Art, architecture, history, travel

China/Orient Far East 1979

Stuck in the ’70’s

Something that I care about

If you know anything about me you know I went to high school in the 1970’s. So what’s it like to be stuck there?

  • Disco
  • Oil Embargo
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Inflation
  • Gas is 30 cents/ gal I noticed my keyboard doesn’t even have the cents sign anymore
  • Nixon visits China
  • The Brady Bunch-are you kidding?
  • Peter Max
  • Psychedelic art
  • Bell Bottoms
Osaka Daimaru 1979

Osaka Daimaru 1979

Food, Transportation and Airports in the 70’s

Location map of Hong Kong Equirectangular proj...

Location map of Hong Kong Equirectangular projection. Geographic limits of the map: N: 22°34’14” N (22.5706°N) S: 22°07’12” N (22.12°N) W: 113°49’20” E (113.8222°E) E: 114°27’08” E (114.4522°E) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emblem of Hong Kong

Emblem of Hong Kong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plan view of Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport with Si...

Plan view of Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport with Simplified Chinese text. Originaly PNG by Toblerone, traced by me using Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Industrial Instruments and Equipment      DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE

Food Transportation and Airports 1979

Lambert St Louis International  (STL)built in 1920 Still serves the St. Louis Metro area. Originally it was little more than a field. Aviator Chas Lindbergh sered the Chicago mail route in the 1920’s.The historic main terminal was severely damaged by a tornado on Good Friday 2011. date accessed 8/17/11 

San Francisco Old Ferry Building

Recently refurbished and beautiful

I had a chance to visit again in Mach 2010

Central passenger terminal

Alameda Naval Air station, Oakland NGZ 

Hong Kong Kai Tak  Airport HKG

(old Hong Kong airport) it has one of the shortest runways in the world and was closed to air traffic in 1998. We went through  this airport three times on our trip.

Shenzhen airport

We did not use this airport it did not open until 1991.

Overstuffed Chairs

Overstuffed chairs We attended many formal meeting while sitting in chair like this. Always with tea and strong political discussions and welcome as visiting dignitaries.

The Forbidden City situated exactly in the heart of the municipality was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Ching Dynasties. Beautiful and we where one of the first Americans to see it after 30 years.

We enjoyed reading the Political posters on the Democracy Wall.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (IATA: SHA, ICAO: ZSSS) on CAAC

Huning railway 180 miles one of the most heavily traveled rail corridors in the word. Huning (Shanghai-Nanjing) Intercity Railway will be opened to traffic on July 1st as scheduled. Recently, track-laying has been started.East West

Nanking International Airport NKG

We flew from here to Beijing

The Ming capital of China

Once the largest city in the world 15th century

Sister city of St Louis

Home of the large bridge over the Yangtze

Canton Baiyun Airport (White Cloud)
Pai Yuen Airport CAN, opened 1932 closed 2004

The thing about the airports in China is that they don’t seem to be very busy. Only government Ministers can afford to fly. There is no commercial aviation company. CAAC is under the control of the Chinese air force. They practice steep approach landing. We landed here on our second trip to Canton on the way back to Hong Kong.

Chairman dances

Figure 1 Yangtze River Bridge Janxi prov China 1997-2001

Don Mueang International Airport  DMK (Old Bangkok International Airport) (Thai: ท่าอากาศยานดอนเมือง, also Don Mueang) is an airport in Bangkok, Thailand. It was officially opened as a Royal Thai Air Force base on March 27, 1914, although it had been in use earlier. Commercial flights started in 1924. Don Mueang Airport closed in 2006 following the opening of Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi Airport BKK. After some problems at Suvarnabhumi, flights resumed at Don Mueang on March 24, 2007.

Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB) originally a hub for Malaysian Airways built in 1955 known as Singapore Intl Airport 1981 converted to military use
Pangkalan Udara Paya Lebar

Singapore Changi Airport ground broken in 1975 opened 1981
新加坡樟宜机Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் சாங்கி விமானநிலையம)

Taipei Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport

Chang Kai-Shek International Opened in 1979, the airport was known as Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (traditional Chinese: 中正國際機場; simplified Chinese: 中正国际机场; Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōngzhèng Gúojì Jīchǎng, Tongyong Pinyin: Jhongjhèng Gúojì Jichǎng) until the name was changed in 2006. China Civil Air Transport/China Airlines

Chiang Kai-Shek esteemed leader of the Kuomintang died in 1975. Know to the world by the derogatory name peanut as expressed by China theatre supreme commander Vinegar Joe Stillwell. Holed up in Chinese western Capital Chungking after being run out of Nanking by the Japanese engaged in a lifelong death struggle with the Chinese communist red army PLA. Run off to Taiwan in permanent exile until his death in 1975. After the defeat of the Nationalist in Nanking in 1949.

Figure 2 Malaysia

Tokyo Narita airport (NRT) 8/27/09

Mired in protests since its opening, this is the only airport still in operation except for Lambert in St. Louis

Matsuyama accessed 9/7/09

On Japan’s Inland Sea, Hiroshima  home of the Iron chef started here but popular everywhere in Japan and elsewhere

Osaka Itami Airport     ITM

The Kyoto National Museum, then the Imperial Museum of Kyoto, was proposed, along with the Imperial Museum of Tokyo (Tokyo National Museum) and the Imperial Museum of Nara (Nara National Museum), in 1889, and construction on the museum finished in October, 1895. The museum was opened in 1897. The museum went through a series of name changes, in 1900 changing its name to the Imperial Household Museum of Kyoto, and once more in 1924 to the Imperial Gift Museum of Kyoto. The current name, the Kyoto National Museum, was decided upon in 1952.

