Tokyo condo sales plunge to 24-year low

Japan times article discusses Tokyo Condo Sales   , and my only reaction is “Duh”.

What can one expect when there the population is declining?
I keep seeing new Condos and houses built around my station and I don’t understand who buys them.  Most probably people are getting closer to Tokyo, thus leaving empty houses behinds.

I heard from friends they expect prices to go up until Tokyo olympics, but it does not make sense economically. Population decline means prices down. Foreign buyers? a few and not enough.

I do not invest in real estate in Japan. Do not understand it enough and I really believe prices will continue to go down.


Professor Ohsumi on being competitive

From the NYTimes article on the Nobel Prize Winner

“I am not very competitive, so I always look for a new subject to study, even if it is not so popular. If you start from some sort of basic, new observation, you will have plenty to work on.”

An interesting statement from a Nobel prize winner. One has more chances getting published if researching a popular field, but he chose a new subject.

I often think about Start-up ideas, improvement or adaption of current ideas or a new field. The ideal is to invent a new field, a new concept. The challenge, the reward, the glory are bigger, but getting there is more difficult (and may fail).

And another observation:

“Unfortunately, these days, at least in Japan, young scientists want to get a stable job, so they are afraid to take risks,”

Not only in the Academy, but also at work.

We need more risk takers.

Uman and estrangement

On Saturday I flew from Israel back to Japan.

While I assumed the Airport will not be busy on Saturday, I was surprised to find large groups flying to Uman, Ukraine. Overloading the security lines and my patience.

All the people who traveled to Uman to celebrate the Jewish New Year are male, of some religious status. From Ultra-Orthodox, to light version.

It was a cultural experience to listen to their phone conversations, to see their behaviour, to smell some of them.
As I was watching them I have realised that although we are both Jewish, I feel very little connection with them. If we start a conversation, I doubt if we will have anything to talk about. Literature, movies- No. Culture, Japan – No.

It felt strange to feel like a stranger in my own country, but actually this feeling grows each and every-time I visit Israel.