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Date, Time, Currency Rate
Japan:
Friday, Mar 5, 2021, 11:01 PM
Central USA:
Friday, Mar 5, 2021, 8:01 AM
Currency: 1 USD = 107.39 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: NHK News (Japanese)
NHKニュース
日本放送協会 NHKニュース

【随時更新】菅首相の会見 宣言延長・五輪・接待・消費税など
Fri, 05 Mar 2021 22:54:09 +0900

菅総理大臣は、記者会見で「先ほど新型コロナ対策本部を開催し、埼玉県、千葉県、東京都、神奈川県において緊急事態宣言を2週間延長し、3月21日までにすることを決定した。宣言を発出した1月以降、大きな効果が目に見えて現れていて、全国の新規感染者は8割以上減少した」と述べました。
首都圏1都3県の緊急事態宣言 21日まで2週間延長表明 菅首相
Fri, 05 Mar 2021 20:49:26 +0900

首都圏の1都3県に出されている緊急事態宣言について、菅総理大臣は7日の期限を2週間延長し、今月21日までとすることを政府の対策本部で表明しました。
【瀬戸際の2週間】期限延長で感染再拡大のリバウンド防げるか
Fri, 05 Mar 2021 20:48:11 +0900

首都圏の1都3県に出されている新型コロナウイルスの緊急事態宣言について、菅総理大臣は5日夜、今月7日の期限を2週間延長し、21日までとすることを政府の対策本部で表明しました。2度目の緊急事態宣言がことし1月に発出されてから、感染者数は減少傾向にありましたが、このところ減少スピードの鈍化が続いています。宣言の期限延長で「感染者数が再び増加するというリバウンドを起こさない体制の強化」ができるのか。政府関係者は「この2週間が瀬戸際だ」と危機感を強めています。
ベルリン国際映画祭 審査員大賞に濱口竜介監督「偶然と想像」
Fri, 05 Mar 2021 20:51:59 +0900

世界3大映画祭の1つ、ベルリン国際映画祭で審査員大賞に濱口竜介監督の「偶然と想像」が選ばれました。
ワクチン接種後に重いアレルギー反応報告 4万6000人余接種で初
Fri, 05 Mar 2021 22:52:56 +0900

厚生労働省は、新型コロナウイルスのワクチンの接種を受けた30代の女性に、重いアレルギー反応の「アナフィラキシー」が確認されたと医療機関から報告を受けたことを明らかにしました。女性は救急処置を受け軽快しているということです。
尾身会長“『通常のインフル同様の認識』となるのは来年以降”
Fri, 05 Mar 2021 21:29:57 +0900

5日、参議院予算委員会に出席した政府の分科会の尾身茂会長は、新型コロナウイルスについて通常のインフルエンザと同じような認識になるには来年以降になる可能性があるという見通しを示しました。
1都3県知事 時短要請や不要不急の外出自粛呼びかけを確認
Fri, 05 Mar 2021 19:18:46 +0900

東京、埼玉、千葉、神奈川の1都3県の知事がオンラインで会談し、緊急事態宣言の2週間の延長期間に共同で取り組む事項として、引き続き飲食店などへの営業時間の短縮要請のほか、例えば花見など不要不急の外出自粛の呼びかけを行っていくことを確認しました。

Travel to Japan

Post Date: August 11, 2019

"Be like a train; go in the rain, go in the sun, go in the storm, go in the dark tunnels! Be like a train; concentrate on your road and go with no hesitation! " --Mehmet Murat ildan

Kyoto Railway Museum Entrance

During the Kyoto leg of our 2017 spring trip to Japan, one of our goals was to visit the Kyoto Railway Museum. During our 2016 visit to Kyoto, we had missed the opening of the museum by just a few days, and we were determined to go there during this trip.

