Tag Archives: Marathon

2014 Olympics … 3/4 mark

18 Feb

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are about 75% finished. The closing ceremony will be held in five days…on Sunday, February 23rd.

As of today, Germany is in first place with 13 medals (eight gold), America is in fourth place with 18 medals (five of which are gold), and Japan is in 14th place with six medals (one gold).

olympics

Click here to visit the official “2014 Sochi Olympics homepage“.

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Tokyo Marathon and spring beer

26 Feb

The 2012 Tokyo Marathon was held today.

Twenty-nine year old Michael Kipyego of Kenya, Africa came in first place with a time of 2 hrs 07.37 seconds.
藤原新 (Arata Fujiwara) came in second just a few hundredths of a seconds later.

Arata Fujiwara of Japan and Michael Kipyego of Kenya show their silver and gold medals, respectively.

I don’t enjoy running…or even jogging, for that matter. So I can’t imagine running a 42 kilometer (26.22 miles) marathon!

Do you like to run or jog? Have you ever run a marathon? The Tokyo Marathon?

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Now that it’s getting closer to the end of winter and 花見 (“Cherry Blossom Viewing”) season will be here before long, many Japanese brewers have begun selling beers in cans decorated with 桜 (Cherry Blossoms).

A “Sonic Boom” will hit Japan

27 Feb

First of all, as I mentioned in this comment, the “2011 Tokyo International Marathon” was held today.

30,000 people from Japan and other countries ran the 42.195 KM (over 26 miles) course through the streets of Tokyo.
For the past five years now, the Tokyo Marathon has been an annual event held at the end of February.

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Anyways, my friend has just informed me that the American rock band KISS will be coming to Japan this April to play seven shows around Japan to support their “Sonic Boom” album.

(I did an interview with the artist who designed this album cover, by the way.)

The dates of the shows that KISS are scheduled to play in Japan are:

2011 April 13 – Nagoya, Japan at the Aichi Prefecture Gymnasium
2011 April 14 – Yokohama, Japan at the Pacifico Yokohama
2011 April 17 – Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena
2011 April 18 – Kobe, Japan at the World Hall
2011 April 20 – Tokyo, Japan at the Nippon Budokan
2011 April 21 – Tokyo, Japan at the Nippon Budokan
2011 April 23 – Sapporo, Japan at the Makomanai Indoor Stadium

Tickets for the shows in the Tokyo area (which are Yokohama, Saitama and Tokyo) will go on sale on 2011 March 12th.

I have seen KISS play in Japan in both Yokohama and Tokyo before. In Yokohama, I saw them at the “Yokohama Arena” (not the “Pacifico”, where they’ll being playing this time). In Tokyo, I saw them at both the “Tokyo Dome” and the “Nippon Budokan”.

An interesting thing about this tour is that KISS will play a show in Sapporo, Japan. KISS has played many shows in Japan since their first time here in the 1970’s and they’ve never played northern Japan before. I’m sure that KISS fans in Hokkaido are happy to hear that there will finally be a KISS concert in their area!

The name of the 「日本武道館」 (Nippon Budokan) in Tokyo means “Japan Martial-arts Hall”.
Traditionalists don’t really like the idea of musicians playing pop music in this “sacred” hall. The first pop band to play there were The Beatles when they first came to Japan. The traditionalists protested their concerts. But The Beatles drew huge crowds to the Budokan…and they held the record for the most consecutive sell-out shows there. They played four sold-out shows in a row at the Budokan.
But KISS beat The Beatles‘s record when they played five sold-out shows at the Budokan on their first Japan tour in the late ’70s.

Since then it’s become quite normal for musicians to perform at the Nippon Budokan. Even with the bigger and newer “Tokyo Dome” not far from the Budokan, upcoming Japanese pop stars still consider it a sign of success to play at the Nippon Budokan…not unlike American musicians playing at the “Madison Square Garden”.

The famous "Nippon Budokan"; Tokyo, Japan

Have you ever seen a KISS concert? If not, you’re missing out on the best live show by any band. Their shows are quite exciting…fire-breathing, blood, flying guitars, flying musicians, outrageous costumes, kabuki-style face paint.

To get an idea, watch this music promotion video for the single “Modern Day Delilah” from their most recent album “Sonic Boom”:

And, in a more good news for us KISS fans…the band has announced that a new KISS studio album of brand-new songs is due out later this year (2011)!

A number of newspapers in Japan had articles about the upcoming KISS tour here.
I bought today’s copy of 「夕刊フジ」 (“Yuukan-Fuji“) evening paper:

Here’s a close-up of the article about KISS:

 

The headline says: "Hell's group" KISS return for a Japan tour after four-and-a-half years!

お年玉 Kit-Kat

8 Dec

Last January, I wrote about Kit-Kat Japan‘s special chocolates for kids taking their school entrance exams (click here to read it).

I gave a box to my oldest daughter last winter when she was taking her high school entrance exams.
This year, my second daughter is in the ninth grade (final year of junior high school), so she’ll be taking her high school entrance exams next month. I’ll be buying the chocolate for her next month.