Gimpo Intl Airport South Korea SEL

Gimpo International Airport (Korean: 김포국제공항), commonly known as Gimpo Airport (IATA: GMP, ICAO: RKSS) (formerly Campo International Airport), is located in the far western end of Seoul and was the main international airport for Seoul and South Korea before it was replaced by Inchon International Airport in 2001. Now the second largest airport in Korea.

Gimpo International Airport (Korean: 김포국제공항), commonly known as Gimpo Airport (IATA: GMP, ICAO: RKSS) (formerly Campo International Airport), is located in the far western end of Seoul and was the main international airport for Seoul and South Korea before it was replaced by Inchon International Airport in 2001. Now the second largest airport in Korea.Kimpo Airport Guide Map


Bulgogi a mild meat dish that you cook yourself at the table

Kim chi a hot spicy Korean dish made with cabbage or cucumber

Soju a strong drink made from rice or other starches

Snakes yes we saw a restaurant serving black snakes for dinner. There were scores of them crawling in a basket in the window. We decided to wait on our next trip to Korea to give it a try.

Bori cha  refreshing barley tea served ice cold in summer

Pusan (PUS) Kimhae Intl Airport Gimhae International Airport
김해국제공항 金海國際空港
Gimhae Gukje Gonghang Kimhae Kukche Konghang

Ferries to Japan

Honolulu HNL I would return to this airport with Katie in 2008

Houston Hobby Airport

Your comments are welcome. What foods do you like? Have you tried any of these foods? Do you have a Favorite international airport that is no longer in service? Do you have an ariport horror story you would like to tell?

Now Let’s get to Japan 1979

English: en:Greater Tokyo Area

English: en:Greater Tokyo Area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

July 9, 1979 Korea/Japan


Today we transferred to Tokyo. First we took the bus to Pusan the big port of Korea and also sister cities with Los Angeles,  California and Vladivostok, Russia…

English: The Ginza Wako Clock, Tokyo, Japan

English: The Ginza Wako Clock, Tokyo, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Went directly to the airport PUS. Helped the JAL representative write a letter to KAL protesting inadequate service to passengers.  David especially remembered talking to this guy, even thirty years later. We are flying open jaw as we did not return to Seoul. We will do that again when we depart Japan from Osaka to Hawaii.

Got to Japan about six-thirty in the evening. Narita  airport NRT is about two hours from Tokyo. Its construction, starting in 1969 was the subject of much controversy and protests.  It is about 2 hours East of Tokyo in Chibu Province.  We took a bus, and two trains to get to the Okubo house, the place we are staying. Shinjuku ward (新宿区, Shinjuku-ku?)

Met an obnoxious person named Jerry. He had been in Japan a long time. He had opinions on everything. It turned out some of the advice he gave us was not too good. Jerry was from California. He was obsessed with Jerry Brown and Linda Ronstadt. The Okubo house had very strict rules including an 11:00 curfew everyone in bed and lights out.

Bridge Imperial Palace Tokyo


Our first day in Tokyo. Spent the morning getting permission to see the Royal Palace and changing money. While downtown we met a  Japanese business man. He wanted to show us his office. So the three of us went with him. They do that sort of thing. He was very friendly. His office was in a highrise overlooking the garden of the imperial palace, Chiyoda castle. He said we were not supposed to look at it, but of course we did. It was hard not to.

Location of Shinjuku-ku in Tokyo Prefecture

Location of Shinjuku-ku in Tokyo Prefecture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He had a great view of the rest of downtown Tokyo from his office, Shinjuku.


Had a good lunch: prawns and rice. Ordered from the plastic models outside. Like Shinbashi Shinbashi (新橋), Ginza Ginza (銀座) is one of the downtown districts of Tokyo. World renowned main shopping and entertainment district. Walked around the Ginza with Jim looking at cameras. Stopped to play pachinko and one electronic game machine(now called video game). Remember Atari had only introduced video pinball in 1977. VCR’s were the new thing and Betamax. Nintendo, Mario and X-box were unheard of. They both seemed to be very popular.

At night we went to a baseball game Puro Yakyū (プロ野球) or bayse’ baru, Nippon Hamu (the Fighters) vs. Lotte (from Kawasaki). The game lasted about three and a half hours. The final score was 12-3 in favor of the home team.

Pachinko Parlor

Toshogu Shrine, Nikko

Atari Game System


Today we made it inside the imperial palace. It was a big let down. The only building we got to see that we hadn’t seen before was the Hall of the Tokyo summit.

Press Release on Air-Hijacking, June 29, 1979 and boat people refugees from Vietnam.

All of the buildings are new. We also got a twenty-minute explanation all in Japanese. The best part was talking to the other people on the tour.

After the tour we went up to Nikko. It was beautiful. We didn’t get to see much as it was raining. We did see the main Toshogu shrine and one other temple. The style is very ornate, a kind of baroque, Japanese style. The point of the whole thing is to honor the dead shogun as well ass keep the local barons under control by keeping them broke and keeping them at the shrine so that they could be spied upon, similar to Louis XIV in France.

Met some Austrians at the station (Bahnhof) and had a nice conversation on the way back.

Thursday Tokyo/Yokahama/Kyoto

Great Kamakura Daibutsu

Tokyo Bay (東京湾, Tōkyō-wan ?) is a bay in the southern Kantō region of Japan. It is where the treaty ending the war with Japan was signed. Today we played tourist in Kamakura鎌倉市, Kamakura-shi? near Yokohama Kanagawa Prefecture

about an hour south of Tokyo. Of course our first stop was the Daibutsu of Kamakura. It is the second largest Buddha in Japan. We also visited the local museum with several national treasures. The city abounds in temples and shrines including Hase Kanon-oji the 11 headed goddess 菩薩, bosatsun bodhisattva with a beautiful view of the sea, Tsurugaola/Hachimangu, Kencho-ji and Engaku-ji.