On the morning of our visit, the sky was cloudy, and a fine mist fell on us intermittently as we walked from Kyoto Station. In retrospect, it would have been easier to ride one of the frequently scheduled busses from the station, but once afoot, we were committed. We arrived at the museum entrance a few minutes before opening, and took our place in a rapidly growing line of visitors, among whom was an adorable group of early grade elementary school students, replete with backpacks, water bottles, and really spiffy uniforms, assembled in formation next to the entrance queue.

The children were all beaming with excitement and anticipation, and it is no wonder. Aside from containing an impressive collection of historic and modern trains, a lot of exhibits in the museum were made for the participation of children of all ages.

Type 230, s/n 233; the oldest existing production model steam locomotive in the English style manufactured in Japan; manufactured in 1903 by Kisha Seizo.

First Japan manufactured large electric locomotive EF52

Kyoto Railway Museum main floor; left to right: Shinkansen 500 series, Kuhane, and Raicho limited express trains.

Ritsuko standing in front of a Shinkansen Model "0"

Inside the Shinkansen Model 0 "ordinary" class passenger car

Inside the Shinkansen Model 0 Green Car "first class passenger car"

On the main floor, a very popular exhibit was a pedal powered rail inspection car. The seat height was set for children, therefore most adults who tried it struggled (personal experience). Another popular group of exhibits were the simulators, where people could simulate driving trains or operating various control consoles. But for me, the ultimate participatory exhibit was the steam locomotive train that visitors to the museum could ride.

The appeal of the museum exhibits is quite broad, and I think that anyone with an interest in trains or in the history of Japan should visit this museum if ever in Kyoto. It contains a really impressive collection of trains, railway equipment, and timeline exhibits arranged in the huge, three floor main hall and in the adjacent locomotive roundhouse in such a way that graphically illustrates the amazing history of rail in Japan, from its beginning during the Meiji Period to the present.

An exhibit, or series of exhibits, that really resonated with me were those showcasing the first generation Shinkansen, the Model 0, that was put into service in 1964 on the new Tokaido Shinkansen Line with service between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. When I lived in Japan in the early to mid 1970's, the Model 0 was still in service. Looking at the dining car, and the various types of passenger cars, certainly evoked memories of that era.

The first time I rode in a Shinkansen was in the early summer of 1974, when I traveled with some of my Air Force buddies to Shimoda for a weekend beach outing, opting to ride a "bullet train" the short distance from Tokyo Station to Atami. It was the first time for most of us to board one of the sleek super fast trains. I remember at that time, admiring not only the ultra smooth ride while traveling faster than any other train in the world, but also the simple elegance and cleverly designed functionality of the passenger car interiors. It would have been impossible for me to imagine at the time how the Shinkansen would evolve, but 45 years, several train model generations, and thousands of miles of traveling via Shinkansen, I still marvel at the simple elegance, functionality, and beauty of these incredible trains whenever I ride in or even see a Shinkansen.

Seeing how far the rail transportation has developed in Japan since its humble beginning in 1872 to the most comprehensive and advanced railway system of any country in the world, one might ask, "What could possibly be next?"

Kyoto Railway Museum locomotive roundhouse

In the next decade, we should see the opening of the Chuo Shinkansen, providing Maglev service between Tokyo's Shinagawa Station and Nagoya, and then eventually Osaka. Maglev trains have been under development in Japan for decades, and working test models of the trains have set world speed records, with a L0 Series train reaching a speed of 603 km/h (375 mph) during a manned test in April 2015.

The history of railways in Japan is an amazing story. It is an integral part of the incredible transformation of Japan from a feudal society in peril from imperial encroachment by the superpowers of the mid 19th century world to an industrialized empire in the late 19th through mid 20th centuries, and then emerging from the ashes of World War II to become a modern standard for advanced technical innovation and for excellence is providing an intricate infrastructure that well serves its population. The Kyoto Railway Museum, in my opinion, does a superb job of presenting that story.

 | 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 of 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 some 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 20, 2020

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
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