I found a most wonderful place to take the kids for a day out in the sun and for some great excitement, fun, sports and adventure. It is called Heiwa no Mori Koen Field Athletic Course (平和の森公園 フィールドアスレチックコース) and it’s about a ten minute walk from Keihin Kyuko Heiwajima station or a ten minute bus ride from JR Omori station.
The Heiwa no Mori Koen Field Athletic Course is an obstacle course for kids. The entire course, from start to finish has 40 obstacles that the kids have to challenge. There’s climbing giant rope and wood jungle gym types of structures to climbing over walls using ropes to jungle bars and rowing across ponds full of deadly piranhas (oh, and I’m kidding about the piranhas part). You and your child could have a wonderful time at this fun park.
I’d say that it is best for children between the ages of 6 to 12 but younger ages will also have a blast at this park as mom and dad can help them out with the obstacles that are too scary!
Yesterday, I went there with a bunch of 8 and 9 year olds to chaperon for a birthday party and I also wanted to check out the facilities. I was very impressed. The Heiwa no Mori Koen Field Athletic Course is run by the local government (please don’t get me started on what the heck the local government is doing running an athletic course for kids, as that’s another story) but admission for children was an incredibly low ¥100! Adults are ¥360!
Okay. I’ve found the best and cheapest place to enjoy a Saturday or Sunday in Tokyo for under ¥500! Parking is available and dirt cheap (I parked for more than three hours and it was only ¥600).
This place is a real diamond in the rough, folks! I think this is one of the best and most refreshing and healthy places you could take your kids to on a day and have some real fun!
The kids love it!… (Thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Humphrys)
Here is a map of the park at the entrance featuring all the obstacles. See a larger map online here.
Looks daunting. It is, but safe. Kids start at the left, climb over the log, up the ramp,
then climb down the rope ladder on the other side.
In the west they might call this the Tom Sawyer ride. In Japan it’s like Issun Boshi.
There were about 5 huge structures like this that are fun to look at as they
are to challenge and climb! Take your child and have them bring a few friends!
Great for a kid’s birthday party!
Heck, this one looked so fun even I wanted to ride it… (But I’m afraid of heights!)
Not quite as tough as the Marines or Navy Seals, but pretty darned tough for an 8 year old…
What kid wouldn’t go crazy over riding in a basket over the dangerous valley?
Speaking of danger, watch out for the crocodiles and piranhas! Moms! Dads!
Definitely need to bring extra clothes & shoes two kids fell in when I was there!
The kids would get to the top of one of these and want to stay there.
I had to tell them to hurry to the next obstacle.
This area kind of reminded me of Disneyland’s Adventureland…
It just looked like fun and the obstacles didn’t disappoint! At this obstacle
kids had to help each other to get across. Team work!
Running across the floating logs? Yep. Scary and a distinct possibility of getting wet!
Older kids can do this… But I even saw parents with 3 or 4 years old kids
and the moms and dads carried their kids while they challenged
the obstacles… A great time together!
Great fun. Exercise. The Outdoors. Camraderie.
What more could a parent want for their child?
I give Heiwa no Mori Koen Field Athletic Course (平和の森公園 フィールドアスレチックコース) 5 stars for a great cheap place to take your children where they can spark their imagination with adventure and get a day out and some great exercise. It’s fun, cheap and a wonderful memory!
1) Definitely take at least one pair of extra clothes and shoes in case your child falls into the water.
2) There are no restaurants or coffee shops nearby
3) There are no shower facilities.
4) There is another park outside so if you want to have a birthday party there, you’ll need to have the cake and pizza or sandwiches at the park outside the entrance of the athletic course.
5) I hear it gets crowded on weekends around lunchtime so I recommend getting there early!
6) If the course weren’t crowded, then I expect that it should take an hour or two to complete depending on the age of your child.
