Archive for 'noncategory' Category

“Comic Market 80” being held

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 8月 13, 2011

  “Comic Market 80” is currently being held Aug.12-14 at Tokyo Big Sight in Koto ward Tokyo. 


 More than 160,000 people visited the event on the first day of  12th and A lot of participants enjoyed “kosupure”(“costume play” of characters of anime or manga ) of popular or favorite characters and works, and  market  booths or stall storess of  variety of  lay cartoonists’ comics and other subculture- related items.

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (6 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

Enjoy the cool breeze in the forest of Meiji Jingu Shrine

By Kikki - Last updated: 月曜日, 8月 8, 2011

Much cooler than other sightseeing spots in Tokyo


Free walking tour guide at Meiji Shrine

After the great disaster caused by East Japan Earthquake on March 11, foreign visitors to Japan have been decreased. Under the authorization of Meiji Shrine, I am personally participated in voluntary activity of guiding those foreign visitors in English around the shrine. Our activity is held once or twice a month regularly at the shrine. As usual we worked as free tour guide on August 7 to introduce Japanese couture while guiding around the precinct of the shrine.

Although, climate in Tokyo was really scorching hot on the day, and was the highest temperature recorded 34 ℃, once we enter the forest of Meiji Shrine we feel rather cool. The forest works reducing temperature here so it is quite recommendable for those foreign visitors to take a break in the shrine.

16 guides were participated to our voluntary activity on the day, including 7 new guides who had no experience of showing around the shrine. They try to learn how to explain sightseeing spots in the shrine through experienced guides while assisting to them.

New guides with a couple from New Zeeland & a family from Bhutan


Our team, consisting two new guides and I, could guide 3 parties from New Zeeland, the Netherlands, and Bhutan.

The first group from New Zeeland was a couple. They have been here when they were in honeymoon in Japan. The earthquake also attacked their country in February 2011 just before East Japan Earthquake. We exchanged consolation about the disaster each other. 

The four young people from the Netherlands were our second guests and new guides took a part of guiding around the shrine. The family consisting of four people from Bhutan was my next guests. Actually, last two groups started from the Harajuke Gate together, because there is no guide is available at the time. While assisting to two new guides, I personally guided the family from Bhutan. I had no experience to talk to people from Bhutan. They game me an information about their favorite wine in Bhutan when I guiding at the barrels of sake or rice wine. According to his information, it is similar to Shochu or a Japanese distilled beverage, made from grains of rice, wheat, and millet. It is a sort of home-made wines named ‘Ara’. We could really enjoy talking to them.

Why don’t you come and see us at Meiji Shrine when you visit our country.

Meiji Shrine (明治神宮,)


It is ,located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken.

After the emperor’s death in 1912, the Japanese Diet passed a resolution to commemorate his role in the Meiji Restoration. An iris garden in an area of Tokyo where Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken had been known to visit was chosen as the building’s location.

Construction began in 1915, and the shrine was built in the traditional Nagare-zukuri or stream style and is made up primarily of Japanese cypress and copper. It was formally dedicated in 1920, completed in 1921, and its grounds officially finished by 1926. Until 1946, the Meiji Shrine was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha (官幣大社), meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines.

The original building was destroyed during the Tokyo air raids of World War II. The present iteration of the shrine was funded through a public fund raising effort and completed in October, 1958.

Meiji Shrine was brought into the flow of current events with the 2009 visit of United State Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. After arriving in Tokyo on her first foreign trip representing the newly elected Presiden Barack Obama, she made her way to this shrine in advance of meetings with Japan’s leaders to show her “respect toward history and the culture of Japan.”

In January 2010, German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle demonstrated the same respect when he concluded his visit to Japan with a visit of the shrine.

<Reference materials>


For travelers from overseas

As a certified guide-interpreter in English and also a writer of the website “Cool Japan Guide”, I am very happy to introduce Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo. If you have something to ask, or need English speaking tour guide when visit Japan please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your kind cooperation, I am looking forward to your contact.

Please Contact Us/お問合せ

Introduction of the specialist for Onsen design

I would like to introduce one of the best Japanese architects, Mr. Hiroshi Ebisawa, who is specialized in Onsen facility.

