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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.


May 12, 2020 - Words of wisdom from the amazing poet, Tarzana Joe

Choices...

I’m sure you’re sick and tired of
Those caterwauling voices
Lamenting each election that
We really have no choices

Or even of some pundit
Acting like a kind confessor
Advising, of two evils
You must always choose the lesser

I, for one, have always known
We’ll never find perfection
I bear that fact in mind
Each time I’m making my selection

But now I start to understand
This broad dis-satisfaction
For with this crisis growing
I see no clear course of action

No one with the power
Making Liberty their mission
No one in my government
Espousing my position

No one has the answer
There’s no course that they can teach
To say it’s safe to jog
But not to sit down on the beach

Or why if I buy barbells
At a Target I’ll survive
But not if I buy golf balls
Cross the street at the Big Five

Why science says that kids
Don’t transmit COVID as a rule
But government in panic
Says that kids can’t go to school

I am old and weak
And though I like to run and ride
I’ll do my civic duty and
Agree to stay inside

To the young among you
Take this challenge that I give
Tell the folks in power
They must let the country live




April 29, 2020 - GW rocks in Japan!

Today, Showa Day (昭和の日, Shōwa no Hi), is a national holiday in Japan and kicks off the week-long holiday period known as Golden Week, often abbreviated simply as GW.

Well, GW has another meaning in my life.... not only my initials but also my nickname, courtesy of my most beloved family and friends since my childhood days.

Needless to say, GW is one of my favorite times of the year in Japan because everywhere you look, my nickname is plastered on countless advertising signs all over the city. It's nice to be so famous, ha ha.

The sign below I spotted just a few days ago at the local KFC. Yee hah! laughing icon


KFC GW sign in Tokyo
KFC GW sign in Tokyo




April 18, 2020 - Gary's Spring 2020 self-intro for his Japanese university students



Gary's Spring 2020 self-intro for his Japanese university students
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




April 12, 2020 - Mariah Carey pays tribute to the many coronavirus heroes

On the occasion of Holy Week, blessings to multiplatinum diva and 5-time Grammy Award winner Mariah Carey for her heartfelt "stay at home" tribute to all the first responders, frontline health workers, and other selfless warriors who are keeping us safe in these troubling times.

In her message of hope, Mariah Carey performed from her home and reminded us in her 1993 hit "Hero" that...

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you

I just LOVE this...



Mariah Carey - Hero (Live at Home Tribute)
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)





April 7, 2020 - Self-quarantine chip shot

An amazingly accurate chip shot with a roll of toilet paper during this guy's period of self-quarantine. LOVE IT! laughing icon



Self-quarantine chip shot
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)





April 6, 2020 - CORONAVIRUS: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?

According to worldometers.info, as of 12 noon April 6, 2020 Japan time, worldwide so far there have been:
  • 15,548,576 deaths this year, including...
  • 3,431,734 communicable disease deaths this year
  • 2,171,109 deaths caused by cancer this year
  • 1,321,513 deaths caused by smoking this year
  • 661,173 deaths caused by alcohol this year
  • 444,394 deaths caused by HIV/AIDS this year
  • 356,853 road traffic accident deaths this year
  • 283,479 suicide deaths this year
  • 259,299 deaths caused by malaria this year
  • 222,612 deaths caused by water-related diseases this year
  • 128,541 seasonal flu deaths this year
  • 80,370 deaths TODAY so far alone
  • and most importantly, since Jan. 22, only 69,456 coronavirus deaths.
As early as tomorrow, the Japanese prime minister will declare a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak for Tokyo and 6 other prefectures including Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka (source: NHK World-Japan).

But unlike in many other countries, lockdowns will not be imposed and public transportation, supermarkets, and other essential businesses in Japan will continue operations. In short, Japan's response to the outbreak will largely remain unchanged from what it's already been the past 6 weeks, namely to ask people to avoid closed and crowded places as well as close contact with others, while maintaining economic and social activities.

The declaration will give the governors of these 6 prefectures (Japan has 47 prefectures) the power to request (not demand) that residents refrain from non-essential outings and to cooperate with measures to prevent the further spread of the virus, but the governors can request or order (if necessary) school closures and restrictions on the operations of department stores, cinemas, and other places where many people gather.