Heiwa no Mori Koen Field Athletic Course
Heiwa no Mori Koen 2-1
Opens at 9:30 am (last entrance at 15:00) Closed at 16:00
Closed on Mondays and bad weather days
Children and Junior high school students: ¥100
Above high school and adults: ¥360
Heiwa no Mori Koen Field Athletic Course URL (Sorry Japanese only): http://www.city.ota.tokyo.jp/shisetsu/sports/fieldathletics.html
“By the time you hear the thunder, it’s too late to build the ark.” ~ Unknown
“It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a few seconds to destroy one.” ~ Unknown
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” ~ Mark Twain
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries.” ~ Jesus Christ
Did you ever see that sixties movie where the guy was diagnosed with a deadly disease and told that he only had a short time to live? He took all his money out of the bank and maxed out all his credit cards and lived the high life for that short time. Then, to his shock, he found out that it was all a misdiagnosis and that he was actually perfectly healthy? I can’t remember the name of the movie but when he found out he wasn’t going to die, he realized that was in deep doo-doo and was in debt waaaaaaaay over his head? It was a pretty funny movie.
I wonder why these people today who think we’re doomed any minute now don’t borrow all the money they can and live the high life if they really do think we’re all going to die any day now? Maybe it’s because these people are a bit twisted and being twisted is all relative to one’s financial status? Meaning they have no money…
I mean, everyone knows that poor people are crazier than rich people, right?
…Or are they?
Yesterday I posted about how so many people worry too much about too many things. Please refer to: Worrying Too Much About a Worse-Case Scenario is a Sign of Serious Mental Illness and Paranoia….
Really, these people who worry constantly? I don’t know how they can stand themselves. Isn’t just trying to survive on a daily basis enough to worry about for most people? It is for me. I have my hands full worrying about taking care of my family and paying the bills and making sure they are happy and healthy (and other sh*t like, “Is there anything to eat in the refrigerator?”) without having to worry about things that I cannot control, like the end of the world. Here’s a short list of those world ending things! Things like:
1) Fukushima ending life on this planet as we know it
2) Nuclear War ending life on this planet as we know it
3) Out of Control Government Spending ending life on this planet as we know it
4) Terrorists killing us all
5) Inflation destroying our lives
6) Rogue nations killing us all
7) China taking us over (I don’t speak Chinese!)
Crime killing us all (or just me)
9) Tomorrow – will there be one?
10) Life on other planets and will there be alien invasions
11) Will Global Warming/Cooling or even Global Moderate Temperatures end life on this planet as we know it
12) Who is going to be the winner of the next American Idol, Dancing with the Stars or “Survivor Nicaragua”?
Of course I write about these things (it gets them off my chest) but trust that I do not run around thinking about them all the time.
Girls just wanna have fun, ya know?
I actually met Cyndi Lauper at a Okonomiyaki in Osaka once!
By the way, you’re far more likely to die of heart disease, cancer, emphysema, stroke, accident, alzheimers, diabetes, the flu, suicide, chronic liver disease (drinking yourself to death), high blood pressure, parkinsons or pneumonia than anything on the above list of 1 ~ 12. (Although if you do care about #12 and watch too much TV, why don’t you just kill yourself and do us all a favor?)
Well, now I found an article that I thought might give you a moment to pause and think and relax if you are one of these people who worry all the freaking time. If you are one of these people (especially) who are foaming at the mouth and screaming “If the water pools at Fukushima collapse, then life on this planet will end as we know it!” (as if you have somewhere to run and/or something that you could do about it if that were to happen) then, read on. This is for you.
It seems that this sort of nuttiness hasn’t a financial basis. I mean to say that being this sort of paranoid crazy may not have such a big correlation to eating junk food. Why? Well, I have anecdotal evidence that rich people can be just as crazy as poor or middle class people. Yep.
I have this weird idea that rich people don’t eat as much junk food or processed food as poor people do. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s a notion that I entertain. Well, my friends, here’s proof that some rich people are getting caught up in the Zeitgeist of the end of the world too! I remember in the sixties that some people had nuclear bomb shelters… It struck me as odd, even then, the existence of these shelters. I mean, if the world comes to and end and there’s deadly radiation everywhere, how is staying in an underground bunker going to matter anyway? Won’t that just prolong the inevitable? Won’t the end of the world and the radiation kill you soon after anyway? Someone help me out here.
