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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.


July 31, 2019 - In Loving Memory of Don Davis

6 years ago today one of my best Tokyo buddies went to be with the Lord. Don Davis was one of the kindest, most sincere, and humorous people I've ever known.

Not only did he touch my life and his countless friends in a very profound way, but as a longtime entertainer in English education stage shows conducted in public halls all over Japan and a teacher for the young mentally-challenged, he also enriched the lives of thousands of young Japanese children thru the years.

We love you and miss you, Don, and haven't forgotten you. Hope all is well up there on the big playground in the sky... hearts emoji


Don Davis - World Family News
In Loving Memory of Don Davis (right)
June 2, 1953 - July 31, 2013




July 28, 2019 -  Quote of the Day

"I've noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don't want to happen."

—Robert Downey, Jr.—




July 21, 2019 - Burger King ripoff of the century!

​After receiving a new sheet of Burger King coupons recently, I was so excited to try out their new Spicy Shrimp Whopper. Well, I got my chance the other day and before biting into my Spicy Shrimp Whopper Junior, I decided to open it up and check out the shrimp.

Oh boy, was I in for a great disappointment! Unlike the gorgeous marketing photo, there were just 2 tiny little shrimp barely covering the meat patty. Reminded me of those old "Where’s the beef?" Wendy’s TV commercials. laughing icon

My complaint to the manager yielded no results, as he was very adamant that the Whopper Junior is supposed to contain only the 2 tiny little shrimp! UGH!

Well, boycotting food establishments is not my style, but in my opinion, this definitely gives Burger King a black eye. And I will definitely keep this false advertising incident in mind in the future, which sadly is all too common among fast food restaurants in Tokyo. frownie

 Burger King spicy shrimp whopper
Burger King false advertising incident
(slick marketing photo vs. reality!)




July 11, 2019 - All 4 Mt. Fuji trails are now open all the way to the summit

On the occasion of yesterday morning's opening of all 4 Mt. Fuji trails all the way to the summit to officially kick off Mt. Fuji's 2019 climbing season, I was reminded today by Facebook's Memories page of one of my most prized "get lucky" snapshots of Japan's tallest & holiest peak and World Heritage Site.

It was taken just before sunrise on Aug. 14, 2011 from 60 km (37 mi.) away, just below Mt. Kita-dake, Japan's 2nd highest peak. Happy trails to all of this year's climbers!

Mt. Fuji at sunrise
Mt. Fuji before sunrise, taken Aug. 14, 2011 from below Mt. Kita-dake, Japan's 2nd highest peak




July 3, 2019 - Half-price sale on my mountain climbing eBooks!

In celebration of the July 1st opening of the official Mt. Fuji climbing season and Smashword's Summer/Winter Sale this month, my 2 mountain climbing eBooks are selling this month only for HALF-PRICE! So please act NOW to get your copies before 7/31!

Smashwords, the world's largest distributor of indie eBooks, offers a catalog of over 400,000 vetted, well-formatted eBooks from over 100,000 authors and publishers. Their eBooks can be read online or downloaded instantly to your e-reading device in any of the 8 different formats.





June 27, 2019 - Another rough night in Tokyo

This pic was taken around 7:30 am at a Tokyo bus stop. I could've sworn he looked just like one of my Japanese university students... laughing icon

Passed out Japanese student in Tokyo
Passed out Japanese student in Tokyo




June 8, 2019 - Are you a Twit Face? laughing icon


Are you a Twit Face?




May 19, 2019 - Spring 2019 Tokyo Flowers

If you ever find yourself too stressed out, I hope these beautiful flowers will help soothe your soul as much as they have mine...



Spring 2019 Tokyo Flowers
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




May 16, 2019 - Why are the Japanese growing light bulbs on rice terraces in Wajima, Ishikawa?

In March 2007 the powerful Noto earthquake hit this area, injuring more than 300 people and causing 1 death. As a memorial, people initially placed millions of candles around the rice fields in Shiroyone Senmaida (1000 rice fields, 千枚田), where the rice terraces slope down toward the Sea of Japan.

Due to the popularity of the spectacle, the candles were later replaced with solar LED lanterns—and the tradition continues today. Every year the lanterns are installed at the end of September and are left up through March when work on the rice fields begins again.

