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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. 28, 2022 - Fall Colors Tokyo 2022

It’s that gorgeous time of year again in Tokyo when nature's paintbrush adds a lot of colorful cheer to our lives.

This kind of beautiful scenery warms my heart and puts a lot more spring in my step. Even after more than 3 decades here, this much welcomed boost to our spirit never grows old. Japan is indeed one beautiful country...

 
Fall Colors Tokyo 2022
Fall Colors Tokyo 2022
 (click here to view full album)




Nov. 21, 2022 - Japanese train station postal dropbox

Yes, it's real! You can actually mail letters in it. smiley

Japanese train station postal dropbox
Japanese postal dropbox, JR Shinagawa Station, Tokyo
(photo courtesy: Jim Tittsler)




Nov. 17, 2022 - Happy Birthday to.....ME! smiley

I'm in heaven after being treated to a gorgeous multi-course dinner to celebrate my landmark birthday... from a wonderful friend I've known for over 3 decades after my first arriving in Japan.

landmark birthday dinner
landmark birthday dinner


Another dear friend awarded me a Happy Birthday Gold Medal for being the "best guy in the world," ha ha. laughing icon

Happy Birthday Gold Medal
Happy Birthday Gold Medal




Nov. 12, 2022 - Today's words of wisdom

"The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness."

—Michel de Montaigne, French Renaissance philosopher—




Nov. 7, 2022 - Houston Astros 2022 World Series Champions!

This year my hometown team went to the World Series for the 4th time in 6 seasons, and I'm so pleased that for the 2nd time since 2017, the Houston Astros are 2022 World Series Champions! YAY! smiley

2022 Houston Astros World Series Champions
2022 Houston Astros World Series Champions
(photo credit: mlb.com)


2022 MLB Postseason Bracket
2022 MLB Postseason Bracket
(photo credit: mlb.com)




Nov. 3, 2022 - Amazing Xmas tree display

Call me old-fashioned, but I still think early November is TOO early to start displaying Xmas decorations. smiley Nonetheless, I was touched by a very beautiful triple tree Xmas tree display I saw yesterday outside a Tokyo train station. Especially impressive was the village of cute little internally-illuminated houses in the foreground.

triple xmas trees




Oct. 25, 2022 - What's the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?


What's the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

I believe the main difference is that one will see you later and the other will see you in a while. I could be wrong. I'm not a zoologist. laughing icon




Oct. 18, 2022 - Satomi Koen Rose Festival

Satomi Koen Rose Festival
Ichikawa, Chiba. The full Flickr album is here.




Oct. 17, 2022 - Preparing for Halloween

In anticipation of Halloween, there are now numerous training flights in progress! laughing icon


Went for a ride last night
Went for a ride last night. Had some engine trouble.


broom riding witch




Oct. 6, 2022 - 2 old college buddies enjoy a reunion sing-along



2 old college buddies enjoy a reunion sing-along
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

0:00 Jesus Is Just Alright
2:42 El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
5:48 Back Home Again




Sept. 23, 2022 - My 2022 Texas vacation pics!

For the first time in 3 years, I was able to visit my home state of Texas. It was an action-packed experience and very culturally rewarding. laughing icon

I hope you enjoy my pics! If you have time, you can view the entire Flickr album here: My 2022 Texas vacation pics!

My 2022 Texas vacation pics!




Sept. 16, 2022 - Sunrise over the Edo River in Tokyo, Japan

Sunrise over the Edo River in Tokyo, Japan
Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, 5:48 am




Sept. 14, 2022 - ​​Engineering Student Leadership Service Award

In 1970 the Student Engineering Council of the University of Texas at Austin established the Student Leadership Award in Engineering. Each year 6 awards are presented and each recipient receives a framed certificate and a $200 check, which is presented at a luncheon ceremony during Engineering Week.

Their names are recorded on a permanent plaque displayed in the Engineering Student Services office in the Engineering Education and Research Center on the UT Austin campus.

Engineering Student Leadership Service Award

More details here: Engineering Student Leadership Service Award, University of Texas at Austin




Aug. 11, 2022 - Peak season for Obanazawa Suika watermelons in Yamagata

In this photo, watermelons in the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives facility in Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture, are being inspected for quality before being shipped out across the country. This is the busiest time of the year when up to 40,000 Obanazawa Suika watermelons are being shipped every day. WOW!! This city is one of the largest watermelon growing regions in Japan.

Obanazawa watermelons
Obanazawa Suika watermelons
(photo credit: japannews.yomiuri.co.jp)




July 31, 2022 - Big Bear's new CD released July 10th!

Congrats to my musician friend Mr. Hidekazu Okuma (大熊秀和), whom we affectionately refer to as Big Bear (the English translation of his family name Okuma), on the release of his band's latest CD on July 10th.