Please contact:

View Meiji Jingu Shrine in a larger map

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (2 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

Local star cat drinks water in standing position

By Tenkaijapan - Last updated: 月曜日, 8月 8, 2011



Mokkun, an 8-year-old male cat in Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture, has become a local celebrity after acquiring the skill of drinking water from a watering can while standing on his hind legs, with one of his paws placed softly on the spout.

Amid the hot spell, the white feline of mixed breed sometimes drinks for as long as nearly a minute like that, prompting neighbors and passers-by to take pictures to capture his ”cool” style of drinking.

According to his owner Takanori Ishimura, a 67-year-old dance instructor, Mokkun started drinking water like that about three years ago when Ishimura was watering plants.

Mokkun’s face gets thoroughly soaked with water while drinking from the can. ”He doesn’t mind that at all, even though he’s pretty grumpy on rainy days,” Ishimura said with a laugh.

View Shunan-shi, Yamaguchi in a larger map

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (4 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

The 3rd Inbound Business Forum held by Yamatogokoro

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 8月 7, 2011

  The 3rd inbound business forum of “Yatogokoro”, a Internet website organization of inbound business was held on Jul.28th in Yotsuya Tokyo.

A committee member of JNTO(Japan National Tourism Organization), researchers of economics, travel business, hotel manager and other professionals gave reports and lectures, and panel discussions over the latest  statistic tendencies of the inbound business and foreign tourists in Japan.  According to them, after the sharp decrease in number of  foreign visitors to Japan since  the earthquake disaster in March, gradually the number is rising again though it has not come back to that in around the same time last year yet.  Ideas about Several effective measures to increase the number and attract foreign travelers were suggested.     

I stand in around the center in the photo holding a message board.


After the seminar, a party was hosted by the  organization for the guests and attendees of the seminar as well, in which a lot of  people related to inbound, lodging, transportation, and other concerning business fields took part in it and I enjoyed that company.  Now I feel, slowly but steadily we are vigorously overcoming the blow of the aftermath and shocks of the earthquakes, tsunamis,and the nuclear power plant’s accidents in our Japanese tourism.

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (8 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

Crown Prince and Princes Masako made a day trip to Ohfunato City and inquire tsunami victims

By Kikki - Last updated: 土曜日, 8月 6, 2011

[From Ohfunato City-my stricken home town]

– East Japan Great Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-

Crown Prince Naruhito and his consort Princes Masako made a day trip to Ohfunato City and inquire tsunami victims on August 5. The couple has already made trips to Tokyo, Saitama, and two prefectures in Tohoku region, Miyagi and Fukushima to inquire after the victims.

They took a Self-Defense Force plane at Haneda Air Port and departed before the noon. They flew to Ohfunato City by a helicopter after landing at Hanamaki Air Port in Iwate Prefecture. According to the Imperial Household Agency, the helicopter flew over stricken cities of Kesennuma, Rikuzen-takata, and Ohfunato, and the prince and princess bowed in silence three times. They also deeply bowed in silence at the stricken sites in Ohfunato City.

Then, they went to the temporary housing area at Ginomori to console the people, where about 200 victim citizens are forced to live. The couple communicated with five families in the temporary houses. Princess Masako bent over and encouraged Mr. Kisaburou Hamada (90) in his wheelchair in saying ‘Please good care of you.’

When the prince asked to Mr. Yuji Saitoh (13), 2nd grade student of No.1 Ohfunato Junior High, in saying, ‘How are you going to live in your life?’ He replied to the prince, ‘I would like to accomplish my precious life because I could save my life.’

Mr. Hitoshi Hamada (58) has shared the temporary house with 3 family members. Princess Masako asked him ‘How are you living here?’ He replied to the princess, ‘We are getting along here a day by day’, and appreciated their visiting.

When, a nursery school child said ‘I lost my grandfather and grandmother.’ the prince consoled him in saying ‘It’s too bad! You feel lonely and miss them.’

Princess Masako took Ms. Tomiko Sugawara’s (55) hand and talked to her kindly. ‘How you could survive. You were so hard.’ A middle age lady with weak eyes replied in tear. ‘Every people around me helped saving my life….’

