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Date, Time, Currency Rate
Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019, 3:41 AM
Central USA:
Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019, 12:41 PM
Currency: 1 USD = 109.16 JPY

Japan Days

My Days in Japan

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Welcome to Japan-Days.info

On this web site, I will share with you some stories and pictures from the time when I lived in Japan as a member of the United States Air Force, and from various visits that my wife, Ritsuko, and I have made there since my departure from the military in 1978. I will add content to the site periodically in the "Articles" section, so please visit often. I hope that you enjoy the site.

News Feeds

News feed source: The Japan Times - Life
Life – The Japan Times
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Middle? Inside? Relax, the kanji for naka has this one in the bag (life)
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:30:33 +0900

The kanji for "naka" is used in many different ways. A rectagle with a line cutting it in half, the kanji is also one of ...
Here’s some advice. If you want to help a friend out, stick to -tara ii desu (life)
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:25:59 +0900

With your friends, giving and asking for advice in Japanese can be done in several ways. Just make sure you don't accidentally use these structures ...
Let’s discuss the Olympics and the summer heat (life)
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:20:09 +0900

Japan Times writer Ryusei Takahashi reports on efforts to try and protect athletes from the summer heat during the Tokyo Olympics next year.
The number of foreign students landing jobs after graduation hits a record high (life)
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:15:19 +0900

A Kyodo article looks at good news for non-Japanese individuals studying in Japan with regards to their chances of landing a job after graduation.
Nakagin Capsule Tower: Can Tokyo’s urban utopian dream secure a new lease on life? (life)
Sat, 09 Nov 2019 22:59:46 +0900

The future of Ginza's iconic building hangs in the balance as architectural enthusiasts attempt to preserve the fading landmark.
From hot bands to hot pots, Naoko Takei Moore’s time in California pays off (life)
Sat, 09 Nov 2019 22:56:34 +0900

Working in the Japanese music industry, Naoko Takei Moore's job was to wine and dine famous artists. What she picked up from that was a ...
Artistry unfolds: Glimpsing the souls of nature-loving byōbu artists (life)
Sat, 09 Nov 2019 22:54:24 +0900

Through byōbu, we can glimpse the souls of the artists who expressed their love of nature in these screen paintings, and the souls of the ...
Tokyo Aleworks: Keeping its doors open to the community (life)
Sat, 09 Nov 2019 22:52:17 +0900

Tokyo Aleworks offers periodic one-day brewing classes for customers to try their hand at making beer, just one way it opens its doors to young ...
Chie Nishimura: Reducing food waste jar by jar (life)
Sat, 09 Nov 2019 22:50:07 +0900

Chie Nishimura's business, Farm Canning, uses around 1,000 kilograms of organic "ugly vegetables" per year, turning them into canned preserves and healthy catered meals.

Travel to Japan

One evening during our 2016 Japan trip, Ritsuko and I were shopping in the Akihabara district of Tokyo, and decided to stop in a restaurant near Akihabara Station for a quick snack before moving on.

beer machine

Near Akihabara Station - Draft Beer Vending Machine

beer machine

The chilled mug is tipped for pouring, and changes angle as the beer is dispensed.

beer machine

Foam is added to form the perfect head.

In that restaurant, we saw the most marvelous of mechanical contraptions -- a draft beer vending machine. Ok, I must admit that I don't get out much, and that I am easily amused and entertained, but I thought this was just a great invention, and oh so practical. For ¥300, this machine, which is even equipped with a chiller in the lower part of the cabinet for glass mugs, pours a perfect mug of beer for the customer.

In the video below, Ritsuko demonstrates how it works:

Video of Ritsuko demonstrating the operation of a draft beer vending machine in a restaurant near Akihabara Station

We were each planning to drink just one glass of beer with our ramen, but watching the machine go through its paces was so entertaining that we each had to buy another round, just so we could watch the it run a couple more cycles.

In Japan, automated conveniences like vending machines are like a cultural and industrial art form, and this draft beer vending machine is truly a work of art.

Draft beer, perfectly poured into a chilled mug -- automation nirvana

 | Published by: Japan Days  logo
 | Date Modified: October 1, 2019

Japan Culture

Post Date: June 1, 2012

During our visit to Japan in April-May 2012, we decided to spend a day in Hiroshima. We have been through the city many times, only stopping at the train station briefly while aboard a Shinkansen. It is a place where I have always wanted to visit, but we were always in too much of a hurry to get someplace else. When planning this trip, we set aside a day, and put it into our travel plan.

After spending a few days in Southern Kyushu, we departed Satsumasendai early on a Saturday morning, boarding a Shinkansen headed north. We arrived in Hiroshima just before noon, left our bags at the hotel, had lunch near the station, and then ventured on to the Genbaku Dome, Memorial Peace Park, and Hiroshima Memorial Museum.

Hiroshima Genbaku Dome - a somber reminder of the destructive force of nuclear weapons

The Genbaku Dome was originally constructed in the early 20th century to serve as the Hiroshima Prefecture Commercial Exhibition Hall. After the atomic bombing on August 6, 1945, it was one of the very few structures in the central part of the city of Hiroshima that were not completely reduced to ash and rubble. As the city was reconstructed, the remaining structure was preserved as it was after the bombing.

Today, the shattered structure stands as part of a memorial in the middle in the once again vibrant port city of Hiroshima. The dome, Memorial Peace Park and Memorial Museum have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, serving as a memorial to the 70,000 people who were instantly killed when the bomb detonated, and to the additional 70,000 people who were fatally injured during the blast and perished later. It was a humbling and solemn experience to stand on the ground where so many perished instantly at the unleashing of such an enormous power, and a somber reminder of the devastation caused by nuclear warfare.

Here is a video slide show of photos that I took that day.

I would recommend for anyone to visit Hiroshima if they have the opportunity. The memorial is a haunting reminder that the destructive force of nuclear weapons should never again be unleashed upon humanity.

 | Published by: Japan Days  logo
 | Date Modified: October 16, 2019

My Air Force Days

Post Date: March 1, 2011

On a rainy day in 1974, I was on my way out to the flightline to work on the air sampling equipment in a WC-130 when I decided to take a camera with me. I doubt that I had any motivation for doing so other than wanting to take some pictures of en route aircraft. However, maybe, just maybe I thought that some day, far in the future, when I am much older and as gray as that monsoon sky, I might like to look at these pictures again, and imagine the feeling of the drizzling rain dripping off of my cap and gradually soaking into my fatigues, the sound of jet engines, and the smell of JP4.

Perhaps some of my comrades of the 610 Military Airlift Support Squadron will also enjoy these pictures, so here they are.

Looking toward the terminal, some of Lockheed's finest of the era - a line of T-Tails (C141's) and a FRED (C5A)

Yokota AB Flightline

Down the other way, more C141's, and more rain; you can barely see the tower

Yokota AB Flightline

Flight Crew boarding -- this one is ready to go

Yokota AB Flightline

Re-fueling an enroute C141 - this brings back memories of being on the Yokota Air Base Flightline in the 1970's - I love the smell of JP4!

Yokota AB Flightline

Here is where I was to work that day -- a Weather C130

I hope that you enjoyed the pictures.

 | Published by: Japan Days  logo
 | Date Modified: October 1, 2019