Transfer contacts from modern Android phone to Blue&Me (Italian only)

Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.

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iPad 2 keynote

Finally iPad 2 was unveiled. Here there’s the official presentation keynote from Apple

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Collection of video and articles about iPad

In this post, I want to suggest you a very interesting (written only in Italian, sorry) website report the most number of news and rumors about iPad.

The site is ipaditalia:

Using that site I selected some (for me) interesting resource from the web:

* A fun video about ePad:

* A video of setup menu of the iPad:

[youtube width=”510″ height=”307″][/youtube]

* My future iPad Holder ( )

* A video that show the road followed by Apple from the first Personal Computer to iPad:

[vimeo width=”510″ height=”382″][/vimeo]

* Using iPad as infrared (IR) remote controller:

* The evolution of iPad ( ):

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“Geisha Party” in Kanazawa


Kanazawa is well-known with geisha districts other than Kyoto. However, having a party with geisha is costly. The cost for a party with geisha varies depending on the number of geisha, food, drink, hours, and so on. Generally speaking, you might be able to have a party with geisha beginning at about $400 per person.

We have been making our efforts to reduce the costs of Geisha Parties. If we could have 30 participants, we might be able to make it as low as 10000 yen per person. We would like to have such a Geisha party once in a while depending on the number of participants.


Meeting Geisha in Kanazawa

Offers walking tours to the Geisha districts with an English-speaking guide and arranges geisha parties.

Ryotei to have Geisha Party in Kanazawa

•Kanazawa Chaya
•Ryori Ryokan Matsumoto

Applications and inquiries

CROSS BORDER (attn. Mr. Tanaka)
(T/F) +81-76-232-8177
(C) +81-90-6656-8242


Follows a report of Geisha Party held in Kanazawa.

Guests:    30 people
Fee:    10000 yen per person
Place:    Cuisine Ryokan Matsumoto
Time:    6:30pm-8:30pm 10th October 2009 & 6:30pm-8:30pm 14th November 2009

1. Four Geishas appear
2. Dinner time accompanied by Geisha starts
3. Geisha Performance time
4. Geisha offer traditional fun games playing with the guests

14th November 2009

Geisha literally means “artist” or “performing artist”. Geiko is another name for geisha used in Kanazawa.
All of them became a geiko (geisha) after undergoing just incredible rigorous training day after day.
You will see their professionalism from every movement they make.
People say you cannot experience a genuine Geisha party or “Ozashiki-Asobi”, unless you go to Kyoto or Kanazawa.
This is the Geisha party held in Kanazawa recently!
This is it!

Two young American guests are welcomed by the staff of Kanazawa Ryokan & Hotel Cooperative Association at the entrance of Ryokan Matsumoto.

Four Geishas from Nishi Chaya house district just arrived.

The Ryokan house master, Mr. Hatsuo Matsumoto makes welcome speech to the participants.

Dinner party starts at first. All the geisha girls move around each table and entertain the guests.

The youngest participant, Brian Carolus was little nervous at the beginning.

As the diner time ends up, slowly the geisha perfomance time starts.

Geisha girls dance to the accompaniment of a shamisen.

All the participants just lost their words and appreciated the beauty of Geisha performances.

After the official geisha performances, fun time with the guests starts.

Geisha girls make everybody like a child.
This has been the way now and then since hundreds years ago in Japan.

Look at how gracefully they sit and bow. This is the beauty of Japan which we have been losing nowadays.

If you are interested in such Geisha Parties, please make contact with  staff of Kanazawa Ryokan & Hotel Cooperative Association

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Apple Ipad: why to buy it?

This is one of many posts around the web talking about the new Apple product, that would be the missing link between the iPhone and a netbook (according the Cupertino’s company).

Clearly, since it is not yet for sale, all articles appeared until now are based on Apple official presentation and using the specifications on the official website, and  this is what I will also do for this comment.

There will be fundamentally 2 versions, each one with a  16GiB, 32GiB and 64GiB memory size. One basic version that contains:


-Digital compass

-Ambient light sensor



– Wi-fi 802.11g

– Bluetooth 2.1

and one version that costs a minimum of 629$ (with 16GiB of solid state memory) that contains also:

– GPS Antenna

-3G modem

It is better to say immediately that this device is *not*, by definition, the best way to surf on the web, because it doesn’t support Adobe Flash, so a lot of websites will not be visible (only partially). This is its main defect that I hope will be solved in some way in the future, as it is is a software problem it is potentially solvable (if Apple want to solve it).

