Search this site:             
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 9, 2022 - Burger King Japan's new Salsa & Avocado Smoky Whopper

On the occasion of the May 5th Children’s Day national holiday, I’d like to tip my hat to Burger King founders Jim McLamore and Dave Edgerton, who I feel deserve at least partial credit for the amazing Salsa & Avocado Smoky Whopper I had for lunch, helping make my holiday a smashing success! smiley 美味しかったです (it was delicious)!!

salsa and avocado smoky whopper
Burger King Japan's new Salsa & Avocado Smoky Whopper


Burger King founders
Burger King founders Jim McLamore and Dave Edgerton




April 30, 2022 - World's oldest person dies at age 119

Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who was the world’s oldest person, died on Tues. 4/19 at age 119.

She was born on Jan. 2, 1903, the same year of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight, and was recognized by Guinness World Records in 2019 as the world's oldest living person.

Tanaka had been living in an elderly care facility in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture in western Japan and died at a local hospital.

Tanaka loved playing the board game Othello and her favorite food items were chocolate and soda drinks. She had reportedly hoped to stay healthy until she was 120, but passed away just a few months short of her goal.

Japan has a dwindling and rapidly aging population. As of Sept. 2021, the country had 86,510 centenarians, and 9 out of every 10 were women.

With Tanaka's death, the world’s oldest human is now Lucile Randon, a French nun known as Sister Andre, aged 118, according to The Gerontology Research Group.

Kane Tanaka
Kane Tanaka, the world's oldest person, dies at age 119
Jan. 2, 1903 - April 19, 2022
(photo credit: Canada.com)




April 3, 2022 - Spring has sprung!!

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

What you see now in the album linked below is just the start, so I'm planning to add more pics to it in the weeks ahead! Stay tuned and check back soon! smiley

2021 spring flowers collage
My 2022 Spring Flowers in Tokyo Flickr album
(click link above to view entire album)




April 1, 2022 - Spring 2022 rape blossoms in Tokyo

​ ​Of all the beautiful, stunning ​spring ​flowers at their peak in Tokyo ​right now, the breathtaking cherry blossoms ​always ​seem to get all the attention, and for good reason, but ​I think ​the brilliant, yellow rape blossom​​s (Nanohana​, ​​​菜の花​)​ are just as beautiful. May the force ​& uplifting spirit ​of spring ​be with you…

Spring 2022 rape blossoms inTokyo
Spring 2022 rape blossoms inTokyo




Mar. 14, 2022 - 2022 Cherry Blossom Forecast

Only 8 more days till the cherry blossoms are forecast to begin blooming in Tokyo on Mar. 22! Yay! This is 7 days later than last year, but 2 days earlier than usual! Full bloom in Tokyo is forecast for Mar. 29. Can't wait! smiley


2022 cherry blossom front in Japan
2022 cherry blossom front in Japan
(Source: Japan Weather Association)




Mar. 11, 2022 - The Beatles: Get Back - The Rooftop Concert

One of the best flicks I've seen in a while, even though the "Get Back" rooftop concert filmed atop Apple Corps' Savile Row headquarters in London on January 30, 1969 was only a 65-minute documentary.

Not to be confused with last year's 3-part, 8-hour TV mini-series, this film was digitally remastered for the HUGE screen and high-quality sound of IMAX theaters and directed by famous New Zealander Peter Jackson of "Lord of the Rings" fame. The cinematography was phenomenal… 10 cameras on the rooftop, 3 on the street interviewing puzzled passersby, and even 1 on top of the building across ​​the street.

The close-ups of the Fab 4 performing live in their surprise, unannounced last ever public appearance made me so nostalgic, it practically brought tears to my eyes. And they were all so young & handsome (all still in their 20s).

Believe it or not, it was my very first time ever to see a flick in an IMAX theater. With the HUGE screen, high-tech sound system, and my sensory perceptions in full overdrive… it almost gave me the impression I was actually there.

Particularly impressive was the professional editing which made good use of the full width of the floor-to-ceiling IMAX screen to present 3 different simultaneous views of the performance – such as close-ups each of John and Paul singing, along with a wider shot of the whole band.

Sadly, as of yesterday it seems the screenings in Japan have now finished, but for any passionate Beatles fans (especially old folks like me who grew up with The Beatles), if this film ever comes to a nearby IMAX screen, you will be remiss and saddened greatly if you miss seeing it. 