Anyhow, folks, here you go. If you are really worried about the end of the world, then I have a suggestion; work your ass off in the next few days and save up to buy one of these. Or, if there’s no way that you could make a few million by day after tomorrow, then if you really are worried about “life ending on the earth as we know it” then take all of your savings, max out your credit cards, and buy all the lottery tickets you can afford. Then, if you win, buy one of these apartments:
It won’t matter that you go into debt up to your ass, right? The world is going to end anyway, right? And, when it does, you’ll never have to pay off the banks! Everyone is happy!
Check out what the lunatics on the other side of the tracks are buying… The Daily Mail reports in “Doomsday Shelter Being Built Below Kansas Prairie where millionaires will be able to sit out the Apocalypse in Style“:
When you buy a house, you end up feeling like you will be paying it off until the world ends.
CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW
The doomsday condo – What? No free parking?!
Well, how about one of these luxurious condos, which come with all the mod-cons, as well as a pool, a movie theater and a library – oh, and a guarantee that it will survive Doomsday if and when that fateful day comes.
For these luxury flats, deep below the Kansas prairie in the shaft of an abandoned missile silo, are meant to withstand everything from economic collapse and solar flares to terrorist attacks and pandemics.
Naturally, there will be no one around to phone if the guarantee fails – but at that point, the insurance will probably be the least of your worries.
So far, four buyers have thrown down a total of about $7million (£4.4m) for havens to flee to when disaster happens or the end is nigh.
This developer is a smart guy… But anyone who buys one of these needs to see a psychologist.
Don’t worry though, even if the psychologist is $195 an hour, rich people – who could afford one of these apartments – can afford it.
Wow! Is that a load off my mind. I can’t wait to move in. I hope the neighbors are nice!
Mit der Fuhrer dein Fuhrerbunker 30. April 1945
Japan’s Missile Defense (that doesn’t work) is Extremely Effective Against North Korean Missiles (that don’t work)… At Least on Paper!
It’s a comedy of errors! It never fails to amaze me just how incompetent the government is. What government? Oh, any government. Take your pick. Let’s pick Japan’s today.
It seems that the missile warning system that the Japanese government were bragging would alert the public about the North Korean missile launch as it happened (Japan spent hundreds of millions of dollars on when they bought the system from the United States) failed and the Japanese authorities had to rely on foreign news reports to confirm the launch.
Seriously, this comedian could probably run any department or agency in the government much better than any politician Japan has today… At least he’d be good for laughs…
Hilarious! I burst out laughing on this news…. Maybe they forgot to install the four AA batteries (not included) in the system?
Japan Today reports: Japan’s rocket alert system failed due to lack of info from defense ministry
The alert system Japan promised would warn citizens of North Korea’s rocket launch had to rely on media reports because the defense ministry did not pass on the intelligence it had, an official said Friday.
(You mean this high-tech warning system needs a low-tech telephone call to work? How about two cans and a string?)
In what appeared to be a humiliating blow for the government after days of hype about the effectiveness of its warning system, security officials at the centre handling the alert were not told of the launch until 44 minutes after Tokyo had first learned of it.
Let’s vote. Which government is more humiliated and seems more incompetent by yesterday’s failed launch? Is it (pick one):
A) North Korea
In the meantime, the center issued a vague warning, based on international media reports of the launch, some 23 minutes after blast off and when those watching still believed the rocket was headed over Japanese territory.
(No. I believe they read my blog. I scooped the world!)
“We didn’t have the information at that time we issued the message,” a security centre official told reporters on condition of customary anonymity.
How do you say, “Doh!” in Japanese?
I don’t know why the Japanese government needs to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on these systems that don’t work for monitoring missile launchings that don’t work either…. They could just read this blog as I reported an hour ahead of time that the missile launch was a failure…
In fact, both North Korea and Japan could nod and wink and just say they’ve built the systems and pocket the money. No one would know the difference! Genius!
Japan’s missile defense that doesn’t work is extremely effective against missiles
that don’t work either… At least on paper!
You know, the Japanese government also claimed that they were prepared for the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, yet they blew it. Now, this. I have a new motto for the Japanese government. Tell me what you think:
Japanese government motto for 2012 and beyond:
Preparedness in the face of disaster yet dropping the ball just in time.