Is there anyone besides myself who believes that shutting down the entire world economy has been a gross overreaction? I hope we can all go back to work soon, before we have a worldwide depression on our hands. So sad... frownie anime




April 1, 2020 - How to make an emergency paper towel face mask

In emergency situations like natural disasters and global pandemics, face masks can protect you in places with debris, in evacuation centers, or even from killer viruses. Watch this 30-second video and learn how to make an instant face mask using only a paper towel, 4 rubber bands, and a stapler.



How to make an emergency paper towel face mask
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)



25 other short, safety tip videos that can save your life, courtesy of NHK World-Japan, can be viewed in their "How To Craft Safety" YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFEzXnIQVwV8JBaiP0Zu1O5P_PItdn9B5




Mar. 30, 2020 - 'RONA VIRUS BLUES by Rob Rio

I just LOVE this amazing tune by boogie woogie blues pianist Rob Rio! Known as the "Boss of the Boogie," Rob Rio has excited audiences around the world for more than 35 years and was inducted into the Boogie Woogie Hall Of Fame in 2008. He has appeared and recorded with many of the most famous musicians like Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, Paul Butterfield, Mick Jagger, and Canned Heat. Go Rob... laughing icon



'RONA VIRUS BLUES by Rob Rio
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)





Mar. 26, 2020 - Ernest Benn quote

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies."

—Ernest Benn (1875-1954), British writer (also attributed to Groucho Marx, American comedian and TV star)—




Mar. 23, 2020 - Great John Steinbeck quote

"A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ."

—John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (1902–1968), American author, winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, and writer of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath which has sold over 14 million copies—




Mar. 21, 2020 -  Famous Benjamin Franklin quote

"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

—Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States who helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, who is credited as the inventor of the lightning rod and bifocals, and whose picture appears on the front of the American $100 bill—




Mar. 19, 2020 - Invasion of the Grocery Snatchers

NOW SHOWING!

Mindlessly emptying shelves of things they don't need!

For reasons they can't explain! laughing icon


Invasion of the Grocery Snatchers
Invasion of the Grocery Snatchers




Mar. 15, 2020 - CONGRATULATIONS to the 2020 Toilet Paper Queen!

Amidst the worldwide coronavirus panic and ensuing hoarding of toilet paper, then there's THIS!! Ha ha ha... laughing icon

2020 Toilet Paper Queen
2020 Toilet Paper Queen




Mar. 11, 2020 - 9-year anniversary of strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami

A remarkable 9 years ago today, Mar. 11, 2011, at 2:46 pm, northeastern Japan was hit hard by the Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災), the strongest ever Japan earthquake and the 4th most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

Sadly the massive, magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40.5 meters (133 ft) in Miyako, Iwate and devastated cities & seaports along a broad swath of the northeastern Japan coastline.

If that weren't enough, the tsunami in turn caused meltdowns at 3 reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, and forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents.

The triple disaster left 18,428 people dead or missing, and almost a decade later, several municipalities still remain blocked off... leaving nearly 48,000 evacuees still waiting to go home.

I was home at the time, and never lost my internet connection, so in order to keep my many overseas friends and family (who were all BEGGING me to get the heck outta Dodge) updated on the latest news, I started blogging immediately, and over the course of the next 101 days after the triple tragedy, I had posted 467 news updates.

One of the most terrifying videos I saw in those first few days was the stunning amateur video below of the killer tsunami destroying 95 percent of Minami-Sanriku (南三陸町), a fishing port in Miyagi Prefecture. To cut to the chase, you can skip the first 2 minutes:



Mar. 11, 2011 tsunami washing away Minami-sanriku (南三陸町), Miyagi
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)





Mar. 3, 2020 - Panic buying of toilet paper in Tokyo

One side effect of the growing coronavirus in Japan is panic-buying of toilet rolls and tissue paper. As a result of social media posts in the last week that have spread false rumors that the raw materials used to make toilet paper can no longer be imported from China due to coronavirus, people have been urged online to hoard toilet rolls in the likelihood of nationwide shortages.

Despite industry and government officials' pleas to the public not to be taken in by the rumors, supermarkets and drugstores in Japan have not only experienced shortages of toilet paper, but many have completely sold out every day by noon, leaving empty shelves.

This video below was filmed a couple days ago showing well over a hundred people lining up to panic purchase toilet paper at the 10 am opening of a neighborhood drug store in Tokyo. In just those 2 days, the video has already been viewed over 700 times. WOW!



