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US Base Attacked

14 Sep

The U.S. Navy Base in 神奈川県横須賀市 (Yokosuka, Kanagawa-prefecture) south of Tokyo was attacked by two rocket bombs last Friday evening.

Noone was hurt. But police suspect it was an attack by activists who are against the American nuclear-powered aircraft-carrier, U.S.S. George Washington, being stationed there starting later this month.

(I wrote a post about this ship coming to Japan here
(I also mentioned it in a few other posts. If you want to see them, you can use the Search function on this blog. A search for posts on my blog “USS George Washington” can be accessed here )).

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Speaking of 神奈川県横須賀市 (Yokosuka, Kanagawa-prefecture)…if you visit that town, the US Navy base is in 神奈川県横須賀市本町 (Honcho, Yokosuka-ward, Kanagawa-prefecture).
The closest train stations are JR 横須賀駅 (Yokosuka JR Station), 京浜急行汐入駅 (Keihin-kyuukou Shioiri Station), or 京浜急行横須賀中央駅 (Keihin-kyuukou Yokosuka-chuo Station).
You probably wouldn’t be allowed inside the American base (unless it’s a day of one of their “Friendship Festivals“), but the street across from the base (that many American sailors mistakenly call “The Honch” (because the town’s name is 本町 (Honcho)) is ドブイタ・ストリート (Dobuita Street) with many shops and restaurants that are unique to the area.

神奈川県横須賀市 (Yokosuka, Kanagawa-prefecture) is famous for 海軍カレー (Navy Curry) because the Japanese Navy (which also has a base there) brought curry from India to Yokosuka.

Another thing that 神奈川県横須賀市 (Yokosuka, Kanagawa-prefecture) is famous for are the popular スカジャン (‘Suka-jyan). Which are souvenir 神奈川県横須賀市 (Yokosuka, Kanagawa-prefecture) jackets that were popular with the U.S. Military but it’s now mostly Japanese people who buy them.

There’s also 猿島 (Saru-shima (which translates to Monkey Island…but there are no monkeys there anymore)), which can be accessed by ferry.
And 三笠公園 (Mikasa Park) with the Japanese battleship Mikasa that you can take a tour of.

ニュース

22 Aug

Today and tomorrow we are taking my oldest daughter to look at a few high schools to help us decide which one she should go to next Spring (she’ll start 高校一年 (10th grade (first year of high school in Japan)) in April).

In December, she’ll begin taking high school entrance exams! (Next year, my 2nd daughter will do the same…then the youngest after that!)
They grow up too fast!

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Yesterday we went to 銀座 (Ginza) and 上野 (Ueno).
Near 銀座 (Ginza), I saw this 新幹線 (Bullet train) pass by (it was going past a train station, so it wasn’t moving so fast at the time):

And at 上野 (Ueno), we went to a junk-food store that sold ラムネ (Ramune), which is a popular (especially in the summer) carbonated drink in Japan.
It has a distinctive bottle with a marble in the neck.
It usually has a lemon flavor…but this store had many odd flavors and there was a sign that said 「まずいラムネランキング」 (“Top Ten Worst Ramune Flavors”)!

Some of the まずいラムネ (Worst Ramune Flavors) included
Wasabi Ramune“, “Curry Ramune“, and “Takoyaki Ramune“…but the “#1 Worst Flavor” was 「キムチ・ラムネ」 (“Kimchee Ramune”)!

So I had to buy it!

I’ve haven’t tried it yet. I’ll let you know how it is.
(Actually, I really like 「キムチ」 (Kimchee)…(spicy, Korean cabbage). So I’m wondering how this drink tastes.)

From there, we went to a カラオケボックス (“Karaoke Box”), which is a private room for singing Karaoke (you can also order food and drinks from a menu and they’re brought up to the room you’re in).

I’m a terrible singer…but my kids enjoy it.

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In the news,

  • A wild monkey got into busy 渋谷駅 (Shibuya Train Station) in Tokyo. Over thirty police officers attempted to capture it, but the monkey managed to flee the train station.There are wild 日本猿 (Japanese monkeys) in the countryside but in the city they’re usually only seen in the zoos.
  • The American Navy’s nuclear aircraft carrier, U.S.S George Washington, will be stationed in 神奈川県横須賀市 (Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture) soon. There are a number of Japanese people who are against the ship coming here, mainly because it’ll be the first nuclear-powered ship to be stationed in Japan.The fact that there was a fire onboard the carrier last Spring compounded their worries.
    (You can read my earlier post about the USS George Washington coming to Japan).

    And now, it’s been reported, two sailors from the ship have been arrested last weekend in California, USA for murder!

Nuclear Warship

28 May

The American Navy’s aircraft carrier, USS Kitty Hawk, just left Japan where it was stationed south of Tokyo for the past ten years. The Kitty Hawk will be decommisioned.

In the past 25 years, there have only been three aircraft carriers stationed in Japan…the USS Midway, then the Midway was replaced by the USS Independence (which was bigger), then the Independence was replaced by the even bigger USS Kitty Hawk (which is the ship that just left).

I’ve been in Japan long enough to have seen all of those carriers.

Now, the ship that is set to replace the Kitty Hawk is the USS George Washington.

Many of the people who live near the US Navy base are protesting the arrival of this ship (which is due here this August).

There are mainly two reasons that they don’t want this ship to come to Japan.

The main reason is that the George Washington is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. Japan has a rule that ships that are nuclear (including both nuclear armed and nuclear powered) are not permitted in Japan.

But somehow the US government has convinced the Japanese government that it’s necessary to have this ship stationed in Japan.

The other reason is that the USS George Washington is even larger than the Kitty Hawk. This means that there will be an increase in the number of American sailors stationed in Yokosuka…

and it also means that the berthing dock meant for the carrier will need to be excavated to make it large enough for the ship. This, some residents fear, will damage the marine eco-system.