Tag Archives: japan

How to Help Japan Thanks to SXSW

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The recent earthquake and Tsunami in Japan took thousands of lives, left millions without homes and destroyed a countless number of businesses and farms. It will take many years to rebuild some of what was lost, if it can be rebuilt at all. The country and its citizens are still reeling from aftershocks and fearing the worst with the issues at the nuclear plants. Even the parties at SXSW this week couldn’t completely obliterate the haunting video footage from our minds.

People such as Hermione Way of the The Next Web didn’t sit on their laurels drinking mimosas. They got out there and did their part to send relief to this country so ravaged by nature. She and a friend decided to raise money using only their iPhones, a Square device and their humor. Hermione performed several fun tasks in exchange for donations to the Japan relief effort.

Our buddy Drew Olanoff donated some money. Several other people did, as well, including a whopping $1111.11 donation from Tim Ferris. Tim challenges you to double his donation – are you up to the task?

The girls raised about $4500 in less than 36 hours, doing everything from being thrown into a swimming pool fully clothed to chugging a full beer – a task that Hermione hopes she never has to repeat. She also reportedly gives good neck and back rubs! They will continue to raise money over the next several days via IndieGoGo.

Another group has begun an “official” SXSW fund-raising effort called #SXSWCares. In just a few days, around $57,000.00 has been raised! This shows how much heart geeks really have, folks. We aren’t only concerned about the next big tech gadget or newest location service. We care about our fellow humans – often in a very big way.

The SXSW committee is putting their money where their mouth is: as of the writing of this blog post, they are offering up:

The next to donate $900+ receives a 2012 SXSW Platinum Pass. Only 1 left.
The next to donate $650+ receives a 2012 SXSW Gold Pass. Only one left.

That’s a pretty sweet deal, folks. If you have ever seen the cost of those particular passes, you’ll know that’s a bargain. Not only are you getting the ticket at a good price, the money you “spend” is actually going directly to the Red Cross to help the victims in Japan.

You can contribute to the SXSW Cares cause in one of three ways:

You can, of course, also help spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, your blog and any other websites you visit regularly.

Even a few dollars will go a long way towards helping the people who are facing devastation on such a large scale that it’s hard for us to imagine as we sit here in our homes following the announcements, product launches and parties that together make up SXSWi. If you can, I urge you to donate. If you cannot, please keep the people of this beautiful country in your thoughts, and spread the word to others where you can.

10 Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan

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Have you ever visited Japan… or anywhere seriously cool like that? What were some of the best things you were able to see and do while there? Shogo is a member of our live community who happens to live in Tokyo. He sent in his list of top ten places to visit should you ever find yourself in the area.

  • Go to Akihabara – It is the most famous tech town in Japan, even known as Akihabara Electric Town. Funny thing is, the train station in Akihabara actually has a exit to enter the main area that has electronics in Akihabara. Go at night, I personally think it has one of the best night scenes in Tokyo.
  • Tokyo Animation Center in Akihabara – This is pretty much the place you have to go, if you go to Akihabara. It has a lot of information, demos, showings and events about animation (called anime as many of you may know in Japan) and gaming.
  • Go shopping in Akihabara – Again, Akihabara is very famous for the vast amounts of electronics. Just go to the main street, Chuo-dori (Pronounciation : Chūō-dōri) and go in any direction, any street.
  • Go to Chuo-dori on a Sunday in Akihabara – Cosplayers galore.
  • Japan? Sushi. – You have to eat Sushi, but not at those conveyor belt shops. You have to go to a real restaurant, and experience real Sushi. Just watch how much you eat, it’s expensive. I recommend trying Ginza Hokake in Ginza. (A course is 10,000 yen which is about 100 usd.)
  • Check out the Sony Building in Ginza – You can even see cutting edge products that aren’t available for purchase yet.
  • Tokyo Tower – Getting less geeky, you might want to go to the Tokyo Tower, much like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. There is a glass floor on one of the floors, and you can look straight down through it, quite exhillirating if you have a fear of heights.
  • Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum – Although it is not exactly in Tokyo, it is very near. It is very interesting, has exhibits on space, ocean, transportation and more.
  • Tokyo Disney Land or Disney Sea – Just like any Disney Land but hey, its fun!
  • Asakusa Shrine – Just plain beautiful, if you want to see the beauty of classic old Japanese architecture, you have to go here. Make sure you bring a camera, you would want to take a picture every step you take.

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