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Home: Gary J. Wolff's Blog

Gary J. Wolff's Blog

Gary J. Wolff's blog is my mini-journal about GaryJWolff.com. It...

  •  lets you know whenever any new pages are added to GaryJWolff.com
  •  allows me to periodically share some interesting stuff about Japanese culture  
  •  keeps you up-to-date on any other postings or news regarding GaryJWolff.com


Enjoy...

Cheers, 
Gary


Recent website updates (at bottom of the page)
Feel free to share your comments below.





Aug. 31, 2015 - Japan wins 2015 Little League Baseball World Series!

THE BEST LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!! Congrats to the kids from Tokyo Kitasuna, Japan who are the 2015 Little League Baseball World Series champions for the 3rd time after defeating Lewisberry, Pennsylvania 18-11 in the championship game on Sunday.

The Japan team's superstars were Shingo Tomita, who went 3 for 4 in the game with 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, and 4 runs scored, and Masafuji Nishijima, who helped secure Japan's victory with 6 RBIs & 4 hits, including a double & a homer.

Tokyo Kitasuna had 22 hits in the 6-inning game & 19 of the game's 29 runs were scored in the first inning and a half. Wow.

Japan was undefeated in the tourney, having won 4 straight games against Taiwan, Venezuela, and twice against Mexico, before finishing off U.S. champion Lewisberry, PA in the final game.

This is the 3rd time for Tokyo Kitasuna to become World Series champs, having previously won in 2012 & 2001. Since 1947, Japanese teams have now won the LLBWS 10 times. Besides Tokyo Kitasuna, Japanese World Series champs include Tokyo Musashi Fuchu in 2013 & 2003, Tokyo Edogawa Minami in 2010, Osaka Hirakata in 1999, Tokyo Chofu in 1976, Osaka Wakayama in 1968, & West Tokyo in 1967.

2015 Japan Little League Baseball World Series champs
2015 Japan Little League Baseball World Series champs
(photo credit: llbws.org)

Game recap  
Tournament bracket




Aug. 30, 2015 - An amazing, fairly new* weather tool....to visually track weather conditions around the globe

Created by Ivo, an interesting guy from the Czech Republic, who describes himself as an "addicted kiter, helicopter and jet pilot, who seeks the wind, waves, METARs and powder snow almost constantly."



* Nov. 2014




Aug. 22, 2015 - My 14-hr. day trip to the Mt. Fuji 5th (富士山五合目) & 6th Stations

On Thursday I climbed Mt. Fuji for the 3rd time. Well, this time only to the 5th Station. And by bus. smiley Since it'd been over 24 years since my last visit to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (富士スバルライン五合目), I felt it was time to go back and refresh my data. smiley

From the 5th Station, I hiked up to the 6th Station Safety Guidance Center, down past the Seikanso mountain hut (星観荘) to the Sato-goya mountain hut (左藤小屋) @ the Yoshidaguchi Trail 5th Station, then back to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station.

I also took time to hike around part of the Ochudo Nature Trail (御中道自然探勝路), a level course that partially circumnavigates the Mt. Fuji volcano. It was SO green & lush. I wanna go back!

It was a magnificent, fun-filled 6 hours on Japan's highest peak. I hope you enjoy my pics: Mt. Fuji 5th & 6th Stations - Aug. 20, 2015  

p.s. Be sure to click open the pics of the Mt. Fuji toilet paper & the Eruption Curry dish... smiley






Aug. 19, 2015 - 10 Reasons Why English is Weird

10 Reasons Why English is Weird
Image credit: purpleclover.com




Aug. 12, 2015 - Japanese Engrish

When I first moved to Japan, I believed the preponderance of these kinds of signs somehow signified a certain degree of job security for those of us in the "Engrish" education business, but 24 years later I'm not so sure. If there's no shame in posting such a poorly translated sign, I'm guessing this sort of thing will continue forever....whether it be in a store, on a T-shirt, in a train station, or in this case, by a city government.

But it definitely livens up everyday life in Japan, offering the occasional, unexpected chuckle! smiley

sidewalk becomes small
"Sidewalk becomes small" sign smiley




Aug. 3, 2015 - Japanese university English speech contest

This university's ESS (English speaking society) holds a speech contest every June, a recitation contest just for college freshmen, where they recite from memory a famous speech from history, like JFK's inaugural address, Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement address, etc. These kids were AMAZING!! And it was my honor to be able to help judge the contest again this year.