Panic buying of toilet paper in Tokyo on Sun. Mar. 1, 2020
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




Feb. 27, 2020 - "Inspiration and Hope" page update

Below are the first 4 entries in today's long overdue update of my very LONG "Inspiration and Hope" webpage on my very OLD original website, first uploaded in Jan. 1997:

“Trust gets you killed, love gets you hurt, and being real gets you hated.”

—Johnny Cash (1932-2003)—

*************

"When you are born, you cry, and the world rejoices.
When you die, you rejoice, and the world cries."

—Tibetan Buddhist saying—

*************

“To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.”

—Pablo Picasso—

*************

"A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness."

—Albert Einstein, written on note paper from the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan in 1922, and later sold for $1.3 million—




Feb. 26, 2020 - Odawara Plum Blossom Hiking

Last Sunday I had the good fortune of joining Jambo International for a nature hike to view the beautiful plum blossoms in the Soga Plum Blossom Park in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture. Our timing was perfect, as they were holding the Soga Plum Park Festival at the time.

With an unseasonably warm day and clear blue skies, we were treated to 35,000 plum trees near their peak.

But by far the most amazing part of the entire day was the truly breathtaking, up-close-and-personal view of Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest peak. It was almost as if you could just reach out and touch it. Without question, it was the most striking, awe-inspiring view I’ve ever had of Fujisan after nearly 3 decades of living in this beautiful country.

The hike began at Kouzu Station on the JR Tokaido Line and finished 5 hours later, after quite a few ups and downs through the foothills, at Shimo Soga Station on the JR Gotemba Line.

This sort of day trip, back-to-nature outdoor activity is just one of many things that truly warm my heart about living in the Land of the Rising Sun!


Fujisan-Feb. 23, 2020
Mt. Fuji, from Odawara, Kanagawa on Feb. 23, 2020




Feb. 18, 2020 - My Saipan video - Feb. 11-16, 2020



My Saipan video - Feb. 11-16, 2020
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

0:00 Panorama of the beautiful blue ocean from the Sugar Dock
0:30 Beach panorama at sunset from the Grandvrio Resort
1:27 Panorama of Obyan Beach
2:20 Inside the famous Country House Restaurant (minus the talking buffalo who sadly bit the dust in 2018 during Typhoon Yutu)
2:42 Sexy Polynesian dancers in the Culture Dinner Show at the Fiesta Resort
6:16 Panorama of the uninhabited Pau Pau Beach
6:37 Saipan Grotto, famous spot for diving and snorkeling
7:50 Beautiful, colorful rooster at the Saipan Grotto
8:47 Bird Island, as seen from the Bird Island Observatory
9:30 Stunningly beautiful Banzai Cliff, site of the mass suicide during World War II where sadly hundreds of Japanese civilians and soldiers jumped off the cliff to their deaths in the ocean and rocks below
10:59 "May Peace Prevail On Earth" pole at Banzai Cliff
11:01 Timelapse sunset #1 from Garapan Public Market pier (Feb. 13, 2020)
11:31 Beautiful white seabirds on Mañagaha Island
12:17 Tiny, cute hermit crap walking in the sand on Mañagaha Island
13:36 Beautiful blue ocean water, as seen from Mañagaha Island boat
13:56 Windsurfers at American Memorial Park
15:24 Timelapse sunset #2 from Garapan Public Market pier (Feb. 15, 2020)
16:00 Airplane takeoff from Saipan airport
18:15 View from plane of Tinian Island, just south of Saipan
18:59 Amazing view of the plane's shadow inside a small rainbow-colored halo, a fairly rare phenomenon known as a Brocken spectre
20:13 Airplane landing at Guam airport




Feb. 17, 2020 - My Saipan pics - Feb. 11-16, 2020

In my first visit in over 12 years back to this gorgeous island in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, I still remain convinced that this place, only a half-hour flight north of Guam, is God's gift to Planet Earth.

The beauty of the people and the island have touched my soul in a very profound way. I've never, ever seen ocean water in so many strikingly beautiful shades of blue. Love that place.

Stay tuned for my video...