When the couple left the temporary houses, they waved their hands to encourage victim citizens in saying ‘Take good care of you!’

Crown Prince Naruhito

Crown Prince Naruhito (皇太子徳仁親王born 23 February 1960) is the eldest son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, which makes him the heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan.

The Prince pursued and eventually proposed (reportedly twice) to the then 29-year-old Masako Owada, a diplomat in the Japanese Foreign Ministry working under her father Hisashi Owada who is currently a judge on the Inernational Court Justice, former vice minister for foreign affairs and former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations. The Imperial Palace announced their engagement on 19 January 1993.On 9 June 1993, The Crown Prince of Japan and Masako Owada were married at the Imperial Shinto Hall in Tokyo before 800 invited guests and an estimated media audience of 500 million people around the world. Many of Europe’s crowned heads attended. So, too, did most of Europe’s elected heads of state. The couple makes their home at the Togu Palace, on the Akasaka Estate in Minato, Tokyo.Naruhito has one daughter from his marriage: Aiko, Princess Toshi, born 1 December 2001.


View Ohfunato City in a larger map

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (5 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

The first LCC based at Narita Airport founded by ANA and AirAsia

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 7月 27, 2011

  A new LCC (low-cost carrier) ,” AirAsia Japan Co,Ltd.” was founded as a joint venture with the agreement between ANA (All Nippon Airways) and AirAsia Bernad on this Jul.21st.


 ANA (  )is Japan’s largest airlines based in Tokyo ,while AirAsia ( is one of the top major LCCs based in Kuala Lumpur. The new venture is to be the very first one  based at  Narita International Airport which is the hub airport of  Japan.  As for ANA , this LCC is the second one,  for the first one ,”Peach Aviation” ,was founded in this February based at  Kansai International Airport which is going to start operating in the coming March.    

ANA holds a 51% stake and AirAsia holds a 49%, yet, the brand image power and experiences of streamlining expenses and other of AirAsia will be tha primary weapon.  Shinichiro Ito , president of ANA says the airfares will be around one third to half of  those of  average other airlines, so that the new company can receive potential profits as a pioneer of  a market  which will be developed from now on  with those people who have not often used flights with existing carriers up to today.  The company expects to win in the competitions with upcoming influxes of  foreign  LCCs  that are surely join  the races anticipated to be quite intense in the Japanese flight service market. 

This new project is expected to enhance the conveniences of  air traffics and trades in these areas in the Asian region including  improving tourism with increasing number of  foreign tourists to Japan, which has been sharply decreaed after the disaster of the huge earthquake and tsunamis in this March.   The number has already begun to increase a bit by bit these days as the Japanese situations are getting better and better.

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (7 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

A “new member of AKB48”-a “CG idol” being popular

By TERRY - Last updated: 木曜日, 6月 30, 2011

 A  big “new member” of AKB48,  Aimi Eguchi(/江口愛美)  made her debut on TV commercial of  ice cream goods, “Aisu no mi(/アイスの未, fruit of ice) of Ezaki Glico on 2o.

・・・However,  this new member is not a real human but a computer graphic idol which is a mixed face of  facial parts of   the top six popular members of AKB. Her name is also taken from the “Ezaki Glico ice no mi ”  and her birthday is the same as the foundation date of the company.  

As she had been strongly supported by Yasushi Akimoto the producer of AKB and her face had been introduced on the pages of  Weekly PlayBoy  on 13th without explaining her being a CG person,  the fans had hot controversy over her identity and many said she must be a CG figure even before she was introduced as CG idol by AKB and Glico.   So, actually  the assumption over her identity of  many AKB fans is correct and, now,  she is becoming one of the most popular AKB memebers though she does not exist and can appear only on DVDs, games, and other virtual media measures. 

Eguchi performs in the center position of the seven members performing the song and dance of  the TV commercial of Aisu no Mi, and the other six memebers have provided her with their facial parts images. 