The fields remain lit for about 4 hours after sunset, changing colors from pink to green, gold, and blue every 15 to 30 minutes. The 4 colors represent the 4 seasons of Wajima, which is located at the tip of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture.

solar LEDs in Wajima, Ishikawa rice fields
Solar LEDs in Wajima, Ishikawa rice fields
(photo credit: Getty Images)




April 30, 2019 - Spring flowers at Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園)

This amazing 200-hectare park, right on the Pacific coast and only 2 hours from Tokyo by train, is without question one of the most remarkable parks I've ever seen. The park is most famous for its 4.5 million "baby blue eyes" flowers (nemophila), whose translucent-blue petals peak every spring during Golden Week, drawing TOO many tourists. The park features blooming flowers in all 4 seasons including a million daffodils, 170 varieties of tulips, narcissuses, poppies, roses, zinnias, sunflowers, kochia (summer cypress), and cosmos flowers. The park also includes cycling trails on an exclusive right-of-way and a small amusement park with a Ferris wheel.
Park website: https://hitachikaihin.jp/en.html

Baby Blue Eyes flowers
Baby Blue Eyes flowers
View my entire Flickr album here:
Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園) 




April 21, 2019 - Japanese target bird golf (ターゲットバードゴルフ)

Target bird golf is a fun sport among elderly Japanese who use a badminton birdie (shuttlecock) for the golf "ball." The folks in this video were enjoying a round of target bird golf along the banks of the Shin-Nakagawa river in Tokyo on Sun. morning April 14, 2019 during the peak of cherry blossom season.


Japanese target bird golf (ターゲットバードゴルフ)
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

I was 1st introduced to target bird golf 6 years ago on the banks of the Edogawa river. Here's my video I made that day.




April 16, 2019 - Today's inspirational quote

"Live your second childhood today and mentally relive the days when as a child you ran free, when there were infinite possibilities of what you could feel, accomplish, and see in the world. Allow for the energy of your remembered freedom to thunder through you, and you will free yourself from the false obstacles your adult life has put in your path. Today is the day to play!"

—Michael Bernard Beckwith—




April 9, 2019 - 2019 Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossoms (千鳥ヶ淵の桜)

After all these years, Tokyo's Chidorigafuchi Park is still one of my favorite cherry blossom viewing spots. If you get a chance, please check out the rest of my pics at Flickr.

2019 Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossoms (千鳥ヶ淵の桜)
2019 Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossoms (千鳥ヶ淵の桜)
(Click link above to view entire photo album.)




April 2, 2019 - Here’s a retirement speech you don’t want to hear from your boss:

"As a symbol of our gratitude, we'd like to present you this special gold watch to serve as a reminder of your many years with the company. It needs a lot of winding up, is always a little late, and every day at quarter to five, it stops working." laughing icon







New! Add your comment

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Website Updates

Aug 11, 2019

Are the Mt. Fuji Yoshida trails one way?

I wish to stay in a mountain hut (there's space at Ganso Muro) after climbing to the summit. Would it be permissible to descend the ascending Yoshida

Continue reading "Are the Mt. Fuji Yoshida trails one way? "

Aug 06, 2019

Will I get lost climbing Mt. Akadake by myself?

Hi Gary, my name is Kristin and I came across your blog while researching hiking Mt. Akadake. I will be in Japan in a few weeks for work and would like

Continue reading "Will I get lost climbing Mt. Akadake by myself?"

Aug 05, 2019

Is it possible to sleep outside the Mt. Fuji mountain huts with a sleeping bag?

Hi, I am planning to climb Mt Fuji next weekend on Saturday using the Subashiri trail. It is very last minute and all the mountain huts are booked up.

Continue reading "Is it possible to sleep outside the Mt. Fuji mountain huts with a sleeping bag?"

Aug 04, 2019

Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Page 2

Page 2 of the most frequently asked questions about climbing Mt. Fuji, including info on routes, maps, videos, transport access, weather, and climber stories.

Continue reading "Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Page 2"

Aug 02, 2019

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, January-March, 2016

Posts include Tokyo Metro's Mega Solar project, a paraglider flight thru Norway’s Northern Lights, and a video interview with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, January-March, 2016"

Aug 01, 2019

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 01, 2019

In Loving Memory of Don Davis

6 years ago today one of my best Tokyo buddies went to be with the Lord. Don Davis was one of the kindest, most sincere, and humorous people I've ever known.

Not only did he touch my life and his countless friends in a very profound way, but as a longtime entertainer in English education stage shows conducted in public halls all over Japan and a teacher for the young mentally-challenged, he also enriched the lives of thousands of young Japanese children thru the years.

