Archive | Yokosuka RSS feed for this section

2013 New Years Cards Lottery winning numbers

23 Jan

image

Here are the winning numbers for the 2013 New Years Postcard Lottery:

957503 – Prize: Computer, digital camera and printer – or – Digital TV

111316, 294651, or 346247 – Prize: Digital camera and digital picture frame – or – Humidifier – or – Bicycle

xx5635 – Prize: Regional food items

xxxx29, or xxxx70 – Prize: Postage stamps

Did you win anything?

Earnest Mercer interview

11 Apr

Earnest Mercer has seen Japan from the 1950’s to 2006.

I have seen Japan change a lot in the twenty years I’ve lived here…so I can only imagine how many changes he’s seen.

Mr. Mercer was kind enough to do an interview with me.

…the economic recovery of Japan after WWII is one of the greatest achievements in modern history…

(Earnest Mercer)

"Kirin Beer" delivery truck, 1950s Japan (photo by Earnest Mercer).

Click here to read the interview.

Yokoso Japan!

14 Jun

「ようこそジャパン」 (Yokoso Japan!) means “Welcome to Japan!“, and is the Japan National Tourism Organization‘s official slogan of their campaign to attract foreign visitors to Japan.

「Yokoso Japan!」 logo

「Yokoso Japan!」 logo

Here are some of their Yokoso Japan! campaign ads.

Most of the scenes in this first one are of Tokyo (there are a few shots of Osaka, etc…but most of it is Tokyo):

These show many parts of Japan:

Do they make you want to visit this beautiful country?

ハロウィーン

4 Oct

It’s now 十月 (October), and ハロウィーン (Halloween) is at the end of this month.

Do you celebrate ハロウィーン (Halloween)? What do you do?

When I was a kid in America, I used to enjoy doing what most American kids do at ハロウィーン (Halloween)…dressing up in a costume and walking around the neighborhood knocking on people’s doors to get candy.

Of course I’ve long outgrown any interest in ハロウィーン (Halloween) for myself…but I have three kids and once they were old enough, I wanted to take them Trick ‘R Treating. But knocking on your neighbors’ doors and asking to be given candy (or anything else, for that matter) is not something people in Japan would feel comfortable doing.

In fact, when my kids were little there was no ハロウィーン (Halloween) in Japan at all to speak of. So, a couple times, my wife made ハロウィーン (Halloween) costumes for our kids by hand and we invited some of their friends over for a “Halloween Party” at our house. We painted rabbit or mouse faces on the kids and gave them candy and played some games with them.

That was back when they were in 保育園 (Nursery School). But we still buy some candy and small bags now and let our kids give some ハロウィーン (Halloween) presents to their friends.
The only difference now is that many stores in Japan sells ハロウィーン (Halloween) merchandise and candy and costumes! So we can buy ハロウィーン (Halloween) candy and ハロウィーン (Halloween) bags with pictures of “Jack ‘O Lanterns” and black cats.

ハロウィーン (Halloween) is still pretty new to Japan though, so many people see the ハロウィーン (Halloween) stuff being sold in the stores and think it looks fun and interesting…but relatively few people actually purchase any of it because they wouldn’t have any use for a ハロウィーン (Halloween) costume (even if they have kids) or imported American candy (which is usually too sweet for Japanese tastes).

But some people do buy the ハロウィーン (Halloween) decorations and ハロウィーン (Halloween) costumes because there’s beginning to be more and more to do to celebrate ハロウィーン (Halloween) in Japan (even if the average Japanese person isn’t 100% sure exactly what date in October the holiday falls on…or how the holiday is celebrated in other countries).

Here are a couple pictures of ハロウィーン (Halloween) pumpkins, candy, and other goods that a store was recently selling. I didn’t have my camera with me…so I took these two photos with the camera on my 携帯電話 (cell-phone):

So, if you’re in the Tokyo area at ハロウィーン (Halloween) time and you want to celebrate it “Japanese style, here are some of the places you can go:

  • Tokyo Disneyland…from mid-September until October 31, Disneyland has special ハロウィーン (Halloween) decorations and events (for example, if kids see any staff dressed as a witch, then can say “Trick ‘R Treat” and get a treat. There’s also face painting available).You can enter the park during ハロウィーン (Halloween) time wearing a costume…provided that it’s a Disney themed costume.

    The Tokyo Disneyland Halloween 2008 website page is here.

  • ハローハロイィーンパンプキンパレード (Hello Halloween Pumpkin Parade) in 表参道 (Omotesandou, Tokyo)…on the last Sunday of October at 11:00AM-6:00PM.Their website is here (日本語 (Japanese only)).
  • ハロウィーン in 多摩センター (Halloween In Tama Center) in Western Tokyo on the last weekend in October.Events include Trick ‘R Treating, Jack ‘O Lanterns, etc.

    Their website’s in 日本語 (Japanese only) here.

  • Roppongi Hills Happy Halloween Parade
  • …on the last Saturday in October.

    Their website is here.

  • Kawasaki Halloween…on the last weekend in October in 川崎 (Kawasaki (south of Tokyo)).They have a Halloween parade and kids 12 and under can go to stores in the shopping center that have the Halloween poster in their window and say “Trick ‘R Treat” to get candy. The kids don’t necessarily need to be in costume.

    When my daughters were under 12, we went to this event. A couple pictures that I took of people in the Halloween parade can be seen on this post.

    The Kawasaki Halloween 2008 website (in 日本語 (Japanese only)) is here.

  • 元町ハロウィーン (Motomachi Halloween)…in 横浜 (Yokohama) on October 31.Their website (in 日本語 (Japanese only)) is here.
  • Tokyo American Club Halloween Monster Mash…on the last Saturday in October.The Tokyo American Club is a very exclusive club with membership by invitation only (plus their membership fees are extremely steep). But if you’re a member, they have a Halloween event (but you’d probably already know about it). I don’t have a membership…so I’ve never been.

    Their website is here.

  • 山手線ハロウィーン・トレイン (Yamanote Line Halloween Train)…late October on the Yamanote Train Line in Tokyo.This is an unauthorized (and unapproved) event started by foreigners in Tokyo. Every year, some (adult) foreigners meet at a designated time and train station wearing Halloween costumes. I haven’t ever participated in this (I haven’t worn a Halloween costume since I was a child)…but I’ve heard that the police and train attendants try to stop it every year because the participants usually drink alcohol and act rowdy on the normally quiet Tokyo trains.

Some news

24 Sep
  • Air India flight 307 left 成田空港 (Narita Airport in Chiba (near Tokyo)) for India on Sunday, 21 September 2008 but had to return to Narita because parts of the engine fell off…and struck two parked cars near the airport.One piece of debris sliced through the wind-shield of a car like butter. Luckily noone was hurt.
  • The American Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, U.S.S. George Washington, is scheduled to arrive in Japan tomorrow to commence being homeported in 横須賀 (Yokosuka (south of Tokyo)).A large number of protesters are expected to greet the ship because many Japanese are against having a nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ship even visit Japan, not to mention being stationed here.

  • On Monday, 22 September 2008 (two days after his 68th birthday), 麻生太郎 (Tarou ASOU) was chosen to be the new Prime Minister of Japan.

    (My post about the former Prime Minister, 福田康夫 (Yasuo FUKUDA), resigning on Sept 1st is here).

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 )).

+++
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!

++++

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.

++++
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.