We left by train at about three heading for Kyoto with the intention of heading for Mt. Fuji on the way. The connections proved to be too difficult, but the day seemed to be too foggy anyway.

We started by local train (four hours) but changed to the bullet train (Shinkansen) in Hamamatsu. The high-speed train that runs from Tokyo to Osaka. From there it took about two hours to get to Kyoto.

In Kyoto we stayed at the Tani house. It is a Japanese style inn, ryokan (旅館) with tatami-mats on the floor communal baths and sliding doors. There six people in the room, including two Germans who stayed in the same place with us in Tokyo, Okubo house. Our room is very nice it opens up to the outside with a view into a bamboo garden from the second floor.

Friday Kyoto


Kyoto Temple of 1000 buddhas

The temple of 1000 Buddhas (sanjusangendo) dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon

Today we toured Kyoto. First we went to the Heian Shrine, a Shinto shrine. Built in 1895, it is large red building with definite Chinese influence. We had fun feeding the fish.

After lunch a local restaurant we went to Ginkaku-ji, or silver pavilion. In addition to the pavilion there were raked white san gardens. Some represent geographical points such as Mt. Fuji and the West lake of China.

Next we toured Nijo castle (二条城, Nijō-jō?), one of the best sites of Kyoto. We actually got to go inside the castle. The building was more a palace that castle, but still very nice. Although most of the furniture is gone the floor mats, murals and carved transoms remain. The garden is also very nice. Ran into a little league team that was jogging around the castle.

Walked around town and did some shopping. Bought chicken at a street stand for dinner.

Saturday Kyoto

This morning we saw the imperial palace. Although the original had burned down several times it has always been restored. Today it is still used to crown the new Japanese emperors. There are three traditional capitols of Japan Nara the oldest next Kyoto and finally Tokyo the present capitol. The Current Emperor is (天皇, tennō?, literally “heavenly sovereign,”[) Hirohito the same as WWII his birthday is a national holiday and the same as mine April 29. (昭和天皇, Shōwa tennō?), (April 29, 1901 – January 7, 1989) was the 124th Emperor of Japan

Next Jim and I walked down Shijo-dori, which could be called the main street of Kyoto, extends about 7 kilometers from Yasaka – jinja Shrine, which affords a view of the Higashiyama hills in the background, to Matsuo Taisha Shrine, with its view of the Nishiyama hills. With a history dating back to the Heian Period, this street is mentioned in ancient records as Shijo Oji. date accessed 1/6/2009 the largest business district in Kyoto extends north and south along this street. And saw some floats for the upcoming parade. Followed by the temple of 1000 Buddhas Sanjūsangendō (三十三間堂, Sanjūsangendō?) and the National Museum. At sanjusangendo there was a group of dignitaries from Mexico with a Japanese guide giving a tour in Spanish. It was an epiphany moment for me as I realized Americans isn’t the only country with tourists in the world.

Silver Shrine Kyoto

Golden Shrine Kyoto

We had Okonomiyaki for lunch, a kind of pancake with meat, squid and cabbage. After lunch we ro to Kinkaku-ji the golden temple. In addition to the pavilion there is also a Beautiful park. We started talking to a local man who told us all about the garden. Then he took us to another park on the outskirts of town. After buying us iced coffee we went o the bank of a river, were we sat and talked. Next he took us out for sushi, a famous Japanese dish of raw fish on rice, sashimi—it was delicious. He refused to let us pay. He took us in his car a Nissan it was a stick shift. It had some crazy words in /English on it they made no sense but he was very proud of it. He said hey it’s English.

After returning to the Tani House we met two girls Julie and Debbie ( I swear I haven’t thought about them in years). Debbie had a beau in the Peace Corps in Korea, so we went out for a beer and to talk. Next we rode across town to meet two of their friends. We went to a Studentlokal und tranken noch ein Bier. Es war viel Spasz. Sie waren sehr interressant. Got home about eleven.

Sunday Kyoto/Nara

Today we went to Nara for the day–Japan’s ancient capital during the eighth century. We spent the day in Nara park feeding and playing with the famous Roe (Shinka) deer.There are many famous sites within the park—all within walking distance. A welcome change.

We went to the Kasuga Shrine, Todai-ji, and the five story pagoda. Of course we saw the Daibutsu, the largest Buddah in Japan. Kasuga-ji was build in 778, but has been restored many times. Constructed in 752 on the order of Emperor Shomu, Todai-ji Temple’s Great Buddha Hall in Nara is the largest wooden structure in the world and houses an immense statue of Rushana Butsu. date accessed 1/7/09

After sightseeing we had Okonomiyaki for dinner again. We also did some shopping. We ended up buying two small backpacks.

Back in Kyoto we packed our bags. We talked to some Swedes, who had just arrived via the trans-Siberian railway. They were also going to China— on their own. They received their visas from the Chinese embassy in Stockholm. All passengers on the Trans Siberian bound for Japan must detrain at Khabarovsk and fly to Nagita in northern Honshu.

Cheap Flights from Khabarovsk to Niigata – KHV to KIJ

FSU Former Soviet Union


Swedes arrive in Japan by Train

Monday Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe/Takamatsu/Naruto

Khabarovsk, Siberia Eastern Terminus Trans Siberian Railroad

Today we were very efficient; we transferred from Kyoto to Naruto on Shikoku. Jim and I are together David has left us to do his own thing. He is more interested in Northern Honshu.

This involved getting up at 6:30 a. m.

to catch a train to Osaka where we left our backpacks, we also visited the post office where there was a letter from Katie, and made a reservation at the youth hostel. This is our second week in Japan.

(徳島県, Tokushima-ken?) We caught the ferry in Kobe for Takamatsu. We had a nice four hour ride across the Inland sea, passing by Awaji Island We had a bento for lunch.

In Takamatsu we had to change money. The man at the bank very friendly. He let Us change even though the bank was officially closed and even showed us the new Susan B. Anthony dollar and traded us for a paper one.