Saipan - Feb. 2020
My Saipan pics - Feb. 11-16, 2020
(click link to view my Flickr Saipan album)


[The write-up of my Nov. 2007 trip to Saipan is on this page: Saipan Travel]




Feb. 9, 2020 - Caretta Shiodome Illumination - Feb. 8, 2020

Japanese have definitely mastered the art of putting on beautiful winter illumination events, a number of which start in November and last well into February. My favorite through the years has always been the Caretta Shiodome illuminations near JR Shinbashi Station. This winter's Arabian Night theme features songs from the Disney movies Aladdin, Lion King, and Toy Story 4. If you’ve never heard Can You Feel the Love Tonight (from 2:32) or A Whole New World (from 6:54) in Japanese, here is your big chance. laughing icon To my Tokyoite friends, this free show continues every night through Valentine’s Day (February 14).



Caretta Shiodome Illumination - Feb. 8, 2020
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




Feb. 4, 2020 - Tree huggers rule in Japan!

No need to remove the tree on this university campus. Just design the building AROUND IT! laughing icon


Tree huggers rule in Japan
Tree huggers rule in Japan




Jan. 19, 2020 - Use It or Lose It!



Use It or Lose It!
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

It’s the same advice I only wish I’d heard a number of times during my lifetime. For example, after I spent several years as a youngster learning how to play the organ, and getting good enough to actually sometimes substitute for our church organist during Sunday morning services.

Or in high school when I seriously studied German to the point that I was inducted into the German National Honor Society and was able to advance place out of 14 hours of college credit in the German language at the University of Texas at Austin.

Or those years in my early 30s when I became so proficient at playing tennis that I became one of the higher ranked players in my age bracket at my sports club.

These are just a few select talents and skills that I acquired through the years that sadly slipped away because I got busy doing other stuff and didn’t continue to protect the investment of ALL the time that I'd spent getting good at those things.

The speech above is one that I often like to give at the end of the school year to my university English language students, encouraging them to never stop improving upon the language skills they have worked so hard to learn in our classroom.

We only get one chance in life, and so we might as well make the most of it. Use it or lose it!




Jan. 13, 2020 - The "Ford v Ferrari" movie - a must-see!


“There’s a point at 7,000 RPMs where everything fades. The machine becomes weightless. It disappears. All that’s left, a body moving through space, and time. At 7,000 RPM, that’s where you meet it. That’s where it waits for you.”

—the quote heard both at the beginning and end of the "Ford v Ferrari" movie—

I grew up in a car racing family. Two of my cousins, the King brothers, built and raced their own stock cars at Houston’s quarter-mile dirt oval race track, Almeda Speedway (*). My Grandpa Wolff often used to take me and another cousin to see the stock car races at the half-mile paved oval track, Meyer Speedway.

My dad‘s brother owned a midget race car and was personal friends with Houston's A.J. Foyt, the 4-time winner of the famous Indianapolis 500, the world's oldest currently operational automobile race.

So it was no big surprise that I was absolutely thrilled to see the movie "Ford v Ferrari" which just opened in Tokyo on Friday. It chronicles the true story of the Ford Motor Company taking on the challenge of beating the dominating Italian Ferrari team at the 24 hours of Le Mans, France race in 1966.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie, and whenever I heard that high-pitched revving sound of the race cars, my adrenaline was flowing just as fast as those 200-mph race cars speeding around the track.

The movie's magic was made possible by the absolutely superb performances put in by Academy Award-winning actors Matt Damon and Christian Bale in the lead roles. Even if you don’t have racing in your blood like I do, this movie is a must see for all thrill seekers!

Damon and Bale
Matt Damon and Christian Bale in "Ford v Ferrari"
(photo credit: Merrick Morton/Fox)

The Ford v. Ferrari movie trailer can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3h9Z89U9ZA

(*) This great video shows how Almeda Speedway appeared back in the old days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk9U9AssQm0
 



Jan. 3, 2020 - Ikspiari New Year's Eve 2019 Countdown Party & Fireworks

Here's how the advent of the Roaring Twenty-Twenties was celebrated at Tokyo Disney Resort on New Year's Eve. Don't miss the final 10-second countdown, of course, in JAPANESE!! laughing icon


Ikspiari New Year's Eve 2019 Countdown Party & Fireworks
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

Ikspiari is located at the gateway to Tokyo Disney Resort, which includes Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo Disney Sea, and is a commercial facility with around 140 establishments including shops, restaurants, and a cinema complex.

