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Posts posted by midnightcharger2

  1. Snow tires are a softer compound of rubber than normal street tires in order to grip better in colder weather. Using regular tires in winter is like trying to drive a greased pig with ice skates. You can use studless tires in summer but their lifespan will be drastically reduced quicker and possibly making them unsafe for winter. If I recall the bare minimum for snow tires should be no less than 5mm of tread. New tires are usually around 9-10mm. Another thing that many overlook on studless tires is the manufacture date. Since they are softer, they tend to dry rot faster than regular tires from the summer sun. If you are running 10year old tires that look new, you could be at risk. Newer is better.


    If your visiting from the city, you can use chains, but make sure they are on the drive axle. If your car is front wheel drive, make sure they go on the front. RWD on the back. Also learn how to put your chains on in good weather. Nothing sucks more than trying to figure out how they work when it is puking snow, or you find out you are missing a part or have broken parts. Also for the Tokyo dwellers, following distance..... give yourself more space between cars than you think. I have had people riding my rear and a near miss when I hit a bad patch of ice. Rear vehicle missed by millimeters.


    But on a funnier note. I saw my first winter tire FAIL about a week ago. Japanese dude blocking an intersection with one tire hanging off the hub. *Most important tip for DIY's. DOUBLE CHECK YOUR WHEEL NUTS.

  2. Awesome idea Snowjunky, If SJ came up with some type of calender format for your idea with (+ "insert number here) on the dates. Something like you get on the iphone when you have missed phone calls, it displays how many missed calls from the main icon. People could browse the dates / who's going to what area / carpool or any other information, people could possibly link up with others easier. We all know that forums can get messy after about a page or 2.

  3. It's that time of the year where many start creeping back into the SJ forums, and itching for some snow pron (as well as cheesemans "cheese of the day" / still around?) Want to welcome all the newcomers as well as seasoned veterans. SJ forums look great with the new sexy logo.


    If any newcomers are looking for advice on Nagano, I have MANY years of experience in the region. Fire away with any questions. We long-timers here have good knowledge of the area as well as hints and tricks to help save money for those who are travelling on a limited budget.


    I will also be scouting for new recruits that need rides this year up to the mountain. Most of my previous riding friends Got married, Recently had kids and Dissappeared off the face of the planet. Bummer. If anyone is around the Nagano city area, always happy to lend a hand.


    This year I am planning on hitting as many different resorts as possible "translation money allows". Looking to get up to somewhere every weekend, as well as use my winter vacation in mid Dec. to make up with Mother nature for not being able to get my fix last year.


    Hope you all enjoy Japan and all it will have to offer for winter.





  4. I had to pay 2man for a renewal (contract/paperwork) but I assume that it was normal. On top of it renewal of my renters insurance about 2man.


    Havent heard anything of the sort of what was on NHK.


    I do have an annoying company that calls me every once and awhile telling me I need to pay another 2man for some form of renters insurance. Basically if I fail to pay for my rent, the company covers the landlord. Sorry, I have paid 3months in advance of money I will never see again, as we all know. If that is not enough insurance, tough luck.


    I actually know my landlord, whom is a nice old man that does his gardening across from my apt everyday. Not once has he complained about my living here. So, buisness Japan can bugger off.


    But yeah, people try and extort any amount of cash they can from you if they are given the chance.

  5. Your best bet is Yamada Denki or K'S Denki.


    I am an electonics geek, so I know all the places to look. What are you looking for in specific, SLR's, lenses, accessories, etc??


    You can also find cheaper ones used at the recycle shops. Usually the quality of the cameras are new and par to what you can find in the retail shops for a cheaper price.


    If you need more help, give me a shout.

  6. Just watched the movie the other day. Story seemed to be going fine in the beginning, but stumbled into a confusing mess mid film on. The concept is interesting though. Through their ill fates happening right before THE BOX arrived played a major factor in their decision.


    From a philisophical way of looking at it, We currently PRESS THE BUTTON in real life everyday. Me being American, I can see this from our failed health system. Money is far more important to all then the health or life of someone. If you dont have the money, crawl back into the little hole you came from and suffer/die.


    I personally could not bring myself to take another life and have to live with that on my head. Spending 5 years in the military, after being out for many years, I reflect back to my time and am grateful not to have been put into that situation.


    Old saying holds true. "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is not".


    Anyways, everyone have a Merry Christmas.

  7. Heya, all.


    Got a question about the upcoming movie. I am looking for a cinema around Nagano that is featuring the 3d version of Avatar. Was kinda down due to the fact that it is a modern cinema here in Nagano.


    I called the Nagano grand cinema and they only have it in 2d. Was kinda down due to the fact that it is a modern cinema here in Nagano.


    I am willing to travel to other areas to get to see the movie.

    Any movie buffs here have any info. Would be grateful for help.