The best site in Takumatsu was栗林公園, Ritsurin Kōen?) (栗林 means chestnut grove) one of the best known and largest in Japan. It was truly beautiful. It was set next to a tree covered hill so it was hard to tell where the park stopped and true nature began.

Ritsurin Park, Takamatsu, Shikoku Japan

At six o’clock we caught the bus for Naruto and arrived about seven-thirty. A man saw us walking down the road, stopped his car and took us the youth hostel, which was on the top of a hill, right next to an old wooden castle. We had fun talking with the Japanese students who were also staying the hostel. We asked so of them where they would like to go if the could go aboard.. One said New Guinea, one Austria, and two said Germany.

Tuesday Naruto/Kochi

This morning it rained, but that didn’t stop us. It was a true torrential downpour. We were heading for the straits of Naruto to see the whirlpools. We stopped at a fire station to asked for directions. They drove us right to the park. It was an emergency rescue.

Tokushima Whirlpool, Shikoku

Naruto park contains the whirlpools which form in the narrow channel , one kilometer between Shikoku and Awaji islands (淡路島, Awaji-shima?). We took the boat ride in the rain an 11:50—during high tide. We meet some girls who rode with us from Naruto to Tokushima and the on to Awaji Island where they got off. There is now a bridge which connects Shikoku and Awaji with Honshu.

Jim and I rode on to Kochi. The train ride was beautiful, we rode along the river valley through many tree covered mountains.

After checking in at the hostel (Y1300) about double what we had been paying, I Think. We went out to look around. We ended up walking down the Page Ave of Kochi and saw nothing but auto dealers and tire stores. We did see the Giants baseball game on TV, including everyone’s favorite number 1, Oh.

Wednesday Kochi/Matsuyama

Today in Kochi we went to the Onagadori Center famous for raising roosters with very long tails. Some as long as 11 meters. This center was also visited by President JFK before his assassination. Prince Yamanouchi of the Kochi Prefecture on the southern peninsula of Shikoku had the helmets and spears of his soldiers adorned with long rooster feathers for special occasions.

Afterwards we toured Kochi castle. It had a nice view and a small collection of Samurai artifacts including armor and swords. WE have seen many castles. During feudal times every town of great size had its own castle all very elaborate and unlike Europe they almost all look the same from the outside, differing mainly in size.

Next we moved on to Matsuyama by hitchhiking. It took awhile to get the first ride. A man took us as far as he could go, but he had to stop because of a rock slide blocking the highway. We walked around the rock slide and had another ride in fifteen minutes.

Interesting Japanese Drinks

Our big activity in Matsuyama was a sukiyaki dinner in the Okaido district. It was delicious We ate at Gimpai. Two ladies ran it and the seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. Sukiyaki(すき焼き; スキヤキ)is basically a stew with beef and vegetables cooked at the table. It is very good and all dipped in raw egg. Like many Americans my age this James Bond movie You only live twice served as our introduction to Japan and Japanese culture. Japan, Space Race, Nancy Sinatra, etc.

We see vending machines all over Japan offering strange drinks for sale.  This will be useful to me in a few months when I start working for the Seven-Up company in St. Louis.  Returning to the hostel, we joined the Japanese for singing songs and card playing until midnight.

THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING THIS BLOG. Do you live in JAPAN? Have things changed since I visited 30 years ago?


A word on the Japanese language 1979

Kabuto Tokugawa Ieyasu

Kabuto Tokugawa Ieyasu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A word on the Japanese language. Some believe Japanese to be a language isolate while others classify it as an Altaic language a very distant relative of Turkish, Mongol, Tungusic/Manchu and Evens/Manchurians. There are 3 alphabets in use Kanji, hiragana and katakana are actually syllabaries, where each character represents a syllable, i.e. consonant vowel combination. So ka and ko would each be represented by a different character. Katakana is usually reserved for foreign words such as English and Chinese. date accessed 10/7/13

Figure 1 Manchu Scholar

After the tour we went up to Nikko. It was beautiful. We didn’t get to see much as it was raining. Which made things difficult since we had to walk everywhere with our backpacks. We did see the main Toshogu shrine and one other temple. The style is very ornate, a kind of Baroque, Japanese style. The Toshogu is the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868. The shrine is dedicated to the spirits of Ieyasu and two other of Japan’s most influential historical personalities, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Minamoto Yoritomo. Nikko date accessed 1/9/09. The point of the whole thing is to honor the dead shogun as well ass keep the local barons under control by keeping them broke and keeping them at the shrine so that they could be spied upon; similar to Louis XIV at Versailles in France. See blog on Madrid 1975. President Grant was the first American President to visit Japan on a whirlwind tour in 1877-1879 including England Russia, Thailand, Burma and Japan. He visited Nikko in 1879 as part of that trip. The Japanese say you haven’t seen Nikko until you’ve seen Nikko. He also visited the emperor and empress in the new capital of Edo/Tokyo.

One hundred years ago NIKKO Jas. Croil a journalist from Montreal described his trip to Nikko as such.
jamescroil00croiuoft_djvu.txt date accessed 1/10/2009

The saying is current in Japan, " Do not say Kikko

until you have seen Nikko” Kikko meaning very grand. I had

been told that Nikko was one of the places best worth seeing.

It lies up in the heart of the mountains about 100 miles

from Tokio a beautiful and fashionable summer resort, and the

sight of the most splendid temples in Japan. Arriving at Nikko

we set out to inspect its remarkable group of sacred edifices all

most interesting. In many instances the outside of the temples were

elaborately embellished with bas-reliefs, one particularly attracted

attention having a variety of monkeys finely engraven on an en

tablature over the main entrance. I need not waste time in trying

to describe in fitting terms the charms of Nikko ; I can only say

my visit to it, brief as it was, left an indelible impression. I

mounted my rickshaw and bade Nikko farewell. We went down

to the station at John Gilpin speed, and waited half an hour.

