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Date, Time, Currency Rate
Sunday, Aug 1, 2021, 4:30 AM
Central USA:
Saturday, Jul 31, 2021, 2:30 PM
Currency: 1 USD = 109.71 JPY
as of 07/31/21 17:59 UTC

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.

Fish wholesaler’s HQ crashes Tokyo Olympic medal ceremony (Internet)
Sat, 31 Jul 2021 13:00:56 +0000

Hohsui gets gold in photobombing. Hohsui is a wholesaler and distributor of seafood based in Tokyo, that was founded in 1945 and…uh. That’s all I know unfortunately. I’d research more but I haven’t been able to access the company’s website for days now. Apparently I’m one of thousands of people trying to learn more about […]
Okayama prefecture to receive its first Pokémon-themed manhole covers【Pics】 (Japan)
Sat, 31 Jul 2021 05:00:44 +0000

Okayama? More like Pokéyama! Pokéfuta, or Pokélids in English, are Pokémon-themed manhole covers which have so far made an appearance in every single region of Japan. While a few prefectures are still waiting for their Pokélids, Okayama has just received its first set with fan-favorite Lucario taking the spotlight. ▼ The Fighting and Steel type Pokémon […]
Japanese artist sells people’s darkest secrets encased in concrete (Japan)
Sat, 31 Jul 2021 01:00:56 +0000

A novel idea for people who have something they want to get off their chest. Some people who’ve gone to a convention or festival in Japan over the past four years or so, or even just wandered the streets of Tokyo, might have noticed a woman dressed like a construction worker dragging what looks like […]
Voice of Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake/Big Boss completes Tokyo coronavirus vaccination mission (Japan)
Fri, 30 Jul 2021 17:30:44 +0000

Veteran voice actor orders everyone to stay safe during state of emergency. There’s an odd dual-reality to the mood in Japan these days. On the one hand, the Tokyo Olympics finally being underway, even without spectators, is contributing to a sort of “We did it!” atmosphere. That feeling, coupled with proceeding vaccinations, is no doubt […]
Olympic athlete’s journey from onigiri newbie to onigiri expert wins hearts at the Tokyo Games (Japan)
Fri, 30 Jul 2021 15:00:48 +0000

Unwrapping a convenience store rice ball turns out to be one of the biggest challenges at the Olympics. If you’ve ever had an onigiri rice ball from a convenience store in Japan, you’ll know how incredibly tasty they are. The rice is soft, the filling juicy, and the whole thing is wrapped up in a […]
Pokémon’s impossible-to-buy-bike now exists in real life, still can’t be bought, must be won【Pics】 (Japan)
Fri, 30 Jul 2021 14:00:07 +0000

The one million-Pokémon Dollar bike that drove you crazy as a kid is back. By the very nature of their gameplay, the Pokémon video games attract people with a compulsive collector mindset. If you’re enticed by a game that wants you to catch ‘em all, you’ll probably not only want to get your hands on […]
7-Eleven Japan creates official “how to open a rice ball” video to help overseas travelers【Video】 (Japan)
Fri, 30 Jul 2021 13:00:22 +0000

Latest example of great customer service in Japan comes in response to visiting journalist’s call for help. Japanese companies have a well-deserved reputation for outstanding customer service, and that includes the nation’s convenience stores. So when 7-Eleven Japan caught wind that visiting Canadian sports journalist Anastasia Bucsis, who’s in Tokyo covering the Olympics, was at […]
Starbucks introduces reusable Frappuccino cups, plus Go Pineapple and Go Peach Frappuccinos (Japan)
Fri, 30 Jul 2021 05:00:21 +0000

Enjoy summer with these limited-edition flavors and products! Starbucks Japan has been busy producing lots of tasty new drinks, including 47 new Frappuccinos, one for each of Japan’s prefectures, but they’re not stopping yet! In fact, they’re just about to release two new, limited-edition summery Frappuccino flavors that we can’t wait to try! The Go […]

Travel to Japan

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 1978 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 building 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 evening, I emailed the pictures to a few friends in order to let them know that, just in case they had ever wondered what had happened to the big scaly fellow, Godzilla aka ゴジラ (Gojira) was alive and well in Shinjuku.

 | Published by: Japan Days  logo
 | Date Modified: June 3, 2021

Japan Culture

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

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 24, 2020