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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.


Nov. 18, 2019 - Venus/Jupiter conjunction this Sunday, November 24, 2019!

All passionate stargazers including myself are already looking forward to the conjunction this Sunday, November 24, 2019 of the sky’s 2 brightest planets – Venus and Jupiter. 

These 2 brilliant beauties will pop out low in the southwestern sky at dusk and hover rather close to the sunset point on the horizon. Day by day Venus – the brighter of the 2 – is climbing upward, away from the sunset, while Jupiter sinks downward, and this coming Sunday 11/24 they will pass within a scant 1.4 degrees of each other. That’s about the width of your index finger at arm length.

Venus will appear about 30 minutes after sunset, and then Jupiter will be visible about 15 minutes later. So the best time to view the conjunction is about 1 hour after sunset, which today occurred at 4:32 pm in Tokyo. Even if the weather isn't so good this Sunday, the conjunction should still be nice a day or 2 before or afterwards.

The last Venus-Jupiter conjunction happened 10 months ago, on January 22, 2019, and the next one will occur on February 11, 2021. So there will be no Venus-Jupiter conjunction in 2020.

In the words of Bruce McClure, the lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004, "Because Venus and Jupiter beam as the 3rd and 4th-brightest celestial bodies, respectively (after the sun and moon), Venus-Jupiter conjunctions are particularly spectacular and photogenic."

Source: https://earthsky.org/tonight/venus-jupiter-conjunction-on-november-24


Venus/Jupiter conjunction on Sun. Nov. 24, 2019
Venus/Jupiter conjunction on Sun. Nov. 24, 2019




Nov. 17, 2019 -  Andrea Bocelli's "The Music of Silence" movie

As part of this year's birthday celebrations, I had the opportunity last night to catch the Andrea Bocelli movie "The Music of Silence," based upon Andrea's 1999 autobiography which chronicles one of the world's most famous tenor's childhood upbringing and professional career.

Being a HUGE fan of this remarkable Italian blind man, I was especially moved by the movie, which included a superb performance by Antonio Banderas as Andrea's maestro. At the very end of the movie, during the rolling of the credits, was a letter that Andrea once wrote to his wife and children.

The letter touched me in such a profound way that I decided to share most of it here:

Every life is a wonderful story worthy of being told. 

Every life is a work of art, and if it does not seem so, perhaps it is only necessary to illuminate the room that contains it. 

The secret is never to lose faith, to have confidence in God’s plan for us, revealed in the signs with which He shows us the way. 

If you learn to listen, you will find that each life speaks to us of love. 

Because love is the key to everything, the engine of the world. Here is the secret behind every note that I sing.

And never forget that there is no such thing as happenstance.

—Andrea Bocelli—



I loved this movie and if you admire Andrea as much is I do, I think you might enjoy it as well. The movie trailer can be viewed here.




Nov. 13, 2019 - 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, first shared on this site 4 years ago, is a comical, tongue-in-cheek attempt by locals to somehow stem the tide. laughing icon

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


Nov. 10, 2019 - Japan's Emperor and Empress draw thousands for enthronement parade

Emperor Naruhito & Empress Masako
Emperor Naruhito & Empress Masako in Tokyo, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019
(photo credit: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshik)

Today Japan's new Emperor and Empress thrilled thousands of people in Tokyo and around the nation with a lavish procession through the streets of the capital city.

An estimated 119,000 people gathered around the Imperial Palace early in the morning and along the route with their Rising Sun national flags to secure a place for a good look at the Imperial couple and celebrate  the historic occasion of the enthronement. It all occurred against the backdrop of the city's federal government buildings and the colorful fall foliage on an absolutely beautiful, sunny day.

The 4.6-kilometer parade started at the Imperial Palace and after about 30 minutes, the Emperor and Empress arrived at their residence on the grounds of the Akasaka Estate.

26,000 police officers were mobilized from across the country, and the motorcade consisted of 46 vehicles, including police motorcycles.

The Imperial Household Agency's parade vehicle which carried the Emperor and Empress is a one-off, Toyota Century convertible 4-door sedan reported to have cost nearly $750,000.




Oct. 31, 2019 - Off-season Mt. Fuji climber falls 700m to his death while YouTube live-streaming his ascent

On Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, an off-season Mt. Fuji climber fell 700 m (~2300 ft) to his death while YouTube live-streaming his ascent up the snow-covered peak. This page shows the terrifying 22-sec. video which captures his slipping down the nation's highest peak to his death. Over the past decade, I've read uncountable stories about uninformed or ill-prepared Mt. Fuji climbers who sadly met their maker because they didn't have a clue about the many dangers awaiting them when they attempted an out-of-season ascent. Let this be a sobering lesson for us all...