Met some Austrians at the station (Bahnhof) and had a nice conversation on the way back.



Thursday cont

Next Jim and I did some shopping.  Jim bought a calculator.  David is still doing his own thing, somewhere in Japan.  We have not heard from him.  In the days before cell phones this was not an unusual thing.  In many ways one of the most challenging things about visiting another country back in the day was navigating the telephone system.  Often government-owned and tied in with the post office. Also make airline reservations.  I was impressed any where we went on this trip the airline was able to pull up our reservations instantly. (Pan Am was known for installing this worldwide reservation system in the early sixties Jim and I got to see it in action)

We got to the youth hostel about five.  I took a bath.  The first truly Japanese style one with a hot tub.  When you are finished they give you a towel about the size of a wash cloth to dry off with. *** Talked to some people from France, found out that they had run into David in Kyoto.  They we in their fifties they had saved all their money for this one time trip to Japan and were truly enjoying themselves.

Friday Hiroshima/Miyajima/Okayama/Osaka

Got up early this morning and went to Miyajima, one of the top three scenic sites in Japan and one of my top 12 favorites places, three of which we visited on this trip.  In addition to the famous Torii and shrine we visited the museum of National Treasures.  As in Nara there are many sacred deer roaming the islands.

We took the cable car up the peak saw the sacred red monkeys and hiked back down, a good 2 hour walk—the path was dotted with many small shrines and

English: Precepts on the secret of success in ...

English: Precepts on the secret of success in life drafted by Tokugawa Ieayasu from the collection of Nikkō Tōshō-gū. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


After taking the boat back to Honshu we got out our sign and got a ride to —Toyonaka.  Our first ride in a Japanese truck.  The driver was very friendly and kept teaching us Japanese words and pointing out scenery.

This is part of the great southern Honshu Taiheiyō Belt (太平洋ベルト, Taiheiyō beruto?, lit. “Pacific Belt”) also known as Tokaido corridor megalopolis stretching almost uninterrupted from Tokyo to Hiroshima. The speed limit on the highway is about 50 km/hr.

Did I mention that Japanese driving is on the left (left side passage)? Engelbert Kaempfer and Carl Peter Thunberg 1776) wrote that in Japan people were keeping to the left. In fact it may have predated traffic rules in Europe. Apparently independent of the British. British date accessed 1/09/2009. 1907 saw the first Japanese killed by an automobile accident.

Got to Takehara (竹原市; -shi) about eight o’clock pm. Got another ride into Toyonaka (豊中市, Toyonaka-shi?), one stop before Osaka. Stopped at an interesting truck stop one the way with a collection of Samurai and WWII artifacts. The Japanese apparently have their own different version of history.

Arrived in Osaka about one a.m. with no place to stay. A Japanese couple tried to help us but they were too drunk…

Saturday Osaka

After about three hours of sleep we woke up about six and rode the commuter train the last to stops into Osaka. Benjo (便所, benjo?place of convenience or place of excrement), from the word ben (便, ben?) meaning “convenience” or “excrement”, and this word is fairly common. This was a place that we had an immediate need for. Please do not confuse this word with bento which is a box lunch served on ships and trains and other places.

We had a leisurely breakfast at the beef bowl with yakisoba, the Japanese version of the Waffle house. Gyūdon (牛丼), often literally translated into English as beef bowl, founded in 1899. They gave us free cardboard hats.

Shirataki (白滝 ? often written with the hiragana しらたき) are very low carbohydrate, low calorie, thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac plant. The word “shirataki” means “white waterfall”, describing the appearance of these noodles. Largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber, they have little flavor of their own. date accessed 8/22/2011

Then we went to the Tenno’ji temple. Osaka is a big modern city unlike Kyoto with its National treasures. It is still interesting.

Osaka Daimaru 1979

Met Jim at the Bunraku Puppet Theater, Bunraku (文楽, Bunraku?) is the world renowned puppet show. Performers of Bunraku are considered living National Treasures in Japan. The other form of traditional Japanese theater from Kabuki which is the one everybody has heard about. It was very good. The performance lasted over four hours.

Found our first Japanese pedestrian mall, had a final sushi dinner, went shopping at the Daimaru The Daimaru, Inc. (株式会社大丸, Kabushiki-gaisha Daimaru?). It is the huge department store of Osaka. It is really very nice. You can eat at the food stalls in the basement for a good price.

Went to the train station where we had left our bags, but we left them there overnight again. Went out to the youth hostel but had trouble finding it as it was located under the stands of the Osaka soccer stadium.

Had a final Japanese bath with the little towel, before going to bed.

Sunday Osaka/Honolulu

This is our last day in Japan. This was a long day as we crossed the International Date Line. We got back the day we lost at the beginning of the trip, to spend in Hawaii.

We started in Osaka. Jim and I left the youth hostel and had breakfast at the beef bowl again.

Spent the day at Osaka-jo , the castle and in the surrounding park. We met many interesting people, including several Junior High School (middle school) students, who barely spoke English, some Judo competitors and an interesting man who spent his vacation talking to foreign visitors to the castle. He took our address and sent us a letter when we got home. It’s very exciting to get a letter from Japan. I think with cell phones and the internet all we’ve lost appreciation of what it means to get a letter, especially from a stranger in Japan. We also saw the sumo wrestlers practicing in the auditorium.

It is getting crowded here now as schools have let out and kids are enjoying their summer break which is much shorter than in the US. Summer break begins 20. July Marine day Marine Memorial Day (海の日, Umi no hi?) or Ocean day and lasts six weeks, about 40 days or the end of August. Most Japanese school children wear uniforms seifuku (制服, seifuku?) even in public schools. Most children attend school six days a week including Saturday. 50% go on to college. Students clean there own school. High school is not compulsory in Japan. The school year begins in April. Students walk to school, there are no busses and they do not drive.