Japanese university English speech contest


Japanese university English speech contest
Japanese university English speech contest


Aug. 2, 2015 - 2-min. Finale to 2015 Edogawa/Ichikawa Fireworks Festival

The 40th Annual Edogawa/Ichikawa Fireworks Festival (第40回江戸川区花火大会) was held Sat. August 1, 2015 from 19:15–20:30 pm along the Edogawa riverside in Tokyo. About 14,000 fireworks decorated the night sky with synchronized music. In Ichikawa, on the Chiba side of the river, it’s known as the Ichikawa City Nohryo Fireworks Festival.


2-min. Finale to the 40th Annual Edogawa/Ichikawa Fireworks Festival
held on Sat. August 1, 2015 from 19:15–20:30 pm.
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)





Aug. 1, 2015 - "Find My iPhone" app tracks cellphone that fell out of plane at 9,300 ft. - and it STILL WORKS!

A Wichita Falls, Texas businessman used the "Find My iPhone" app to find his iPhone in a rural pasture after it fell about 9,300 feet (~2834 m) during a flight from Houston.

Ben Wilson says he and a pilot were traveling home Monday in a Beechcraft Bonanza when a pressure change caused the passenger door to open slightly. Wilson didn't realize his cellphone fell out until after landing.

Wilson owns Gas Corporation of America in Wichita Falls. He and an employee used Apple's Find My iPhone app to narrow the search to near Jacksboro, more than 50 miles away.

The pair set on their search Tuesday, and ended up in a rural pasture. They found the cellphone, still working, under a mesquite tree.

Source: Wichita Falls Times Record News

flying iphone
Ben Wilson is reunited with his iPhone that survived
a 9,300-foot (~2834 m) drop from an airplane
(photo credit: Chris Walker, Wichita Falls Times Record News)




July 29, 2015 - Taco Bell reaches Japanese shores!

Today I FINALLY got around to checking out the new Taco Bell in Shibuya. For the first time since the 80s, Taco Bell is officially doing business in Japan, with their first shop on a narrow side street from Dogenzaka Avenue in Shibuya. Although this shop opened in April, I kept reading of these massive waiting lines, so I decided to wait.

Even today @ 3 pm on a Wed. afternoon, the place was packed. My friend had a shrimp & avocado burrito and pork taco supreme, and I had a fajita burrito and beef taco supreme. It set me back nearly ¥1900 (~$15). OUCH, but hey, it's TACO BELL IN JAPAN!! smiley

Other U.S. restaurant chains, including Carl’s Jr. and Shake Shack, also have plans to enter the Japanese market, hoping to attract increasing numbers of foreign visitors ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Taco Bell aims to open 15 outlets nationwide within 5 years.

Japanese Taco Bell sign
Taco Bell sign in Shibuya, Tokyo


Japanese Taco Bell menu
Taco Bell menu in Shibuya, Tokyo

Taco Bell Japan English website




July 19, 2015 - Boys & girls, please do not try this at home!

The stunning video below shows mountain biker Jamie Nicoll crashing into other riders right after the start of the UCC Mégavalanche downhill glacier race held in the Central French Alps ski resort of Alpe d’Huez.

Starting at Le Pic Blanc Peak (elev. 3300 m) at the top of Sarenne Glacier & finishing at Allemont (elev. 720 m), the Mégavalanche is the longest downhill race in the world, with 1400 riders from 20 different countries in numerous categories, from kids to women, friends & family, & of course the men's race.

The Alpe d’Huez Megavalanche is the ultimate in downhill biking contests and features 4 days of training and racing, a total of over 4000 downhill meters of races, and an entire week of entertainment.

Oh, and Jamie Nicoll managed to finish in 7th place! smiley



The 1st 2 min. of the Megavalanche
downhill glacier bicycle race in the French Alps
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)



July 17, 2015 - Now THAT'S some serious rainfall!

With the ongoing passage of Typhoon 11 (Nangka) thru the heart of Japan, as of 8:55 am Fri. 7/17,  the village of Umaji-mura Yanase (馬路村魚梁瀬) in Kochi Prefecture recorded a remarkable 626 mm (24.6 in) of rain in the past 24 hours....that's an average of over 1 inch per hour. OMG.

Two other locations in Mie & Nara Prefectures recorded over 560 mm (~22 in) and 7 other sites in Wakayama, Tokushima, & Nara Prefectures have recorded over 412 mm (~16 in) in the past 24 hours.

