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Date, Time, Currency Rate
Saturday, Sep 21, 2019, 11:27 AM
Central USA:
Friday, Sep 20, 2019, 9:27 PM
Currency: 1 USD = 107.99 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: SoraNews24
SoraNews24 -Japan News-
SoraNews24 -Japan News-
Bringing you yesterday's news from Japan and Asia, today.

Factory-outlet bacon and other pork products found in Fukuoka laundromat vending machine (Japan)
Sat, 21 Sep 2019 01:00:52 +0000

Purchasing slightly defective cured meats while doing a load of laundry has never been easier! It was a quiet day in the SoraNews24 newsroom when suddenly a hot lead came in. It said that a vending machine which sold bacon, sausages, and other pork products was installed in a laundromat in Fukuoka City. Why was […]
We score an exclusive interview with viral Twitter star Otodo-chan, Kochi Aquarium’s scary mascot (Japan)
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 17:30:34 +0000

Otodo-chan has been racking up likes and re-tweets for her impassioned PR pleas, seal-ing her fate as one of Japan’s top mascots! It’s hard to imagine lacking things to do while out in Japan, but if you’ve already perused the Nasu Trick Art Museum and gotten your fill of compliments at Osaka’s Praise Bar, you […]
Poop Kanji-Drill toilet paper is the best way to accomplish your Japanese studying doo-ties (Japan)
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 16:00:24 +0000

Now you too can review on the loo! The Poop Kanji Drill books are an awesome way to study Japanese. Not only do students get a structured way to learn all 1006 elementary school kanji, the books also come with fun examples sentences that all use the word “poop” in them. Here’s some example sentences […]
Japanese family hears noises at night from room of dead grandma, finds creatures living in walls (Japan)
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 15:00:38 +0000

Video captures chilling mystery’s heartwarming solution. Over the last two weeks, summer-hot weather has come blazing back to Japan. And since summer is the time for ghost stories here, it’s only fitting that we’ve got a chilling tale from Japanese Twitter user @handai05_nkym. @handai05_nkym’s parents live in a house that’s roughly 50 years old, and […]
We try a $10 Japanese grape from a bunch that retails for over $400 【Taste Test】 (Japan)
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:00:51 +0000

Japan is known for its crazily expensive fruit, but is the Ruby Roman really worth the exorbitant price tag? In 2016, a bunch of about 30 grapes sold for 1.1 million yen (US$10,190) in Japan, and since then the same variety of grapes has been hitting record highs every year, with a bunch at this year’s first […]
Mint chocolate tapioca ramen appears in Tokyo: Too much to handle or too good to believe? (Japan)
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 13:00:24 +0000

SoraNews24 taste tests ramen like nothing we’ve ever seen before. If you’re walking around Tokyo and spot a gigantic line stretching down the sidewalk, odds are it’s one of three things: a popular ramen restaurant, a dessert spot, or, these days, someplace to get tapioca. So what happens when you combine all three? You get this. […]
We attend the official release ceremony for the new iPhone 11 in Japan (Japan)
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 05:00:04 +0000

And take 20+ photos of Japanese actress and model Suzu Hirose. Today is the day for customers to finally get their hands on the long-awaited and much-hyped iPhone 11. People lined up around the world to be amongst the first to own the new phone, and here in Tokyo it was no different, with even […]
The cops kick Mr. Sato off the street during his attempt to wait on sidewalk for the new iPhone (Japan)
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 04:00:39 +0000

You don’t gotta go home, Mr. Sato, but you can’t wait here. As loyal SoraNews 24 readers, and really any responsible member of society who keeps themselves about important world events, know, our crack reporter Mr. Sato began camping out on the streets of Tokyo on September 17. His goal? To become the first person […]
All hospitalized Kyoto Animation arson victims’ lives are no longer in danger, doctors say (Japan)
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 03:00:38 +0000

Some remain in intensive care units two months after attack on Fushimi anime studio. It’s now been two months since the arson attack on Kyoto Animation. At the time of the attack, which took place at approximately 10:30 on a weekday morning, 70 employees were inside the company’s studio in the town of Fushimi, Kyoto […]

Travel to Japan

With Ritsuko having been born and raised in a small town in rural Kagoshima Prefecture, I have had the opportunity to visit the area with her many times over the years.


stone lined stream that directs water to the Shimazu estate

Southern Kyushu is a beautiful part of Japan that receives sufficient rainfall for the mountains and valleys to be covered in lush vegetation, and has a long history of responsible productive use of the land and resources.

Walking through the countryside, one thing that you will notice are the centuries old stone lined aquaducts that are still in use today. Their presence and use give testament to how well the people of this region have managed, and continue to manage the flow of water from the mountains and into the fields and towns.

During our stay in Kagoshima on our 2016 Japan trip, we visited Sengan-en. Sengan-en is a park established on the grounds of a beautiful estate that has belonged to the Shimazu family for the past three and a half centuries. I will write more about the estate, garden, and museum in another article, however, I just wanted to share this video of a Sakon-Taro in operation. This is a water powered device that was used to remove the husks and to polish rice.

Below, is a video of the machine going through a cycle.

Video of Sakon-taro in operation - Sengan-en, Kagoshima, Japan


Sakon-taro rice husking device at Sengan-En, Kagoshima, beginning to cycle

Sakon-taro rice husking device at Sengan-En, Kagoshima, about to strike

 | Published by: Japan Days  logo
 | Date Modified: March 30, 2017

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: August 17, 2019

U.S. Military in Japan

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: August 27, 2019