Category Archives: Japan

Deadly Eruption at Mount Ontake

Jay Dee:

Mt. Ontake erupted on Saturday. Here’s what I had to write about it.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

Mt. Ontake.  Looks beautiful, doesn't it?

Mt. Ontake. Looks beautiful, doesn’t it?

Such a tranquil-looking mountain isn’t it?  Well, Mt. Ontake is Japan’s second tallest volcano, and it erupted on Saturday.  There were around 300 people on the mountain at the time, and 31 are suspected to be dead, as there were many at the summit around the caldera during the eruption.

I live around 190 km from the mountain (Tokyo is 200 km from it), which is on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures.  At 3,067 metres tall, it’s a fairly tall stratovolcano with a somewhat frequent history of eruptions.  It’s interesting that it’s often climbed considering how often it does erupt.

Another volcano, at 3,776 metres, is Mt. Fuji.  It’s visible from my area, and is the tallest mountain in Japan.  It occasionally has earthquakes around it, and in recent years, the lakes around it have been getting a bit warmer.  There…

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Filed under Gifu, Japan, Mountains, Nagano

It Can’t Be Halloween Yet, Can it?

It’s early September, and what do I see?  Halloween decorations.  Sounds like some businesses are very enthusiastic about Halloween to be decorating this early.  Not even out of summer yet.  Well, I made this video a couple days ago about how businesses in Japan tend to decorate for Halloween far earlier than they need to.  Keep in mind that the business I show is an opticians and they don’t have a special Halloween sale going on.

Now, this video isn’t just me talking about Halloween decorations.  You’ll want to watch to the end, because I had a rather creepy encounter.

I sure didn’t expect that.

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Filed under Asahi-ku, Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Yokohama

Moving Out? Demolish that House

Anyone who lives in Japan will notice a lot of old houses get demolished.  You never see a for sale sign in front of a house.  Why is that?  Well, the real estate industry is much different in Japan than it is in North America.

In North America, when someone moves out of a house, they sell it.  It’s usually appreciated in value, especially if work has been done on the house to improve it.  Houses are also built to last for decades.  They’re solidly built.  That’s not the case in Japan.  Houses are not built to last.  They’re rather thin-walled, poorly insulated, and many of them these days are prefabricated.  Old houses are usually torn down and replaced with two or three new houses on the same property.  Near my home, there was one property that was divided into seven.  The value of a house is not so much in Japan.  It’s the property that’s valuable.  Moving out? Tear down that house and let the new property owners build their own.  Or are you tired of living in an old house? Tear it down and rebuild in the same location.

I made a video about this as I saw a house in my neighbourhood being torn down.

Whenever I see something like this, I wonder what’s going to be built in its place.

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Vlog

Driving in Japan

Have you driven in Japan?  I’ve had a Japanese license since I switched my Canadian license for it a few years ago, and when I drive, I rent a car.  Usually, we rent a car to go to Costco.  I made this video and discuss what it’s like to drive in Japan.

So, have you driven in Japan?

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Filed under Daily Life, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Vlog

Isuzu Fujisawa Festival 2014

Two weeks ago, on August 1st, my family went to the 36th annual Isuzu Fujisawa Festival at the Isuzu truck factory in Fujisawa.  Since it was only 20 minutes away from us on foot, it was a pretty easy decision to go to it.

The festival featured a lot of food, taiko drums, singing, festival games, mikoshi (portable shrine), and fireworks.  As you’ll see later in the video below, we didn’t stay for the fireworks, but we did see some.  The video features mostly the taiko performance, which is nice to watch.  The girl dancing to the taiko music is my daughter.  It was her first time seeing anything like this, and she really loved it.

If you’ve watched the video already, you’ll notice that we had a thunderstorm.  It was actually quite intense with a lot of lightning.  But I love a good thunderstorm.

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Filed under Festivals & Events, Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa

Wilkinson Mixing Blood Orange

It’s time for another taste test!  This time, I tried out Wilkinson Mixing Blood Orange.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Maybe sweet, but that wasn’t to be.  It wasn’t sweet at all.  Please watch the video.

Have you tried this drink?

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Filed under Food, Japan, Vlog

Typhoon Halong

Typhoon Halong, or Typhoon #11, as it’s known in Japan, passed over Honshu yesterday.  It missed the Kanto region, but that didn’t mean it was nice a sunny.  The rain was heavy and the wind was strong.  In fact, the rain was a bit strange in the morning.  Watch this video where I describe what the weather was like.

What was your typhoon experience like?

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Filed under Fujisawa, Japan, Kanagawa, Vlog, Weather