24-hour rainfall amounts for Typhoon 11 (Nangka) as of 9:10 am, July 17, 2015
24-hour rainfall amounts for Typhoon 11 (Nangka),
as of 8:50 am, July 17, 2015
(image credit: NHK weather news)




July 14, 2015 - Italian daredevil Uli Emanuele flies through 2.6-meter rock hole in Switzerland

In what GoPro described as "possibly the most technical and difficult base jump ever," in a feat that he trained for for 3 years, 29-year-old professional wing suit pilot Uli Emanuele flew through the rock hole shown in the video below in Sept. 2014. The hole is located in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland in the Swiss Alps, one of the most popular areas in the world for basejumping.

Born in Bolzano, Italy, Uli began skydiving at the age of 16 and has since performed around 700 skydive jumps. Since age 21 he has performed 1700 base jumps, with 900 of those being wingsuit jumps from mountains. The rest of the base jumps were from antennas, buildings, mountains, and any other places he could find over 40m in height.

In 2010 Uli won the Extreme Base Jump World Championship in Spain.



Italian daredevil Uli Emanuele flies through 2.6-meter rock hole in Switzerland
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)





July 12, 2015 - Is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics main stadium too costly?

A BIG, growing controversy has developed over the soaring estimated construction cost of the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The original estimated cost for the futuristic, flying saucer-shaped stadium, designed by the British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, was ¥162 billion, or about $1.3 billion, but now the cost has risen to ¥252 billion, or about $2 billion.

Already there are calls for investigations, suggestions for scaled-back design options, and a search for funding alternatives that would lessen the burden on the taxpaying public.

A $2 billion price tag would make Tokyo's 2020 Olympic stadium the most expensive ever. The one built for the 2012 London Games reportedly cost less than half that figure, and the main stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics cost even less.

It almost makes me sick to my stomach when I think about all this money being spent on a stupid sports stadium when nearly 90,000 evacuees, who were displaced by the big March 11, 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, & nuclear meltdown in northeastern Japan, are still living in prefabricated, temporary housing more than 4 years after the triple disaster.

Tokyo 2020 olympic stadium
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium
(photo credit: dezeen.com)




July 7, 2015 - Western Pacific typhoon trifecta

It's never a dull moment in Japan. We are currently closely monitoring the movements of not 1, not 2, but THREE typhoons at the same time!

Typhoons Chan-Hom (#9, 台風9号), Linfa (#10, 台風10号), and Nangka (#11, 台風11号) have already hit or are threatening Guam, the Philippines, Okinawa, Taiwan, China, & other Pacific nations in their path.

Mainland Japan seems safe from Typhoons 9 & 10, but Typhoon 11, the strongest of the 3, may threaten Japan's main island of Honshu, including Tokyo, early next week. As of 6 pm, July 7, Japan time, Typhoon 11 was already packing winds up to 70 m/s (~156 mph). 
   
Typhoons 9, 10, & 11
Typhoons 9, 10, & 11, as of 10 pm, July 7, 2015, Japan time
(photo credit: TBS Weather)




June 29, 2015 -  Jupiter/Venus conjunction

Tomorrow night's the best night, but it wasn't too bad tonight. smiley

Jupiter - Venus 2015 conjunction
Jupiter, Venus near-conjunction
Tokyo, Japan, June 29, 2015, 7:59 pm

If it's cloudy/rainy in your area on June 30th, July 1st should be a good viewing night too. More info on the June 30, 2015 Venus/Jupiter conjunction here & here.




June 28, 2015 - Japan: Land of 40-year-old virgins

When it comes to relationships and sex, lots of Japanese can't be bothered, according to the latest statistics in a new survey.

Nearly 40 percent of Japanese in their 20s and 30s are not in a relationship and don't think they need a partner, with many calling relationships "bothersome," a government survey has found.

A study by the Japan Family Planning Association found that half of Japanese adults are not having sex, with almost 20 percent of men saying they either have no interest in it or extremely dislike sex.

A 2010 study found that one in four Japanese men in their 30s who had never married were virgins. The figures were only slightly lower for women. Read more...




June 20, 2015 - Tonight's Moon, Jupiter, & Venus trifecta

According to this month's moon calendar which is the wallpaper on my PC, tonight was supposed to be the 4-day crescent moon. But when I looked up into the nearly clear sky around 7:45, boy did I ever get a big surprise! The 3 brightest objects in the night sky were all having a party.