This American felt right at home there, seeing shops like the Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, TGI Friday's, The Body Shop, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Starbucks, & Kua Aina Burgers. YEAH! laughing icon








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Website Updates

May 22, 2020

English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 4

Lesson 4 of a quick 4-lesson English pronunciation mini-course focusing on the main problems that Japanese learners have with F/H sounds.

Continue reading "English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 4"

May 22, 2020

English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 3

Lesson 3 of a quick 4-lesson English pronunciation mini-course focusing on the main problems that Japanese learners have with B/V sounds.

Continue reading "English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 3"

May 22, 2020

English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 2

Lesson 2 of a quick 4-lesson English pronunciation mini-course focusing on the main problems that Japanese learners have with R/L sounds.

Continue reading "English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 2"

May 21, 2020

English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners

A quick 4-lesson English pronunciation mini-course focusing on the main problems that Japanese learners have with the TH/S, R/L, B/V, & F/H sounds.

Continue reading "English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners"

May 12, 2020

Words of wisdom from the amazing poet, Tarzana Joe

Choices...

I’m sure you’re sick and tired of
Those caterwauling voices
Lamenting each election that
We really have no choices

Or even of some pundit
Acting like a kind confessor
Advising, of two evils
You must always choose the lesser

I, for one, have always known
We’ll never find perfection
I bear that fact in mind
Each time I’m making my selection

But now I start to understand
This broad dis-satisfaction
For with this crisis growing
I see no clear course of action

No one with the power
Making Liberty their mission
No one in my government
Espousing my position...

(click link to read rest of poem)

Continue reading "Words of wisdom from the amazing poet, Tarzana Joe"

May 12, 2020

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"

Apr 29, 2020

GW rocks in Japan!

Today, Showa Day (昭和の日, Shōwa no Hi), is a national holiday in Japan and kicks off the week-long holiday period known as Golden Week, often abbreviated simply as GW.

Well, GW has another meaning in my life.... not only my initials but also my nickname, courtesy of my most beloved family and friends since my childhood days.

Needless to say, GW is one of my favorite times of the year in Japan because everywhere you look, my nickname is plastered on countless advertising signs all over the city. It's nice to be so famous, ha ha.

The sign below I spotted just a few days ago at the local KFC. Yee hah! :-)

(click link to view GW sign)

Continue reading "GW rocks in Japan!"

Apr 17, 2020

Gary's Spring 2020 self-intro for his Japanese university students

(click link to view video)

Continue reading "Gary's Spring 2020 self-intro for his Japanese university students"

Apr 17, 2020

Mariah Carey pays tribute to the many coronavirus heroes

On the occasion of Holy Week, blessings to multiplatinum diva and 5-time Grammy Award winner Mariah Carey for her heartfelt "stay at home" tribute to all the first responders, frontline health workers, and other selfless warriors who are keeping us safe in these troubling times.

In her message of hope, Mariah Carey performed from her home and reminded us in her 1993 hit "Hero" that...

And then a hero comes alongWith the strength to carry onAnd you cast your fears asideAnd you know you can surviveSo when you feel like hope is goneLook inside you and be strongAnd you'll finally see the truthThat a hero lies in you

I just LOVE this...

(click link to view heartwarming video!)

Continue reading "Mariah Carey pays tribute to the many coronavirus heroes"

Apr 17, 2020

Self-quarantine chip shot

An amazingly accurate chip shot with a roll of toilet paper during this guy's period of self-quarantine. LOVE IT! :-)

(click link to view amazing chip shot!)

Continue reading "Self-quarantine chip shot"

Apr 12, 2020

CORONAVIRUS: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?

According to worldometers.info, as of 12 noon April 6, 2020 Japan time, worldwide so far there have been:
- 15,548,576 deaths this year, including...
- 3,431,734 communicable disease deaths this year
- 2,171,109 deaths caused by cancer this year
- 1,321,513 deaths caused by smoking this year
- 661,173 deaths caused by alcohol this year
- 444,394 deaths caused by HIV/AIDS this year
- 356,853 road traffic accident deaths this year
- 283,479 suicide deaths this year
- 259,299 deaths caused by malaria this year
- 222,612 deaths caused by water-related diseases this year
- 128,541 seasonal flu deaths this year
- 80,370 deaths TODAY so far alone
- and most importantly, since Jan. 22, only 69,456 coronavirus deaths.