I’ve been following and supporting Big Bear's music for the past 15 years and his "Big Bears" group is without question one of the hottest rock bands in Katsushika, Tokyo.

He is the lead singer and guitarist of his band and wrote 5 of the 7 songs on their new CD. He also sings 4 of the ​​CD's songs in English, including an excellent rendition of “Crossroads," the classic hit from the 60s by Eric Clapton and his band Cream.

Way to go, Big Bear! I hope you sell lots of CDs…



"The Freedom" CD by Big Bears, released July 10, 2022
(If player above is not visible, you can view Big Bear's entire YouTube playlist here.)

0:00 I Love Southbay
5:41 We're The Child of God
9:16 Freedom
12:57 Working Man
19:05 Crossroads
23:30 Everyday I Have The Blues
28:01 I Love Southbay (Bossa Nova)




July 17, 2022 - Ruy Ueda sets new world record for running up and down Mt. Fuji’s 4 trails in less than 10 hours

"28-year-old Japanese athlete Ruy Ueda has set a new Fastest Known Time (FKT) for running all of Mount Fuji’s four trails non-stop, a total distance of 57.06km with 6,772m of ascent. He completed the feat in nine hours, 55 minutes and 41 seconds, a world record when ratified....

....He finished third in the 2021 Skyrunning World Championships. That same year he became the first Asian Skyrunning World Champion after winning the Men’s Vertical Kilometer in Lleida, Spain. To prepare his body for this challenge, Ueda travelled to the Alps and trained with ultrarunner Florian Neuschwander, competing in Austria’s Hochkönigman, where he won the downhill race, and France’s Mont Blanc marathon, where he came in third."

An animation at the beginning of this video shows his route:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEka4JS9bPQ

Source: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/ruy-ueda-mount-fuji-speed-record

Ruy Ueda - Fujisan
Ruy Ueda sets new world record for running up and down Mt. Fuji’s 4 trails in less than 10 hours
(photo credit: Suguru Saito/Red Bull Content Pool)




July 9, 2022 - Rest in peace, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (安倍晋三首相)

As we come to grips with yesterday's appalling tragedy here in Japan and reflect back on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's many accolades, including becoming the youngest post-war Prime Minister and being the longest serving Japanese Prime Minister in history, I was reminded of his ​​tireless efforts thru the years to promote and solidify the special friendship between Japan and the U.S., including his address 7 years ago to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in nearly flawless English. R.I.P, Abe-san…


​​Prime Minister Abe's Address to the U.S. Congress in May 2015
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




July 2, 2022 - ​​​Mt. Fuji's 2022 climbing season opens on July 1!

SHOW TIME! The Yoshida trail on the Yamanashi Prefecture side of Mount Fuji opened yesterday on July 1, a day known as Yamabiraki (山開き), marking the beginning of the summer Mt. Fuji mountain climbing season that will continue through Sept. 10.

Fujisan Yamabiraki - July 1, 2022
Mt. Fuji climbers enjoyed sunrise from its summit on July 1, 2022.
(photo credit: The Mainichi Newspaper)

More details on Mt. Fuji's 2022 climbing season are on my Climbing Mt. Fuji (富士山) - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.







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Website Updates

Nov 29, 2022

What date is the latest Mt. Fuji mountain huts stay open where I can get my walking stick stamped?

I got 2 questions as I booked leave from work from 5th September 2023 until 18th October 2023 1. What date are the latest that mountain huts will you

Continue reading "What date is the latest Mt. Fuji mountain huts stay open where I can get my walking stick stamped?"

Nov 29, 2022

How to Make a Paper Soccer Ball

Ever thought about making your own paper soccer ball? Follow these quick, easy steps to create your own colorful design. A free, fun activity for kids!

Continue reading "How to Make a Paper Soccer Ball"

Nov 27, 2022

Fall Colors Tokyo 2022

It’s that gorgeous time of year again in Tokyo when nature's paintbrush adds a lot of colorful cheer to our lives.

This kind of beautiful scenery warms my heart and puts a lot more spring in my step. Even after more than 3 decades here, this much welcomed boost to our spirit never grows old. Japan is indeed one beautiful country...

(click link to view photo collage and link to full Flickr album)

Continue reading "Fall Colors Tokyo 2022"

Nov 27, 2022

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, 2022

Happy Birthday to.....ME! :-)

I'm in heaven after being treated to a gorgeous multi-course dinner to celebrate my landmark birthday... from a wonderful friend I've known for over 3 decades after my first arriving in Japan.

