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Sustainable development in Japan: what is "smart" and what isn't?

While traveling across Japan during the past 3 weeks, I noticed a lot of different technology that is implemented here that increases livability for citizens in Japan. There were innovations in construction, transportation, business, and parking. The first thing that stood out to me, aside from how efficient the transit systems in Japan already are, were the automated robots that train stations are starting to incorporate as a method to help travelers find information. While in Tokyo station, I had the chance to observe a member of our group test out one of the robots. We were looking for...

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Japan's Smart & Sustainable Solutions

These past three weeks, I have taken numerous modes of transportation from Kyoto's city bus and Tokyo's trains to Hiroshima's ferry and the Shinkansen and learned about various aspects of Japan's culture and practices. Little did I know that all around me were installations of smart technologies that  all work towards creating more sustainable cities. 

During the first week in Tokyo, we visited Giken to learn more about the company's efforts towards...

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Smarter than the Average Technology: Smart Technology in Japan

          Whenever Tokyo appears in movies, it is usually depicted as a glitzy, technological city of the future; after spending some time in this city, I can confirm that there is indeed fact within the Hollywood fantasies. Tokyo, as well as other Japanese cities, have incorporated a variety of “smart” technologies into their societal frameworks that aid citizens in navigating the demands of everyday life. Because of Japan’s emphasis on the utilization of sustainable transportation such as mass transit and biking, many of these smart technologies...

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Is the Shinkansen Japan’s ICE or TGV?

Tokyo’s transit system reminds me of the European railway system. The Shinkansen’s features and operations specifically reminds me of Germany’s ICE and France’s TGV.  Japan Rail (JR), a Japanese company, has a high-speed long distance rail system named the Shinkansen and reaches speeds up to 240 km/hr. Germany’s DB (Deutsche Bahn), a German company, has a high-speed long distance rail system as well called ICE (Intercity-Express) reaching up to 300 km/hr. The SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français, “...

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"Smart" Sustainability

The last three weeks of this trip have been very informative and enlightening on the advancement in “smart technologies” in Japanese society. From innovations in transit services with the JR, to improved, sustainable parking methods from the Giken company and their eco-parking systems, Japan is continuously showing why it is leading in the race of creating smarter cities.

In the beginning of our trip, we toured the Giken company observing and learning about their eco...

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Smart Technologies in Japan

      Source: Sunpower-UK

Over the past three weeks, I have been observing many different examples of smart technologies in Japan. A smart technology is anything that improves the everyday lives of all citizens of an area. The technologies have emerged out of Japans megaregions because megaregions are usually the sources of technological innovation. Cities that implement these technologies are referred to as “smart cities” are usually leading...

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Smart Cities in Japan

One of the key factors in pushing for a place to become sustainable is to ensure you have technology that will allow you to keep doing so. Japan is a place that has done a great job in implementing such technologies. I will write about some of these "smart" technologies that I have observed in my past three weeks here.

The Suica card is similar to a Marta breeze card, it enables passengers to be able to pay for their train rides with it. One thing that sets it apart from any other metro/train card is that it can be used to pay for various forms of travels, ranging from the...

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