4-day crescent Moon, Jupiter, & Venus on June 20, 2015
4-day crescent Moon, Jupiter (left), & Venus (right) on June 20, 2015

Only 10 more days till the spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, our two brightest planets in Earth’s sky! More info on the June 30, 2015 Venus/Jupiter conjunction here & here.




June 20, 2015 - Uniformity in Japanese car colors

One of the things about Japanese culture that's always fascinated me is the WIDE selection of colors chosen for personal automobiles.

Reminds me of one of Henry Ford's famous quotes about the Model T: "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black." smiley

LOTS of silver-colored cars in Japan
There are LOTS of silver-colored cars in Japan!




June 10, 2015 - Japanese university ESS (English Speaking Society) speech contest

I never cease to be amazed at the ambition of some Japanese university students who are so passionate in improving their English and public speaking skills. For the 6th consecutive year, on Sunday, May 24, 2015 I had the pleasure of helping judge a university student English speech contest sponsored by my university's ESS (English Speaking Society). These students were truly amazing, giving up a whole Sunday to give in front of 100 people a 7-min. speech which they composed themselves.

2015.5.24 Meiji speech contest 3

2015.5.24 Meiji speech contest 1

2015.5.24 Meiji speech contest 2




June 6, 2015 -  Climbing Season Sale on my new "Climbing Mt. Fuji" eBook!

The View from the Top of Japan
NOW ON SALE @ SMASHWORDS FOR ONLY $2.99 UNTIL SEPT. 14, THE END OF MT. FUJI CLIMBING SEASON!!

(Buy for yourself or give as a present to that someone special by clicking on "Give as a gift." Either way, just enter coupon code GE59G @ checkout to get the discounted price.)

eBooks from Smashwords, the world's largest distributor of indie eBooks, are available in 9 different formats, including the html & pdf formats for reading on your PC or for home printing. Or they can be downloaded to e-reading devices such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, and most other e-reading apps.

This eBook will make a GRRRRRREAT travel companion on your mobile device as you make your way up Fuji-san's slopes....besides, it even costs less than a cup of coffee @ Starbucks! smiley  



May 30, 2015 - Wow, now THAT was a quake!

I'm guessing tonight's 8:23 pm M8.5 quake which registered a 5+ on the Japanese seismic intensity scale was one of the strongest to strike Tokyo since the devasting M9.0 quake of March 11, 2011 that killed nearly 16,000 in Tohoku. And it's so rare to see shaking recorded throughout the entire Japanese archipelago. Wow.

Praise the Lord we managed to dodge the bullet yet again...





May 29, 2015 - My final issue as TLT Chapter Events Editor

The May/June 2015 issue of The Language Teacher (TLT) was my final column as Chapter Events Editor, a position I served in since November 2011.

The TLT is the bimonthly publication of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT, 全国語学教育学会) which publishes academic articles and other material related to language teaching, particularly in an Asian context. First published in April 1984, the TLT was until 2008 the only monthly, fully refereed language education journal in the world.

Producing a publication of this quality and consistency is especially remarkable for the fact that the staff (almost 40 people, plus advisory board members) are all volunteers! JALT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the improvement of language teaching and learning, and has nearly 3,000 members in chapters and affiliates across Japan, as well as members abroad.

TLT Chapter Events column
TLT Chapter Events column, May/June 2015




May 22, 2015 -  Venus & the crescent moon tango together

The dazzling starlike point of light near the 4-day (24%), waxing crescent moon tonight (and last night) is the planet Venus. As a Boy Scout who earned the astronomy merit badge, I always get thrilled watching a pair up of the brightest and second-brightest nighttime celestial bodies.

On another astronomical note, night by night Venus is moving closer to Jupiter, our 2nd brightest planet, for a spectacular conjunction on June 30, the closest these two planets will be next to each other until August 27, 2016. Let's keep an eye on them in the next month!

crescent moon & venus
Pair up of 4-day crescent moon & Venus
7:50 pm, May 22, 2015, Tokyo, Japan

More info on the June 30, 2015 Venus/Jupiter conjunction here & here.




May 17, 2015 - The scariest roller coaster ever opens in San Antonio, Texas

The new roller coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Texas just opened May 13 and it looks CRAZY!! It's called Batman: The Ride 4D. You'll surely get the "4D" part after you watch this amazing video.