Eguchi’s eyes are those of Atsuko Maeda, the No,1 popular member at the moment, her hair and body are those of  Yuko Oshima, the No.2 member, her mouth is that of Mariko Shinoda, No.4, her eyebrows are those of  Mayu Watanabe, No.5, her facial line is that of  Minami Takahashi, No.7, her nose is that of  Tomomi Itano, No.8, and her voice is that of  Yukari Sasaki, a trainee of the 12 generation.  According to the formal resume of  Eguchi, she is one of the “12.5 generation” trainee of AKB. 

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (9 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

Ogasawara Islands and Hiraizumi -designated as World Heritage sites at the same time

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 6月 29, 2011

 Ogasawara Islands in  Ogasawara village in Tokyo  area  (  )was  designated  as a World Natural Heritage site on 24th and Hiraizumi in Iwate Pref. in Tohoku Region( was designated as a World Cultural Heritage  site on 25th (in Japan on 26th due to the time difference) by the 35th WHC(World Heritage Committee of UNESCO) held in Paris France.

Ogasawara Islands




 The reasons of  Ogasawara’s designation is that area is home to various unique species of  flora and fauna and the constant  efforts to preserve the indiginous species by the people there and NGOs have been recognized.   The  mayor of the village , Kazuo Morishita says ,”We ,the villagers will keep on exerting  necessary efforts to preserve our nature sticking together . ” 

Ogasawara Islands are located 1000 km south from  Tokyo metropolitan area with about 30 islands including  Iwo island which became a hard-fought field in WW2(that island is excluded from the designated site). As the archipelago has never been connected to a continent, it has developed unique species systems and called “Galapagos of the Orient” .

The villagers  cried in joy at the new of designation and hosted the Henkansai(/返還祭, the festival of  handover) on 25th, which commemorates the handover of the islands from US to Japan in 1968.  The vice mayor of the village composed “Ogasawara Sekaiisan Ondo”(/小笠原世界遺産音頭, Ogasawara  world heritage site memorial music) and formed “World Heritage Sisters” consisting of  female villagers in their 50~80s. the group danced that special music.       

Ogasawara village children celebrating the designation in raptures

The World Heritage Sisters dancing the "Sekaiisan Ondo"



And Hiraizumi town,  located in southwestern part of  Iwate,  is  an historical area being home to a lot of  old  buildings ,such as Chuson-ji temple and Moutsu-ji temple was ruled by  many clans through history. The town  especially enjoyed  high-brow cultures  developed by the Ohshu Fujiwara family in the 11th century.  The area once was recommended as a world culture heritage site in 2008 but that application was shelved due to the area’s insufficient rationale or proof  of the historical significance for human kind.

Iwate Governor,  Takuta Tasso gave a speech in joy emphasizing  the town has been a center of  rebuilding after the devastations of  a lot of wars through history and that this time the area is a symbol of  hope of  rebuilding of  Tohoku which is currently suffering from the aftermath of the huge earthquake and tsunami  disaster in March.  And the town mayor of  Hiraizumi, Masayoshi Sugawara  says in bliss,  “For the damaged areas of the earthquake disaster, the news of the designation of  Hiraizumi is a sensational  hope of  rebuilding. I hope  this will be helpful for the rebuilding  efforts and activities.”  

the priests of Chuson-ji, Motsu-ji and Hiraizumi town staff celebrating the designation

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (7 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

Shizuoka Hobby Square grand opening on June 11th

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 6月 24, 2011

  A new museum of  plastic models and dioramas was open  in front of  Shizuoka station south exit on the 3rd floor of South Pot Shizuoka on this 11th.

I was  happily enough to join a training program of  a new “tour-guide” system of  AISO (Asia Inbound Sightseeing Organization) and visited the new museum on its  very ground opening day on 11th.


Shizuoka prefecture in the Tokai Rigion of  or Chubu Japan, a central region, is famous for its world leading hi- tech  companies of automobiles, motorcycles, music instruments , such as Yamaha .Yet, The prefecture is also well-known for its renowned toy manufacturers  of plastic models, radio-controlled cars, – airplanes,  and  splendid dioramas, such as Tamiya, Aoshima , Bandai, and others .  

The Square is associated with such models, toys,  motorcycles,and picturesof those companies.

I was personally reminded of  good old memories of  those items which I  eagerly  assembeld and played in my childhood such as Aoshima’s   robot model.

