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My solo trip to Japan ends soon. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Have been planning this for 2 years, and though I thought I'd never make it to go before Armageddon, it's really a dream come true.


Here is where I've been so far:

Tokyo, including the Bethel at Ebina

Hakone, with views strait to Mt Fuji 

Nagano, to see the snow monkey (but the park was unfortunately closed)




Matsumoto (where I am now)

and then Tokyo again before returning home.


It is deep winter here. The snow is light, fluffy and deep. I've never seen snow, so I've been squealing for days. I've stayed at traditional Japanese inns, called Ryokans, sleeping on futons and eating spectacular meals, enjoying the onsen experience. Where I am now is deep in the forest, a secluded 5 star onsen retreat, and it's just so beautiful here with the snow falling lightly on the forest outside my window. A river runs just past too.


But Bethel was the real highlight, and I'm so glad to have visited and met such hardworking and industrious brothers and sisters, all smiling and happy. A real treat to see their smiling faces. I just wanted to hug them all! 

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2 hours ago, vern said:

so.... hows the radiation there?   is it just hype?  or is it still something to keep up on?

They seem to take it very seriously, Vern.  This website shows all the monitoring they do, both land, sea and air.



So far the area north of Tokyo where the Fukushima power plat is remains off limits, with a wide exclusion zone. Consequently, other parts north of Japan have been affected with tourism dropping, but there is a concerted effort to lure tourists back as it is safe now and not affected by what happened.


They have pretty sophisticated meteorological monitoring systems to help forecast not just weather, but tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions etc. As well, they monitor for the big earthquake phenomena they call the 'Tokai earthquake ', which is sort of like their San Andreas fault/big one in California scenario.


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Some fun facts I learned on my Bethel visit:

  • They produce all the English version Bibles for all of us English speakers, and they are shipped from Japan all over the world, like us in Australia, you in USA and England, NZ, Sth Africa etc.
  • But their NWT Bible is still the black cover one, so while they ship English Bibles to the US, Japanese Bibles are shipped back from the US to Japan!
  • That silver foil on the edges of the pages of our grey Bibles - they need an astronomical amount, and go through an amount of almost the height of Mt Fuji IN ONE DAY!!


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Japan and Trump:


This resort I'm staying at now has laid on everything from complimentary drinks at the bar lounge, accessed by a swipe card, to the English version of the Japan Times. 


Yes, Trump's still in the first page as expected.  Prime Minister Shinzo ABE pledges to 'further strengthen ' Japan's military alliance with the US. This is a bit unusual to begin saying this as the PM usually doesn't focus on foreign policy as a priority. The article says "this year he started with diplomatic policies, apparently trying to ease concerns over ties with the US under incoming President Donald Trump, who has criticised Japan on issues from trade to security".

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11 hours ago, hatcheckgirl said:



You spoke of admiring the ...snowflakes...let me tell you...what you have here is a beau coup

accumulation of the white stuff per a snow storm.....take it from me....our winter in Montana, U.S. has been

the most brutal in at least the last five year.  Just enjoy the scene from inside your warm abode.:)      

Edited by nanceebgd46
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  • 3 weeks later...

Nancy, I can't even imagine what you are describing.  We never have cold like that in Perth (usually our winters are mild, down to 1C at night at the worst, and up to 17C average in the day).  So consequently, this beautiful winter wonderland was pure bliss!  I was toasty warm even outside in the snow.



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