In 1997, Ohio University sent us to Nagoya, Japan as part of the Kohei Miura Visiting Professor Program with
Chubu University at Kasugai, near Nagoya. We lived in Nagoya for three months in the Spring and Summer.
See our diary and a few pictures here.

In 2004, the International Loran Association held its annual Convention and Technical Symposium in Tokyo,
and we took the chance to reacquaint ourselves with the country and with some of the good friends we made earlier.
Bob has been an officer in the ILA for many years, and Ellen is the Association's Executive Director.

[Click on one of the pictures to begin the slide show, or select individual pictures for enlargements.]

Immediately upon arrival in Japan after 11 hours aloft, we were whisked by taxi to the restaurant where our hosts and other International Loran Association officers were having dinner.

Receptions each night; Ellen speaks with one of our Japanese friends.

The ritual of "breaking the sake"; afterward we all drank sake from commemorative wooden boxes. Former FAA administrator Langhorne Bond, Gerard Offermans from The Netherlands, The UK's David Last and Ohio University's David Diggle do the honors. 

Bob presents a technical paper he co-authored with FAA's Robert Erikson.

Ellen keeps the meeting organized, wotking here at the registration table with Lori Schue, wife of another presenter.

And back to eating...Bob and Ellen with Paul Williams and David Last, University of Wales and Gerard Offermans, Reelektronika Co. (The Netherlands). 

At the New Takanawa Hotel in the Shinagawa region of the Tokyo metro area; the hotel is built on the grounds of a temple, and many of the older temple structures remain. 

Close-up dragon, wrapped around the lantern.

More detail (Ellen is a dragon afficianado...

A pair of beautiful lanterns guard one entrance to the temple area.

Ravens -- everywhere!

Here is Shainagawa JR (Japan Rail) station, across from the hotel; gateway to train, bus, subway, taxi, bakery(!) -- integrated schedules, and easy to reach.

Shinagawa concourse -- we got used to seeing this sort of scale everywhere. This station is only one of several in the Tokyo area. The stations are multilevel, some with huge department stores built in. 

Generally on one of the top levels are the "shinkansen" bullet-train tracks, often raised on concrete pylons to avoid grade-level crossings (and to stay out of the way of older tracks, etc.)

A self-portrait, waiting for the train to take us to Nagoya for our first return visit after seven years.

These things are FAST. The "Nozomi" train travels about 300 km/hr (180 mi/hr), and makes the trip from Tokyo to Nagoya in about 1-1/2 hours. Very classy ride, too.

The whole system is very automated and very much on time. Not always easy to read, though! ONe has to be careful about track numbers, and direction of travel; at Shinagawa there must be something like 20-25 parallel tracks. Reserved seats.

Here's the English version -- at least we could read the type of train, and if one knew that Shin-Osaka was the next station, you'd know you were headed in the right direction. Other than that, well...

Here are some shots out the window as we leave Tokyo at high speed. Trying out the new digital camera. 

Neat bridge, and the Sun in the background, plus a lot of buildings. Not a lot of open space near Tokyo.

Another busy neighborhood caught from the speeding train.

A plantation of ripening tea...


Here's an example of compact agriculture plus multi-level infrastructure. We saw streets with train tracks on grade, with bus guideways above, and shinkansen tracks above that. Small country; things must be shoehorned in at times.

The US Army Corps of Engineers would be so proud of this "improved" river! 

Things are becoming more like they are on other countries. In rural areas, the traditional architecture persists.

Once we arrive in Nagoya, we head for "our" old neighborhood from 1997. This building was something of a landmark that we could see from a distance, letting us know we were close to home...

...and it held one of our favorite restaurants; still there, but not open at the early hour we visited this time.

Another restaurant near the home site; the high-rise in the background was not there in the old days...

...and here's our condo building; the balcony with the dish about 2/3 of the way to the top is likely "our" apartment.

Phonetically, the sign on the building where we lived in 1997 says See-Eye-Mansion-Yamate. We were never sure exactly what it meant, except that it referred to the street, Yamate-Dori.

One of the places we wanted to revisit was the Toganji temple very near our former condo. An island of calm in the middle of Nagoya's Motoyama area.

Guardian lions at the temple entrance. 

The temple has as one of its purposes the reverence for departed pets. Many monuments to cats and dogs are seen on the site. How appropriate to be met by a very friendly temple kitty!...

...who seemed delighted to get a little attention...

...and knew how to milk the situation for a little MORE attention!

Here is one of the remembrances for animals.

This huge Daibutsu was one of our earlier discoveries. It was under construction on earlier visits, and now gloriously finished.

I cannot imagine a better photo subject. Nearly 50 feet tall!

Those elephants are nearly life-sized bronze castings.

Wonderfully detailed.

The bird of paradise watches over the pathways.

Every angle gives an interesting view. 

No words needed.

Try as I might, it is very difficult to capture the size but also the delicacy of this work.

Ellen left incense in memory of a kitty that was lost in Ohio while we were living in Japan.

We met friends in downtown Nagoya; one is studying law and took us to the high-rise law library at her school. A view of the city, with the twin towers of the expanded JR station in the background center..

If you know where to look, you can see the Higashiyama (East-Mountain) Tower, near the zoo just to the left of the high-rise on the horizon. Also the television antenna which was near our apartment, to the right of center.

Azumi Suzuki (the law student); Ellen, Bob and Mikio Yasubayashi. Found each other again after all these years.

And at lunch, we were joined by Ms. Kasue Kinoshita, who helped us arrange travel and lodging when we were at Chubu University. Had a nice lunch near the Sakae area of Nagoya, where many people shop.

Dr. Yasubayashi and Bob make their way to a revisit of Chubu University via one of the "bank roads". On the previous visit these roads were generally VERY narrow and not protected by guardrails. Driving was an adventure!

Bob meets with Vice-President Itoh at Chubu University to discuss the Ohio University/Chubu visiting professor program which brought us to Japan in the first place. The program is still strong, after 30+ years.

As part of the 30-year celebration, Ohio artist Gary Pettigrew painted "Wintering Over", showing a pair of Canada Geese amid the Chubu-donated cherry trees on the Ohio campus. Appropriate, since the goose, an excellen is the symbol of the Loran Association, which was what brought us to Japan again.

Bob poses with Yuko Yamada, daughter of the late Kasuo Yamada, who was chancellor of Chubu University during Bob's visiting professor days.

A good meeting with Dr. Yasubayashi, Bob's mentor and our guide and friend during our stay here; and Dr. Matsui, who was chairman of the electrical engineering department in 1997.

Dr. Yasubayashi completely surprised us by introducing Naomi, his wife of one year. The couple met us at the JR station as we prepared to return to Tokyo for the trip back to the States. 

Another nice visit to the Far East.

Back in Tokyo, we shot this Starbucks location in the Shinagawa JR station, for daughter Karen.

Karen was Starbucks' store design director for the Far East in 2004

11/19/2004 23:06