The museum also includes a souvenior store which sells some of the exhibited items.   I made up my mind to buy some of the items which I really liked and some visitors bought those items there. 

What was the most impressive is  The chairperson of  Tamiya was there and  I spoke to him  and exchanged our business cards.  Some  journalists who accommpanied us  for our coverage  also interviewed him.  

In addition, the Square will  sometimes host  special  exhibitions of artworks of  famous artists of those items.

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (8 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

Atsuko Maeda made a come-back to No.1 at The 3rd General Election of AKB48

By TERRY - Last updated: 土曜日, 6月 11, 2011

  As I worte here before,  there held the 3 rd General Election of AKB48 to select the members to sing  the 23rd  single CD’s song.

Atsuko Maeda making a speech in joy

The  election outcome was announced at Japan Budokan in Tokyo on 9th, and  Atsuko Maeda(/前田敦子), who had won the No.1 at the first and No.2 at the second, now  made a glorious come-back to the No.1 status this time, and  Yuko Oshima(/大島優子), who had won No.1 at the second election defeating Maeda last year, fell to No.2 this time.

Yuko Oshima of No.2

Maeda and Oshima, the twin tip-tops of AKB, sharing popularities of  a lot of  fans and competing neck-and-neck,  proved to keep the crucial popularities this time as well.  Maeda obtained 139,892 votes (No.1 at the second had got 3,851 votes and this time’s increased by about 4.5 times )  ,while Oshima got 122,843 votes(No.2 at the second had got 31,448 votes and this time’s increased by about 3.9 times ) . The total number of votes obtained by members of No.1~40 summed up to 1081,332, whose drastic increasing number clearly indicates the skyrocketing popularity of this idol group nowadays.  

Rino Sashihara, No.19 →No.9 , her huge efforts made her a Media Selection Member for the first time. 


 There is also a big change in the “hierarchy of popularities” of the group. For example,  Tomomi Itano(/板野友美), fell from No.4 last time to No.8 this time and so-called “God’s Seven” (the top seven members none of whom had fallen to No.8 or lower at the first and the second election) received a shocking change of its members. It was Yuki Kashiwagi(/柏木由紀), that won the No.3 status to break through the old seven’s order.  In addition, some members newly appearing or  becoming popular these days won higher statuses , such as some SKE48 members (six of them got No.40 or higher ) and Sayaka Yamamoto(/山本彩) ,the captain of  NMB48 in Osaka ,the new sister group  of AKB got No.28.

Yuki Kashiwagi, No.8 →No.3, she broke down the "invincible God's Seven" for the first time.

The popularity dynamics of AKB is quite unpredictable and that is why it is interesting enough to draw attentions of  the fans the mass. I would like to keep watching this splendid idol group.

The details of  the outcome of the 3rd election is as follows;

■メディア選抜 (The Media Selection Members)
1位 前田敦子       13万9892票    (Atsuko Maeda)(139,892 votes)
2位 大島優子(Not yet) 12万2843票
3位 柏木由紀(フレンチ・キス) 7万4252票
4位 篠田麻里子 6万539票
5位 渡辺麻友(渡り廊下走り隊) 5万9118票
6位 小嶋陽菜(ノースリーブス) 5万2920票
7位 高橋みなみ(ノースリーブス) 5万2790票
8位 板野友美 5万403票
9位 指原莉乃(Not yet) 4万5227票
10位 松井玲奈(SKE48) 3万6929票
11位 宮澤佐江(DiVA) 3万3500票
12位 高城亜樹(フレンチ・キス) 3万1009票

■選抜メンバー (The Selection Members)
13位 北原里英(Not yet) 2万7957票
14位 松井珠理奈(SKE48) 2万7804票
15位 峯岸みなみ(ノースリーブス) 2万6070票
16位 河西智美 2万2857票
17位 秋元才加(DiVA) 1万7154票
18位 佐藤亜美菜 1万6574票
19位 横山由依(Not yet) 1万6455票
20位 増田有華(DiVA) 1万4137票
21位 倉持明日香(フレンチ・キス) 1万2387票

