Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Drinking Water at Japanese Zen Retreat Japan
In May, 2004 (Japan [Heisei] Year 16) I travelled throughout a large part of Japan and thoroughly enjoyed it! Since hen, I've been back for additional visits and always look forward to it! The Japanese people are respectful, orderly, industrious and have a long history of dignified and proud traditions - I am grateful I've been able to experience so much of their country!





Note: Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Japanese people after the 03-11-2011
earthquake and Tsunami that created a radiation problem northeast of Tokyo...


(Click on any of these 70+ "Thumbnail" images for a larger view)
[Please move your cursor over any of these thumnail images for a brief descritpion]


Shinkansen (Bullet Train), Cars and Regular Trains:

The various Shinkansen we were on made it up to 180 mph!! [The faster
ones reach 240 mph but are a bit more expensive] We also rode "regular"
trains, buses, subways and anything else that's of mass transit in Japan.
Their transportation system is clean, efficient, and reliable - certainly
a model for the rest of the world!
Bullet Train and Us - May, 2004
Bullet Train Coming In - May, 2004
Bullet Train Moving - May, 2004
BUllet Train Moving Out - May, 2004
Bullet Train Parked - May, 2004
Bullet Train Front Moving - May, 2004
Early Mazada in Japan - May, 2004
Parking is Expensive in Tokyo - May, 2004
Roger loves Japanese Cars!! - May, 2004
Dining on a Japanese Train - May, 2004
Reading on the Train - May, 2004
Our Guide Gives us the Thumbs Up on a Japanese Train! - May, 2004
Gassing Up - May, 2004
Zero Deaths at This Intersection - May, 2004





The best part of any travel!
Young students, studying English, were especially fond of practicing their lessons with us. A lot of older folks approached us as well. There was the man in a small Tokyo restaurant who simply wanted to tell us he was for peace. In Hiroshima, two elderly women, practitioners of Shintoism (Japan's only indigenous religion), prayed over us (with our permission) for peace...

Japanese Students Loved Practing Their English With Us! - May, 2004
Japanese Students Loved Practing Their English With Us! - May, 2004
Japanese Students Loved Practing Their English With Us! - May, 2004
Japanese Students Loved Practing Their English With Us! - May, 2004
Japanese Artist on the Philosophers Walk - May, 2004
Please Reapeat Your Order - May, 2004
Please, No Meat for My Parents - May, 2004
Open Air Market - May, 2004
Taking a Picture - May, 2004
Philosopers Walk - May, 2004




Hiroshima - City of Peace:

Ever since the nuclear test treaties of the 1960s the Mayor of Hiroshima has submitted a protest letter to whoever the offending government was that authorized such a test. There were well over 100 of these letters on display in Hiroshima, the most recent of which was sent to President Bush for a test that took place in the Nevada desert while were still on our visit in Japan. As I mentioned above, two Japanese ladies asked our permission to pray for peace over us - we heartily agreed and were very moved by the experience...

Hiroshima Peace Watch Tower - How many days since the first bomb was dropped and how many days since the last nuclear bomb test??
A-Bomb Dome - May, 2004
A-Bomb Dome - The only surviving 
structure near Zero - May, 2004
Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome Memorial - This Building was about 1,500 feet below the A-Bome air blast - May, 2004
Hiroshima Bell of Peace - May, 2004
Model of A-Bomb Explosion Over Hioshima - The blast took place over 1,500 feet above the city - May, 2004
Hiroshima Mayor's Nuclear Protest Letter to George Bush dated May 27, 2004 - The nuclear test had taken place in the Nevada desert just the day before... - May, 2004
Hiroshima Mayors' Nuclear Protest Letters - well over 100 of these since the campaign started after the test ban treaty of 1968 - May, 2004
Memorial at Hiroshima for the A-Bomb Dome near Ground Zero - May, 2004
America dropped the A-Bome over Hiroshima Without Warning yet had warned the country prior previous conventional raids - May, 2004
Hiroshima Museum Protests America's Most Recent Nuclear Test (May 2004)
Melted materials from the Hiroshima A-Bomb blast - May, 2004
Melted roof tiles from the Hiroshima A-Bomb blast - May, 2004
Hiroshima peace cigarettes - May, 2004
Albert Einstein pleaded With the U.S. government to create the Atomic Bomb before the Germans did... - May, 2004

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for the Hiroshima Peace Declaration

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my own no nukes page...

Robert McNamera:

"Proportionality should be a guideline to war.

"Killing 50 to 90 percent of the people of 67 Japanese cities and then bombing them with two nuclear bombs is not proportional, in the minds of some people, to the objectives we were trying to achieve.

"I don't fault Truman for dropping the nuclear bomb. The US/Japanese war was one of the most brutal wars in all human history.

"What one can criticize is that the human race prior to that time, and today, has not really grappled with what are, I'll call it the rules of war. Was there a rule, then that said, you shouldn't bomb, shouldn't kill, shouldn't burn to death one hundred thousand civilians in a night?

