Tornadoes in Japan

I saw the news this morning and it looked just like something from my hometown – an evil looking sky with a swirling tornado in it, bearing down on the countryside. Smashed sheds, upside-down farm equipment, twisted trees and electrical poles lying horizontally on the ground. It looked like springtime in Missouri.

It turns out that on Sunday afternoon, twisters ripped through Ibaraki Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture. One hit the town of Tsukuba where a friend of mine used to live. One 14-year-old was killed and about 40 people were injured, with lots of houses destroyed and other damage. Continue reading

Kansai

The Kansai region of Japan is known as a colorful place; not just the scenery, but the people too.  Kansai people are known to be talkative and outgoing, unlike the more reserved people in Kanto or the more remote areas of Japan.  Most of Japan’s comedy talent come from Kansai, and Kansai speakers have a distinctive dialect called “Kansai-ben.”

Kansai is on the southern part of Honshu, just across the mountains from the Kanto region where you find Tokyo and Yokohama.  There are three cities in Kansai which are major attractions:  Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe.
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