JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - 1998 Winter Olympics
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JR Nagano Station festooned with Olympic logos.230 views
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Nagano Winter Olympics women's ice hockey match.228 views
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Postcard set (400 yen)192 views
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Aqua Wing ice hockey rink175 viewsMost of the women's ice hockey matches were held at a stadium called Aqua Wing which is actually an indoor swimming pool with a sliding roof. It seemed like we were in a huge oil drum cut in half.
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Nagano Winter Olympics women's ice hockey match.172 views
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Japan's goalie takes a break at Nagano Winter Olympics women's ice hockey match.172 viewsHer helmet is dotted with Print Club photo stickers.
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Yaesu underground mall: Speed skater outfits made by Mizuno153 viewsMizuno, an official sponsor, set up a nice Olympics exhibition in the Yaesu underground mall at Tokyo Station. There was a nice photo exhibit of past and current Winter Games and a souvenir shop as well. These three photos show part of Mizuno's exhibition.

A few speed skater outfits made by Mizuno. You may recognize the suits for China, Japan, and the USA.
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Entrance to Snowlets House at Olympic Plaza.143 viewsThe official store for Olympic souvenirs. There were a lot of ticket scalpers (all foreigners) hanging around the entrance. Inside, there was a ticket counter for events which still had seats.
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Nagano Shinkansen142 viewsThe Nagano shinkansen has a duckbill snout.
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Nagano Station, East Exit to Olympic Plaza134 viewsAt the East Exit of Nagano Station, this bridge, lined with advertising banners, led the way to the Olympic Plaza which featured ten tent pavilions made by official sponsors.
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Welcome sign at Nagano Station132 views
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126 viewsDuring the Olympics, the morning trains from Tokyo were always crowded. However, the last trains from Nagano to Tokyo were almost empty.
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The crowd behind me.123 views
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A US player scores and celebrates to the dismay of Japan.123 views
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Jamaica's bobsled team in Kodak Pavilion120 viewsThey introduced Jamaica's bobsled team. They are very popular in Japan, largely due to the comedy movie "Cool Running" which was aired in Japan before the Nagano Games started.
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Aqua Wing120 views
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The Nippon team huddles.120 viewsThe Nippon team huddle and psych themselves up before the start of the game.
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Kita Nagano Station119 viewsTo get to Aqua Wing, the ice hockey rink, we had to take a local train from Nagano Station for a short ride to the next stop at Kita Nagano Station. This Kita Nagano Station was a tiny little train station certainly not meant for large crowds. It was unbelievably small. It took some minutes before we could get out of the station which was not much larger than a normal living room. The door was also small, enough for only two people to get out at one time.
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My Japanese and American flags119 viewsI tacked the flags onto the glass and proudly displayed them in front of my seat behind the goal. That's what you do when you love both countries. Since I was sitting at rinkside behind the goal, the flags (and my face and camera) could be seen on the TV broadcast.

On the left of the photo, you can see the goal referee who was sitting in a glass box. She wrapped herself in a blanket. As you can expect, the place was not warm like a coffee shop.
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Kodak's Kodak-yellow pavilion118 viewsOn the day I went in, they introduced Jamaica's bobsled team. They are very popular in Japan, largely due to the comedy movie "Cool Running" which was aired in Japan before the Nagano Games started.
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Cheering section for Yuiko Satomi117 viewsCollege cheering section for Yuiko Satomi, a defense player for Japan.
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117 views
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Olympics auction hosted by Emi Watanabe (left), a former Olympic figure skater.116 views
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A four-man bobsled.116 views
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Start of game115 views
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Seat backs and ad stickers114 viewsThe train's seat backs had advertising stickers. When the Nagano Shinkansen reaches a terminal station (Tokyo and Nagano), the seats can turn around by itself? One thing less to do by the train's cleaning ladies.
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Banging the glass113 viewsI liked it when the puck slammed into the glass (BOOM!) in front of me. The protective glass, by the way, must have been at least an inch thick.
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Snowlets House111 viewsIt was packed. This is part of the checkout line. There were four checkout lines and each one was about 30 meters long. The line went pretty fast though. They had all kinds of souvenirs: T-shirts, sweatshirts, flags, postcards, pins, key chains, necklaces, stuffed Snowlets, mugs, and even jewelry. I went on the 6th day of the Games and it still had everything well in stock. But I later heard that the shelves were laid bare well before the Games ended.
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Game ends with USA scoring 10 goals and Japan zero.111 viewsThe final score was 10-0. Japan went on to lose all five of their matches and the US team went undefeated for the gold medal. The US and Canadian men's hockey teams were not the only ones who were put to shame at Nagano.