"Lemay [General Curtis Emerson Lemay] said if we had lost the war we would have all been prosecuted as war criminals and I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. That Lemay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral, if his side had lost, but what makes it immoral if you lose or if you win?"

Former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara
from the 2004 Errol Morris film documentary, The Fog of War
"Lesson #5: Proportionality should be a guideline in war"
(transcribed by me and Tami)





Food is always an interesting part of travel. Whenever we're away from home we always try to sample some of the local fare and are almost never disappointed! Something I forgot to photograph, while in Japan, was Nattou. Nattou, a very traditional Japanese food, is fermented soybeans. Our happy little group fondly referred to them as "sticky beans" since long, cheese-like strands of an unidentified substance allowed the beans to stick to each other, our chop sticks, bowls, lips, and everything else! Apparently (according to the Internet - and you know how reliable that is...) there's a fungus or something, in the beans, that prevents them from growing bad forms of bacteria that could hurt us. No worries, since the only one really eating a lot of Nattou was RVW and he's had numerous years to get used to 'em - he eats them every day for breakfast!!!

Airplane Food on the Way to Japan - May, 2004
Grocery Store Sea Food - May, 2004
Blendy and a Banana in a Bag - May, 2004
Big Lunch - May, 2004
Noodles - May, 2004
Small Lunch - May, 2004


Soft drinks:

In addition to the "Blendy," noted above, Japan has a huge variety of soft drinks and very modern vending machines to diespense them with. In 2004, while we were there, you could pay for your drink machine selection with your cell phone - something that hadn't even caught on in America or the other places I've been at around the world. Anyway, here is a small sampling of some pretty common drinks you can buy around Japan if you're needing a little taste of home...

Japanese Soft drinks - May, 2004
Japanese Soft drinks - May, 2004
Japanese Soft drinks - May, 2004
Japanese Soft drinks - May, 2004
Japanese Soft drinks - May, 2004
Japanese Soft drinks - May, 2004
Bottled Water Translation:
We used to live in Hawaii so the bottle featured in #'s 49 and 50 was of special
interest. My son is fluent in Japanese and provided this translation for the label:
"Hawaii, Kailuah, Kona - Deep Ocean Water 250"

"Hawaiian Deep Ocean Water" is said to slowly travel the earth at depths of around 5000m as the eons pile one on top of another. This deep water has quietly continued to circulate the earth and is loaded with magnezium which essential to human health. It is "a gift from the ocean depths." The water has traveled from the northern atlantic ocean, to the pacific ocean where it is drawn up from the deep see off of hawaii and named "Kailuah, Kona Deep Ocean Water." Hawaii, with its clean air and water, is still an island where this mysterious deep ocean water is born and even the worlds natural scientists have taken notice.

title: Mauna Keia
island shape :kona
pipe looking thing: suction pipe
current looking thing : deep water

below picture:
Usage information : After opening refrigerate and please drink before the expiration date


Hard drinks:

Sake - May, 2004
52. I believe I bought this bottle of Sake out of a vending machine but don't recall for sure right now...

Sake is a Japanese word that generally means "alcoholic beverage." In English, Sake is known as a specific alcoholic beverage brewed mainly from rice - known in Japan as nihonshu. The history of sake is little vague with a number of different theories on how it was discovered. One theory suggests that the brewing of rice first started in China, along the Yangtze River around 4800 BC and was subsequently exported to Japan. Another theory traces sake brewing back to 3rd century Japan with the advent of wet rice cultivation.

Water and rice lying around together would have resulted in mold and fermentation. The first sake was called kuchikami no sake ("chewing-in-the-mouth sake") and was made by people chewing rice, chestnuts, millet, acorn and spitting the mixture into a tub. The enzymes from the saliva allowed the starches to saccharify (convert to sugar). This sweet mixture was combined with cooked grain and allowed to ferment. This early form of sake was low in alcohol content and probably consumed like porridge. A similar method was used by American native for the creation of cauim and pulgue. 14th Century BC inscriptions suggest that Chinese millet wine, xiao mi jiu, was made the same way. Hundreds of years later, chewing became unnecessary with the discovery of a mold (koji-kin - Aspergillus oryzae) whoe enzymes convert the starch inside of rice into sugar - also used to make miso, amazake, natto and soy sauce. Later advancements with yeast and other techniques rendered the chewing unnecessary as the rice was fermented with even higher amounts of alcohol as the result...




Pagodas, ZEN retreat, and Miscellanea:

As you can see in #53, below, it seems like wherever we go in the world we run into something named after our home state of Colorado! In #53 we were told to rub Buddha on a corrseponding body part, where we, ourselves, are hurting, and we'll be healed! The remaining photos, as you can see, feature us sleeping on the floor and visiting a Zen retreat.

