They call it “Marine Air” because you have to swim to get there

I speak, of course, about Kobe Airport, the latest boondoggle in Osaka Bay. I was in the area this weekend and I decided I would hop over for a visit on Sunday.

What a mistake. Continue reading They call it “Marine Air” because you have to swim to get there

Kobe Airport opens, but far more wackiness might be in store

Kobe Airport, the third passenger airport in the Kansai region, opened just a couple of hours ago. So what’s next? How about a tunnel from Kobe to Kansai?

The “Cross-Osaka Bay Railroad” is envisioned to connect JR Shin-Kobe Station and Kansai Airport via Kobe Airport in 30 minutes, using linear motor cars over the total distance of 36 km. The Kobe Airport-Kansai Airport run will take only 17 min. The cost of the tunnel is expected to be 530 billion yen.

Apparently, this was one of those crazy bubble-era ideas that fell apart after the Kobe earthquake of 1995 and the stagnant traffic numbers at Kansai in the late 90’s. But now, authorities are saying that if traffic at Kansai picks up, the airport may have to go international-only, and this project might be needed to keep a steady flow of passengers between domestic and international flights. Hyogo Prefecture seems to be warming to the idea, but Kobe City and Kansai Airport (perhaps fortunately) think it’s pretty ridiculous.

Job opportunity for readers in Japan

I subscribe to the Gaijinpot mailing list just in case something interesting ever comes up amidst the sea of eikaiwa jobs, and today something finally did. If anyone reading these actually applies for the job, please send me some stories.

Working Hour: 10:00~18:15

Business detail All of business of
Airport Mourning-coach Service relating to a corpse and ashes of the Japanese who passed away in foreign country repatriated by air transportation.

All of business of Airport Mourning-coach Service relating to a corpse and ashes of the foreigner who passed away in Japan repatriated by air transportation.

All consultancy business and carrying out of sanctions business about superscription.

Line of business Operation service
Entry service
Departure service
Casketing service
Restorative and make up service
Documentation service
Vicarious execution service for registration
Mourning coach service
Consultation service of the farewell service for
Sale of a funerals-and-festivals article

  • Company Introduction
  • We respond with your urgent calls…
  • 24 hours 365 days.

    When a Japanese passed away abroad.
    Operating procedures when a corpse enters Japan.
    Handling of demise documents issued in foreign country.
    Changed from a foreign coffin to a coffin of Japanese standard.
    A corpse is transported from arrival Airport to destination in a land route and an air route.
    We make the supplementary document which is necessary for demise entry.
    We contact a government office to register demise with and help you.

    We can offer total service that enshrine their corpse and ashes returning to their home from arrival Airport.

    When foreigner passed away in Japan.
    When foreigner passed away in Japan, it is difficult to file for documents based on laws and ordinances.
    Therefore so early as possible, we can repatriate their corpse or ashes to their family by conforming to laws and ordinances and international standard in accumulated know-how.

    We can offer total service to repatriate a corpse and ashes of foreigner from the locus which passed away in Japan to airport of the mother country.

  • TSA to Offer Shorter Lines if You Bare it All for them: MF Has a Suggestion

    The TSA (Transportation Security Agency or as some people call them “Thugs Standing Around”) has officially announced its Registered Traveler Program:

    New travel plan would require in-depth checks

    Beyond shorter lines for airline passengers, benefits are vague.

    WASHINGTON – The government is asking airline travelers to give up potentially a huge amount of personal information for what, at this point at least, could be little more than shorter waits at airport security checkpoints.

    The Transportation Security Administration announced details of the Registered Traveler Program on Friday, but officials said the benefits for travelers were still being worked out and might not include an exemption from security searches.

    Under the voluntary program, which begins in June, travelers would have to submit fingerprints and allow officials to conduct in-depth background checks, including in some cases providing access to personal and financial histories, to prove they aren’t terrorists.

    No incentive, you say? Why not integrate this new background check with the government’s security clearance process? If I could put government clearance on my resume without actually having to work for the government, that would be more than enough reason to give up my personal information.


    Down with the airport security overlords!

    One of Marmot’s recent posts confirmed that the Transport Security Administration (TSA, also rumored to be an abbreviation for “Thugs Standing Around“) is the biggest waste of money and time since the lawyer was invented. I would make an argument about how none of our airport security procedures would be sufficient to stop a terrorist attack on an airplane, but it’s more fun to point out random gripes from across teh intarweb:

    1. There are too many of them where they aren’t needed.
    2. They have a ridiculous no-fly list that appears to be based on Arabic names.
    3. They piss off foreign government officials who return to their countries determined to undermine American foreign policy.
    4. They lead to wives taking the fall for their husbands and penises taking the fall for their owners.
    5. They are cruel to robots and people traveling on a different airline each way (I can confirm this personally).
    6. They can’t decide whether shoes are optional or not, but they make you take your shoes off anyway.
    7. Besides nail clippers, they also take away bowling pins and thongs.
    8. Even though they inexplicably force you to show your boarding pass twice, people can STILL get onto planes without tickets.
    9. For an agency designed to thwart terrorists, they have a funny way of involving themselves in the War on Drugs.
    10. And half of these procedures can be avoided completely if you have money.

    Oh yes… there’s now a mobile phone game where you win by beating TSA security at every major airport in the US. Fun times.

    Granted, they aren’t quite as dastardly as Japanese Customs

    Another airport in Tokyo?

    Narita has expanded as far as it can go. Haneda, already the busiest airport in Asia, can’t go anywhere but further into the bay. Tokyo will eventually need a third airport, or so we’re told.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, with Ishihara’s personal blessing, wants to use Yokota Air Base, a U.S. Air Force base in west Tokyo, for civilian flights. That seems somewhat unlikely now, since the base is going to have expanded duty as the Air Self-Defense Force’s command center (protests be damned), on top of its existing role as headquarters for U.S. forces in Japan.

    The other option is to build offshore. Several sites have already been proposed, most of them in Tokyo Bay, except for one site off of the Kujukuri Beach on the Pacific coast of Chiba (obviously a bad idea; spoil a nice beach with an airport that’s even farther from Tokyo than Narita?!).

    Is the third airport really necessary? After all, Narita just had to cut its landing fees to stay competitive. I think it all has to do with the fact that the Kansai region will have three airports as of next February. Ishihara just doesn’t want his half of Japan to fall behind.

    London has five airports and is getting along just fine. That doesn’t mean that more is necessarily better. Berlin is in transition from three airports to just one. Maybe Tokyo will someday admit that Narita was a dumb idea, and run all of its flights from a humongous future version of Haneda, acres and acres of concrete sprawling out into the bay.