Election Results

The result of the election yesterday was a land-slide victory for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). The Prime Minister, Taro Aso, has announced his resignation as the the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with this result.

Number of seats before and after the election: DPJ 115 --> 308, LDP 300 --> 119, . Komei Party (LDP ally) 31 --> 21.

Today, a typhoon (real weather system) may hit Tokyo.


Osaka Morning Run

This morning, I ran in Osaka - and that was really the first time for me this month to do a reasonable run.

Kocera Dome, the home stadium of ORIX Buffaloes, the baseball team for which Ichiro Suzuki belonged before he moved to Seattle Mariners. They won the game last night with the score of 1-0 against Seibu Lions, but they at currently at the bottom of the 6-team Pacific League with 45 wins/65 losses + 1 tied game.

A close-up of the Dome - it has a very interesting shape.

Ohnami Bridge, an arch bridge that was built in 1937 and spans over Kitsu River. It sure has many rivets.

Political posters of the Democratic Party of Japan that held 112 seats out of 480 seats of the House of Representatives before the it was dissolved in July 21 by the Prime Minister. Photographed with big face is Yukio Hatoyama, the leader of DPJ and the one with the glasses is the local candidate.

Here are posters of the Liberal Democratic Party that dominated the political leadership since 1955. Pictured is Taro Aso, the leader of LDP and the Prime Minister of Japan. LDP had 303 seats, thus held the majority.

Tomorrow is the big election day.



When I visited a friend in California last week, he took me to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. There we took a nice walk.

Right by the information center was a tree that had experienced a burn. Close to the bottom was almost hollow for the fire had eaten the core, but the tree seemed to be still healthy. The woman at the info booth told us that the fire was some 100 years ago.

Here's an older photo of the same tree found in the information center. The opening at the bottom is closing and when we visited, it would not have been possible to park a car in it.

Here's a cross section of a big Sequoia tree that lived some 1500 years. Many trees in the park must be older than that.

The tree was alive at many human dramas were taking place.

Those trees were just amazing.


West Tokyo Bike and Hike

I went for a nice bike ride the other day in the western suburbs of Tokyo.

I stopped at Sengenyama "mountain" in Fuchu, Tokyo. I hiked up to the top of it - altitude of 79.6 m (261 ft.), but where I started climbing was already at 50 m, so the walk was very short.

Here's the sign that designates the top of the "mountain".

There's a little shrine at the top.

A cast-off skin of a cicada on a leaf.

This is the turn point of the marathon of 1964 Summer Olympic Games. It is also exactly 26 km from Nihonbashi - "kilometer zero" for the entire Japan.

Here's Ajinomoto Stadium, the home of FC Tokyo.


Kokusai Dori

I had a trip to Okinawa. It is a vacation destination, but unfortunately, I did not get to enjoy beaches this time.

I did have time to take a walk in
Naha one morning. I am posting some pictures from Kokusai Dori Street.

Here's the entrance of the street with a Shisa statue.

Shisas usually come in a pair placed at the entrance of building.

Here is a bunch of them enjoying themselves at a show window of a restaurant.

This one looks determined to protect his building.

One of the largest souvenir stores on the street.

A music store - the string instrument depicted on the left is Sanshin. It has three strings and uses snake skin. It has a very distinctive sound.