Oct. 21, 2019 - Jose Altuve's walk-off homer sends the Houston Astros to the World Series

For the 2nd time in 3 years, my hometown team Houston Astros have won a trip back to the big dance... the WORLD SERIES!

The video below captures beautifully the absolute pandemonium and on-field team celebration that erupted after 2nd baseman Jose Altuve from Venezuela hit the game-winning homer in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 6 in the American League Championship series. Go Astros!!



Jose Altuve's walk-off homer sends the Houston Astros to the World Series
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




Oct. 16, 2019 - Typhoon Hagibis death & destruction

I’ve been a weather geek ever since the age of 13 when I earned the Boy Scout weather merit badge, and I suspected strongly and warned any of my friends and colleagues within hearing distance that this would be the strongest storm of my entire 28-year tenure in Japan.

I was right. Typhoon Hagibis is the strongest tropical storm to hit Japan in 60 years and wreaked widespread havoc and destruction. While I am still reeling and gathering my wits a full 3 days after the storm passed, here are just a few of the sobering statistics so far:

- 74 deaths
- Over 200 injuries
- Around 140 landslides across the country
- More than a dozen rivers overflowed and 73 levees collapsed on 47 rivers
- Over 13,000 homes flooded & around 1100 homes damaged or destroyed
- Over 670 schools damaged
- Still more than 5000 people remain evacuated
- 1/3 of the Hokuriku shinkansen bullet trains (120 carriages) were inundated & damaged by the flood waters and there's no timeline of when they can resume service
- More than 200 people at a nursing home in Saitama Prefecture had to be rescued Sunday evening by boat and by helicopter
- Tens of thousands of households still remain without power or water service (Japan’s health and welfare ministry reported yesterday that at one time more than 133,000 households were without water supplies in 13 prefectures)
- Hakone, the famous hot spring resort just southwest of Tokyo, received nearly a meter (~39 in.) of rain in only 24 hours.
- Meteorological officials say up to 40 percent of yearly rainfall was recorded in only a day or 2 in many areas.
- Early in its formation near the Northern Mariana Islands, Typhoon Hagibis' central pressure plummeted from 992 hPa to 915 hPa (making it one of the world's most intense tropical systems of 2019) and it grew from a 60-mph tropical storm to a 160-mph Cat. 5 typhoon within only 24 hours, the 9th-most rapid intensification in recorded history.

As for me, I feel blessed to have gotten thru it unscathed. But let's be clear...  it was a pretty stressful 24 hours for me, trying to keep track of the latest developments and refreshing my evacuation to-go kit, just in case like millions of others I was ordered to leave my home.

Within the next few days, I hope to compile an album of some of the website screenshots and photos I’ve collected from the Internet that paint a clearer picture of the trauma and destruction that just occurred. Please stay tuned...

Typhoon Hagibis elderly rescue
Typhoon Hagibis elderly rescue, Kawagoe, Saitama
(Photo credit: NHK World)




Oct. 5, 2019 - The Texas Food Pyramid

From the bottom up, pecan pie, Blue Bell ice cream, Texas BBQ, tacos, chicken-fried steak, Mexican food, and of course, at the very top, STEAK! laughing icon

Texas food pyramid
The Texas Food Pyramid
(image credit: "Texas Dreaming" Facebook page)




Sept. 16, 2019 - Video of my Sept. 2019 Houston, Texas vacation

It's always great to get back to my hometown at least once a year, so I can catch up on Tex-Mex, Texas BBQ, delicious Gulf Coast seafood, and of course, re-learn my southern drawl Texican accent, ha-ha! laughing icon Pics of my Houston vacation are here.