■アンダーガールズ (The Under Girls)
22位 梅田彩佳(DiVA)
23位 高柳明音(SKE48)
24位 仲川遥香(渡り廊下走り隊)
25位 多田愛佳(渡り廊下走り隊)
26位 平嶋夏海(渡り廊下走り隊)
27位 宮崎美穂
28位 山本彩(NMB48)
29位 大家志津香
30位 大矢真那(SKE48)
31位 仁藤萌乃
32位 小森美果
33位 秦佐和子(SKE48)
34位 佐藤すみれ
35位 大場美奈(研究生→チーム4昇格)
36位 須田亜香里(SKE48)
37位 前田亜美
38位 松井咲子
39位 市川美織(研究生→チーム4昇格)
40位 藤江れいな

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (7 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

“An-Dounatsu”(sweet bean paste-doughnuts) from “JIN” being a phenomenally hit

By TERRY - Last updated: 火曜日, 5月 31, 2011

  “An-Dounatsu”(“安道名津”, sweet bean paste doughnuts)  having got started sold at Seven-Eleven Japan, a major convenience store chain, on this May 24th is now becoming a big hit and has sold more than 60,0000 sets  just in the first  three days.


This doughnut item is originally from a popular manga “JIN”.  The manga work is a sci-fi describing a time travel of a excellent surgeon suddenly thrown into  a past  world of 150 years ago and   meets  some historical personages and saves a lot of  sick or injured people using his advanced medical knowledge and skills of the future.   

In the story  Jin, the hero of the this work , invented the doughnut items as nutritious food to cure patients of beriberi which was rampant in Edo city, the seat of shogun, which was to be Tokyo today,using his knowledge from the future ,yet with available ingredients in those days.     

In addition, as the manga work became so popular, it has been dramataized  on TV and the  first season of  TV version made in 2010 won a great viewer ratings, which led to making the second season this year ;currently being aired from April 17th on.  The average viewer rating  of the episode 1 on 17th was  so high as to 23. 7 % and momentary one was 26.0% , which is the highest of  the current quarter season this year.     

The TV version series are the special memorial drama of the 60th anniversary of TBS and, Season1 won a lot of  awards .  And ,moreover, the broadcasting right of season 2 has been purchased by businesses all over the world and being airred over 80 countries before even the end of  the air of  the drama in Japan, which had never taken place before and  received as a good proof of  the incredibale popularity of the drama even overseas.     

The doughnut item is also described in the TV version and actually a lot of viewers might have taken interested in or even felt like eating it. Therefore,  The  TBS, the TV station of the drama, and Seven-Eleven tied up in producing and selling the fictitious item in reality, and the project now is conducting  special present campaighn for the consumers and viewers.   

The project also started selling  “Tachibanake no Agedashi-doufu”(橘家の揚げだし豆腐, The fried tofu of the Tachibana family’s style) and “Tachibanake no Obento”(橘家のお弁当, The lunch box of the Tachibana family’s style) on the 27th.  The ingredients  of each dishes are both faithful reproductions of how they were described in the story as well. 

“An-Dounatsu”(doughnuts) costs ¥120 (≒$1.5, €1) , “Tachibanake no Agedashi-doufu”(fried tofu) costs ¥230 (≒$2.9, €1.8) ,  all of which are now available at  Seven-Eleven Japan stores.

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (6 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

AKB48’s “3rd General Election” has begun

By TERRY - Last updated: 金曜日, 5月 27, 2011

AKB48, the top female idol group of Japan at the moment, is now hosting its 3rd  general election and the term is May 24-June 8th.  The 1st election in 2009 a kind of drew attentions of the public, the 2nd in 2010 became  a popular topic, and now,  the current 3rd could be “a naitonwide phenomenon” with the group’s  progressive popularity.

Team k of AKB48 attending an event of a flash report of the election's interim outcome

At this 3rd election,  there are 150 candidates in total that consist of  68 memebrs of AKB48 based in Akihabara Tokyo, 57 members of SKE48 based in Nagoya Aichi, and 25 members  of  NMB48 based in Namba Osaka.   Only the top 21 members called “Senbatsu members(elected members)” will be qualified to sing  the main song of the group’s  22nd single CD, and top 22~40 will be allowed to sing the B side  song. And only the top 12 called “Media Senbatsu”of the 21 will be allowed to sing the song in public via media, such as TV.   Unlike the 1st and 2nd elections,  NMB48, the new  sister group of AKB48 is running for the candidacies of the 40 seats, which has made the situation much more intensive than the past ones.