The Batman: The Ride 4D is the world's first 4D free fly coaster and features the world’s first magnetic technology that causes you to flip as you fly over the top of a 12-story hill and negotiate 2 beyond-90-degree vertical drops.

The world's latest coastering design delivers 6 full inversions and the stomach-shaking sensation of a true freefall right in the middle of the ride! OMG!

[Warning: Watching this video may cause you to lose your lunch!!] smiley


Batman: The Ride 4D roller coaster
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)



May 16, 2015 - The tan lines of the next generation

The tan lines of the next generation
The tan lines of the next generation


Two angels are talking in heaven. One says to the other, "The new arrivals are having a tough time talking to others. They just hold their hands out and twiddle their thumbs."




May 12, 2015 - "Sorry, but I don't have enough time."

Really? According to this graphic from Foundr Magazine, the average person has 37 hours per week to pursue their dreams. How 'bout you? 

But I don't have enough time
But I don't have enough time
(Image credit: Foundr Magazine)




May 5, 2015 - Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival (根津神社 つつじ祭)

The springtime flowers in Japan bring a non-stop exhilirating display of brilliant colors and sweet fragrances to titillate the senses. The plum blossoms begin in mid-February, followed by the absolutely breathtaking cherry blossoms, and then a continuous overlapping of blooming periods for azaleas, camellias, wisteria, magnolias, peonies, roses, tulips, pansies, irises, hydrangeas, etc. that lasts well into mid-summer.

On the occasion of Children's Day, a national holiday in Japan, today I had the pleasure of visiting Nezu Shrine, my favorite spot in Tokyo to view the beautiful azaleas, where they have a festival every spring. This year's Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival ends tomorrow. 

2015 Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival
Click image above to view my 19-pic Flickr album
of the 2015 Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival.




May 4, 2015 - How do I access Classic Google Maps?

If like me, you're not that crazy about the new Google Maps, and would still like to access the classic version of Google Maps, here are some options.

These 2 links will take you to a Classic Google Map, but I wouldn't hold your breath on how much longer they'll be available:

- https://maps.google.com/maps?output=classi
- https://www.google.com/lochp

Another option is to sign the change.org petition to Google CEO Larry Page to bring back Classic Google Maps:  https://www.change.org/p/larry-page-ceo-google-tell-google-bring-back-classic-google-maps

At the moment, the petition has 2,632 signers and needs 2,368 more to reach the goal of 5,000 supporters. Let's do it!

Bring back Classic Google Maps
Please sign petition to
Bring Back Classic Google Maps




May 2, 2015 - Austin, Texas sucks

Well.....not really. But my all-time favorite city in Texas, and where I spent 4 years of my early life as a college student, has experienced an astronomical growth rate over the past several years. In fact, it shows up consistently on those "Best Places to Live" lists we've all seen.

So this poster is a comical, tongue-in-cheek attempt by locals to somehow stem the tide. smiley

Austin, Texas sucks
(Image credit: kamvasart.com)




April 29, 2015 - Akebono Tarō becomes the 2015 Champion Carnival champ

On April 25, 45-year-old former Japanese sumo yokozuna grand champion Akebono Tarō (born Chad Rowan) from Hawaii won the Champion Carnival, an annual round-robin professional wrestling tournament held by All Japan Pro Wrestling.

To win the Champion Carnival, All Japan's premier tournament, Akebono defeated Suwama in the finals, the same wrestler he beat in the Ryogoku Sumo Arena on Oct. 27, 2013 to win Japan's Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, but which he was forced to relinquish on May 30 of last year due to health issues.

Akebono, who retired from sumo wrestling in 2001, was the first non-Japanese-born wrestler ever to reach yokozuna, sumo's highest rank, and during his 13-year sumo wrestling career, compiled a career total of 11 tournament championships, and was runner-up in 13 other tournaments.

He took up pro wrestling in 2005, and just last month on March 22 won the World Tag Team Championship for the 2nd time, when he and Yutaka Yoshie, a former NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) intercontinental tag team champion, defeated former Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion Jun Akiyama and Takao Ōmori.

Akebono has now set his sights on getting his Triple Crown title back. GO AKEBONO!!

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akebono_Tarō)

Akebono Taro - Champion Carnival
Japan pro wrestler Akebono Tarō




April 18, 2015 - Bye-bye Obama Countdown Clock







April 15, 2015 - Download the entire internet onto your hard disk.

