Had a great time in Tokyo last week. Used Freespot to find some places with free wireless access, among them Cafe la Voie and Mixing Cafe. Also went to a meeting of the Tokyo PC Users Group where I heard an enjoyable presentation on the application of the electromagnetic spectrum to weapons technology. Spent some time in Roppongi Hills, which is just absolutely amazing in its vision, style, and labyrinthine layout. (And convinced me once again that wealth knows no boundary). Finally, I had a great talk with Yuki Ito (official Nice Person in my book) about user groups, Visual Basic, Java, and a slew of other topics. Why is it that Java is so popular in Japan? I like to gauge a technology’s popularity by the number of books for sale. While browsing the stacks at Kinokuniya (a book store), I noticed one shelf of books for .Net, one for VB, two for C/C++, and six for Java. Perhaps more telling, the aisle was full of people reading the Java books. Talking with Yuki, it seems .Net usage is growing extremely quickly, but no doubt it has a lot of catching up to do (since .Net is still “new” in Japan). What happened?