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Tokyo Flyover

Flyover video of the Tokyo metropolitan area (circa 2004).

Note: Excel Air offers helicopter cruising tours like this over the city. They operate out of the Urayasu Heliport near the Tokyo Disney Resort.

Date: 2012-04-15 04:35:06 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
Rikuzentakata - Kibou no Ippon-matsu

Rikuzentakata's Kibou no Ippon-matsu, or One Pine Tree of Hope, was the sole standing 200 year old pine out of the 70,000 that once made up the Takata-Matsubara (高田松原) forest.  The fact that this single tree remained standing gave many people hope for the future.  Much effort went into trying to save the tree but as of late 2011, arborists determined that the salt water damage to the roots was too great.  The land had subsided in the area after the quake and the tree resides only 5 metres from an already eroded coast line.  The continued saturation of the roots in salt water was basically poisoning the tree to a slow death.  As a result, the valiant effort to save the tree was abandoned.  Months earlier though, grafts from the pine had been taken with the purpose of producing many seedlings which will be planted in the future.  The pine tree is no longer producing any resin (it is drying out), it's needles have turned brown, and any pine cones are discolored.

This video is dedicated to this single pine tree and the people of Tohoku Japan.

Date: 2012-03-22 18:49:10 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
300 Series Shinkansen Last Run - Arigato and Sayonara

March 16, 2012 was the final day of operations for the 300 series Shinkansen. This rolling stock made its debut in 1992 and operated on both the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines. Initially, the 300 series was utilized for the fastest Nozomi service, but were later repurposed to the slower but more highly utilized Hikari and Kodama services when newer train series were unveiled (500, 700 and N700).

As a result, the 300 series became a venerable workhorse during its 20 years of operation. Most sets were pulled back in February but a few specially tagged trains ran until March 16th. Those trains sported a special graphic on both its nose and on the side just to the front of the cabin door; Shinkansen Series 300 ありがとう Last Run 2012.3.16

This is a compilation of those final runs. As someone who personally put a lot of mileage on this series, thank you and goodbye old friend!

Date: 2012-03-20 05:24:53 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
(2011.08.01) ZONE - secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ and Yakusoku
ZONE (Maiko, Miyu, and Tomoka) appeared on the August 1, 2011 broadcast of Coming Soon! performing secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ and Yakusoku.  This promotional appearance leads up to the release of a ZONE tribute album on August 10th, and a pair of special lives on August 14 and 15 at Akasaka BLITZ.  Mizuho left the entertainment business and will not be participating in these events.  The reunion of the other three is a fulfillment of a promise made in the lyrics of their song, "secret base ~君がくれたもの~", which states the belief in meeting again 10 years later in August.  The song was released on August 8, 2001.  After the Tohoku earthquake, the girls were wondering if there was something they could do.  The power of music has shown to be a great way to lift the spirits of people; this gives their reuniting a special meaning and purpose.
The group was initially a dance group formed in 1997 and comprised of 8 girls from Studio RunTime (RunTime Music Entertainment), which is a Sapporo based talent and management agency.  The members were reduced to 6 and then eventually to  4 members when they made their official debut in 1999; Miyu Nagase (guitar & vocals), Takayo Ookoshi (guitar & vocals), Maiko Sakae (bass & vocals), and Mizuho Saito (drums & vocals).  After Takayo announced her departure in 2003 to concentrate on school, Tomoka Nishimura (originally one of the 6th members who was supposedly cut due to her height difference at the time) replaced Takayo and at least for me, became a favorite.
The "bandol" group were quite successful releasing numerous hit singles and even had their variety show.  In early 2005, Mizuho announced she would be leaving the group (actually, she made the decision to completely leave the entertainment business to focus on hotel management).  The other 3 members decided not to replace Mizuho and also decided not to continue as a 3-piece unit; they decided to disband (at the top of their game) and held their final concert on April 1, 2005, at the Nippon Budokan.
Date: 2011-08-04 06:23:53 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
Efforts underway to save Rikuzentakata's Pine Tree of Hope

4 months after the March 11th disaster, efforts are underway to save the only pine tree which remained standing in Rikuzentakata's Takata Matsubara (which before the tsunami, was a 2km beach lined with tens of thousands of pine trees).

Date: 2011-07-10 19:53:01 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
Time lapse views of Mt Fuji

Time lapse video of Mt Fuji from various vantage points.

Date: 2011-07-04 02:42:47 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
Panoramic views boost readiness

A special camera is used to capture imagery from the tsunami devastated town of Otsuchi.  The resulting videos are edited together for projection onto a planetarium-like dome where it gives the viewer a better sense of the scope of the disaster.  The message that is being conveyed is that people need to head for high ground as soon as possible. 

Date: 2011-06-14 15:57:35 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
High-tech rebuilding maps

This is a new graphical mapping system which will be utilized for post-disaster reconstruction.  The system makes use of 360 degree composite video footage

Date: 2011-06-14 01:02:34 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
Letting go

Three months since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami may be too short of a period for people to begin carrying on after losing family members to the disaster.  Many are trying to figure out how to deal with their grief.  One of them is Mika Sato; she has been searching the rubble for memories of her daughters short life.

Date: 2011-06-14 00:25:24 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
3 months on - A dream that didn't die

A nursing school in Ishinomaki holds its entrance ceremony which had been previously cancelled due to the March 11th disaster.  One of the new students, Asuka Suzuki, received her admission letter on March 11, 4 hours before the earthquake hit.  She had always wanted to be a nurse since kindergarten and went to see her grandmother to tell her the news.  The grandmother who had always encouraged Asuka was thrilled to hear about this.  While the two were talking, the earthquake struck.  Her grandmother said she would be fine and suggested that Asuka should head back home.  Soon though, the tsunami hit the area including her grandmothers home.

Date: 2011-06-13 23:57:18 - Added by: Nippon Sekai
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