The face photo of AKB48's 21st songle CD "Everyday, カチューシャ"(Everyday ,Katyusha)


If you want to vote, then, there are several ways to get a ballot. One: to become a memebr of the official fan club, two: subscribe to DDM live broadcasting services of AKB48 and SKE48, and three:  to buy  AKB’s 21st single CD “Everyday, カチューシャ”(Everyday, katyusha)released on this 25th, which each CD copy includes one ballot.

“Everyday,カチューシャ”  won the No.1  at the daily CD video ranking of Recochoku on 26th, which has been the tenth straight No.1.  The CD sold more than 9420,000 copies on just the first day, which is more than the number of  the group’s last CD.   There is even a quite huge fan who bought 5500 copies (which costs about 5.5 million yen ) on his own.

The ranks of the candidates are now quite dynamic and changing intensively,which makes it very difficult to foresee the final outcome.  The final outcome  will be announced on the June 9th at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo.

The interim report shows the current outcome as follows; (as of 26th)


1位 大島優子(Yuko Oshima) 17156

2位 前田敦子(Atsuko Maeda) 16452

3位 柏木由紀(Yuki Kashiwagi) 12056

4位 高橋みなみ(Minami Takahashi) 8833

5位 渡辺麻友(Mayu Watanabe) 8582

6位 篠田麻里子(Mariko Shinoda) 8016

7位 指原莉乃(Rino Sashihara) 7357

8位 板野友美(Tomomi Itano) 6596

9位 松井玲奈(Rena Matsui) 6559

10位 小嶋陽菜(Haruna Kojima) 6534

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (4 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

The Sumida River Fireworks Festival being held on Aug.27th

By TERRY - Last updated: 木曜日, 5月 26, 2011

The 34th  Sumida River  Fireworks Festival has finally determined to be held on this Aug. 27th, announced by its Fireworks Festival steering committee on this 24th.


The fireworks festival had been held annually , and usually on  a weekend in the latter July, though  the project was postponed and has almost  suspended once, considering possible negative consequences due to the aftermath of the earthquake disaster in the East Region or Tohoku area in Japan.

The committee had long discussed if it might acquire consents and understanding of  people and expect their co-operation, prepare sufficient security conditions before it finally resolved to host the event this year.

The committee also announces it will invite the sufferers and refugees of the disaster and the nuclear accident, and  sales of the festival will be donated for  supportive activities for them.

This festival held in Sumida-ward in Tokyo has been quite popular ,  with about 20,000 fireworks shot off and  more than 900,000 spectators.  As it is so popular,  a lot of people are eager to watch the event even this year and have submitted requests to the committee despite  some similar events have been canselled to extend condolences to the sufferers and casualties and  voluntary restraint from pleasures.  Now, people passionately welcome the committee’s resolution though the date will be about one month later than usual.


1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (3 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

Sendai Airport reopened on April 13th

By TERRY - Last updated: 木曜日, 4月 14, 2011

 Sendai Airport(/仙台空港) in Miyagi Pref., the hub airport of  Tohoku Region(/東北地方, the Northeast Region of Japan),partially reopened for the first time in 34 days after the tragic earthquake and tsunami disaster on March 11th. 

the Sendai Airport staff welcming the "first" airplane and its passengers on the 13th with huge zeal.

  ANA will operate 3 Daily Tokyo Haneda – Sendai temporary service on board Boeing 737-800 aircraft, while JAL will be offering 1 Daily Tokyo Haneda – Sendai and 2 Daily Osaka Itami – Sendaiservice, also on temporary basis. JAL’sroutes both will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Therefore, 6 (×2) flights a day will be all the temporary services at the Sendai Airport for time being.

JAL had withdrawn from Sendai Airport in 1985 and this time it reinstated its service there for the first time in 26 years.