I’ll be looking for a job myself when I get back to St. Louis. It was a nice day. We enjoyed the castle too.

Figure 2 Japanese Students

Figure 3 Artist

Figure 4 Judo

Schools dated accessed 1/09/2009

Went to the airport Osaka International Airport (大阪国際空港, Ōsaka Kokusai Kūkō?) (IATA: ITM, ICAO: RJOO) about five to catch our plane to Honolulu—David showed up with about forty-five minutes to spare for an international flight which caused us a lot of anguish because Jim and I weren’t sure what to do if he didn’t get there. I.e. leave for Hawaii without him or miss or flight and wait for him to show up. In our youth we had not made any back up plan. This is the old International airport the new airport in Osaka bay didn’t open until 1994.

Have you been to Japan recently?Do you live in Japan?  Do you agree with what I said? What were your experiences? How has Japan changed since I was there 30 years ago?

Please post your comments below. COMMENTS WELCOME

Honolulu 1979 Final Post

3340 Morganford

ST. LOUIS, MO 63116

(314) 865-0301 Fax: (314) 865-0549

Honolulu Final Post

Today was a long day as we crossed the international dateline. . .

It was a rough flight from Osaka (Itami/ITM) to Honolulu (HNL), once again on Pan Am. Jim got sick. The flight attendants (we used to call them stewardesses) were very nice. For part of the flight I talked to an 18 year old Japanese girl. She was going to visit her aunt in Hawaii by herself-–her first time abroad. She was a little scared.

Got to Hawaii about 10:00 am and cleared customs easily. We’re back in the Untied States now. I know for most people Hawaii is an exotic port of call but it seems tame to us after being in Asia so long. Good to be back in the United States. Big gas guzzling cars, US currency, telephones and everyone speaks English. It just takes a little something away not to have to struggle to get everything you want. It took a while to get used to that. People just stare when you start using broken pidgin English when they understand everything perfectly.

Took a limousine to the Aloha Pacific Hotel, where we decided to stay. Aloha Pacific Hotel a moderately priced hotel. Just three blocks from the beach at Waikiki. (one of my top ten favorite places)

After a nap of about two hours and time change we get to spend yesterday all over again and make up for the day we lost coming over from SFO. We went downtown to do some sightseeing. We saw the Iolani palace, city hall and the famous statue of Kameamea, the last king of Hawaii. My grandmother gave the number of a friend of hers who lives in Honolulu and I gave her a call. We saw a little kid at the capitol, I think it could have been Barack Obama.

Walked back to Waikiki and stopped for a beer—Budweiser of course. We’re back to those twelve ounce bottles again. Walked around the tourist area and had dinner at a Walgreens.

Honolulu is beautiful


Hawaii is made up of a chain of volcanic islands in the center of the great Pacific ocean about 20 degrees north of the equator and the geographic southern point of the United States. I visited the western most geographical point in Attu, Alaska with Katie in 2006.

Slept till ten. Spent the morning on administrative things, changing our flight home. It takes time but you got to do it., bought flowers for Katie and sent her a postcard. When those flowers arrived in Cincinnati from Hawaii, including bird of paradise, her mother must have thought I was a keeper. I was still courting my wife at the time. Not even engaged and living in separate cities to boot.

After settling everything I took a bus down to Diamond Head, the old volcano crater, that is the landmark of Honolulu–then rode back to town to catch #52 bus which circles the greater part of Oahu. All for the price of a regular bus ride, twenty five cents

The bus went through sugar cane and pineapple fields, up along the northern and eastern parts of the island. We then rode along the Pauli Highway and ended up back downtown. Last year,2008, we learned this had all moved to the Philippines because of high labor costs.

I spent seven hours on the bus and it all cost only twenty five cents. Got home abut 11:00 p. m.

One reaches Waikiki after crossing the canal. Kalakaua street is now one way going west, downtown. In 2008, we stayed at the Korean hotel.

Tuesday Honolulu/Maui

Today we got up at 4:30 to catch our 6:00 am flight to Maui. Thank goodness they gave us free coffee at the airport.

Once on Maui we rented a car and found a hotel-just a cabin along the roadside-the Silversword-named for a type of shrub that grows in the area. Silversword link accessed 8/13/09

Drove along the Northeast coast of Maui along the highway that leads to the town of Hana.


Figure 1 The Silversword Plant

The scenery was beautiful. We passed many waterfalls and drove along the coast. Stopped in one place for a hike-about two hours. Through muddy fields, bamboo forests and across more streams to two more waterfalls. Started driving back about eight o’clock after skipping a buffet dinner. Got stuck in a traffic jam-waiting to pull some wrecked cars off the road. Got back to the hotel about eleven. Went to bed.

Wednesday Maui

Today we got up at 3:30 am and drove to the top of Haleakala to view the sunrise. One of my favorite, top ten favorite places. It was not as spectacular as I expected but still worth the trip. Haleakala is ten thousand feet above sea level and is an extinct volcano, once used to practice moon landings.

We drove into a town, got gas and breakfast, called home then drove to Lahaina an old whaling town refurbished into a tourist delight. Drove on to the beach where we spent about and hour.

Spent the afternoon driving along the coast on the western side of Maui. The scenery was spectacular. A rugged coast and even a blowhole.

Had a Mai tai in a bar in Lahaina drove around the Northern coast, had Chinese food at McDonalds.

Returned the rented car, went to the airport at Kahului and flew back to Honolulu on the nine o’clock flight. Hawaiian airlines.

