There is no report from yesterday, because nothing happened. It sat in busses and trains all the day, or I waited at stations. And all why I enjoyed the onsen after breakfast until 11am and therefore missed the only good connection to Tokyo. At the museum at the Kusatsu bus station I learn something about this place: The water here has a ph level of 2.4. Wow. That is acid. A steel nail dissolves within 18 days, completely. Even concrete is getting erode within days. There are over 100 springs that produces 9.800 gallon/minute of water. The heat power is 1700 million calories per hour. And the european doctor who studied the medical effects of the water was from Germany, from Bietigheim-Bissingen. There is the connection. By the way … I met the the girl from the Izakaya in the train. That wasn’t planned at all. She is also going to Tokyo. But she already had plans for the evening. So I spent the the end of the day in Ueno.
TODAY is the Dezome Shiki. The alarm clock goes off at 7am. Subway at 7:30am. I arrive Tokyo Big Sight at 8:25am. Wow. I took me one hour. Are run thru the hallways. I ask for direction and mention that I have an invitation. The answer: “You are Mr. Boller from Germany? Welcome.”. This I didn’t expected. My seat is on the western side of the VIP area. The third row from the top. I have a perfect view. Next to me are sitting some guy from the austrian embassy and on the other side the chief of the special forces of the Hong Kong police.
The official part begins. Greetings and and some standard talk. Now the vize prime minister of Japan is talking. The flag is hoisted, the national anthem is played. The cadets of the fire fighter academy are marching in perfect formation. IMpressive but a little bit to much military style for a fire department. The speaker (I have a head set with an english translation) says, that marching is trained to raise team spirit and learn to act as a unit. ok.
Sveral different units are marching by. Then the parade of the fire trucks starts. They really have some cute little cars and also big high tech trucks. Maybe I write more details in a different blog. Just this: They have a “Super Pumper” that provides easily 1000 gallons/minute by using 6″ hoses.
In the backgroud the fire fighter boats are going into their position and start to produce big fountains of water. 5 helicopter are approaching in formation and flying deep over our heads. This is an every-goes-show.
Next point on the agende is a big exercise; more precise: there are 4 exercises at once. An earthquake related car accident, a burning tall building, a haz mat incident and a rescue from high altitude. The diffrent events start with a delay of approximately 60 seconds. Fire trucks are driven arounf constantly with their sirene on. 50 trucks in total. The helicopters are back. Fire fighter rope down. Injured victims are reeled in. The fire at the haz mat is getting bigger. The haz mat team arrives. The earthquake situation is getting worse. Many rescue teams are working parallel. I don’t know where to look first. Now two automatic water cannons taking care of the haz mat fire.
The show is closed by 10 ladders that roll out a big banner and festoons. The flag is reeled in. What a show. And I watched everything from the VIP section. I walk back into the fair hall. Here trucks and equipment is presented. I skip the technical details. They have an earthquake simulator, games for children, a.s.o. The music corps is playing a concert.