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Little League World Champions…again

31 Aug

The 2015 Little League World Series just ended. As it is every August, it was played in Pennsylvania, USA.
Many times the champion game has been played between USA vs Japan…and it was this year too.

I’ve written a post about the 2010 World Series that Japan won against America. (Click here to read it.)

Japan won the 2015 World Series, too.  The final score was Japan (18) – USA (11).

Japan are the 2015 Little League World Series Champions.

Congratulations to all of the teams from every country! They all played well!

The Japanese team celebrating their victory.

Did you watch the game on TV?  Even better…were you there at the stadium in America to see it?

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Women’s World Cup

6 Jul

The final match of the 2015 Women’s Soccer World Cup was played today.

It was Japan vs USA.

The USA won, so they are the 2015 Women’s World Cup champions!
Japan got silver (2nd place), and England won third place!

2015 Womens World Cup medal standings

おめでとうございます!(Congratulations!)

Coincidentally, in the previous Women’s World Cup (in 2011), the final match was played between Japan and America then too. Japan won that time.

America has a strong women’s soccer team. They currently hold the record for the most World Cup champions (three times), and they’re the only team that have been in the top three in every World Cup since the first one in 1991!

Fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics

10 Oct

Today (2014 October 10th) is the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Summer Olympics that were hosted by Tokyo.

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This was the first time the Olympics was hosted by an Asian country.

The Tokyo government had new stadiums built (which are still in use today) and the world’s first 新幹線 (bullet train) was built by Japan Railways (called “Japan National Railways” back then). The bullet train connected Tokyo to Osaka, and it’s service commenced on October 1st, 1964…so, nine days ago was the 50th birthday of the world’s first bullet train.

Since Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics fifty years ago, Japan has hosted the Olympics two more times: the 1972 Winter Olympics were hosted by Sapporo, Japan and the 1998 Winter Olympics were hosted by Nagano, Japan.

A new bullet-train service was also started in 1998 to connect Tokyo to Nagano for the ’98 Games. My wife and I took that bullet train to see the Nagano Olympics atmosphere.

Tokyo put a bid in to host the 2016 Olympics, but lost. (I wrote a post about Tokyo’s 2016 bid and also my trip to Nagano in ’98…here).

Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics was successful though. In July 2020, Tokyo will not only be the first Asian city to host an Olympics Games…but also the first Asian city to host the Games twice!
(I wrote a post about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics here).

Both the 1964 Tokyo Olympics logo and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo.

The 1964 Tokyo Olympics commenced on 1964 October 10th. October isn’t summer…it’s autumn. The reason that the Games were in October is because summer is extremely hot and humid in Tokyo. The weather in October (now) is much more comfortable.
After the 1964 Olympics, October 10th became a holiday in Japan: 体育の日 (“Fitness Day”). The date of the holiday was changed in the year 2000 to ‘the second Monday in October’. So, 体育の日 (Fitness Day) isn’t today…next Monday (October 13th, 2014) is the holiday.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) changed the rules and now the Summer Olympics must be played in July. So, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be in July. It’s gonna be hot!

 

World Cup 2014

13 Jun

The FIFA soccer championship World Cup matches are currently being played in Brazil.

The first game was yesterday.  Home team Brazil beat Croatia, 3-1.

This is the first World Cup with any Japanese referees. Three Japanese referees officiated yesterday’s Brazil – Croatia game.

The games that Japan and the games that America are scheduled to play are here:

fifa

Dates / times shown are Brazil time (Japan Standard Time is twelve hours later)

Do you watch the World Cup?

I’ve never been very interested in soccer. I watched a few World Cup games when Japan co-hosted the games with Korea in 2002. I think I’ll give it another try, and watch some of the games that Japan and America play. Maybe I’ll become a soccer fan. 😉

McDonalds “World Cup” menu

29 May

Do you know the FIFA soccer “World Cup“? Do you watch it?

It’s like the Olympics or “Super Bowl” for soccer.

I remember when Korea and Japan co-hosted the World Cup in 2002 and many matches were held in the Tokyo area. I tried to get interested in the event. I watched the games that Japan played, as well as the games that America played.

But, if I’m honest, I find soccer pretty boring.

I guess I’m in the minority with that opinion though because soccer, especially the World Cup, is very popular around the world.
In Japan, too.

It wasn’t always like that. When I first came to Japan, soccer wasn’t very popular here. Baseball was by far the most popular sport in Japan then.
When Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup, soccer-fever took off in Japan. And it’s been very popular here since.

Anyways, in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup, which will be hosted by Brazil from 2014 June 12th – July 13th, McDonalds in Japan is offering a special “World Cup” menu.

It says 「一番ウマい国はどこだ。」 (“Which country is the best?”)

They offer a Brazilian BBQ burger, German pork sandwich, Italian Risotto balls, Chicken McNuggets with Italian Basil and Cheese dip, JapaneseRamune” floats, and more.

Is McDonalds doing a World Cup campaign like this in your country too?

Japan in January

1 Mar

Japan is beautiful in January … and every other month!

2014 Olympics have ended

24 Feb

Yesterday was the closing ceremony of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Did you watch it? It began after 1:00AM Japan Time…so I didn’t stay up to watch. Was it good?

On the medal count, Russia came in first place after all. America was fourth, and Japan 17th place.

Here’s a list of the top 20 countries by medal count at the 2014 Olympics:

olympics

The gold, silver, and bronze medals winners in Women’s Figure Skating: Korea (center), Japan (left), and Canada (right), respectively.