Thursday 26 July Honolulu

The last full day of the trip

Did something special, went to Pearl Harbor this morning. The navy provides a free boat out to the Arizona Memorial. A monument straddles the sunken ship only a few rusted towers protrude from the water. It is a very moving experience.

Next I went to the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in America. Except for the restored woodwork and one table and carpet, the palace is almost bare. The tour, which was conducted by a volunteer, was excellent. The guide could convey her feelings toward Hawaii and the palace by her descriptions of the various rooms.

Had pork tofu lunch at an interesting little café. Then rode the bus out to Kokohead another extinct volcano. Iolani Palace accessed 8/13/09

Figure 2 Iolani Palace Honolulu

Figure 3 Hawaii State Capitol

Rode back to a shopping center then walked back to Waikiki and down to the Hilton beach for some sunbathing. Watched the sunset.

Note: I returned to Oahu in October 2008, this time with Katie who had become my wife. The Ala Moana shopping mall was Hawaii’s largest and still in existence 30 years later. Bubba Gumps Unlike other cities with urban sprawl there is nowhere else to go so they have continuously expanded and improved this mall over the years including a Hilo Hattie. We ate at Bubba Gumps this time we rode home in a taxi.

Honolulu, after Los Angeles, has the second highest traffic congestion of any city in the United States.

Came back to the hotel at 8:00 pm, got my journal, had a beer and finished writing. Met a student from Japan and exchanged gifts. Had a drink and a final walk on the beach.

Apparently split up from Jim and David for neither of them remembered going to Pearl Harbor or the shopping mall. David denies ever having swum in the Pacific Ocean even though he lives in Long Beach.

Friday July 27, 1979 Honolulu /San Francisco

Got up at eight a.m. and went to the beach for about an hour. Waikiki is one of the greatest beaches and one of my top ten favorite places in the world. Took a shower and rode out to the airport. Met Jim and David on the bus they got on at a later stop. Picked up a letter from Katie-general delivery.

Checked in at United our plane stopped at Hilo on the big island.-before continuing to San Francisco. We caught the jet stream so it was a quick flight. The service wasn’t as good as on Pan Am.

Called Dr. Wilson after landing. He gave us a quick tour of town in his El Dorado. We even saw his house-Pat Brown lives next door. Boarded our 1:oo am flight for St. Louis. David stayed in SFO to visit Fischmann.


Slept during the flight. Made some phone calls during our one hour stopover in Houston. The Hibbetts were already in St. Louis so they weren’t answering the phone. We did wake Gladys up-it was about 6:30 am.

A quick flight to St. Louis and we were home. Mom and Dad met us at the plane.

The End of a GREAT TRIP

Post script

After returning home we received many cards and letters from the many friends we had made on the trip. Our mother was glad for us to return. She was happy for our adventure. We learned that Dr. Wilson and Eddie the communist became fast traveling buddies and went on many trips together. We were invited to give a talk at the church about our trip.

Four Days in Korea 1979

Thursday Hong Kong/Taipei/Seoul

Another transfer day. Left Hong Kong at 8:50 and got to Taipei at 11:00 am. We did the impossible. After we left Hong Kong our plane stopped at Taipei Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport. Distance from Singapore to Seoul about 3000 miles NE. The time change is one hour.

Chiang Kai-Shek Intl(TPE) in Taipei the capital of Taiwan. PRC AND Taiwan on the same trip. It is supposed to be forbidden to visit both China and Taiwan on the same trip but we did it. Saw the waiting lounge of Chiang Kai-Shek Intl Airport(TPE). Arrived in Seoul; 13:30. Same day.  Although it is really only the communists who care. They consider Taiwan to be their sovereign territory even to this day.

Things to do in Seoul the capital of S. Korea National Assembly Building Seoul. Blue house. Great south gate (Sungnyemun Gate). Seoul is now the world’s second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo. Mexico City is third at just under 20 million. New York City is fourth.  Seoul has the same subtropical climate as Japan with cold winters and about fourteen hours of daylight in the summer with sunrise at 5 am. Seoul means capital in Korean.

The Russian Empire lost its entire fleet in the straight of Korea in the war with Japan in 1905. Korea was a colony of Japan from 1910 until 1945 when the Russians took over the Northern half and left the South to the west making Korea the divided country it is today. There has never been a peace treaty signed ending the Korea War. Germany has been reunited, since 1989.

People we met at the airport asked if we had visas. We did. If not they were prepared to issue them on the spot. They wanted to know if we were Mormons or military when we said neither they were very impressed especially that we had come to Korea on our own just to see it. We had chosen Korea over the Philippines. They couldn’t believe we were three brothers traveling together on our own. Korea was not a popular destination for backpackers at the time. This is the second time Mormons have come up on the trip.

Did some sightseeing: City hall, Toksu palace and the Plaza Hotel. Had bolgogi for dinner, a traditional Korean dish—brazed meat marinated and cooked right at the table. Another traditional Korean dish spicy hot kim chi. Made from cabbage. Every family has is own recipe. They even have little refrigerators to store it in. I had it for breakfast one day. I don’t recommend that. accessed 9/6/09

Saw the famous restaurant of snakes. Right in the window hundreds of black snakes crawling in a basket. Fresh, pick the your own and they will cook it right there on the spot for you. The heart is the choice part. accessed 9/5/09

The next day I went to have a traditional Korea breakfast. Unable to read the menu I just pointed to what the other men were having. It turned out to be some kind of alcoholic beverage at 8:00 in the morning. CULTURE SHOCK I was so horrified the owner took it back and didn’t charge me a thing. I thought I’ll try anything once but I can’t drink this first thing in the morning, YUCK! Soju accessed 8/4/2009

Talked to a very nice man at the tourist agency. We are staying at a Yokwan, a Korean style inn—no beds just mats. It is very nice. They serve Bori cha(보리차) or Korean barley tea in the room. Served chilled, very refreshing on a hot day. It has a nutty flavor.

