On Monday, I had a chance to get a tour of the Japan Self Defence Force Maritime Officer Candidate School.

It is located in Etajima, an island close from Hiroshima.

The Academy was founded in 1876, as The Imperial Japanese Naval Academy. The school was originally located in Tokyo, but in 1888 it was moved to this island.

At this academy, many Imperial Navy leaders were educated, including the famous General Isoroku Yamamoto.

It was occupied by the United Nations after the end of WWII in 1945 until 1956.

This is the main student building - classrooms. All the building materials were imported from England and was constructed in 1893.

The assembly hall - built in 1917. This grand building is made of stones.

Nice grassy field of the Academy - the gray building on the right used to be a part of a battle ship that was re-located here for training purposes.

This is one of the five special purpose 2-men crew submarine that was used at the Pearl Harbor Attack. The explanation said none of the five came back from the mission. This one was found by the US Navy in 1961 off the coast of Hawaii and was brought back here in the following year.

The peak is Furutaka-yama (Old Hawk Mountain - 392-meter high) as seen from the side of the Assembly Hall. The guide told us that the students run up to the top in 15 min!


Neighborhood Scenes

The springtime is wonderful in Tokyo with beautiful flowers and green leaves sprouting out. Here are some scenes from my neighborhood.

These tulips were planted by my daughter and me in January.

Pretty magnolias

Beautiful kerria flowers.

These have nothing to do with the season, but are homes of people that have common names in Japan.


Shiko Munakata Exhibition

At Kichijoji Art Museum, artworks of Shiko Munakata are exhibited.

The poster.

Many of the themes of Munakata's art come from the nature and Buddhism.

Songoku (or Sun Wukong in Chinese pronounciation)

This one is a very famous piece of his - the beauty of a flower depicted as a lady.

The prints and paintings that were exhibited come from Fukumitsu Art Museum. Munakata lived in the town of Fukumitsu (now a part of the city of Nanto) between 1945 to 1954 to escape the WWII bombing of Tokyo.

Fukumitsu is the town Munakata lived to escape the WWII bombing of Tokyo. It was his home from 1945 to 1954. It is a part of the City of Nanto since 2003.


Sakura in Toyama

On Thursday, sakura were in full blossom in Toyama City.
I was very lucky to have been there.

There were many sakura trees along Jinzu River bank,
at Toyama Castle,
at Matsukawa River.


Cherry Blossom Time!

This weekend, the event everyone in Tokyo was waiting happened. It is of course, the cherry blossom.
We did not have such warm weather, but many people enjoyed beautiful flowers.

Full blossom at Asukayama Park in the evening of Friday.

Many, many people came to see the full blossom at Inokashira Park.

A street in Mitaka, close from the train station.

Koganei Park around lunch time.

Shishimai or "Lion Dance" performed at Koganei Park.

Chidorigafuchi by the Imperial Palace.

Street in front of the British Embassy, across from the Imperial Palace moat.