Category Archives: Disasters

From Sendai to St Ives North

I have been a volunteer fire fighter here in Australia for 37 years. For the last 9 years I have worked for the NSW Rural Fire Service. Around 5 years ago by chance I became involved in disaster resilience education … Continue reading

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More to explore in Tohoku, this time in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture

The Tohoku region north-east of Tokyo may not at the top of the visitor list, but it should be. Spectacular scenery, coastal and mountain landscapes, large cities as well as very small villages, numerous places to walk and with many … Continue reading

Posted in Disasters, Iwate, People, Small Towns and Villages, Volunteer Guide | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

First hand account of Disaster Resilience education at work

I am in Japan again. Usually on one day I take some time to do ‘work’ around the management of disasters. This time I caught up with someone who I saw present at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk … Continue reading

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My Umbrella

The simple question from my work colleague was “where did I get my umbrella?” It might look like an ordinary, cheap looking, clear plastic, black ribbed and black handled umbrella. But that umbrella is a link to disaster, resilience, hope … Continue reading

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Miffy Cafe brings smiles in Kamaishi

Fair to say that I am not a fan of theme cafes. But the unmistakable line visage of Miffy adorning a cafe in far-off Kamaishi took Veronica and I back to those days some 30 years ago when Dick Bruna’s … Continue reading

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Remains of the Stay

Traveling brings with it an accumulation of momentary conversations and connections. Relationships that are never developed, and highly unlikely to be rekindled. Like a variant on Kazuo Ishiguro’s fantastic book The Remains of the Day. I smile to myself at … Continue reading

Posted in Akita, Disasters, Nagoya, People, Small Towns and Villages, Temples and Shrines, Tochigi, Volunteer Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No regrets, but next time ….

Being a single traveler has a particular advantage in flexibility it brings. However you are always on the outside, a 2 hour drop in to a place, a single seat at the izakaya buzzing with small work groups. For all … Continue reading

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All over bar the shouting. Links to WCDRR outcomes

Originally posted on Disaster Resilience Education in School:
The third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) is over, and officially it is being touted as a resounding success. I am pleased to have contributed in my own…

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2:46pm, March 11, at Kakunodate Fire Department

2:46pm today was the fourth anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. As I make my way lazily toward Sendai for the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) I wanted to take time out from my … Continue reading

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Return from self imposed exile. More travel awaits.

Its been a long time since my last post. Thanks for hanging in there, and bigger thanks to hundreds of you avid readers who urged me to return. And just at the right time! Exciting work, rest and play approaches … Continue reading

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The fraternity of fire fighters: Asakusa Fire Station

Saturday 12th May, 2012 I should not have been surprised that my volunteer translator was waiting in the foyer of the Toyoko Inn, Kuramae some 20 minutes before the arranged meeting time. Resplendant in a dark suit, and busily reading … Continue reading

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Fire Station 21, Matsumoto, Japan

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Matsumoto Fire Station #21 covers Uchida and Kotobukidai areas south-east of Matsumoto CBD where 2,646 households and 6,357 residents are there. This cross-cultural exchange had been arranged via Yuri at the Matsumoto City Government (see another post on Volunteer Guides). One of … Continue reading

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The expensive long weekend is over

Hey, what’s money anyway? I often say to family and friends when the prospect of me and/or Veronica travelling comes up in conversation – I don’t spend my money at the pub or on the pokies, travel is my 50’s … Continue reading

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Quiet streets of Shinagawa

I got away early from the Hostel and wandered around Kuramae and Asakusabashi for a while. I found a Cafe Veloce. Unfortunately not like the super cafe next to Kyoto JR Station, this one was a pale imitation. No latte! … Continue reading

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Leaving Japan earlier than planned

I finally got to K’s House Hostel in Kuramae about 9:00pm and after checking in, went looking for food and a telephone. I had bought a 1,000Y phone card at the Hostel which should get me about 20 minutes talk … Continue reading

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I could help if I really wanted to

I tend to shy away from aggressive situations, and have a particularly well developed disdain for violence, drunkenness and loutish behaviour. So how was I going to fit in with a bunch of rusted-on Sydney FC soccer fans? This question … Continue reading

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So you got to Tokyo. Why?

There are a myriad of thoughts as news broke and the ‘inconvenience’ this might cause to my holiday….its more than 250kms from Tokyo…very little damage in Tokyo…I wasn’t going to the affected area….I have spent a fair whack of money … Continue reading

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A necessary change of plans

The earthquake and tsunami north-east of Tokyo on Friday 11th March was breaking news as Veronica drove in to pick me up from work, to take me to Sydney Airport for QF21 leaving at 10:05pm. As Veronica rang with the … Continue reading

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