However, apart this defect, the device has good quality that differentiate it from all the other available products on the market (from netbooks to other more or less portable devices):

  • the battery has 10 hours life showing videos and 1 month in standby
  • is  less than 1,4 cm thin
  • it has an aluminium back cover and a frontal multi-touch glass screen
  • its weight is 0,73kg
  • it has an intuitive, beautiful and very responsive interface
  • it has a 9,7 inches display IPS (very wide vision angle )

The better way to understand if a product will be useful for ourself is knowing its possible applications, so I’m listing here the tasks I will personally employ it for:

  1. In the kitchen as a cooking guide: it is not simple to get dirty, it has a microphone and a touch screen, it will be the ideal having a software like  “La guida in cucina – che si mangia oggi” the problem is that at present time that software was not converted yet for iPod (the iPad is compatible with iPod and iPhone titles). It would teach you many recipes and it would be controlled by voice commands. For the moment we have to be satisfied by cookbook like “Il cucchiaio d’argento
  2. As car navigator with an almost 10 inches screen: just install TOMTOM for Ipod or Navigon Mobile Navigator… only if it works well. Perhaps a similar big navigator could be exaggerate but it would be a very unusual device in your car.
  3. As an ebook reader:  also to display a simple PDF file  is extremely practical
  4. As browsing system for the web: yes, it is not the best system because of lack on Flash support, but it can be used for this function partially
  5. As video player: I personally I would prefer a bigger TV screen but if you are on a train or simply you want to view somethings when you are out of your house, this device is a good solution
  6. As writing system: a word processor application as “Pages” for example, has been created specifically to be used by your finger tips (so, it is not the usual version equal to the computer counterpart)
  7. As photo album
  8. As mp3 player
  9. As digital picture frame while it’s charging…

Rumors say it doesn’t support multitasking, but also that an mp3 player can be played in the meantime of every kind of other activity.

Ipad impressed me and I have to say that Apple convinced me to buy it: obviously I will purchase the version with 3G modem and GPS.

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What’s the best way to save our digital data?

StorageJapanI received a first request by a person who filled out the specific form for a new topic.

He asked me what is the most efficient storage medium for making copies of digital data. Well, there are now more or less 5 economical alternative:


– A 2.5-inch hard drive powered by USB if you need to use the media to move data frequently (for example, to see movies in a media player). Is guaranteed a fair speed of reading and an easy displacement. I suggest those with aluminum enclosures that are more robust but slightly heavier (if the drive has the “antishock from falling”  feature is even better, but at this point becomes less economical)


– If to be used for archive data, the cheapest is a 3.5-inch USB hard drive. Now they are priced really low.


– If you must use not only for archive but also as support for applications (such as editing video or software that require significantly access speed in reading and writing) then it is useful to have a Firewire 800 connection or a better eSATA. This until the models USB 3.0 are available.


– If you need speed and security the ideal are three 3.5 inches hard drives in RAID 5 with eSATA connection.


– If you need more security and archive function only, it is useful to have a NAS with three hard drives in RAID 5. In case of single 3.5-inch hard disk  disk used to store important data is always good to use DVDs as redundant copy.

There would be another cheap alternative but it requires the presence of a fast network connection over Internet: the online virtual drives , but the free ones reach only 2GiB of space. The best are:  and .To solve the problem of saving the e-mails you can use Gmail (which currently offers over 7GiB of space).

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Snow in Italy and Japanese Monk through a fire path

ItalianSnowAndJapaneseMonkOnFireYesterday here in Italy in many areas it snowed a lot and the temperature dropped to -13 degrees Celsius at night and -4 on day. It was been a widespread snow and reached areas in the Po valley (“Pianura Padana”) where the last snowing of this intensity occurred only in 2001. The landscape has become very special and certainly unusual:

In Nagoya in Japan, instead , the temperature is not so rigid and our reporter sent us two photos taken from a wonderful very colorful ceremony where the monks walk barefoot on fire. The ritual is Shintoist, is called “Hiwatari-Shinji” and is held annually at the temple Akibasan Entsu-ji:

Event details can be found on this site:

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New Q&A: How can I be guided for my visits in Japan?

TuristGuideYou can visit the various places in Japan in two main ways: alone or accompanied by a guide.

For “alone” I mean “you and the group of people who made the journey with you”.

If you came from your country really alone then it is really good that at least half the days of your stay include a companion.

If you are at least two parties, the advice to you is to travel without any guide for at least 2 / 3 of the vacancy and the remaining 1 / 3 to choose to visit the various places with a guide.