Click HERE to download the entire internet onto your hard disk.
(courtesy of Jim Breen)




April 11, 2015 - Camels in western Oman's desert

At first glance, it looks like a caravan of black camels making its way across the sun-scorched sands. But look more closely and you will see that this is actually a bird's eye view of the procession, heading to grazing pastures near Wadi Mitan, western Oman. The dark outlines are the beasts' shadows, and the white shapes at their feet are, in fact, the backs of the actual camels.

This incredible, award-winning picture was taken by National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz, who used a motorised paraglider to get the aerial view.

camel shadows
Photo credit: George Steinmetz
(Click image above to view larger, full-size photo.)

Source: Daily Mail




April 3, 2015 - Japanese Cherry Blossoms 2015

Even after nearly a quarter-century in Japan, I never cease to be amazed @ the stunning cherry blossoms. Click image below to view my 35-pic Flickr album. Most of the album contains pics @ my favorite spot in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing, Chidorigafuchi, near Kudanshita Station, which every year features an amazing nighttime lightup of the gorgeous cherry blossoms.

Japanese cherry blossoms 2015
Japanese cherry blossoms 2015
(click above to view my 35-pic Flickr album)







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Website Updates

Aug 31, 2015

Japan wins 2015 Little League Baseball World Series!

THE BEST LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!! Congrats to the kids from Tokyo Kitasuna, Japan who are the 2015 Little League Baseball World Series champions for the 3rd time after defeating Lewisberry, Pennsylvania 18-11 in the championship game on Sunday.

The Japan team's superstars were...

Continue reading "Japan wins 2015 Little League Baseball World Series!"

Aug 30, 2015

An amazing, fairly new weather tool to visually track weather conditions around the globe

Created by Ivo, an interesting guy from the Czech Republic, who describes himself as an "addicted kiter, helicopter and jet pilot, who seeks the wind, waves, METARs and powder snow almost constantly." Embed Windyty on your...

Continue reading "An amazing, fairly new weather tool to visually track weather conditions around the globe"

Aug 28, 2015

Is there a way to get from 5th station to Kawaguchiko around 7 or 8 pm?

In all my research I can only seem to find buses that stop running around 6pm. Is there anything that runs later than that? Thank you

Continue reading "Is there a way to get from 5th station to Kawaguchiko around 7 or 8 pm?"

Aug 26, 2015

Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The most frequently asked questions about climbing Mt. Fuji, including info on routes, maps, videos, transport access, traffic stats, weather, and climber stories.

Continue reading "Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)"

Aug 26, 2015

Who's the oldest person to have ever climbed Mt. Fuji?

Just inside the front entrance of the Gogoen Rest House (五合園レストハウス) at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, you'll find a bronze statue erected in honor of Teiichi Igarashi (五十嵐貞一) who on Aug. 8, 1988 scaled Fuji-san at the ripe young age of only 105.

Igarashi-san was a retired forest ranger from Furudono, Fukushima who started climbing Japan's tallest peak annually in 1976 in memory of his...

Continue reading "Who's the oldest person to have ever climbed Mt. Fuji?"

Aug 26, 2015

My 14-hr. day trip to the Mt. Fuji 5th (富士山五合目) & 6th Stations

On Thursday I climbed Mt. Fuji for the 3rd time. Well, this time only to the 5th Station. And by bus.

Since it'd been over 24 years since my last visit to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (富士スバルライン五合目), I felt it was time to go back and refresh my data.

From the 5th Station, I hiked up...

Continue reading "My 14-hr. day trip to the Mt. Fuji 5th (富士山五合目) & 6th Stations"

Aug 26, 2015

American Man in Tokyo Organizes Relief Effort to Japan Tsunami-hit Ishinomaki, Miyagi

American man in Tokyo reports on his relief effort to deliver donations & supplies to the Japan tsunami-hit city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture.

Continue reading "American Man in Tokyo Organizes Relief Effort to Japan Tsunami-hit Ishinomaki, Miyagi"

Aug 23, 2015

Gary J. Wolff's Blog

Gary J. Wolff's blog keeps you up-to-date with my everyday life in Japan, as well as recent additions/changes to the garyjwolff.com website.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog"

Aug 22, 2015

Mt. Fuji Mountain Huts (富士山の山小屋)

Listing of Mt. Fuji mountain huts for the main Yoshida trail, along with website addresses, phone numbers, elevations, and sleeping capacities.