Video of my Sept. 2019 Houston vacation
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

​0:00 Takeoff from Tokyo Narita Airport (check out all the patchwork rice paddies and the Pacific Ocean waves reached only 4 min. from takeoff)
4:12 United Airlines real-time flight tracker map (NRT to IAH)
5:49 Landing at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport
9:53 LJ tells story next to lake on Windlinger Ranch in Kerrville
10:25 Sunrise panorama from Simba Point on the ranch
11:01 Early morning 360-degree panorama of lake, ranch house, & lake house
12:36 Sat. morning Catholic mass service on ranch
12:39 Beautiful garden outside of ranch house
12:54 World-champion fly fisherman BR angles for the biggest fish in the lake
13:42 Splashing fun in a Houston swimming pool
13:49 Basketball dribbling wizardry
14:10 Panorama of Houston skyline & Hermann Park from Texas Medical Center
14:39 LJ tells story in Houston's La Fiesta restaurant
15:33 Beautiful nighttime-illuminated arch bridges on Houston's Southwest Freeway
16:35 MANY Japanese beckoning cats (招き猫, まねきねこ) above Yume Asian Kitchen, Terminal E, Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport
17:21 Q, the amazing, all-new Texas barbecue smokehouse, featuring a LONG bar with 2 towers that showcase a variety of whiskeys in the Houston airport Terminal E
18:42 Takeoff from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (includes views of the downtown Houston skyline & the Galleria area)
24:14 United Airlines real-time flight tracker map (IAH to NRT)
25:52 Landing at Tokyo Narita Airport (check out my plane's shadow on the ground!)




Sept. 15, 2019 - My pics of Dubfest VII, Kerrville, Texas, Aug. 30 - Sept. 1, 2019

​Granted, there are many beautiful places all over the world, ​​but even after nearly 3 decades in Dai Nippon, there’s a little slice of heaven right in the heart of the Texas Hill Country that still touches my heart in a very profound way. On our friends' 263-acre (106 ha) Kerrville ranch, all our college buddies gather together every September to reminisce old times and to enjoy nature at its finest.

Deer, foxes, wild pigs, wild turkeys, a lake full of fish, the clearly visible Milky Way in the nighttime sky, and pristine, clean air to breathe are just a few of the many therapeutic benefits of spending an entire weekend on this beautiful piece of God's green earth.

I sincerely hope my pics will give you at least a small sense of the many wonders of this beautiful place…





Aug. 25, 2019 - Video of my August 7-21, 2019 Hokkaido Adventure

Video highlights include the absolutely gorgeous waterfalls, including my personal favorite, the Oshinkoshin Waterfall; the first time I can ever recall seeing fireworks released by speed boat where the fireworks shoot up directly from the surface of the water; interesting forest trees lined up in rows on Nakanoshima Island in Lake Toya; and a panorama of the stunning nighttime view from atop Mt. Hakodate, which is ranked one of the best night views in the world. I hope you enjoy!



Video of my August 7-21, 2019 Hokkaido Adventure
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

0:00 Shirahige Waterfall
0:54 Ryusei Waterfall
1:41 Ginga Waterfall
2:46 Oshinkoshin Waterfall
4:00 Kumagoe-no-taki Waterfall
4:51 Timelapse sunset from Oronkoiwa Rock Observatory
5:23 Panorama from Bihoro Pass above Lake Kussharo
5:44 Lake Akan Bokke Mud Volcano
7:25 Lake Onneto Yu-no-taki Waterfall
8:47 Wild deer grazing streetside in Akanko Onsen residential area
9:29 Red-crowned cranes in Akan International Crane Center
11:28 Red-crowned cranes in Kushiro City Red-crowned Crane Natural Park
13:01 Panorama of Lake Shikotsu
13:24 Panorama of Lake Toya
13:47 Lake Toya fireworks show
16:41 Inside Usuzan Ropeway
18:53 Interesting forest trees lined up in rows on Nakanoshima Island in Lake Toya
19:50 Arrival of Espoir cruise boat at Nakanoshima Island in Lake Toya
21:55 Nighttime panorama atop Mt. Hakodate, ranked one of the world's best night views




Aug. 24, 2019 - Pics of my August 7-21, 2019 Hokkaido Adventure

Without question, one of the most exciting adventures of my entire life. 15 days, 2812 km (1750 mi), 6 national parks, a quasi-national park, and an uncountable number of national forests in Japan's last unspoiled wilderness frontier. I hope you enjoy my pics. Video coming soon!





Aug. 21, 2019 - Sun Pillar Park, Hokkaido

Just returned back from a wonderful 15-day road trip around Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. Stay tuned for more exciting pics!

Sun Pillar Park, Hokkaido
Sun Pillar Park, Hokkaido




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.









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Website Updates

Nov 18, 2019

Venus/Jupiter conjunction this Sunday, November 24, 2019!

All passionate stargazers including myself are already looking forward to the conjunction this Sunday, November 24, 2019 of the sky’s 2 brightest planets – Venus and Jupiter.

