http://www.beertaster.org.
Strange Random Beer Quote:
“He was a wise man who invented beer. – Plato
- Jungle Jim’s International Market 7th Annual International Beer Festival (beatcancer2010.wordpress.com)
- 5 summer seasonals to check out at the Hilton Head Island craft beer festival (islandpacket.com)
- How to Survive a Craft Beer Festival (klwatts.typepad.com)
- Denver Rare Beer Tasting IV Tickets Go On Sale June 17 (lyke2drink.blogspot.com)
- Hopfest Craft Beer Festival Coming to KC (fox4kc.com)
- St. Louis bans home-brewed beer at beer festival (radio.woai.com)
Tokyo’s “Dinosaur Bridge” opens to vehicles this weekend after 10 years of construction as the world’s largest metropolis tackles traffic jams that slow vehicles to half of Japan’s average highway speed.
The 2,618-meter 1.6-mile bridge, whose nickname derives from its shape, will bring 19 billion yen $246 million in economic benefits a year as it almost halves journey times to container terminals in Tokyo Bay, the government estimates. Built at an estimated cost of 113 billion yen, it’s forecast to carry about 32,000 vehicles a day between eastern Tokyo and a man-made island, where a new container terminal is being built.
The four-lane bridge will be followed by a ring road and two larger loop lines around Japan’s capital. The improvements, spurred by the city’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Olympics, are intended to cut traffic jams in and around the metropolis of more than 35 million people.
“The new bridge will ease congestion in the whole waterfront area,” said Shinichi Ishii, a senior consultant for public management and strategy at Nomura Research Institute Inc. “There is a premium on the value of time in the area, and the economic impact could be two or three times more than government estimates.”
As migration from the countryside and smaller cities boosts Tokyo’s population, the city is increasing use of its waterfront by reclaiming land and building islands in Tokyo Bay. The three fastest-growing prefectures in Japan from 2005 to 2010 were all in the greater Tokyo region, led by Tokyo Prefecture, which increased its population 4.7 percent to 13.2 million, according to Japan’s statistics bureau.
Strange Random Traffic Quote:
“Life is too short for traffic” – Dan Bellack
- Dinosaur Bridge brings Japan traffic up to speed (smh.com.au)
- Tokyo’s “Dinosaur Bridge” opens to Ease Traffic (inautonews.com)
- Traffic jams worst on Wednesdays (confused.com)
- Sauerkraut freezes to German autobahn, causes massive traffic jam (news.nationalpost.com)
(Reuters) – It’s eight in the morning in a Tokyo office building, and a dozen middle-aged Japanese businessmen sit inside small booths, sweating as they try to talk English to the instructors in front of them.
“I hope my wife will understand my hobby,” one 40-something man says, opening his mouth widely around the English words.
He is one of legions of Japanese businessmen, or “salarymen,” struggling with a language they thought they had left behind them in school as fears mount that the growing push by Japanese companies into overseas business will mean a dark future for them without usable English.
This is especially true these days, with the strong yen and a lagging domestic market prompting more firms to look overseas for business opportunities essential for their bottom lines.
Strange Random Japan Quote:
“Space Invaders proved so addictive that it not only inaugurated an entire video game paradigm, it caused a nationwide coin shortage in Japan” – Chris Green
- The lessons of Japans lost decades (theglobeandmail.com)
- Japan feared evacuation of 30 million in nuclear crisis, ex-PM says (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- U.S. concerned at hacking of Japan arms firms (reuters.com)
- Default Swaps Hit Record With Bonds at Year Low: Japan Credit (businessweek.com)
- Japan faces crossroads for rebranding itself after Fukushima crisis (search.japantimes.co.jp)
You’ve probably seen one of the many live shows that YouTube has promoted over the last couple of years. What you may not know, however, is that the site has now given live feeds their own site, namely YouTube Live. You can find news about programmes and events to come, as well as what’s streaming live at that moment.
A quick look on a Sunday lunchtime reveals some intense debate from Saudi Arabia (2 channels), what looks like a talk show from Egypt, a nice shot of the Tokyo TV Tower (presumably they’re all asleep now), a live World of Warcraft game, Gay Pride Rome stream and several others, including an old favourite, Fashion TV.
So let’s see if we can embed this link here and get it to work … takes deep breath … IT’S (A-)LIVE!
Strange Random Television Quote:
I wish there was a knob on the TV so you could turn up the intelligence. They got one marked “brightness” but it don’t work, does it? – Leo Anthony Gallagher
- Embedded YouTube Video Search Bar Fix (webpagefx.com)
- YouTube Introduces A Logoless Player (socialtimes.com)
- YouTube’s ‘As Seen On’: Watch What We’re Linking To (techcrunch.com)
- Two YouTube Treasures and a Prognostication (stephencrose.wordpress.com)
- Google Is Building a Global Classroom in YouTube EDU (5min.com)
- YouTube coming to Xbox Live (joystiq.com)
- YouTube begins YouTube Block Box Office service (panasianbiz.com)