Continue reading "Mt. Fuji Mountain Huts (富士山の山小屋)"

Aug 17, 2015

Hints from a Successful 2012 Summit via Gotemba Trail and a 2009 Fail via Subashiri Trail

First, let’s all thank Gary for one of the most helpful comprehensive English language sites on the topic of climbing Mt. Fuji! (Tasukaremashita (助かれました,

Continue reading "Hints from a Successful 2012 Summit via Gotemba Trail and a 2009 Fail via Subashiri Trail"

Aug 17, 2015

My 2012 climb on the Kawaguchiko and Gotemba Routes

Using the information from this site, and following the advice of many kind people, I made it to the summit of Fuji-san in mid-July 2012. I'm not an athlete,

Continue reading "My 2012 climb on the Kawaguchiko and Gotemba Routes"

Aug 17, 2015

My Mt. Fuji Climbing Experience

I first climbed Mt. Fuji in July of 2000. I had just turned 40 back in May and this was my birthday present to myself. I attended the opening ceremony

Continue reading "My Mt. Fuji Climbing Experience"

Aug 16, 2015

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Two weeks ago on July 26, 2009, four friends and I finally mounted Mt. Fuji. It may be the highest peak in Japan but reaching the summit is not as impressive

Continue reading "Climbing Mt. Fuji"

Aug 13, 2015

How about starting from Fujinomiya 5th station and connecting with the Gotemba trail 6th station... at night?

Hello Gary! Thanks for your wonderful website! I organized my 2014 climb by reading all your stories and tips and thanks to this, my climb was PERFECT!

Continue reading "How about starting from Fujinomiya 5th station and connecting with the Gotemba trail 6th station... at night?"

Aug 13, 2015

Mt. Fuji: Up the Yoshida trail & down the Subashiri trail with overnight stay

Spending just 1-2 hours on the trail after dark to get to the 7th station on the Yoshida trail, viewing the sunrise, and doing the rest in nice morning

Continue reading "Mt. Fuji: Up the Yoshida trail & down the Subashiri trail with overnight stay"

Aug 12, 2015

"I want to climb Fuji in winter" by Chris White

Mountain climber extraordinaire Chris White shares some very wise advice and identifies the risks & hazards of attempting to climb Fuji in winter.

Continue reading ""I want to climb Fuji in winter" by Chris White"

Aug 12, 2015

Mt. Aka-dake as a day trip

Aka is actually quite convenient to get to from Tokyo. A day trip is feasible at a reasonably fast pace. There is no need to carry a lot of water, as there

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Aug 11, 2015

Climbing Mt. Fuji's Fujinomiya Trail (富士宮登山道)

Pics, video, maps, and trail description of my Aug. 2012 climb of Mt. Fuji's Fujinomiya Trail, the shortest route to the highest point in Japan.

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Aug 06, 2015

Gary J. Wolff (in Tokyo, Japan)

Longtime Tokyo resident Gary Joe Wolff shares his uniquely American perspective of Japan's fascinating culture, including regular photographic updates.

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Aug 06, 2015

Up and down Mt. Fuji in a day and nearly getting lost...

Thank you for an excellent resource about climbing Mt Fuji. Didn't have the time to go through all the details before I did the climb, but on hindsight

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Aug 05, 2015

Koh Samui, Thailand Travel

Without question, Koh Samui, Thailand is the #1 most beautiful, charming, and romantic Pacific island travel destination I've ever visited.

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Aug 05, 2015

Anti-Obama Books

A list of anti-Obama books that opportunistic authors have published recently, hoping to cash in on President Barack Obama's record disapproval rating.

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Aug 05, 2015

Recommended Reading List

This recommended reading list shows books in my personal library, all of which have had a profound impact or helped shape my life through the years.

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Aug 03, 2015

​How well marked are the trails from Mt. Fuji's base to the 5th Station?

Gary, I want to try to climb the old pilgrim route on the Yoshida trail from the shrine at the base of the mountain. ​​How well marked are the trails

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Aug 01, 2015

Are stations and huts accessible from the Yoshida descent trail?

Hi there - this website has been so helpful, already. Thank you! My partner and I are planning our first visit to Japan from Aug 22 - Sep 6th this year

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(eBook now on sale for only $2.99 until the end of Mt. Fuji climbing season on Sept. 14!)




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Gary J. Wolff


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