These 2 brilliant beauties will pop out low in the southwestern sky at dusk and hover rather close to the sunset point on the horizon. Day by day Venus – the brighter of the 2 – is climbing upward, away from the sunset, while Jupiter sinks downward, and this coming Sunday 11/24 they will pass within a scant 1.4 degrees of each other. That’s about the width of your index finger at arm length.

Venus will appear about 30 minutes after sunset, and then Jupiter will be visible about 15 minutes later. So the best time to view the conjunction is about 1 hour after sunset, which today occurred at 4:32 pm in Tokyo. Even if the weather isn't so good this Sunday, the conjunction should still be nice a day or 2 before or afterwards.

The last Venus-Jupiter conjunction happened 10 months ago, on January 22, 2019, and the next one will occur on February 11, 2021. So there will be no Venus-Jupiter conjunction in 2020.

In the words of Bruce McClure, the lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004, "Because Venus and Jupiter beam as the 3rd and 4th-brightest celestial bodies, respectively (after the sun and moon), Venus-Jupiter conjunctions are particularly spectacular and photogenic."

(click link to view star chart)

Continue reading "Venus/Jupiter conjunction this Sunday, November 24, 2019!"

Nov 18, 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"

Nov 17, 2019

Andrea Bocelli's "The Music of Silence" movie

As part of this year's birthday celebrations, I had the opportunity last night to catch the Andrea Bocelli movie "The Music of Silence," based upon Andrea's 1999 autobiography which chronicles one of the world's most famous tenor's childhood upbringing and professional career.

Being a HUGE fan of this remarkable Italian blind man, I was especially moved by the movie, which included a superb performance by Antonio Banderas as Andrea's maestro. At the very end of the movie, during the rolling of the credits, was a letter that Andrea once wrote to his wife and children.

The letter touched me in such a profound way that I decided to share most of it here:

"Every life is a wonderful story worthy of being told. Every life is a work of art, and if it does not seem so, perhaps it is only necessary to illuminate the room that contains it. The secret is never to lose faith, to have confidence in God’s plan for us, revealed in the signs with which He shows us the way. If you learn to listen, you will find that each life speaks to us of love. Because love is the key to everything, the engine of the world. Here is the secret behind every note that I sing.And never forget that there is no such thing as happenstance." —Andrea Bocelli—

I loved this movie and if you admire Andrea as much is I do, I think you might enjoy it as well. The movie trailer can be viewed here.

Continue reading "Andrea Bocelli's "The Music of Silence" movie"

Nov 12, 2019

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, first shared on this site 4 years ago, is a comical, tongue-in-cheek attempt by locals to somehow stem the tide. :-)

(click link to view poster)

Continue reading "Austin, Texas sucks"

Nov 10, 2019

Japan's Emperor and Empress draw thousands for enthronement parade

Today Japan's new Emperor and Empress thrilled thousands of people in Tokyo and around the nation with a lavish procession through the streets of the capital city.

An estimated 119,000 people gathered around the Imperial Palace early in the morning and along the route with their Rising Sun national flags to secure a place for a good look at the Imperial couple and celebrate the historic occasion of the enthronement. It all occurred against the backdrop of the city's federal government buildings and the colorful fall foliage on an absolutely beautiful, sunny day.

The 4.6-kilometer parade started at the Imperial Palace and after about 30 minutes, the Emperor and Empress arrived at their residence on the grounds of the Akasaka Estate.

26,000 police officers were mobilized from across the country, and the motorcade consisted of 46 vehicles, including police motorcycles.

The Imperial Household Agency's parade vehicle which carried the Emperor and Empress is a one-off, Toyota Century convertible 4-door sedan reported to have cost nearly $750,000.

(click link to view photo)

Continue reading "Japan's Emperor and Empress draw thousands for enthronement parade"

Nov 05, 2019

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2019

Posts include the beautiful Spring 2019 flowers, including the

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2019"

Nov 05, 2019

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2013

Posts include the busy 2013 typhoon season, Tokyo’s stunning fall colors, and screenshots of NORAD tracking Santa as he passed thru Houston & Tokyo.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2013"

Nov 03, 2019

Acting and Modeling in Tokyo

Some samples of acting & modeling roles possible for foreigners in Tokyo, along with a short list of some of the reputable Tokyo talent agencies.

