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Date, Time, Currency Rate
Japan:
Wednesday, Jul 15, 2020, 1:12 AM
Central USA:
Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020, 11:12 AM
Currency: 1 USD = 107.4 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: Japan Today
Japan Today
Japan News and Discussion

Asia shares drop on jitters over virus, China-U.S. friction
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 06:59:36 +0000

Shares fell in Asia on Tuesday as skepticism set in about the recent upward momentum in global markets given rising confirmed coronavirus cases and percolating tensions between the…
Tokyo reports 143 coronavirus cases; below 200 for 2nd day in a row
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:05:08 +0000

Tokyo on Tuesday confirmed 143 new coronavirus infections, remaining below 200 for the second day in a row, Gov. Yuriko Koike said. The figure comes a day after…
Mystery as Argentine sailors infected with virus after 35 days at sea
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 05:39:42 +0000

Argentina is trying to solve a medical mystery after 57 sailors were infected with the coronavirus after 35 days at sea, despite the entire crew testing negative before…
Cabinet OKs ¥2.2 bil aid for flood-hit regions; ¥400 bil package to follow
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:03:13 +0000

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet decided Tuesday to use 2.2 billion yen from Japan's reserve funds for fiscal 2020 to support areas hit hard by torrential rain and…
Tokyo health officials ask over 800 theatergoers to get tested for coronavirus
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:04:03 +0000

Tokyo health officials appealed on Tuesday for more than 800 theatergoers to get tested for the coronavirus after a production starring Japanese boy-band members was found to be…
Australia tightens restrictions as COVID-19 cases top 10,000
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:01:46 +0000

Australian states on Tuesday tightened restrictions on movement as authorities struggle to contain a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in the country's southeast that has pushed the national tally…
Japan defense review slams China's virus 'disinformation'
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:03:47 +0000

China has been spreading "disinformation" about the coronavirus and its naval activities are a matter of "grave" concern, Japan said in its annual defense review published Tuesday. After…
Man arrested over murder of co-worker in March
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 06:49:34 +0000

Police in Kanoya, Kagoshima Prefecture, have arrested a 46-year-old man on suspicion of killing a 55-year-old male colleague in March. According to police, Yuki Taniyama, a company employee,…
Fighting breaks out on Azerbaijan-Armenia border; several dead
Tue, 14 Jul 2020 00:50:45 +0000

Several Azeri soldiers have been killed and Armenian soldiers and police wounded in border clashes, both countries said on Monday, each accusing the other of encroaching on its…

Travel to Japan

leaving Kyoto station

As the Shinkansen leaves Kyoto Station, it quickly accelerates. Watch the video to see from a passenger's POV.

Watch from the perspective of a passenger as this high speed Shinkansen leaves Kyoto Station, and accelerates rapidly.

Below is a short video clip that I shot from a train we were aboard when we traveled from Hiroshima to Tokyo during our 2012 trip. Sitting next to the window in the last row of seats in car 5, I shot this as we were leaving Kyoto Station. Immediately after leaving the city the train goes into a tunnel. The video will go dark, and then you can see the reflection of the interior of the car.

Notice the smoothness of the ride, and how quiet is the interior of the train. This is really a great way to travel.

Video shot from inside Shinkansen as it leaves Kyoto Station -- April 2012

waiting to board

Tokyo Station April 2012 -- Ritsuko with our luggage, waiting to board the 6:26AM train for Osaka, where we would transfer to another train bound for Kagoshima.

When Ritsuko and I go to Japan, we typically cover a lot of ground over the 2 to 3 week period of our trip, and in my opinion, the absolute best way to travel in country is by rail. Japan has a superb rail system. The larger cities have a network of commuter trains and subways; many rural areas have a combination of train and bus service. But, of course, the crown jewel of Japan's railway system is the high speed, comfortable, and reliable Shinkansen, also known as the "Bullet Train".

Tokyo Station - Model N700 Shinkansen

The first Shinkansen was a dream made into a reality under the leadership of Shinji Sogo, who was the fourth president of Japan National Railways in the 1950's and early 1960's. The initial plan was to upgrade train service on the Tokaido Line, utilizing a high speed train on a dedicated standard gauge track, with the goal of reducing travel time from Tokyo to Osaka to two hours. Put into service in 1964, the launch of the first train was to coincide with the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games, showing the world the remarkable extent to which Japan had recovered after WWII. However, political goals notwithstanding, the Shinkansen was the first move toward migrating Japan's rail system to standard gauge, and set a new standard for quality of service and safety for Japan's rail system.

Joetsu Shinkansen

E7 Series Shinkansen at Tokyo Station - service to Nagano

The model 0 had a top speed of 200km/hr. Today's model N700 runs at speeds of 240–320 km/h, and throughout the islands of Honshu and Kyushu, most major cities are linked by Shinkansen.

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

Japan Culture

In our 2016 Japan trip, we spent the last six days in Tokyo. I really wanted to go to the site of the National Stadium, so one sunny morning, we hopped onto the Ginza subway line at Asakusa station, and went to Gaienmae. From there, we walked to the site of the stadium.

National Stadium Tokyo site in 2016

Site of the 2020 Olympic stadium, Tokyo May 2016

The old stadium that was built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics has been completely demolished, and the ground was being prepared for construction of the new stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. It was sad to see that the old stadium was torn down. I remember one day in 1977 when Ritsuko and I were walking through the area, and on a whim, went into the old stadium and watched a soccer game. But, such is progress, and I look forward to seeing the new stadium. The plans have changed from the original design, but I am confident that it will be magnificent.

Nearby, some of the streets were blocked off for a children's bicycle race. That was really cute, and quite unexpected.

Near Gaienmae Tokyo 2016

Children's bicycle race near Meiji Jingu Gaien, Tokyo May 2016

Moving on, we continued to walk, with one thing or another catching our attention, and thus diverting our path. Finally, we found ourselves approaching Shinjuku Station on the east side, and made our way on to the main east entrance of the station. From there, walking into the famous (or sometimes infamous) Kabukicho district, I looked down the street and saw Godzilla, or as he is called in Japan, ゴジラ (Gojira), clutching onto the top of the Toho Cinemas building.

National Stadium Tokyo site in 2016

Godzilla atop the Toho Cinema Building, Shinjuku

2016 Toho Cinema promotes new Godzilla movie, シンゴジラ(Shin Gojira) by putting him on top of their buiding in Shinjuku

This was part of a promotion for the latest Godzilla movie, シンゴジラ (Shin Gojira), that Toho Cinemas was releasing in 2016. Later that envening, I emailed the pictures to a few friends in order to let them know that, just in case they had ever wondered what had happed to the big scaley fellow, Godzilla aka ゴジラ (Gojira) was alive and well in Shinjuku.

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