That works for me.
Really. I’m getting sick of Facebook in so many ways. Oh, let me count them…
I’m sick of people “poking” me. I hate it when people “Poke” me. What the hell is that poking business? What’s that all about? It reminds me of the game “Ding dong ditch” we played as a kids on the neighbors. You know, you’d run up to the neighbors house and ring the doorbell and run away. They’d answer the door and no one would be there.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Yeah. Real funny… Yeah funny, if you are about nine-years-old. Don’t poke me anymore. I don’t like it.
I also hate it when people never do anything but click the “Like” button. What is that? You post an article about children dying of starvation in Africa or getting killed in wars or a new flesh eating virus that peels your face off and leaves a read jelly-like mess and people click the “Like” button? What’s to like about that? Are people too stupid to make a comment?
Or do they really mean they’d like to have flesh eating viruses rip their flesh off their face? Not even a simple-minded comment like, “Yeah. What he said!” Or, something really insincere and useless like, “I hope things get better!” Have people become so stupid these days that the only reaction they can have is to consider whether or not they want to click a button? Oh, the choices to be made! How can anyone find the time? Really!
What’s not to like?
I also hate Facebook birthdays. Nothing says insincerity and “I don’t care about you at all, but since I am here anyway and wasting my time, might as well send you a birthday greeting – uh, how do you spell your name again? Never mind, it’s written right here!” like a Facebook birthday greeting.
I hate it when I get the weekly Facebook notice that tells me that “You have 53 friends with birthdays this week.” Who the hell wants to get a bunch of insincere birthday wishes from people who they probably wouldn’t recognize if they walked by them on the street? I don’t…
When it was my birthday last time, I got so many “Happy Birthday” wishes that it pissed me off going through them all and clicking, “Like” so that people would know I insincerely acknowledged their insincere wishes that I gave up after a while. Being so insincere to so many people is time consuming and exhausting!
Facebook has become the best (worst?) and most insincere way to send greetings of any sort. It really sucks and, instead of bringing people closer together, I suspect that it is actually pulling us farther apart and lowering the quality of our relationships. Good relationships require work and much effort… Facebook lowers the effort and time and thinking required… And that means our relations with each other are getting worse, not better.
You know, a relationship needs nurturing; like the flowers in a garden need nurturing. Just clicking “Like” is akin to remotely turning on the garden sprinklers in the garden: It is a great way for weeds to grow.
Nurturing the garden of love
If you really do care about someone, you’ll send them a real card or call them on the phone. Sending a Facebook birthday wish, a Poke, or a Like, is the real way to show that you are insincere and don’t actually care; you are too busy to be bothered.
People who do really care will admit that what I write is truth.
You won’t be getting any birthday wishes from me. If you do, I’ll really mean, “Happy Birthday.” Which means I won’t send those out through Facebook.
Happy Birthday and a big poke to my friend Garin Dart!
Fear and Loathing in Japan: “Most Tokyoites Wearing Respirator Masks Against Fukushima Radiation!” – Simple Historical Guide to Japanese Face Masks
In a quick follow up to yesterday’s post about the totally unfounded, foaming at the mouth, stark raving mad rant about how the Japanese government has “secret plans to evacuate ‘the 10 million people living in Tokyo’” due to Fukushima fallout – uh, psst! Don’t look now, but there’s at least 35 million people in Tokyo. (Please refer to Sensationalism, Scare Mongering and the Nanny State) I found this very interesting letter from some guy ranting about nuke fears in Tokyo that just goes to show how completely maniac and irrational people are when it comes to fear of the unknown (radiation and nuclear power). Well, I think it has to do with the fear of the unknown as all that sort of thing that makes people so irrational.
You know like, “Who knows what fears lie in the hearts of men? The shadow knows!”