The choice of the number of days with a guide should be evaluated carefully, considering that:

  • Traveling alone you have more time to “taste” details of places to visit
  • Traveling with a guide we can see locations maybe difficult to find but we are distracted by the guide itself
  • Is usually best to choose the days to spend with a travel guide for visiting places of difficult access, or perhaps less known and leave instead the most famous and easily accessible places to a visit “in solitude”

It’s interesting to note that in Japan there are many volunteers that offer a free guide service to visit the sites of various towns. Typically, to get the free service is enough to make a reservation via the Internet by filling a form or sending an email; also if you use the means of transport or if you go to eat when you are with the guide, you must bear transportation costs (train tickets, bus, subway, etc …) of the guide and his meals (and I think that this is obvious).

Usually these people spend their days off from work to accompany the tourists and are somehow affiliated with the government of the place of visit. So to choose the days with their guidance you have to consider that is more difficult to find one available on working days.

Every major city in Japan usually has one or more associations. You can search with Google the name of the city that you have to visit followed by the phrase “free guides” to find well-known associations, alternatively a list of organizations that provide free guides can be found in the JNTO website at this address:

Note that in many cases you can also find guides who speak your language and to have a better chance of obtaining it is best to ask the service a few months before departure.

The alternative to free guide is to use a professional guide service.

You can find information and prices here:

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Japan Travel Guide: List of things to have when you leave from home

LuggagesDuringTripThe following is a list of material to have during the trip.

Is recommended to do a verification of the availability of this materials at least 2 days before departure, to have time to fix any shortcomings.

I suggest to make a mental simulation of travel to waste less time possible during your holiday.

The quantity of clothes in the list is calculated for a 16 days trip in summer.

During the trip (to have the material):

  • Credit Card VISA
  • Blood type note, medical certificates
  • Wallet with a few euros (or your money type) and yen you have exchanged
  • Keys of your house
  • Camera pocket (where you also put in your passport in order to have both always easily available)
  • Baggage: backpack with:
    • 1 change of clothes (1 pair of pants, 1 pair of socks, shirt, long pants, a sweater)
    • Netbook with Ethernet cable and computer travel kit
    • adapter plugs
    • Electronic Tickets for the flight
    • Documents photocopy (passport)
    • Guides and Maps
    • Telephone numbers and addresses of embassies, medical insurance, location to visit.
    • Hotel reservations notes and related business cards (for use in case of emergency for the taxi)
    • Japan Rail Pass (exchange order)
    • various essential food : dry bread, crackers, chocolate, for at least 12 hours of autonomy
    • paper handkerchiefs
    • disinfectant napkins
    • Portable compass (preferably small, plastic)
    • pen and notepad
    • K-Way
    • phrase book and/or electronic translator
    • (in case) Eyeglasses
    • empty plastic bags
    • patches
    • thermometer
    • Drugs (ask your doctor): Antipyretic (such as paracetamol), antivomit, intestinal antibiotic, broad-spectrum antibiotic, dissenten, milk enzymes (in bag to dissolve in water). Any medicines for chronic diseases (with certificate to be submitted to security checks at the airport).
  • Hold luggage(max 20 kg) (LABEL ADDRESSES WITH HOTELS IN JAPAN AND HOME. On the way to the address of the first hotel in Japan and to return to home)
    • 16 Briefs
    • 16 pairs of socks
    • deodorant
    • shower gel (optional)
    • 2 towels
    • 1 sweater
    • 14 shirts (t-shirt or polo)
    • 3 long sleeve shirts
    • 3 underwear shirts
    • 2 Long pants
    • 2 Shorts
    • 10 cotton handkerchiefs
    • paper handkerchiefs
    • comb
    • travel toothbrush
    • travel toothpaste
    • Subways maps and daily routes
    • Travel power supply for the phone
    • Power supply of camcorder
    • documents photocopy, including details of medical insurance
    • List or trains and train timetables to be taken on different days
    • Portable luggage scale
    • electric shaver with its power supply
  • Passport
  • Video camera and/or photo camera
  • Specific mobile phone for Japan

Remember that hand luggage will be very heavy in the going trip but later returning from Japan and during the daily trips within Japan will be much lighter.

About  the hold luggage, if you are able to minimize the number of hotels you will make the trip more enjoyable because you will have not to bring many kilos of luggage with you.

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Japan Travel guide: List of things to do before the trip

BeforeTripI apologize for the delay in updating the site but from some days I have been very busy with work
(preparation of an advanced course about PLC, elections of Delta Po Adige drainage consortium, etc. …).

This time I propose a list of things to do before you leave.

Remember that the Japan Travel Guide should help for people wishing to prepare the entire trip by himself about every detail.

The list that follows is precisely my main note: all the questions that one might do preparing the trip follow from this list.

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