As early as tomorrow, the Japanese prime minister will declare a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak for Tokyo and 6 other prefectures including Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka (source: NHK World-Japan).

But unlike in many other countries, lockdowns will not be imposed and public transportation, supermarkets, and other essential businesses in Japan will continue operations. In short, Japan's response to the outbreak will largely remain unchanged from what it's already been the past 6 weeks, namely to ask people to avoid closed and crowded places as well as close contact with others, while maintaining economic and social activities.

The declaration will give the governors of these 6 prefectures (Japan has 47 prefectures) the power to request (not demand) that residents refrain from non-essential outings and to cooperate with measures to prevent the further spread of the virus, but the governors can request or order (if necessary) school closures and restrictions on the operations of department stores, cinemas, and other places where many people gather.

Is there anyone besides myself who believes that shutting down the entire world economy has been a gross overreaction? I hope we can all go back to work soon, before we have a worldwide depression on our hands. So sad... :-(

Continue reading "CORONAVIRUS: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?"

Apr 07, 2020

How to make an emergency paper towel face mask

In emergency situations like natural disasters and global pandemics, face masks can protect you in places with debris, in evacuation centers, or even from killer viruses. Watch this 30-second video and learn how to make an instant face mask using only a paper towel, 4 rubber bands, and a stapler.

25 other short, safety tip videos that can save your life, courtesy of NHK World-Japan, can be viewed in their "How To Craft Safety" YouTube playlist.

(click link to view videos)

Continue reading "How to make an emergency paper towel face mask"

Apr 07, 2020

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"

Apr 06, 2020

Gyotoku Bird Observatory (行徳野鳥観察舎)

The Gyotoku Bird Observatory is a 56-hectare natural habitat for aquatic birds in Ichikawa, Chiba, and a great place to escape Tokyo's concrete jungle.

Continue reading "Gyotoku Bird Observatory (行徳野鳥観察舎)"

Mar 31, 2020

'RONA VIRUS BLUES by Rob Rio

I just LOVE this amazing tune by boogie woogie blues pianist Rob Rio! Go Rob... :-)

(click link to view video of his GREAT song, a tribute to COVID-19)

Continue reading "'RONA VIRUS BLUES by Rob Rio"

Mar 30, 2020

Are the Mt. Fuji hiking distance and % grade numbers accurate?

This site is a goldmine of valuable information and I wanted to thank you for your amazing efforts. My fiancee and I along with a dozen other mountain

Continue reading "Are the Mt. Fuji hiking distance and % grade numbers accurate?"

Mar 26, 2020

Ernest Benn quote

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies."

—Ernest Benn (1875-1954), British writer (also attributed to Groucho Marx, American comedian and TV star)—

Continue reading "Ernest Benn quote"

Mar 25, 2020

Japan Links

A short list of links to some of the more noteworthy Japanese websites I've bookmarked thru my many years of residing in this phenomenal country.

Continue reading "Japan Links"

Mar 25, 2020

Quizlet Live: The Classroom Game Now Taking the World by Storm

Quizlet Live is a new in-class, team-based learning game which allows students to use their mobile devices with any of the millions of Quizlet vocabulary study sets.

Continue reading "Quizlet Live: The Classroom Game Now Taking the World by Storm"

Mar 23, 2020

"The View from the Top of Japan" book

The View from the Top of Japan book details Gary’s 2-decade-long journey to the summits of the 25 highest mountains in Japan, including pics and maps.

Continue reading ""The View from the Top of Japan" book"





Pattaya ebook cover
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. English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 4

    May 22, 20 08:02 PM

    Lesson 4 of a quick 4-lesson English pronunciation mini-course focusing on the main problems that Japanese learners have with F/H sounds.

    Read more

  2. English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 3

    May 22, 20 08:33 AM

    Lesson 3 of a quick 4-lesson English pronunciation mini-course focusing on the main problems that Japanese learners have with B/V sounds.

    Read more

  3. English Pronunciation Mini-Course for Japanese Learners, Page 2

    May 22, 20 07:46 AM

    Lesson 2 of a quick 4-lesson English pronunciation mini-course focusing on the main problems that Japanese learners have with R/L sounds.

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GW's road trip ebook cover
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new Climbing Mt. Fuji book
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Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥343 at アマゾン日本)