Japan's women's ice hockey team must feel pretty rotten about their pitiful playing on their home turf.
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Total winners beat the total losers...110 viewsThe U.S. team went on undefeated to win the first Olympic gold medal in women's ice hockey. Japan lost all five of its matches (they scored a total of 2 goals) putting them in last place among the six women's hockey teams.
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Tokyo Station: Official posters110 viewsThese were painted by Koji Kinutani and plastered everywhere in Tokyo Station. These were being sold to the public for about Y5,000.
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To Olympic Plaza109 views
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Olympic Plaza109 viewsSnowlets House and Kodak's pavilion behind it.
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108 views
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Japan team mates try to comfort the goal keeper right after the US scores.108 views
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IBM billboard buses107 viewsThe decals covering the window portion of the decals have little holes in them and from the inside of the bus, the decals are transparent. IBM's Olympic pins and jacket were also based on these bus decal designs.
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The road from Nagano Station to Zenkoji Temple.107 viewsLots of Olympics advertising.
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107 viewsAn elderly couple are among a crowd of people who watched the men's hockey finals on the TV set.
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Snowlets House, ticket availability106 views
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Pavilion by Kirin Brewery.105 viewsNotice the "wrap" bus passing in front.
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Aqua Wing ice hockey rink105 views
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Amway at Tokyo Station105 viewsAmway shows the way to the Nagano Shinkansen platform for people getting off the Narita Express train which comes from Narita Airport.
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103 viewsFace to face. Japan's goal keeper was busy, busy, busy.
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IBM pins (my collection)103 viewsThe IBM pins were being sold for 1,000 yen each. Some people were selling them for up to 2,000 yen.
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Key chain (1,000 yen)103 views
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Ad sticker on tray table103 views
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More billboard buses102 viewsCoca-cola adorned some of the local city buses in Nagano.
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Tokyo Station Olympics souvenir shop102 viewsThis little space (operated by official sponsor Mizuno) in the Yaesu underground mall at Tokyo Station used to have shelves full of Olympic souvenirs. On the day before the Olympics, I saw that they were selling towels, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, mugs, postcards, Snowlets, key chains, and other things. I visited this place again on the last day of the Olympics (when I took this photo) and found a sign saying that they had sold out of Olympics souvenirs. According to the clerk, most were sold out about a week before.They only had a single rack selling expensive framed Olympic prints. The story was the same for the Snowlets House in Nagano and the Tokyo Branch at Mitsukoshi Dept. Store in Nihonbashi. I'm glad I bought my souvenirs early on.
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Palm-size stuffed Snowlet (official mascot)102 views
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Olympics logo on official drinks102 viewsBesides Coke, Coca-Cola also makes Aquarius (sports drink) and Georgia canned coffee. The Olympics logo and "Nagano 1998" figure prominently on the limited-edition cans. On the Aquarius can, notice the image of a speed skater. On the back of the Georgia coffee can, see the image of the torch relay runner. Georgia coffee was prominently advertised during the nationwide Olympic torch relay to Nagano.
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A US player scores and celebrates to the dismay of Japan.101 views
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101 views
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Pin seller101 viewsThis American woman was selling pins in Nagano at her seventh Olympics. Olympic pins proved to be very popular among the Japanese.

Apparently there are pin sellers who travel to all the Olympics and major sports events making a living as a pin vendor.
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A US player scores and celebrates to the dismay of Japan.99 views
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Kids gathered at Nagano Station.99 views
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Tokyo Station99 views
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English programme (1,800 yen)98 views
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Frenzy in front of Japan's goal.97 views
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Policeman97 viewsPoliceman in special uniform designed just for the Nagano Games. The uniform supposed to make them look more friendly.
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Recycle bins by Coca-cola97 views
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Local bus96 viewsThis was not a "wrap" bus, but it still had a Kirin ad (made of cloth) on the front.
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Fruit gelato stand96 viewsFruit gelato storefront with national flags and "Welcome to Nagano" signs.
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Even official Olympics miso paste94 viewsWould you believe the official miso? Hanamaruki Foods of Nagano was an official supplier for the Nagano Winter Games. Miso soup must have been a staple item for breakfast (and dinner) at the Olympic Village. I found this at my local supermarket.
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Souvenir shop93 views"Japanese dress Kimono and so on." Awkward or mistaken English is nothing new in Japan. They should've used a Japanese-flag motif instead.
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"Official No. 1 Pin Club" Shop92 viewsShop selling Olympic pins. Prices ranged from 500 yen to 4,000 yen.
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Resurfacing the ice during intermission91 views
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5-0 on scoreboard during 1st period.91 viewsIn the 1st period, the scoreboard shows 5-0 in favor of the US.
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Resurfacing the ice during intermission91 views
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Olympics logo on official film (not FujiFilm)90 viewsKodak was the official Olympics film in a country where 70 percent of the film market belongs to Fuji Film. It must have been sweet revenge for Kodak because Fuji Film was the official film at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Kodak has been the official film sponsor for all Olympic Games since then. It will also be the official film for the Sydney Games in the year 2000.
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