The Beatles: Get Back - The Rooftop Concert
The Beatles: Get Back - The Rooftop Concert
(photo credit: thefatangelsings.com)


Profile at The Internet Movie Database
Trailer
Forbes review




Feb. 18, 2022 - In loving memory of Thomas Arthur Todd

It's a sad day in Tokyo and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, as one of my lifelong good buddies has received his final reward and moved up to the big playground in the sky. I've known Tom since our college days and will always hold him dear to my heart.

Love you, miss you, and rest in eternal peace, my dear friend. C U again someday!

Tom Todd
Thomas Arthur Todd
July 24, 1953 - Feb. 17, 2022
(The above pic was taken at Garden of the Gods, Colorado in Aug. 2016.
More pics of Tom are here.)


Gannett Peak, Wyoming
Tom (left) & I scaled Gannett Peak, elev. 4,210 m (13,810 ft),
the tallest peak in Wyoming, back in Sept. 1979



Feb. 10, 2022 - Comparing sizes of geographical areas

I've often wondered how the size of my home state of Texas would measure up to my adopted home for the past 3 decades. Now finally the mystery has been solved. laughing icon

size of Texas vs. Japan
Japan is 0.54 times the size of Texas. Wow.
https://mapfight.xyz/map/texas/#jp


Actually, it's not such a big surprise for me, since I learned a long time ago that Texas (America's 2nd largest state and 1/2 the size of Alaska) was about twice the size of Japan, but it's pretty cool to now see it on a map.

MapFight is a web-app to help visualize the comparative size of 2 geographic areas... continents, countries, cities, oceans, etc. I was turned on to this amazing app a couple days ago by a fellow university professor, and I'm so intrigued by it, I'm still playing around with it. smiley

size of Tokyo vs. New York City
Tokyo is 2.8 times the size of New York City. Wow.
https://mapfight.xyz/map/nyc/#tokyo




Feb. 6, 2022 - 360-degree panorama from the summit of Mt. Whitney

Flashing back to one of my all-time favorite mountain climbing pics, a panorama from the summit of Mt. Whitney in California (the tallest peak in the continental 48 U.S. states) taken by my fellow climbing partner Matt when we scaled it in August 1989. He made it from his 16 sequential pics spliced together, back when digital cameras were not yet widely available.

summit of Mt. Whitney
Click here to view very WIDE photo: smiley
360-degree panorama from the summit of Mt. Whitney




Jan. 27, 2022 - "How Long Has It Been Since YOU Been Home?"

Blessings to my good buddy, Mississippi bluesman Rambling Steve Gardner, who hits it out of the park with his 12-string National Reso-Phonic guitar by posing a very pertinent question as we kick off a New Year.

This song is Rambling Steve's version of an old Lightnin' Hopkins tune. More details on this amazing Tokyo musician are here: www.ramblingsteve.info

Keep on spreadin' your Big Leg, X-tra LARGE, My-T-Fine magic, my friend…



​​"How Long Has It Been Since YOU Been Home?"
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)
[click on CC button for English subtitles (英語字幕)]




Jan. 20, 2022 - Japanese elevator floor location monitor

Wow, now why didn't I think of this? smiley



​​Japanese elevator floor location monitor
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)




Jan. 6, 2021 - 16 Top Hiking & Adventure Blogs from Japan

​I was thrilled recently to be notified that my GaryJWolff.com website has been named one of the 16 top hiking and adventure blogs from Japan by the highly-renowned Ridgeline Images hiking website.

If you have a very vivid imagination, perhaps you can visualize me right now patting myself on the back, ha ha. smiley
​​
No, in all seriousness, in the past 12 years I have spent literally hundreds of hours posting information on the highest mountains in Japan, which I hope will be useful for present and future climbers.

It is extremely rare when I get these kinds of kudos or feedback regarding my website, so this recognition is extremely appreciated. Thank you very much, Mr. David Lowe!

If you're looking for a good hiking trail around Tokyo, since 2013 David has published over 100 hike reports from around the Greater Tokyo Area. And each hike has a detailed description, including photos, how to get to the trailhead by public transport, hiking duration, distance, elevation gain, difficulty, as well as downloadable GPX track and PDF map files.