We love you and miss you, Don, and haven't forgotten you. Hope all is well up there on the big playground in the sky... ♥

(click link to view pic of Don)

Continue reading "In Loving Memory of Don Davis"

Aug 01, 2019

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"

Jul 29, 2019

When are the 2019 closing dates for mountain huts in the Southern Japan Alps?

Hi Gary, love your site! I'm attempting to hike the 3,000m + peaks (excluding Fujisan). 10 down and 10 to go. I plan to hike the 8 southern alps in September

Continue reading "When are the 2019 closing dates for mountain huts in the Southern Japan Alps?"

Jul 28, 2019

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, July-September, 2017

Posts include the pics and video of GW's August 2017 Alaska Adventure, Hurricane Harvey flood damage, and the best Little League baseball team in the world.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, July-September, 2017"

Jul 28, 2019

Quote of the Day

"I've noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don't want to happen."

—Robert Downey, Jr.—

Continue reading "Quote of the Day"

Jul 21, 2019

How long will it take to climb the Yoshida trail during the day?

Hi Gary! I've thought of climbing the Mt. Fuji Yoshida trail on a Saturday, maybe July 18 or 25. I've heard that it takes around 5 hours to ascend, but

Continue reading "How long will it take to climb the Yoshida trail during the day?"

Jul 21, 2019

Burger King ripoff of the century!

​After receiving a new sheet of Burger King coupons recently, I was so excited to try out their new Spicy Shrimp Whopper. Well, I got my chance the other day and before biting into my Spicy Shrimp Whopper Junior, I decided to open it up and check out the shrimp.

Oh boy, was I in for a great disappointment! Unlike the gorgeous marketing photo, there were just 2 tiny little shrimp barely covering the meat patty. Reminded me of those old "Where’s the beef?" Wendy’s TV commercials. :-)

My complaint to the manager yielded no results, as he was very adamant that the Whopper Junior is supposed to contain only the 2 tiny little shrimp! UGH!

Well, boycotting food establishments is not my style, but in my opinion, this definitely gives Burger King a black eye. And I will definitely keep this false advertising incident in mind in the future, which sadly is all too common among fast food restaurants in Tokyo. :-(

(click link to view Burger King false advertising slick marketing photo vs. reality!)

Continue reading "Burger King ripoff of the century!"

Jul 16, 2019

My friends and I are looking to climb Mt. Fuji on Tuesday (July 2, 2019).

Hello, Gary, My friends and I are looking to climb Mt. Fuji on Tuesday (July 2, 2019). As the trail on the Yoshida trail has been closed due to the land

Continue reading "My friends and I are looking to climb Mt. Fuji on Tuesday (July 2, 2019)."

Jul 16, 2019

​Is Mt. Yarigatake reachable within a day hike from/back to Kamikochi campground?

Hi Gary, In order to schedule my Kamikochi visit on the weekend from 13th to 16th of June I'm trying to figure out which strenuous hike can be possible

Continue reading "​Is Mt. Yarigatake reachable within a day hike from/back to Kamikochi campground?"





Pattaya ebook cover
Just released!
Only $1.99 at Amazon
(¥214 at アマゾン日本)




Alaska ebook cover
Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥340 at アマゾン日本)




Summer 1974 hitchhiking trip ebook cover
Only 99¢ at Amazon (¥105 at アマゾン日本)


What's New?

  1. Are the Mt. Fuji Yoshida trails one way?

    Aug 11, 19 07:59 AM

    I wish to stay in a mountain hut (there's space at Ganso Muro) after climbing to the summit. Would it be permissible to descend the ascending Yoshida

    Read more

  2. Will I get lost climbing Mt. Akadake by myself?

    Aug 06, 19 12:53 AM

    Hi Gary, my name is Kristin and I came across your blog while researching hiking Mt. Akadake. I will be in Japan in a few weeks for work and would like

    Read more

  3. Is it possible to sleep outside the Mt. Fuji mountain huts with a sleeping bag?

    Aug 05, 19 07:23 AM

    Hi, I am planning to climb Mt Fuji next weekend on Saturday using the Subashiri trail. It is very last minute and all the mountain huts are booked up.

    Read more









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Gary J. Wolff
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GW's road trip ebook cover
Only 99¢ at Amazon
(¥114 at アマゾン日本)




new Climbing Mt. Fuji book
Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥343 at アマゾン日本)




Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥343 at アマゾン日本)