(click link to view beautiful birthday decoration)

Continue reading "Happy Birthday to.....ME! :-)"

Oct 28, 2022

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 16, 2022

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2022

Posts include ‘Why are you still in Japan?’, Keisei Rose Garden, Burger King’s Salsa & Avocado Whopper, and Kane Tanaka, who was the world’s oldest person.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2022"

Oct 16, 2022

2 old college buddies enjoy a reunion sing-along

0:00 Jesus Is Just Alright
2:42 El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
5:48 Back Home Again

(click link to view 10-min. video of 3 songs)

Continue reading "2 old college buddies enjoy a reunion sing-along"

Oct 16, 2022

Engineering Student Leadership Service Award

In 1970 the Student Engineering Council of the University of Texas at Austin established the Student Leadership Award in Engineering. Each year 6 awards are presented and each recipient receives a framed certificate and a $200 check, which is presented at a luncheon ceremony during Engineering Week.

Their names are recorded on a permanent plaque displayed in the Engineering Student Services office in the Engineering Education and Research Center on the UT Austin campus.

(click link to view pic)

Continue reading "Engineering Student Leadership Service Award"

Oct 15, 2022

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 Texas Trash snack mix.

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

Oct 10, 2022

100 Tallest Mountains of Japan Completed

Gary, I just wanted to reach out and say thank you as I have recently completed my own personal journey of climbing all of Japan's 100 tallest peaks, which

Continue reading "100 Tallest Mountains of Japan Completed"

Oct 07, 2022

My 2022 Texas vacation pics!

For the first time in 3 years, I was able to visit my home state of Texas. It was an action-packed experience and very culturally rewarding. :-)

I hope you enjoy my pics! If you have time, you can view the entire Flickr album linked from this blog post.

Continue reading "My 2022 Texas vacation pics!"

Oct 07, 2022

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 07, 2022

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, January-March, 2015

Posts include winter hiking tips by Wes Lang, Danish archer Lars Andersen, Super Bowl XLIX from the New Sanno Hotel, and an awesome Diamond Fuji seen from Tokyo.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, January-March, 2015"

Oct 07, 2022

List of Mt. Fuji Mountain Huts (富士山の山小屋)

Listing of Mt. Fuji Yoshida Trail mountain huts, including website URLs, phone numbers, elevations, and sleeping capacities, as well as links to the Fujinomiya trail hut sites.

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

Oct 07, 2022

Useful iPad Tools for the EFL Teacher

This article identifies a few of the most useful iPad tools for EFL teachers and describes how they are actually being used in and out of the classroom.

Continue reading "Useful iPad Tools for the EFL Teacher"

Oct 07, 2022

Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

The latest news updates about the strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami on Mar. 11, 2011, including maps, photos, and videos.

Continue reading "Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami"

Aug 15, 2022

I climbed Mt. Fuji Aug. 13, 2022 during a typhoon!

I climbed Mt. Fuji 2 times. One time was August 3, 2019. In that time, we started from 5th station of Subashiri trail to summit and it took about 11 hours.

Continue reading "I climbed Mt. Fuji Aug. 13, 2022 during a typhoon!"

Aug 11, 2022

Peak season for Obanazawa Suika watermelons in Yamagata

In this photo, watermelons in the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives facility in Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture, are being inspected for quality before being shipped out across the country. This is the busiest time of the year when up to 40,000 Obanazawa Suika watermelons are being shipped every day. WOW!! This city is one of the largest watermelon growing regions in Japan.

(click link to view pic of watermelons)

Continue reading "Peak season for Obanazawa Suika watermelons in Yamagata"

Aug 05, 2022

Can I climb Mount Fuji at 10 pm?

I am planning to do bullet climbing, but I don't want to get cold by remaining still at the top. Therefore, is it possible to do the climbing at 10 pm?

Continue reading "Can I climb Mount Fuji at 10 pm?"





Japan-Texas ebook cover thumbnail
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Pattaya ebook cover
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(¥214 at アマゾン日本)




Alaska ebook cover
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Summer 1974 hitchhiking trip ebook cover
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What's New?

  1. What date is the latest Mt. Fuji mountain huts stay open where I can get my walking stick stamped?

    Nov 29, 22 09:15 PM

    I got 2 questions as I booked leave from work from 5th September 2023 until 18th October 2023 1. What date are the latest that mountain huts will you

    Read more

  2. How to Make a Paper Soccer Ball

    Nov 29, 22 01:27 AM

    Ever thought about making your own paper soccer ball? Follow these quick, easy steps to create your own colorful design. A free, fun activity for kids!

    Read more

  3. Fall Colors Tokyo 2022

    Nov 27, 22 07:16 PM

    It’s that gorgeous time of year again in Tokyo when nature's paintbrush adds a lot of colorful cheer to our lives. This kind of beautiful scenery warms my heart and puts a lot more spring in my step…

    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)