Jan. 1, 2022 - Hatsuhinode (初日の出), First Japan Sunrise of 2022

Hatsuhinode (初日の出) is the Japanese Shinto tradition of viewing the 1st sunrise of the New Year to greet Toshigami-sama (年神), the god of the New Year, with hopes of receiving good luck, well-being, and health. Before sunrise on January 1, many people will drive to the coast, climb a mountain, or go to the top of a tall building or structure, like the Tokyo Sky Tree or Tokyo Tower, to view it. Here's the one which occurred in Tokyo this morning at 6:51 am with a crisp -1°C (30°F) temp. Happy New Year!! May we all be blessed this year with "good luck, well-being, and health." smiley



​​Hatsuhinode (初日の出), First Japan Sunrise of 2022
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)
(BGM: "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens)







New! Add your comment

Have your say about this page! Feel free to comment in the box below:


Website Updates

May 16, 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)"

May 08, 2022

Burger King Japan's new Salsa & Avocado Smoky Whopper

On the occasion of the May 5th Children’s Day national holiday, I’d like to tip my hat to Burger King founders Jim McLamore and Dave Edgerton, who I feel deserve at least partial credit for the amazing Salsa & Avocado Smoky Whopper I had for lunch, helping make my holiday a smashing success! :-) 美味しかったです (it was delicious)!!

(click link to view pics)

Continue reading "Burger King Japan's new Salsa & Avocado Smoky Whopper"

May 08, 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"

May 07, 2022

World's oldest person dies at age 119

Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who was the world’s oldest person, died on Tues. 4/19 at age 119.

She was born on Jan. 2, 1903, the same year of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight, and was recognized by Guinness World Records in 2019 as the world's oldest living person.

Tanaka had been living in an elderly care facility in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture in western Japan and died at a local hospital.

Tanaka loved playing the board game Othello and her favorite food items were chocolate and soda drinks. She had reportedly hoped to stay healthy until she was 120, but passed away just a few months short of her goal.

Japan has a dwindling and rapidly aging population. As of Sept. 2021, the country had 86,510 centenarians, and 9 out of every 10 were women.

With Tanaka's death, the world’s oldest human is now Lucile Randon, a French nun known as Sister Andre, aged 118, according to The Gerontology Research Group.

Continue reading "World's oldest person dies at age 119"

May 04, 2022

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2021

Posts include Dickey's BBQ Pit, Shohei Ohtani, Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau, and

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2021"

Apr 15, 2022

Tony the Tiger (トニー・ザ・タイガー)

A quick tribute with photos and video to Tony the Tiger, my favorite cartoon character and mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes breakfast cereal.

Continue reading "Tony the Tiger (トニー・ザ・タイガー)"

Apr 10, 2022

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

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

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

Apr 08, 2022

Mt. Kita-dake (北岳), elev. 3193m, Japan's 2nd Highest Mountain

Pics, maps, and trail description of my Oct. 1993 hike to the top of the easily accessible Mt. Kita-dake, elev. 3193m, Japan's 2nd highest mountain.

Continue reading "Mt. Kita-dake (北岳), elev. 3193m, Japan's 2nd Highest Mountain"

Apr 08, 2022

Mt. Notori-dake (農鳥岳) and the Shiranesanzan (白根三山)

Pics, maps, and trail description of my Aug. 2011 climb of Mt. Notori-dake and the Shiranesanzan in the Southern Japan Alps.

Continue reading "Mt. Notori-dake (農鳥岳) and the Shiranesanzan (白根三山)"

Apr 08, 2022

Mt. Ai-no-dake (間ノ岳) and Mt. Shiomi-dake (塩見岳), Japan's 4th & 16th Highest Mountains

Pics, maps, and trail description of my Sept. 1996 climb of Mt. Ai-no-dake (3189m) and Mt. Shiomi-dake, 3047m, Japan's 4th & 16th highest mountains.

Continue reading "Mt. Ai-no-dake (間ノ岳) and Mt. Shiomi-dake (塩見岳), Japan's 4th & 16th Highest Mountains"

Apr 08, 2022

Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake (甲斐駒ヶ岳), Japan's 18th & 24th highest peaks

Pics, maps, and trail description of my Aug. 1997 climb of Mt. Senjo-ga-take and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake in the Southern Japan Alps.

Continue reading "Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake (甲斐駒ヶ岳), Japan's 18th & 24th highest peaks"

Apr 07, 2022

Spring has sprung!!

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

What you see now in the album linked below is just the start, so I'm planning to add more pics to it in the weeks ahead! Stay tuned and check back soon! :-)

(click link to view pics)

Continue reading "Spring has sprung!!"