Here is a totally hilarious and comical letter from some guy that I found yesterday. This really reminds me of something that an absolutely clueless dork would write about Japan: Get a laugh out of this:
“I just returned from a 9 day business trip to Tokyo Japan and most people in Tokyo are wearing respirator masks outdoors. They are very nervous and scared, and rightfully so. I was able to bring with me a thumb size miniature Geiger Counter, a bottle of KI03, and 2 masks for good measure. The Japanese government has made it illegal for Japanese to purchase Geiger Counters for personal use claiming they are made in the U.S. and are inaccurate. Now there is a steaming pile of freshly laid B.S.! I also brought my own freeze dried food and water. I’m not taking any chances, it is serious business over there.”
Great. Just great. I wonder if this is real or just the imagination of Gomer or Goober fresh off the boat from bumf*ck Iowa? This can’t be real, can it? For one, I just checked on Amazon Japan and they have dozens of Geiger counters on sale… You need me to buy one for you?
Scene at Narita. Customs Officer: “Is this your luggage, sir?”
Hillbilly: “Yes, sir. The Igloo cooler with the duct tape. That’s mine!”
To change the subject for a moment, when I was a liasion between foreigners and Japanese for a Japanese company in 1984, there was this guy that they had hired from the mid-west of the United States. He had been in Japan for only two months or so but we had to send him back to the USA because he had fallen into serious clinical depression. He couldn’t function at all. Poor guy. One day he came to see me and admitted that Tokyo wasn’t what he expected at all and he wanted to cancel his contract and go home. What did he expect Tokyo to be, pray tell? He told me that he had thought that in Japan that there would be samurai and geisha running around and when he came to Tokyo and everyone was wearing business suits and it was a big city “Like New York city with Chinese people” (his words, not mine) he couldn’t handle it. Unbelievable, yeah? True story!
But I digress…
Look at that nonsense that guy wrote. Is this for real? Hard to believe. Hard to believe that such a clueless person could be sent to Japan for “a business trip” which makes this letter very suspect. This guy is totally silly or he is hawking goods… Or, maybe he is a great science fiction writer and comic book genius like my friend Andrew at It’s a Wonderful Rife!
Well, I’m not sure about people being scared and nervous in Tokyo. It sure seems to me that the average person here is completely oblivious to the dangers that lurk around the corner. But the claim about, “Most people are wearing respirator masks outdoors” is laughable.
No, they are not. Let me demonstrate for you. They say a picture speaks a thousand words.
This is a respirator:
This is a mask:
Now, I admit, there probably are people wearing respirators in Tokyo THIS VERY MOMENT (they work for the fire department and are trying to put out a fire). But I haven’t seen any “regular people” doing so – and trust that most people don’t wear respirators. Dumb-foreign-letter-writing-visitor-to-Japan doesn’t know the difference between a mask and a respirator. Hasn’t the guy ever been to a dentist? (Uh, judging from the teeth of the guy in the green shirt at the top – maybe not.)
Many, far from “most,” Tokyoite Japanese are wearing masks. Why? Many people always do. They wear them so that they don’t spread diseases or catch colds. This time of year there are a very many people wearing these things because it’s spring. Interestingly, and a possible candidate for the next Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Spring is also the time flowers bloom and weeds grow!!!… And, incredibly that means hay fever season! (Oohs and ahhs here, please)…
Off the subject again! One time I had a Japanese ask me if they had hay fever in other countries like America so don’t think that it’s only the Americans who have license to be absolutely clueless!
Take my wife, please! She has terrible hay-fever. This time of year she wears a mask all the time – even inside of the house. I wrote about that once in Spring in Japan. I’ve also written about dumb foreigners here in Stupid Foreigners in Japan – 97% of the Bad Apples Spoil it for the Rest of the 3% – When in Japan, Do As the Japanese Do In Spite of Yourself. That’s who this article is for, actually… Dumb foreigners…
This article does have redeeming and, I suspect, interesting content: It’s the history of masks in Japan. The Japanese have been wearing these things for over a hundred years folks. I must admit, that even I, in my supreme greatness – and as a half Japanese kid with a Japanese mom, was taken back by how many people wear these masks in places like Tokyo when I first arrived here (I thought they looked like bank robbers!)
So, on that note, without further ado, may I present the Simple Historical Guide to Japanese Face Masks?