Friday Seoul

Today we toured the major palaces of Seoul, starting with Changdok Palace in the morning and the secret gardens. A wonderful addition to the palace is the beautiful Forbidden Garden, the private garden of the king that was closed to the public. The former residence of the emperors of Korea, members of the royal family still live in parts of this palace. Home of the Chosun dynasty.

The secret garden is Korean style—resembling that of the English. Natural style, hills, wild and woodsy.

Met an American-Korean family at the palace, whom we joined for lunch. A man and his teenage daughters from Minneapolis. He tried desperately  to instill an appreciation in Korean culture and history. They were more interested in talking to the three of us .Then went to Kyongbok palace and the national museum. The collection ranged from Neolithic to Silla to Yu dynasties. Some of the pieces were on loan to a Museum in San Francisco. Tried to see President Park’s residence, the Blue House. Got through all the security but still couldn’t see it.

President Carter is coming to Korea soon on a state visit June 29-July 1. Park Chung-hee 박정희 朴正熙 He was assassinated by a trusted aide in October that same year (1979) Got the official friendship cigarettes from one of the guards. Didn’t have dinner. Packed for the trip to Kyong ju.

In the ancient Silla Dynasty lasted almost one thousand years (57BC – 935AD).

Saturday Seoul/Kyong ju

Left Seoul for Kyong ju the capital of the seventh century Silla Kingdom It took 4 ½ hours by train and cost W2700.

Took a bus tour to most of the important monuments. Saw several burial mounds, the local museum, star tower, pagoda and the Emille bell.

It was a good tour. Most of the monuments were reconstructions of structures from the 8th century. Even saw the tourist resort, complete with golf course.


Seoul Great South Gate Sungnyemun

We’re staying in another Korean Inn. Had Chinese food for dinner. There was a power failure at 22:00.

Sunday Kyong ju

Spent the morning at the Bulguska temple, a beautiful reconstruction of an 8th century temple. One of the best things of the trip.

Also went to the Sokkuram grotto shrine. A large Buddha carved in granite and placed in the grotto of the mountain.

After lunch we went to the Kwaenung tombs. Similar to other tombs, but here the stone statues still remained.

During the long walk back to the inn about 8 km we stopped at a brewery that made Korean rice wine. The lab technician showed us around, answered our questions and gave us a sample. I was more prepared this time than with the Soju.  accessed 9/11/11

 Gyeongju Gyodong Beopju (경주 교동법주)
Gyeongju Gyo-dong Beopju (경주 교동법주)Gyeongju Gyodong Beopju liquor has been brewed for many generations by the Choi family living in Gyodong, Gyeongju. This 300 year old alcohol was designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset no. 86-3 in 1986. The liquor is brewed using glutinous rice and does not have any added chemicals. Its alcohol content is about 17% and the end product is a clear transparent liquor that is yellowish in color.
Like many grain-based types of liquor, Beopju’s unique sweetness spreads fragrantly inside your mouth. The main characteristic in Beopju’s brewing process is that after making the base liquor, it is then put through a second fermentation process. Thus, it takes about a hundred days to brew, and bottles that are available for sale have generally been matured for over a year.

Monday Korea/Japan

Today we transferred to Tokyo. See now let’s get to Japan.

Bangkok in a more peaceful time

The scenery alongside a khlong in Bangkok, Tha...

The scenery alongside a khlong in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A spectacular sunset in Bangkok, showing the s...

A spectacular sunset in Bangkok, showing the skytrain and modern skyline down Thanon Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra, taken from the corner of Thanon Silom, with the Empire Tower and the Chong Nonsi BTS Station at the left side. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Skytrain, Bangkok, Thailand

Skytrain, Bangkok, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Wat Arun

Check out my blog “Leaving Hong Kong 1979” for my trip to Thailand/Bangkok in times past.

Bangkok:It is hot here 1979

  1. The Frick Collection, New York, USA

1441 –van Eyck Virgin and Child with Saints and Donor.

Jan van Eyck 1422-1441 oil on panel

Jan van Eyck 1422-1441 oil on panel

Sir Thomas Moore 1527

Sir Thomas Moore 1527

Rembrandt,  Self Portrait Rembrandt,  Nicolaes Ruts

Nicolaes Ruts 1573-1638

Nicolaes Ruts 1573-1638

Holbein, Sir Thomas More Matted Print 12″ x 16″

  1. Leaving Hong Kong 1979
  2. Thailand is a Buddhist country. It is hot here. 29 85 F 1979

Wat Arun Temple of Dawn

On to China 1979 photos. . .

South China Tiger:may be extinct

Canton Zoo Red Panda

Foreign concession Canton

Anglican Church Shaimen Island, Canton China

Temple of Heaven, Peking 1979

Ming tombs


First time over the Pacific Ocean 1979

Great Circle Route Auckland and Honolulu

Another View

Another View

This was the first time I flew over the Pacific Ocean.  Pacific Ocean travel was begun using a complicated route by PanAmerican Airways in the 1930’s.  It involved many stops for refueling. Including Guam, Honolulu and Manila.  The key to the whole route was wake island. Without it the flight would have been impossible as planes could not carry that much fuel in those days.


Betsy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PanAm Jumbo

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 (B-HUA) taxiing ...

Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 (B-HUA) taxiing to a gate at Singapore Changi Airport. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to legend, the airline was conceived by Farrell and some foreign correspondents at the bar of the Manila Hotel. On Cathay Pacific’s maiden voyage, Roy Farrell and Sydney de Kantzow flew from Hong Kong to Manila, and later on to Shanghai. They had a single Douglas DC-3, nicknamed Betsy. The airline initially flew routes between Hong Kong, Sydney, Manila, Singapore, Shanghai, and Canton, while scheduled service was limited to Bangkok, Manila, and Singapore only.