Continue reading "Acting and Modeling in Tokyo"

Nov 01, 2019

Off-season Mt. Fuji climber falls 700 m to his death while YouTube live-streaming his ascent

On Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, an off-season Mt. Fuji climber fell 700 m (~2300 ft) to his death while YouTube live-streaming his ascent up the snow-covered peak. This page shows the terrifying 22-sec. video which captures his slipping down the nation's highest peak to his death. Over the past decade, I've read uncountable stories about uninformed or ill-prepared Mt. Fuji climbers who sadly met their maker because they didn't have a clue about the many dangers awaiting them when they attempted an out-of-season ascent. Let this be a sobering lesson for us all...

(click link to view video)

Continue reading "Off-season Mt. Fuji climber falls 700 m to his death while YouTube live-streaming his ascent"

Oct 31, 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)"

Oct 27, 2019

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2017

Posts include my 2017 highlights movie, a number of fun Xmas season videos, memories of my old Richard Nixon mask, and Mom’s delicious Texas Trash snack mix.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2017"

Oct 21, 2019

Jose Altuve's walk-off homer sends the Houston Astros to the World Series

For the 2nd time in 3 years, my hometown team Houston Astros have won a trip back to the big dance... the WORLD SERIES!

The video below captures beautifully the absolute pandemonium and on-field team celebration that erupted after 2nd baseman Jose Altuve from Venezuela hit the game-winning homer in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 6 in the American League Championship series. Go Astros!!

(click link to view video)

Continue reading "Jose Altuve's walk-off homer sends the Houston Astros to the World Series"

Oct 15, 2019

Typhoon Hagibis death & destruction

I’ve been a weather geek ever since the age of 13 when I earned the Boy Scout weather merit badge, and I suspected strongly and warned any of my friends and colleagues within hearing distance that this would be the strongest storm of my entire 28-year tenure in Japan.

I was right. Typhoon Hagibis is the strongest tropical storm to hit Japan in 60 years and wreaked widespread havoc and destruction. While I am still reeling and gathering my wits a full 3 days after the storm passed, here are just a few of the sobering statistics so far:

- 74 deaths

- Over 200 injuries

- Around 140 landslides across the country

- More than a dozen rivers overflowed and 73 levees collapsed on 47 rivers

- Over 13,000 homes flooded & around 1100 homes damaged or destroyed

- Over 670 schools damaged

- Still more than 5000 people remain evacuated

- 1/3 of the Hokuriku shinkansen bullet trains (120 carriages) were inundated & damaged by the flood waters and there's no timeline of when they can resume service

- More than 200 people at a nursing home in Saitama Prefecture had to be rescued Sunday evening by boat and by helicopter

- Tens of thousands of households still remain without power or water service (Japan’s health and welfare ministry reported yesterday that at one time more than 133,000 households were without water supplies in 13 prefectures)

- Hakone, the famous hot spring resort just southwest of Tokyo, received nearly a meter (~39 in.) of rain in only 24 hours.

- Meteorological officials say up to 40 percent of yearly rainfall was recorded in only a day or 2 in many areas.

- Early in its formation near the Northern Mariana Islands, Typhoon Hagibis' central pressure plummeted from 992 hPa to 915 hPa (making it one of the world's most intense tropical systems of 2019) and it grew from a 60-mph tropical storm to a 160-mph Cat. 5 typhoon within only 24 hours, the 9th-most rapid intensification in recorded history.

(click link to see pic & read more)

Continue reading "Typhoon Hagibis death & destruction"

Oct 12, 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"

Oct 06, 2019

The Texas Food Pyramid

From the bottom up, pecan pie, Blue Bell ice cream, Texas BBQ, tacos, chicken-fried steak, Mexican food, and of course, at the very top, STEAK! :-)

(click link to view pic of the Texas Food Pyramid)

Continue reading "The Texas Food Pyramid"





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. Venus/Jupiter conjunction this Sunday, November 24, 2019!

    Nov 18, 19 06:47 AM

    All passionate stargazers including myself are already looking forward to the conjunction this Sunday, November 24, 2019 of the sky’s 2 brightest planets – Venus and Jupiter. These 2 brilliant beautie…

    Read more

  2. Gary J. Wolff's Blog

    Nov 18, 19 06:43 AM

    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.

    Read more

  3. Andrea Bocelli's "The Music of Silence" movie

    Nov 17, 19 06:11 AM

    As part of this year's birthday celebrations, I had the opportunity last night to catch the Andrea Bocelli movie "The Music of Silence," based upon Andrea's 1999 autobiography which chronicles one of…

    Read more









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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)