Posts Tagged 'narita'

Behold Omitama

I learned that Ogawa-machi, Japan, the small bucolic town I lived in for two years in the mid-90s is no more. It was more of a collection of rice fields punctuated by the odd house and/or strip of vending machines. There was all of two convenience marts there when I moved there and three when I left. The whole place smelled like onions and, being poor and rural, was a hotbed for the uyoku. There was a strip of businesses down two intersecting streets — most of which were mom and pop stores that eyed me suspiciously on the rare times popped in. To be fair, there were two notable things about Ogawa: a natto museum, which illustrated the history and many varieties of natto in flashy multi-media displays (though sadly, the gift shop didn’t sell T-shirts); and Hyakuri air base, where on a few occasions I went to teach English.

So what happened to Ogawa? It was absorbed into a new franken-berg, combining adjacent towns, Minori-machi and Tamari-mura. Behold, Omitama City. If your Japanese is rusty, the English version can be seen here. Here’s a map of it in relation to the rest of Ibaraki prefecture.

Why the switch? It seems that they are converting Hyakuri from being a strictly military base into the rather unimaginatively titled Ibaraki Airport. The idea is that it will be Tokyo’s third string air hub after Narita and Haneda with domestic flights to places like Naha, Sapporo and Fukuoka. Whether this will work or not, who knows. But the sleepy backwater where I lived is going to quickly change.

Spring Break ’03 Part 1: Kumamoto

Hello all. I’m fighting a wave of jet-lag related stupor in an Internet cafe in Kumamoto, which sports not only wall-to-wall computers and free green tea, but also racks of comic books, DVDs and a CDs to rent and burn. It’s sort of a home away from home for the computer geek on the go…

Anyway, in spite of the Bush’s evil little war, I managed to get here in one piece. I flew out on Varig — Brazil’s national airline. The company seems to operate on a distinctly latin sense of time because the plane arrived two hours late into Narita and no one seemed particularly bothered or concerned by this. I had to catch a flight from Haneda — Tokyo’s domestic airport — located a good 60 km away. After racing through customs, I was about to board my shuttle when Morimoto from the Iron Chef strode by– sporting a baseball cap and a sumo wrestler’s swagger. I arrived with less than a hour to spare at Haneda, which little did I know, suffered from a massive computer crash that morning. The place reminded me of a train station in India — total chaos. Somehow, I managed get on my flight near a toddler who spent the entire two hour flight screaming and puking.

When I met at the airport by R and her father, I was told that on Sunday we all would go out to a restaurant whose owner famously lost on the Iron Chef. Already this trip is baring the twin themes of panic and the Iron Chef. Stay tuned to see how this plays out…


October 2021
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Flickr Photos

Blog Stats

  • 29,068 hits