The "first" airplane (Flight Number:ANA1520) taking off from the runway surrounded by huge amount of rubble

 This good news implies the auspicious harbinger of  progressive advances and improvements of  logistics from now on.  The resumption of  such air supply logistic lines is surely to be the trigger for crucially exalting rebuilding of  the damaged areas.    

The "first" airplane of JAL(Flight Number:4721) which has letters of "がんばろう日本 JAL EXPRESS"."がんばろう日本"means "Let us hang in, Japan ". (at Tokyo Haneda Airport)

Sendai Airport was immensely damaged by the earthquake and the tsunami on March 11th.

 The airport was so seriously damaged by the lethal earthquake and following tsunami on March 11thand had a lot of casualties ,and closed down for about 1month. Yet with intensive restoration and rebuilding operations of SDF and US army, now the facility has become able to use partially though.  It still suffers from the power outage which restricts the facility’s business hours for only daytime, and only the  1st floor is able to use. The airport now entirely relies on its in-house power generation facilities.  The affiliated railroad system is still out of service and the only possible public transport is the temporary substitute bus service for the train service at the moment.   

Ito Shinichiro(/伊東信一郎), the president of ANA, said, “I expect the reopening of  the Sendai Airport to be the symbol of  the rebuilding of Tohoku as a whole.  As the airport is the bub one in that region, I hope it will be totally restored so soon.”.  And Katsuhiko Ito (/伊藤克彦), the president of Sendai Airport Terminal Building (, said, “We shall make every effort and hopefully we wiil be able to fully reopen and operate the airport by this September”.    Hiroyuki Ohkawa(/大川博之) , the captain of the JL4721 said, “We shall do our best, so I hope people in Tohoku Region will do their best for recovery as well.”    

The schedules of  reinstatement of the international flight lines and freight flights are still up in the air as of the 13th. However, as President  Katsuhiko Ito announces, we do hope all services will resume so soon.

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (4 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

“Hayabusa”, the newest bullet train model launching

By TERRY - Last updated: 日曜日, 3月 6, 2011

 On this Mar.5th,  the latest model of  the bullet train of The Tohoku Shinkansen line(東北新幹線, Tohoku Bullet Train Line)   E5 series called “Hayabusa” (/はやぶさ,  falcon)launched and went into service.   

Hayabusa travels at 300 km/h which is the fastest of  all the bullet train lines in Japan (the same velocity with that of  N700 series of Sanyo Shinkansen line) and travels between Tokyo Station in Tokyo and  Shin- Aomori Station (/新青森駅, New Aomori Station) in Aomori Pref. , one of the prefectures in Tohoku, the Northeast Region of Japan  (the distance is totally 713.7 km)in 3 hous and 10 minutes.  It takes two round trips a day and is planned to start travelng  faster at 320 km/h  at the least by the end of  2012.     

The grand opening ceremony was hosted by JR east Japan, the company of the line at Tokyo Station on the 5th with presence and celebration by its chairperson Mutsutake Otsuka(/大塚陸毅).   The first train bound for Tokyo departed Shin- Aomori at 6:10am and the first bound for Shin- Aomori departed Tokyo Station at 8:20am.   All of  the first day’s  tickets were sold out just in 40 seconds after having started selling,which has proven its great popularity.

The most notable feature of this new model may be that it is equipped with the first class seats named “Glan Class”  for the first time in the Japanese bullet train lines’  history. The Glan Class contains only 18 seats equipped with the first car  which has a special appearance of a rather flat and smooth shape in order to reduce possible noise a fast trains tend to make.  Glan Class seats are all spacious and covered with deluxe leather. A passenger of Glan Class is provided with a free lunch box and free beverage services.  

A ticket of  an economy seat costs ¥16,870 (≒$205,€146),and, a Glan Class costs ¥26,360(≒$320,€229) between  Tokyo and Shin-Aomori.   The Tohoku Shinkansen line ,which just  fully opened on Dec.04 2010, now has a new model and services drawing  huge attentions and popularity of people.  A lot of travel agencies have various new tour plans to Aomori or other Tohoku Region using the bullet train line, expecting  carrying so many interested tourists and visitors. I hope this new situation propels

1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (3 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)