Colorado Coffee Shop - Our Home Away From Home!! - May, 2004
Pagoda - May, 2004
Small Alter - May, 2004
Health Buddha - Rub Him Where You Hurt! - May, 2004
Sleeping on the floor in a Japanese style hotel - May, 2004
One of Our Hotel Room Tables - May, 2004
Bridge at Zen Retreat - May, 2004
Rock Garden at Zen Retreat - May, 2004
Pond at Zen Retreat - May, 2004
Japanese Building in a Forest - May, 2004
Japanese Roof in a Forest - May, 2004
We Went to a Japanese Beach at Beppu - May, 2004




Kamioka Liquid scintillator Anti-Neutrino Detector)
(Located near the city of Toyama, in the center of the main island Honshu)

RVW took us on this fantastic tour of KamLAND, a Neutrino detector a kilometer or two inside a Japanese zinc mine. We took a jeep ride into the bowels of the mine and then hopped out to get a close-up view the detector and the experiment KamLAND is engaged in (They were the first to measure the mass of a Neutrino, among other accomplishments). Click Here for KamLAND's homepage...

Cherenkov Radiation Demonstration by RAW - May, 2004
KamLAND Visitors Must Be Properly Dressed! - May, 2004
KamLAND Ladder - May, 2004
KamLAND Pipes - May, 2004
Your Humble Webmaster Leans on Some Stainless Stuff at KamLAND - May, 2004
Detector Viewed From the Side - May, 2004
Back of a Detector - May, 2004
Control Panel at KamLAND - May, 2004
KamLAND Digital Display - May, 2004
KamLAND Data Labratory - May, 2004

Click Here for Japanese mountain Video Cams.
"a05" is Higashi Mozumi - the location of the KamLAND office
"a06" is Do, the town closest to the mine

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for more on physics...




Snow Monkeys
of Jigokudani Yaenkoen

In early March, 2006 Roger was back in Japan conducting his physics work. While there, he took time out on a Friday morning (Thursday evening Colorado time...) to visit the aforementioned snow monkeys. Luckily there's a live cam, on site, that captures a fresh image every three minutes. The collection below are some of the images I was able to capture live that evening:
Don't forget to click on any thumbnail image for a larger view!
Roger and Duke University Friends Visit the Snow Monkeys - 03-03-2006 Roger and Duke University Friends Visit the Snow Monkeys - 03-03-2006 Roger and Duke University Friends Visit the Snow Monkeys - 03-03-2006 Roger and Duke University Friends Visit the Snow Monkeys - 03-03-2006 Roger and Duke University Friends Visit the Snow Monkeys - 03-03-2006 Roger and Duke University Friends Visit the Snow Monkeys - 03-03-2006

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for live views from the Monkey cam!




Japanese Tidbits:






Farley Mowat Chasing Oriental Bluebird - 01-09-2006 Despite our fantastic experiences in Japan their insistence (and that of other nations) on whaling remains unconscionable. These huge, gentle creatures don't need to be hunted for "science" or any other reason!

In this particular photo, Captain Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society) ordered the Japanese-owned Panamanian ship Oriental Bluebird to leave the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary. The Japanese supply ship was waiting to rendezvous with the Nisshin Maru to continue the off-loading of whale meat for transport back to Japan. (January 2006)


Whaling matters to some places in Japan,
but is hardly a national tradition

"Whaling shapes the way a handful of [Japanese] communities such as Taiji and Wada see themselves, but right-wing politicians from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) claim that restrictions on it are an attack on Japan's national identity. This is overdoing things. The boom in consupion came only with the American occupation after the second world war, when whale meat was a cheap source of protein for a malnourished country. That hastened the collapse in whale stocks..."
- The Economist
July 14th - 20th 2007, p. 44





  1. Aconcagua
  2. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  3. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  4. Amazonia
  5. Antarctica
  6. Argentina and Brazil
  7. Australia Main Page
  8. Australia Two Page
  9. Asahi Shimbun Japanese newspaper
  10. Africa (Kilimanjaro and Point Lenana)
  11. Bolivia
  12. Bullet Train
  13. China by me
  14. CIA World Factbook on Japan
  15. Ecuador
  16. France
  17. Hawai'i (There was a strong Japanese influence when I lived there in the mid 70s)
  18. India
  19. Ireland
  20. Japanese Name Translator - (katakana syllabary) Philip Ronan
  1. Japanese Name Translator - Takase Studios
  2. Kanji Dictionary by Jim Breen
  3. Mexico
  4. Mount Fuji - very tired hikers by RVW
  5. New Zealand
  6. No Nukes - More info on why nuclear weapons and energy are bad ideas
  7. Science Stuff - More info on KamLAND, Neutrinos and all kinds of Physics stuff...
  8. PSSI - Puget Sound Sumi Artists
  9. RFA - Radio Free Asia
  10. Russia
  11. San Francisco
  12. Silk Road by me
  13. Snow Monkeys - Japanese Web Cam
  14. Sushi Video - Japan Culture Lab (Humor)
  15. Southeast Asia
  16. Tibet by me
  17. Travel and Travel Two
  18. United Kingdom - England
  19. United Kingdom - Wales and Scotland
  20. Waypoints




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