Tag Archives: Odaiba

Japanese Firefighters Ceremony

5 Jan

Every year in January there are 出初式 (Japanese New Years Firefighters Ceremonies) around Japan.

Every January 6th, the 「東京消防出初式」 (“Tokyo Fire Department’s New Year Ceremony“) is held. Today is 2016 January 5th, so it will be held tomorrow.

I have been to this (and a few other Japanese Firefighter Ceremonies). Click here to see my post (with photos) about it.

The 「横浜消防出初式」 (“Yokohama Fire Department’s New Year Ceremony“) is on the second Sunday of January every year…so it will be held on January 10th this year.

If you’re unable to attend one of those festivals this month, there is a similar one in the Asakusa area of Tokyo in May every year.
It’s not as grand as the New Year’s ceremonies. And it’s actually a memorial ceremony for fallen firefighters.
It’s called the 江戸消防慰霊祭 (Edo Firefighters Memorial Ceremony).

I watched this ceremony a couple times. Click here to see photos I took of it almost six years ago. (There are also photos of the Tokyo Sky Tree under construction in that post because it’s near where the ceremony is held, and it was being being at that time).

Here are some videos of last year’s 「横浜消防出初式」 (“Yokohama Fire Department’s New Year Ceremony“):

Odaiba

29 Jun

We went to Odaiba, Tokyo today.

The train to Odaiba is fun because it’s driverless and it goes over “Rainbow Bridge”, but we went there by car today.

It had been awhile since our last visit to Odaiba. Kinda surprising how many more foreign tourists were there this time! I guess Tokyo tourist guidebooks feature Odaiba more prominently now.

Anyways, here are photo I took:

We ate たこ焼き (grilled octopus) for lunch.

We ate たこ焼き (grilled octopus) for lunch.

The

The “lifesize” Gundam robot.

2015-06-28 17.16.05 2015-06-28 17.16.36 2015-06-28 17.17.07

France gave Japan a 自由の女神 (Statue of Liberty) too.

France gave Japan a 自由の女神 (Statue of Liberty) too.

2015-06-28 18.32.43

Sunset over Tokyo Bay, Rainbow Bridge and 自由の女神 (Statue of Liberty)

Sunset over Tokyo Bay, Rainbow Bridge and 自由の女神 (Statue of Liberty)

2015-06-28 18.34.09 2015-06-28 18.35.30 2015-06-28 18.39.26

I like 「台場一丁目商店街」 (Odaiba Retro Shopping Street), designed like post-WW2 Japan.

I like 「台場一丁目商店街」 (Odaiba Retro Shopping Street), designed like post-WW2 Japan.

The

The “Odaiba Takoyaki (Griled Octopus) Museum”

2015-06-28 19.41.59

In the evening, the lifesize Gundam robot is lit-up and moves a bit.

In the evening, the lifesize Gundam robot is lit-up and moves a bit.

2015-06-28 20.10.32 2015-06-28 20.10.54 2015-06-28 20.11.26 2015-06-28 20.11.51 2015-06-28 20.11.58 2015-06-28 20.12.32 2015-06-28 20.13.45 2015-06-28 20.14.48

New Year Fire Drill

5 Jan

Every year on January 6th, the Tokyo Fire Department has 出初式 (New Year Fire Drill).

image

Tomorrow is 2014 January 6th, so it will take place tomorrow.

It’s a great event! You should see it if you have a chance!

I have been to this event a couple of times … I wrote a post with photos and video four years ago:

Click here to see it.

Even after over twenty years

7 Jan

I have been living in Japan for most of my life.
I came here when I was twenty years old…and that was over twenty years ago now.

I think Japan is the most beautiful country in the world and Tokyo is the best city.

I wanted to show some scenes that I see regularly in Japan and I may have started taking for granted but they are a part of what makes Japan so special.

Rather than go through the photos in my camera’s memory cards, I decided to be a bit lazy and see what I could find online.
I found a website called Getty Images that has many stock photos…some of them of Japan.
The people who take these photos must have cameras that are much nicer than mine because they took some really nice photos.

I use photos that I took myself in most of my blog posts, but the following photos are from Getty Images.

Every January, when the "Tokyo Stock Exchange" reopens after the New Years holidays, the female staff wear kimono.

A"bird's eye view" of Tokyo

A traditional Japanese breakfast.

A Japanese garden.

The symbol of Japan: 富士山 (Mount Fuji).

Tokyo's "Rainbow Bridge".

Japanese "Green Tea".

