Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2015-12-18 Dallas to Japan

2015-12-18 Dallas to Japan

Click here to see the flight details and meals

Click here to see the flight details and meals

Landed in Haneda at 5:00AM

1st night SUN-20-DEC Tokyo
Tokyo Hilton
Day 1 click here

2nd night MON-21-DEC Tokyo
Tokyo Hilton
Day 2 click here

3rd night TUE-22-DEC Tokyo
Tokyo Hilton
Day 3 click here

4th night WED-23-DEC Hakone
The Prince Hotel
Wednesday is a national holiday as it is the Emperor's birthday.
Day 4 click here

5th night THU-24-DEC Hakone
The Prince Hotel
Day 5 click here

6th night FRI-25 Kyoto
Day 6 click here

7th night SAT-26 Kyoto
Day 7 click here

8th night SUN-27 Kyoto
Osaka Hilton

9th night MON-28 Osaka
Osaka Hilton

10th night TUE-29 Osaka
Osaka Hilton

11th night WED-30 Narita Airport
Hilton Narita


Japan Airlines JL 10 Narita Airport NRT to Chicago ORD 11:10AM-7:45AM
Flight back is also on a 777-300ER and we have first class seats again

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pearl Harbor

My Visit to Pearl Harbor 2013-12-07

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Millions of years ago, this is how all these islands formed and are still forming

Pearl Harbor

Planes of the first wave take off from the Japanese carriers—49 high-altitude bombers, 51 dive-bombers, 40 torpedo planes, 43 fighters. They fly through clouds, wondering if Pearl Harbor will be visible.

The second wave—35 fighters, 78 dive-bombers, and 54 high-altitude bombers—meets heavy antiaircraft fire.

This is a 3-D topographic map, the left side is west and is very dry and not green.  The right side faces east and is very green and very rainy.

These are mattresses rolled up to form protection

Look to the bottom left of the photo above.  The supply depot was not hit.  The repair yards were not hit.  Except for the Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma, every ship sunk or damaged on December 7 will sail again.

In the 44 months of war that will follow, the U.S. Navy will sink every one of the Japanese aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers in this strike force. And when Japan signs the surrender document on September 2, 1945, among the U.S. warships in Tokyo Bay will be a victim of the attack, the U.S.S. West Virginia.  You can see this in red above.  It had 6 torpedo hits, 2 bomb hits and was half sunk but was rebuilt.


This is an amazing picture showing the torpedo tracks

This was a special torpedo.  Pearl Harbor was too shallow for conventional torpedoes; they would've just dived in and stuck to the bottom of the ocean floor. So a few months before the attack, Japanese designers created finned torpedoes that could perform "a feat like that of an acrobat high-diving in shallow water."

By the fall of 1941, they had perfected the weapon. Now all they had to do was transport it to the American naval base. Japan's fleet of ships managed to stay undetected throughout the journey to Hawaii that began in November of 1941.

This is what was left of a Japanese torpedo

This is where the Arizona sank and the sailors are still in the ship under water after 74 years

We are standing on the white bridge and the ship is below us and the sailors are still in the ship

On December 7th, the sailors raise the flag, wait 2 minutes, lower it.  A new crew of sailors come a minute later, the new sailors raise the flag, wait 2 minutes, lower it.  A new crew... this happens all day on December 7th.

Oil is still leaking from the ship, they say these are the tears of the dead below

There were several warnings but they were dismissed in the famous quote "Well, don't worry about it."


Braving gales, high seas, and fog, the fleet took a far-northern course beyond range of island-based U.S. patrol planes, and remote from shipping lanes. Should an American merchantman be encountered, orders were explicit and ruthless--sink it on sight, before it could radio an alarm. As it turned out, however, a lone Japanese ship was the only one seen.

Brief History of Germany, Italy, and Japan

Japanese aggression

O'ahu was just a sleepy little town

A Day Which Will Live in Infamy

President Franklin D Roosevelt


Every December 7th

This is a very special ceremony.  I am so lucky I was on the boat that took me to the moment this was happening.  Blackened Canteen Ceremony, 11:30am, aboard USS Arizona Memorial. Public must arrive by 11am. Dr. Hiroya Sugano M.D., Director General of the Zero Fighter Admirers Club, will honor fallen Japanese and American soldiers with this ceremony, held annually since 1945. Two Army Air Force B-29s collided and crashed during a bombing raid over Shizuoka, Japan in June 1945. The event killed 23 Americans and over 2,000 Japanese. The canteen was pulled from the wreckage–the same canteen Dr. Sugano uses to pour whiskey into the waters of Pearl Harbor as a symbol of peace, honor, and reconciliation.

The whiskey is really the water of life.  For the Japanese, the highest honor is to pour whiskey, American whiskey, as a part of home. To pour it on the stone that's in Shizuoka and here at the USS Arizona Memorial, as it falls into the water it's a way of extending the hand of friendship, forgiveness and peace.


Kenneth DeHoff, executive director of Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and George Nottingham, WWII B-29 pilot will participate with Dr. Sugano in this commemoration ceremony.

Following the ceremony students from Nagaoka, Japan will meet with Pacific Aviation Museum Pear Harbor Executive Director Ken DeHoff and Dr. Sugano for a roundtable discussion at the Museum. The Japanese students, accompanied by a Nagaoka City representative, are participating in an educational and cultural exchange between Nagaoka City and Honolulu.

I cried the entire 2 hours I was out there.

I stood 2 feet from them


Although Pearl Harbor was a victory for the Japanese--a triumph of their technological prowess and their brutal military tactics--the war, of course, did not end well for them. Most of their battleships sunk by the time World War II came to a close. The attack's chief planner, Admiral Yamamoto, died in a plane that'd been shot down by U.S. airmen in 1943. Dictator Tojo, who ordered the attack, was hung as a war criminal in 1948.

Finally, Pearl Harbor was the Japanese warlords' fatal blunder in grand strategy. Its consequences doomed their scheme of conquest--and instead, for the first time, a conquering army trod the soil of Japan. Never in modern times, says historian Samuel Eliot Morison, has an aggressor begun a war with such a smashing victory, and never in all history has one paid for his calculated treachery so dearly.