But right now, Kit-Kat Japan has another special box.
It’s 「お年玉 Kit-Kat」 (“Otoshidama-Kit-Kat“).

(Otoshidama Kit-Kat)

「お年玉」 (Otoshidama) is gift money given to children at New Years time.
It’s a Japanese tradition. Kids can receive special envelopes of money from all of their adult relatives at New Years until they turn twenty-years-old.

This Kit-Kat box has a special envelope pocket on the side to put money inside and a space to write “To” and “From”.
It also has a tiger on the box because 2010 will be the “Year Of The Tiger“.

Usually Japanese kids get 「お年玉」 (New Years gift money) in envelopes like these:

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And, unrelated, the “2010 Tokyo Marathon” will take place on 2010 February 28.

Last March, I wrote about the “2009 Tokyo Marathon“.
Click here to read it.

三連休

22 Mar

Today is the last day of a 三連休 (three-day weekend).
(Click here to read why Friday was a holiday).

As I mentioned in an earlier post (Click here to read it), we paid a visit to our family grave on Friday…then we went to the 「アンパンマンとやなせたかし展」 (”Anpanman & Takashi Yanase Exhibit“) at the 日本橋三越本店 (Mitsukoshi Dep’t Store head store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo).

Here are some photos I took:

Advertisement for the exhibit near the store

Advertisement for the exhibit near the store

"Roll-panna chan" has a split personality. She can turn on her friends.

"Roll-panna chan" has a split personality. She can turn on her friends.

Some of the main "good guys"

Some of the main "good guys"

They've become bugs!

They've become bugs!

「カキクケコちゃん」って! Funny name!

「カキクケコちゃん」って! Funny name!

「だいこんやくしゃ」 His name sounds like "Radish-actor"...but it means "Bad actor"

「だいこんやくしゃ」 His name sounds like "Radish-actor"...but it means "Bad actor"

The "Hamburger Kid"

The "Hamburger Kid"

After we left the exhibit

After we left the exhibit

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Yesterday the weather was really nice in Tokyo. Clear sky, comfortable temperature…perfect weather. So we walked around downtown and stopped in a few stores to get my kids some things that they need for the new school year.

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Yesterday’s weather was perfect…but today’s rainy and very windy. And a bit cold.
It’s too bad because today’s the Tokyo Marathon!
It started at 9:05AM this morning in 新宿 (Shinjuku, Tokyo) and is still going as I type this.
I’m watching it live on TV. It’s scheduled to end at 4:30PM.
The finish line is in お台場 (Odaiba, Tokyo). As of 3:20PM (when I writing this), about 26,000 runners have crossed the finish line…there are still about 9,000 people running it.

It’s too bad they didn’t hold the marathon yesterday when the weather was so much better!

Anyways, I mentioned the Tokyo Marathon in a post a few days ago. (Click here to read it.)

At the beginning of the marathon all 37000 people were crowded together

At the beginning of the marathon all 35000 people were crowded together

You should visit Asakusa

18 Mar

浅草 (Asakusa) is one of the many parts of Tokyo that I like alot.

It’s a 下町 (traditional downtown area). Famous for the 雷門 (Lightning Gate), 浅草寺 (Sensouji Temple), and the numerous excellent (festivals) that are held there.

(Click here to read a post I wrote about 浅草 (Asakusa)).

Starting today, for the next few weeks, there will alot going on in 浅草 (Asakusa).

  • Today (March 18): 金竜の舞い (Golden Dragon Festival).
    This is held every year on March 18. I have been to this festival a few times when the date fell on a weekend. I have to work today, so I can’t go this year…but, if you can make it—I recommend it.
    Click here to read about it on my Festivals In Tokyo page.
  • Sunday, March 22, 2009: Tokyo Marathon.
    An annual international marathon with runners from all over the world racing through the streets of Tokyo.
    The course brings them past the 雷門 (Lightning Gate) in 浅草 (Asakusa).

marathon

  • Late March – Early April: 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing).
    This traditional event is done all over Japan. One popular location is near the 隅田川 (Sumida River) in 浅草 (Asakusa).
    (Last year, I wrote a few posts about 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing). Click here to read one.)
  • Sunday, April 12, 2009: 白鷺の舞い (White Heron Dance).
    A famous 浅草 (Asakusa) festival.

    「白鷺の舞い」 (White Heron Dance)

    「白鷺の舞い」 (White Heron Dance)

  • Saturday, April 18, 2009: 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery).
    An exciting ancient Japanese archery display that involves the archers shooting arrows at targets while riding a galloping horse.
    (I have seen 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) a number of times. Last year, I wrote a post about the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) at 浅草 (Asakusa). Click here to read it.)

There are plenty of other great festivals in 浅草 (Asakusa) throughout the year. But these are the ones that are coming up.

Have you ever been to any of these festivals in 浅草 (Asakusa) before? Will you attend this year? Did you already know about these events?