  8. my opinion on the matter, if your an adult and do not see the need for the safety bar then so be it, but if your with young kids, it should be recommended if not mandatory. If the decision is made not to use it and a fall happens then your at fault not the mountain.


    What gets me more about the hills here in Japan is the lack of board leashes. I think on average I see about 3-5 run-away boards every year.


    Usually these boards are waiting for the opt time to escape from the owner. It usually fairs much better solo then with the rider on it. Only downfall is that these offending boards have no conscience at all, and will take out anyone that stands in its path.



  9. Got to the city office yesterday, and was re-directed to immigration on the matter. From the info I was able to process, they are unsure if it will go into effect. From what I was told, they said anyone getting a visa prior to Apr 1st will not get hit with any penalty. He also mentioned that if I had a visa prior to Apr 1st that I would not have to sign up for NHI until the next vias renewal.


    But I will lean on the side of caution, as it was only one persons information, and the staff member I spoke with sounded unsure of what he was saying.

  10. Im personally in the middle of SAW the video game. Kinda fun if your into the movies and like puzzles.


    Should have modern warfare 2 in the next few hours, looks great.


    The xbox 360 controller works with many of these newer releassed games, Many times its just plug and play and way you go.

  11. http://page15.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/t141051079

    check out this auction.


    Its for an engine but like mentioned before, if they have an engine they probably have other parts from a junked car or can source them for you. Thats why I mentioned the auctions are probably your best bet. look at this auction and others like it with big ticket items like engines, transmissions, and such and more than likely you would be able to get the parts by shooting them an email or possibly calling if they have a number on their auctions.


    When it comes to cars in Japan, most people in this country will tell you to go to a dealership for even the simplist parts because most people have absolutely no idea working on their own vehicles. So finding some fourms that would help would be like finding a needle in a haystack.


    The other issue you want to be careful on is the replacement parts. You would want to make absolutely sure that it was just corrosion and not another area on the car that killed the batteries. If you slam in the new parts, you may risk killing your new investments if it is not the computer that you presume.


    Also did a small read on this http://www.thebatteryclinic.co.nz/HybridFaq.html


    Did you check to see if the 12v battery is not the cause of fault? From my understanding, if this battery dies, it cannot power the battery computer and your left with a dead car. The seperate battery should have a reading of 12.5v on a voltmeter, if not, then I would start there first.


    But that site also reconditions battery computers. For 350+???shipping that my also be a option to send it out of country if the car is worth it.

  12. I will be going down to the city office in Nagano to see what that deal is for us here in the city. It should be interesting to find out the verdict of my status. As my company does not offer insurance to foreign employees, it was our responsiblity to find insurance. If we need to change and be on the shokai hoken plan, I could forsee it being a situation with my company if they have to pay half.


    Also, since as I mentioned, I do not have a set schedule as the amount of time I spend in classes changes week to week. I could be working 5 hours only in a week or 30+ the next even though I have a set salary, not even sure if I qualify for the shokai. I read into the proposed plan and am more confused then ever.


    will let you all know what happens tommorow.

  13. Yahoo auctions is your best bet. The people over at Autobacs are not worth much in help as they will tell you to go to a dealer.


    There is a local junk yard in Chikuma that I visit on occasion. But it is really hit or miss depending on parts and vehicles. They may be able to source parts.


    Even if the auctions dont show up your exact part. You could find some useful recyclers in different prefectures whom may have the parts your looking for.


    As for the battery, your looking at about 23-2500USD for the batteries. I cant see you looking for used batteries as they probably wont be in such better shape. Also, they changed the batteries in the 2003 models.

  14. News is trickling down the grapevine and I just found out that the laws will change in April 1st 2010. Apparently, if you work or live in Japan, you will be required to have to sign up for the NHI (national health insurance) plan regardless of if you have your own personal insurance. It will become a visa requirement when you renew.


    This wont be a problem for ALT and JET working for the cities directly since they have been enrolled, but how many of you all have your own insurance instead of NHI?


    From what I have been told is that they can back-charge 2 years if you are not enrolled in the program (this could be upwards around 7000USD+ for many people). For many eikaiwas, they do not provide the insurance even though its supposed to be law if you work 35 hours a week normally and there are 5+ workers in the company. So, in essence you could get slammed with a huge bill going for your visa.



    Anyone just recently go for their visa that has previously not been enrolled? Any word from on your experiences? I myself need to renew before the law goes into effect but, rumor has it that they are starting to hit people with this already.

  15. 170cm x 80cm here (not a typo)

    only cost me 35000yen



    Depending on what size your looking for and pricing, you could always look into getting a TV with vga or HDMI inputs. Then you could run a multi platform in your living room. Sometimes the price of a 32 inch tv is slightly more than a flat screen lcd.


    Other places to look are auctions and the recycle shops. Deals to be had left and right.

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