The Shibuya area of Tokyo

The Shinjuku area of Tokyo.

新幹線 (Bullet trains)

Tokyo Tower

By the way, today is the seventh day of the New Year.
On this day it is Japanese custom to eat 「七草粥」 (“Seven Herbs Porridge“) for breakfast.
I will have it for breakfast today as I usually do on January 7th.

Click here to see my post that explains this tradition in more detail.

スイカ祭り

1 Jul

At the DECKS shopping area in お台場 (Odaiba, Tokyo), they’re currently having a 「すいか祭り」 (“watermelon festival“) until 2010 July 19.

They’re selling all types of food, drinks and desserts made with スイカ (watermelon).

A great way to cool down from the summer heat in Tokyo!

東京消防出初式

6 Jan

Today I went to the 2010 「東京消防出初式」 (“Tokyo Fire Departements New Year Drill“).

チラシ (Flyer) for the 2010 「東京消防出初式」 (Tokyo Fire Dep't New Year Drills) show.

This is an event that takes place at the 「東京ビッグ・サイト」 (“Tokyo Big Sight“) near お台場 (Odaiba, Tokyo) on January 6 every year.

The "Tokyo Big Sight" venue.

Modern art near the "Tokyo Big Sight".

I mentioned this event in my “Festivals In Tokyo” page.

At this event, a number of firefighters from fire stations all over the Tokyo area come for a day of fire drills. It’s also a day to teach the public about fire and earthquake safety and to let people look and the fire trucks and fire-fighting equipment.
There are also hands-on things to try…such as practice fire extinguishers, trying on a firefighter’s uniform, and an earthquake simulator.

But the highlight of the event is definitely outside the venue.

First, the Tokyo Fire Department band plays and an official opening ceremony commences.
Then, there’s a parade of firefighters wearing various Japanese firefighter uniforms, rescue dogs, and all of the various fire trucks, fire cars, motorcycles, super-pump trucks, firefighting cranes, 救急車 (ambulances), super-ambulances…and in the water, the fire department boats, and in the sky, the fire department helicopters!

And then, some firefighters, dressed in traditional Japanese fire-fighters garb perform amazing aerobatics on traditional Japanese bamboo ladder. Long ago in Japan firemen had to be able to climb these ladders and hang on with their legs while they fought fires.
Japanese firemen still practice this skill for strength and dexterity.

And after that, another amazing show began.
Two buildings on either end of the court were set ablaze, “civilians” were in one of the buildings and needed rescue, an “earthquake” toppled telephone poles and cars, and other “civilians” were in need of rescue at sea!

Firetrucks, cars, motorcycles, cranes, ambulances, firefighters, rescue dogs all rushed to the scene with sirens wailing!

Rescue workers rescued the civilians from the burning building, rescue helicopters pulled people from the water, rescue dogs found “people” in the earthquake rubble!
Meanwhile, cranes lifted the telephone poles and the toppled truck!
And at the same time, hosemen fought the blaze in the burning buildings!
It was quite a show! So much action…I was swept up watching it and forgot to take many pictures!

In the closing ceremony, the fire boat and fire trucks sprayed water into the air and the ladder trucks all lifted a fireman each as high as their ladders went straight up…and then the firemen dropped streamers of flags down.

It was alot of fun to watch this event.

If you’re in Tokyo on January 6 in the future and you have a chance, I recommend checking out the 「東京消防出初式」 (“Tokyo Fire Departements New Year Drill“).

There were a number of news outlets there.
Here’s ANN News report on this event today:

And click here for information about the 2010 「東京消防出初式」 (“Tokyo Fire Departements New Year Drill“) from the 「東京ビッグ・サイト」 (“Tokyo Big Sight“) website (in Japanese only).

Smallest Gundam

24 Jul

In Tokyo right now, until the end of August, is the biggest Gundam robot ever made.
I wrote a post about it (Click here to see it).

Well, from 2009年8月31日(月) ~ 2009年11月30日(月) (Monday, August 31 – Monday, November 30 (2009)), 日清カップ・ヌードル (Nissin Cup Noodles) will give away the smallest Gundam figures ever made.

gundam-noodle-big

Just like the giant 18 meter tall Gundam robot in お台場 (Odaiba, Tokyo), these figures that come in the top of the noodle package are in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Gundam‘s debut.

The Gundam figures

The Gundam figures

Only 1000 of this red and white figure will be made (making this one the most valuable):

Only 1000 of this figure will be available

Only 1000 of this figure will be available