History of “the Mask”:
Though masks were introduced from outside of Japan in the 1870′s, actual production of these sorts of masks began in Japan in 1912 in the Taisho period. Masks were made for industrial use. They were cloth with a brass mesh. This brass mesh would rust which called into question the durability of the product. They didn’t become popular amongst the general public until 1919.
In 1919, the masks began to be used by the general public due to the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic. Due to this epidemic overseas, the use of the masks in Japan by the general public boomed. Manufacturers could not keep up with demand (this still happens sometimes).
In 1923, the masks became indelibly a part of Japan after the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo and the subsequent fires, and tsunami left about 182,000 people dead and another 40,000 missing. This caused a great fear of disease and, as said, these masks became a part of Japanese life forever. So after a smart businessman named Takeshi Uchiyama made a patent for the “Soo mask” and became the number one seller of masks in Japan.
An industry is born:
In 1933 and 1934 Influenza ravaged Japan and the world again. Once again, with the illness came a boom in mask use. As the years went by, the technology and designs of these masks became more and more advanced and, in 1948, the design using a single wire to bend to fit one’s face was made and it’s been basically the standard that is is use until today.
CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW
Boxes of cold remedies from the past. You can see that, in some pictures, the insinuation is that the cold medicines will allow one to remove the masks.
Now, as everyone knows, the Japanese are world famous for cleanliness. You can see it in their streets and in the city. Even public bathrooms in Japan are much cleaner in general than what you see in the west. Many of the home toilets automatically flush or rinse one’s derriere. There’s even ones that open and close the covers and seats for you.
In public restrooms, women will often rinse off the knobs of the washlets for the next person. This doesn’t disinfect them, of course, but it shows a courtesy that is uniquely Japanese.
CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW
You’ll often see Japanese wearing masks on trains and in the office as they do that as a matter of courtesy to other people too; they don’t want to spread, nor catch colds… Every year, from about March to May and again from September to November and again during flu season, you will see a boom in people wearing these masks… And, during those times, masks might sell out… Especially if the mass media is spreading fear as in the case of the H1N1 flu that was supposed to kills millions of Japanese but wound up killing one old lady in Kyushu.
So when you come to Japan, Mr. or Mrs, Foreigner and you see Japanese people wearing masks, fear not! They most likely aren’t doing it because of radioactive fallout or because they are about to knockoff a bank… It’s probably not quite that exciting. They are wearing those masks because they have a runny nose, a cough or they don’t want some old geezer on the train sneezing at them…
If you do worry about nuclear fallout from Fukushima when you visit Tokyo then may I suggest not coming here at all or, if you must, at least get some rabies shots before you arrive. We already have a big enough problem with rabid, foaming at the mouth foreigners as it is.
Much historical reference taken from www.mask.co.jp – Thanks!
They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery so I hope the folks at Zerohedge will forgive me for, er, umm, flattering them so! Yeah. That’s it! Flattering them! Over there they have a hilarious graphic showing the entire country of Greece on auction at E-Bay.
Absurd! Well, of course that would never work in Japan as no one in this country uses E-Bay. E-Bay came to Japan and failed like many other western countries did before them by not adapting their system to fit Japan and the Japanese mindset… But that’s another story for another time.
In Japan, the online auction market is totally and completely dominated by Yahoo Auctions.
Over at E-Bay, the starting bid for Greece was $1500.00 (USD) but Japan is far and away a bigger, better and more prosperous country than Greece so the price is a bit heftier but well worth the starting bid of about $35,000 (USD).
Check out the Yahoo Japan Auction page for the Wonderful Asian Paradise Auction! Japan!:
click on image for larger view:
Three days left and no bids?! Weird, eh?
There is, though, one tiny-weeny catch though… Beware the fine print! The lucky purchaser also receives the wonderful responsibility of taking over Japan’s public debt of ¥1 quadrillion yen.
I’m sure the auctioneer might be guilty of mis-stating the debt on the graphic so let me explain for you:
¥1 quadrillion is a one followed by 15 zeros: ¥1,000,000,000,000,000
In US dollars that would be about ¥12,000,000,000,000. In mere mortal terms that’s 12 trillion dollars.
Will you be paying by cash, credit card or Paypal?
Apologies to Zerohedge