Apr 01, 2022

Spring 2022 rape blossoms in Tokyo

​​Of all the beautiful, stunning ​spring ​flowers at their peak in Tokyo ​right now, the breathtaking cherry blossoms ​always ​seem to get all the attention, and for good reason, but ​I think ​the brilliant, yellow rape blossom​​s (Nanohana​, ​​​菜の花​)​ are just as beautiful. May the force ​& uplifting spirit ​of spring ​be with you…

(click link to see pic of rape blossoms)

Continue reading "Spring 2022 rape blossoms in Tokyo"

Mar 29, 2022

Happy Birthday to You !!

Gary’s special Happy Birthday page has colorful, animated Happy Birthday cards and a very touching Happy Birthday duet by Dolly Parton & Willie Nelson!!

Continue reading "Happy Birthday to You !!"

Mar 14, 2022

2022 Cherry Blossom Forecast

Only 8 more days till the cherry blossoms are forecast to begin blooming in Tokyo on Mar. 22! Yay! This is 7 days later than last year, but 2 days earlier than usual! Full bloom in Tokyo is forecast for Mar. 29. Can't wait! :-)

(click link to view cherry blossom forecast map)

Continue reading "2022 Cherry Blossom Forecast"

Mar 10, 2022

The Beatles: Get Back - The Rooftop Concert

One of the best flicks I've seen in a while, even though the "Get Back" rooftop concert filmed atop Apple Corps' Savile Row headquarters in London on January 30, 1969 was only a 65-minute documentary.

Not to be confused with last year's 3-part, 8-hour TV mini-series, this film was digitally remastered for the HUGE screen and high-quality sound of IMAX theaters and directed by famous New Zealander Peter Jackson of "Lord of the Rings" fame. The cinematography was phenomenal… 10 cameras on the rooftop, 3 on the street interviewing puzzled passersby, and even 1 on top of the building across ​​the street.

The close-ups of the Fab 4 performing live in their surprise, unannounced last ever public appearance made me so nostalgic, it practically brought tears to my eyes. And they were all so young & handsome (all still in their 20s).

Believe it or not, it was my very first time ever to see a flick in an IMAX theater. With the HUGE screen, high-tech sound system, and my sensory perceptions in full overdrive… it almost gave me the impression I was actually there.

Particularly impressive was the professional editing which made good use of the full width of the floor-to-ceiling IMAX screen to present 3 different simultaneous views of the performance – such as close-ups each of John and Paul singing, along with a wider shot of the whole band.

Sadly, as of yesterday it seems the screenings in Japan have now finished, but for any passionate Beatles fans (especially old folks like me who grew up with The Beatles), if this film ever comes to a nearby IMAX screen, you will be remiss and saddened greatly if you miss seeing it.

(click link to see pic of rooftop concert)

Continue reading "The Beatles: Get Back - The Rooftop Concert"

Mar 10, 2022

In loving memory of Thomas Arthur Todd (July 24, 1953 - Feb. 17, 2022)

It's a sad day in Tokyo and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, as one of my lifelong good buddies has received his final reward and moved up to the big playground in the sky. I've known Tom since our college days and will always hold him dear to my heart.

Love you, miss you, and rest in eternal peace, my dear friend. C U again someday!

(click link to view pics of Tom)

Continue reading "In loving memory of Thomas Arthur Todd (July 24, 1953 - Feb. 17, 2022)"

Mar 07, 2022

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2011

Posts include music videos of Helen Morrison & Danny Gokey, a cherry blossom blizzard, a Tokyo eco-toilet, and an aerial video of Mt. Fuji, Japan’s highest peak.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2011"

Mar 07, 2022

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, January-March, 2012

Posts include my video of Hatsuhinode 2012, the first sunrise of the New Year & my pics of the Mt. Nokogiriyama & Akigawa Adventure hiking courses.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, January-March, 2012"

Mar 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"





Japan-Texas ebook cover thumbnail
Hot off the press! A FREE download at Smashwords



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. Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    May 16, 22 06:58 PM

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

    Read more

  2. Burger King Japan's new Salsa & Avocado Smoky Whopper

    May 08, 22 10:56 PM

    On the occasion of the May 5th Children’s Day national holiday, I’d like to tip my hat to Burger King founders Jim McLamore and Dave Edgerton, who I feel deserve at least partial credit for the amazin…

    Read more

  3. Gary J. Wolff's Blog

    May 08, 22 10:39 PM

    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










Let's connect!!

Gary J. Wolff
Facebook badge

View Gary J. Wolff's profile on LinkedIn

My pics:

My videos: YouTube logo





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)