Thursday, 22 December 2011


Writing this may be tempting fate.... but the aftershocks have started to drop off noticeably.  Yesterday there was just one for the whole day. The 18th and 19th also had just one aftershoock.  It's been a while since I have felt one, but not feeling them doesn't mean they are not happening.  There have often been 10 or more aftershocks in a day and the only reason I know about them is from checking the Japan Meteorological agency website.

But now... they are actually happening much less.

Fingers crossed.

05:14 JST 22 Dec 201105:10 JST 22 Dec 2011Fukushima-ken OkiM4.63
11:11 JST 21 Dec 201111:06 JST 21 Dec 2011Iwate-ken OkiM4.63
18:15 JST 20 Dec 201118:10 JST 20 Dec 2011Ibaraki-ken HokubuM3.33
15:31 JST 20 Dec 201115:26 JST 20 Dec 2011Iwate-ken OkiM5.03
10:39 JST 20 Dec 201110:35 JST 20 Dec 2011Akita-ken Nairiku-nambuM2.63
02:31 JST 20 Dec 201102:24 JST 20 Dec 2011Ibaraki-ken HokubuM4.33
02:27 JST 20 Dec 201102:24 JST 20 Dec 2011Ibaraki-ken HokubuM4.33
23:43 JST 19 Dec 201123:40 JST 19 Dec 2011Ibaraki-ken HokubuM4.13
16:05 JST 19 Dec 201116:01 JST 19 Dec 2011Chiba-ken Toho-okiM4.63
05:39 JST 19 Dec 201105:36 JST 19 Dec 2011Ishikawa-ken Noto-chihoM4.13
18:06 JST 18 Dec 201118:02 JST 18 Dec 2011Chiba-ken Toho-okiM4.83
17:54 JST 17 Dec 201117:50 JST 17 Dec 2011Noto-hanto OkiM4.33
15:16 JST 16 Dec 201115:12 JST 16 Dec 2011Tochigi-ken NambuM4.33

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Yamanote line

Why spend 60 minutes travelling around it when you can spend less than 10 minutes passing through the stations virtually!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A..... kita

This JR poster for Akita has been around for a couple of weeks.  A namahage in an onsen with sake (the sake puzzles me a little since I thought it was taboo to drink sake in an onsen - something only obnoxious Russian sailors did). A....kita - is a pun which means both Akita and I  have (finally) arrived.  It's  apt description of  how I feel upon arriving there after the long trip up.   "akita" can also have the meaning 'bored' which could make for a funny send up of the poster.
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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The manjis and bike confiscation day

Mercifully I have found a place to park that is sufficiently grey zone not to have to pay and not to have my bike confiscated. At 4,000Y ($50 or so) per bike, and about 10 stations in the local govt. area, the local govt. are onto a serious cash cow.  Bikes get confiscated perhaps every 3 weeks, or whenever the local govt is short on cash.

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A Christmas Gimmick

Tonight I had dinner with former colleagues.  We were seduced by the Christmas gimmick and ordered beer by the stocking.... Not so easy to drink out of  but a good night.

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Go to Tohoku!!!

JR has a new Tohoku campaign. I've been quite underwhelmed by it. The colours of Tohoku are beautiful and yet they came up with a retro 80s looking pink and blue and green and grey campaign.  And then after seeing the Hayabusa, I realised the colours are probably inspired by the new shinkansen.

Go to Tohoku!

there is a special Tohoku 3 day pass happening at the moment.
It's a pity I won't have holiday time to use it.

Iwate  and Akita
 Iwate's ramen is presumably Morioka rei-men -
cold spicy Korean style noodles,  the Akita
picture is Namahage from Oga peninsula
Aomori - Aomori = apples
Miyagi & Masamune Date - Miyagi's most famous historical figure
Yamagata - these also seem rather generic
Fukushima, notably on its own - no prefecture would like
to be boxed in with Fukushima.  Aizu castle. Aizu is actually
a long way from the nuclear plant. Fukushima is the second
biggest prefecture in Japan.  It's a great pity for Aizu area to be
associated with radiation.  I wonder if they are applying to
move the borders to be part of Niigata.


Misfortune took us back to Akita during the week, a bright spot was the return trip, a ride on the Hayabusa. The Hayabusa is the new shinkansen that goes to Aomori. It's sleek and fast (even though strong winds and blizzards had it running 5 minutes late) and has power points at each seat.   Very very cool.
The Hayabusa with a sign painted on it - let's connect Japan!

Very sleek!

Not the only te-chan on the station, sometimes the people taking photos
are more interesting than the subject of the photos.
than the 

For a moment I was excited....

For a moment, a split second , I was excited - black rye bread.... Japan has come so far... not quite pumpernickel but  black rye bread.... and I even have sour cream in the fridge....
Alas.... closer inspection... chocolate bread.... I should have known.
At least it wasn't like the olden days before I could read Japanese when I bough MSG thinking it was some superior kind of sea salt crystal.....

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