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Web Design Generator - Artisteer (Mac & PC) is a fun, low priced tool I used to make this and other custom WordPress based websites, including the new Savage Japan Podcast site and redesigned Savage Japan Movie Reviews site. Artisteer can also be used for general website layout, Blogger and other platforms. No programming skills required. I enjoyed using this product so much, I sought out one of their ad links to place here.

Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Photo #2 – Japanese Mobile Phone (Keitai Denwa) in Colorado

Japanese Mobile Phone, Panasonic 706P

This photo corresponds with Episode 2 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 2 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


I decided to add one more photo taken in Colorado.
However, the subject of this photo has a strong connection to my plans to live in Japan, 3 months at a time.

Casual visitors to Japan cannot gain access to mobile phone networks via regular cell phone contracts, and Japan no longer allows prepaid phones to be purchased anonymously in Japan (something to do with trying to limit criminal activity). The common choice for travelers who desire access to a cell phone network in Japan is to rent a phone for several dollars a day and then pay a rather high per minute charge. This is not so practical for lengthy visits.

I found one British company with an office in the US that gets around Japan’s mobile phone limitations in a creative manner. They sell you a Japanese phone outright, which includes a year’s rental of a Japanese phone number. The phone is yours to keep, and you can use the initially assigned number indefinitely. However, you will have to pay an additional $100 to keep the number each subsequent year that you use the phone. The convenience of maintaining the same number for business cards and contacts, as well as never having to rent a phone in Japan seems well worth it to me.

The cost per minute for outgoing calls is not cheap, but it is in line with or lower than other per minute rental phone options in Japan. And of course, I won’t have to pay a daily, weekly, or monthly rental fee for the phone. Additionally, all incoming calls, whether from Japan or outside of Japan, are free of charge with this service.

I will speak more about my experiences with this mobile phone solution for non-residents in Japan in upcoming episodes of the Savage Snow Podcast, available at both SavageJapan.com and SavageSnowPodcast.com.

Photo Details: This is the Japanese market Panasonic 706P for Softbank that I had delivered to my home in Colorado. The photo was taken on my west facing deck in Summit County. $179 got me this phone along with an included 1 year “ownership” of a Japanese telephone number.

At present, UK’s Mobal only offers the phone in Mirror Blue (ミラーブルー). Hopefully, the bright color will make it harder to lose or misplace.

If you want to read more about this Japanese mobile phone option, Here is a link to the company that sells these phones for use by foreigners in Japan through an agreement with SoftBank.

UPDATE: I have become aware that Mobal in the UK has stopped offering their unique “Buy a Phone/Rent the Number” plan for Japan through their website. The previous link now connects to a typical (and significantly more costly) daily rental plan.
However, Mobal’s original plan I wrote about can be found here on SkyMall’s website. My first thought was that SkyMall has an old product listing on their site that is no longer valid. But when I called SkyMall and asked about the product and expressed my concern that it may be an out of date listing, the person on the phone seemed confidant it was a valid item and could still be purchased through them. It is possible that Mobal is keeping that offer available through SkyMall, but I am not fully confidant that success will be experienced if you try to buy one of the phones there. The purchase may be canceled along the way, but maybe not.

Please let me know if you are successful in an attempt to buy one of these phones through SkyMall. I will update this posting if I learn more from anyone.

I will also write more about general mobile phone issues in future entries and discuss my experiences with Mobal UK’s SoftBank service on the Savage Snow and Savage Japan podcast.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around Buffalo Mountain, seen in the background of this photo.
Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #1 – A Brief Introduction

Dan Savage at Lake Dillon in Summit County, Colorado

This photo corresponds with Episode 1 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 1 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


My name is Dan Savage. I’m a multimedia artist, athlete, and filmmaker heading to Japan for what I hope will be the first of many 3 month adventures there in the coming years. I’ll be exploring, studying, podcasting, kayaking, snowboarding, mountain biking, photographing, writing, investing, and mostly… just trying to have fun.

Why 3 months at a time?
There are 2 reasons. First, that is the longest period of time a US citizen can conveniently remain in Japan per visit without a special visa. Secondly, that is about the longest period of time presently that I would want to be away from other obligations and creative pursuits in Colorado.

Photos
I expect to be behind the camera, not in front of it, for most of the photos featured in this “Living in Japan” photo journal. A visiting friend took this picture of me in my Colorado neighborhood recently, and I thought it would be a nice image for a first entry introducing myself and referencing the environment I’m leaving for Japan.

The photo was taken at Lake Dillon as a storm approached Summit County. I moved to the Rocky Mountains a few years ago to begin the development of my own little independent film project that will be shot here. More than any other place in the world now, Colorado feels like home to me.

I’ll be collecting GPS data as I take photos throughout Japan, so you’ll be able to see precise locations here on interactive maps beneath all the photos.

Japan
I have never been more connected or suited to a place than I am to the mountains of Colorado, but even since childhood I’ve been drawn to and intrigued by Japan. I hope this site is of interest to others who are fascinated by the culture, design, architecture, language, and people of Japan.

I’m extremely excited to have the chance to begin Living in Japan – 3 Months at a Time. You’re welcome to come along with me here at JapanPhotoJournal.com as well as listen to this site’s companion Japan soundseeing podcast recordings at SavageJapan.com. You can also hear the same Japan podcast recordings at the main Savage Snow podcast site that includes all the Japan content plus a few other adventures from Colorado and around the world. The complete podcast is available at SavageSnowPodcast.com. If you’re interested, my main site that links to most everything I’m doing online these days, including the Japan content, is SavageSnow.com.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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