軽トラ (軽トラックの略) - Kei truck (short for "light truck")
タヌキ - Raccoon dog
農協 (農業協同組合の略) - Agricultural cooperative (short for "agricultural cooperative association")
ママチャリ - Mom's bicycle (a general-purpose bicycle)
絶景 - Breathtaking/scenic view
養殖 - Aquaculture/farming (especially of seafood)
牡蠣 - Oyster
お地蔵さん - Jizo (a type of Buddhist statue often seen in Japan)
流木 - Driftwood
船員 - Sailor/crew member
多肉植物 - Succulent plant
金のなる木 (カネノナルキ) - Money tree (also called "Pachira")
商店 - Shop/store
東屋 (休憩所やシェルター) - Arbor/pavilion (a kind of resting place or shelter)
360度 - 360 degrees
会話の話題 (Conversation Topics)
Have you ever been to a remote island like "Awashima"? What was your experience like?
What's the most interesting mode of transportation you've tried while traveling?
If you were to live in Japan, would you prefer to drive a regular car or a kei car (compact car)? Why?
What are your thoughts on public art or installations in small towns and rural areas?
Kei Cars and Kei Trucks:
The Kei car, literally "light automobile", is a Japanese category of small vehicles that includes both passenger cars and small pickup trucks and vans. These vehicles are characterized by their small size and engine displacement. Specifically:
They have an engine displacement of 660cc or less.
Their dimensions must not exceed 3.4m in length, 1.48m in width, and 2m in height.
They typically have yellow number plates to distinguish them from regular cars.
One of the significant advantages of the Kei car is the lower tax and insurance costs compared to regular cars. Furthermore, they are well-suited for driving on narrow roads and in urban areas, and they typically offer excellent fuel efficiency.
Kei Truck (軽トラ: Kei tora) – Short for 軽トラック (Kei torakku)
The Kei truck, or "light truck", adheres to the same specifications as the Kei car but is designed primarily for commercial and agricultural uses. These small trucks often have a flat bed at the back and are particularly popular in both urban settings, where their small size is beneficial for tight streets, and in the countryside, where farmers use them. The primary appeal of the Kei truck is its maneuverability and ease of parking even in tight spaces.
Both types of vehicles are very popular in Japan due to the economic benefits, such as reduced tax rates and other cost-saving measures.
Japanese Transcripts (Furigana Included/Excluded)
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