Tag Archives: Tokyo

NEWS: Collapse of Road Tunnel Leading to Mt. Fuji. Nine Dead.

Japan Road Tunnel Collapse


Rescue teams in central Japan are still trying to reach several missing people after the collapse of a major road tunnel.

Police say five people were killed and a number of cars remain trapped in the nearly five-kilometre long Sasago tunnel.

The structure was built into hills leading to Mount Fuji, about 80 kilometres west of Tokyo.

CCTV images showed the collapse of several ceiling panels along a roughly 60 metre stretch of the road.

Drivers described narrow escapes from falling debris, and a long walk through the darkness after abandoning their cars.

“At one point I realised that my car was in split in two and there weren’t any other vehicles behind me,” said one woman.

Smoke was seen billowing from the tunnel, thought to have been caused by at least one car catching fire.

There has been no word yet on why the structure, which opened in 1977, suddenly collapsed.

Officials say there was no earthquake in the area this morning.

Source: euronews

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2012 Centennial of Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC


By T. V. Antony Raj


The year 2012 is a once in a lifetime centennial celebration year to commemorate the gift of 3,020 cherry blossom trees from the people of Japan to the people of the United States.

A century ago, a world-famous chemist and first president of Daiichi Sankyo Co, Ltd, Dr. Jokichi Takamine, played a pivotal role in arranging the gift of trees from the City of Tokyo to Washington, DC.

On March 27, 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City donated the trees to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and to celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations.

First Lady Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin. These two original trees are still standing today near the John Paul Jones statue at the south end of 17th Street. Workmen planted the rest of the trees around the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park. Even after a century the trees have spread their roots and survived the elements, and have withstood the test of time.


This year the centennial celebration of the gift of trees will be celebrated from  March 20 – April 27, 2012, in Washington, DC.

On March 23, 2012, my wife and I were in Washington, DC. We felt blessed to be in US during this centennial of the gift of trees. I took countless photographs that day.

Here I have embedded a video that I created using my photos. It was an unforgettable evening that we spent surrounded by cherry blossom. The music playing in the background is one that I enjoy listening without tiring – Carlos Santana’s ever green “Flor D’Luna (Moonflower)“.