In March of 2015, I spent several weeks traveling around Japan.  The goal of the trip was to visit several sites that my Dad was stationed at in the military.  We were able to find and explore both these sites, Fuchu Station and Camp Drake.  Fuchu is still an active Japanese military base and many of the places where my Father was are currently abandoned.  Camp Drake was an abandoned fenced in, overgrown lot.  The rest of the area had been deveoloped and was unrecognizable, as one would imagine with the passing of fifty years. 

We also explored Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Osaka, and Kyoto.  The history and culture of Japan are certainly impressive in their own right, but the most moving experience was visiting the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki.  It was an experience like none other and easily renders a person to tears.  My hope had been to attempt a winter ascent on Mt. Fuji, but the weather never cooperated, so it was not meant to be.  Overall, Japan was a fantastic trip and good time spent with family. 


The streets in Tokyo, in particular the electronics district, are packed, even at night.

The numbers of people in Japan is startling, everywhere you go.

Telecom and power wires in the Gion District in Kyoto is chaotic, to say the least..

Tokyo Tower.

Samuri at the Osaka Castle.

Old temples and new city in Kyoto.

Hiroshima hypocenter is the arch, with the famous Dome in the background.  Surrounded by scaffolding for a remodel.

Papercranes made by children from all over the world at the Hiroshima nuclear bomb site. It is said if you fold a thousand paper cranes that you will be granted one wish.  Sadako Sasaki, who eventually died from radiation from the blast started the current tradition with the wish to have a world without nuclear weapons. 


Family Henkels at Nagasaki atomic bomb hypocenter. One of the most moving places I've ever been. 

Thousands and thousands of paper cranes from children all over the world are on display in Nagasaki and Hirsoshima.

My Dad, Pete, on the strip at Fuchu Station, 50 years after he was stationed there.

Abandoned building at Fuchu Station.


At the entrance to Fuchu Station, 50 years later, it's still the same.

Old signs from the US Army occupation days when my Dad was stationed at Fuchu.

Abandoned barracks at Fuchu.



Traditional Geisha dance performance.

Strolling in the park in a traditional kimono.


Spring training baseball in Tokyo.



Sake barrels

Advertising runs rampant in Japan.

Springtime in Japan and the blossoms are out.




The Gion District in Kyoto has a wealth of temples.