The Ogaki Report

Details of life at IAMAS, in Ogaki, Japan.
As reported by Tamiko Thiel and Peter Graf, winter 1999-2000

Where in the world is Ogaki?

Main street Ogaki

Where in the world is Ogaki? Click here for a map.

But usually you'll start your tour of Ogaki from inside the Ogaki Train Station.

Train service is pretty frequent to the major local cities, but there is no information in English, so my knowledge of kanji is improving rapidly. Of course I could ask the helpful staff at IAMAS for navigational help, and frequently do, but my pride is involved as well.
train station
train station Inside the Ogaki Train Station.

Luckily my month of studying Japanese seems to have brought me almost back to the proficiency I had in 1992, after having lived in Japan for a year. I'm getting low on breakfast time reading material, however. The number of english language publications sold here seems to be equivalent to the number of Japanese language publications sold in a city of similar size in Germany or the US.
Downtown Ogaki.

Ogaki is very different from Tokyo. This photo shows downtown Ogaki not far from the train station, with the Yanagen department store in the middle of the photo. At 6 stories Yanagen is one of the highest buildings in Ogaki.

Ogaki has about 150,000 people, and is located about a half hour by train outside of Nagoya, or about one hour by train to the northeast of Kyoto.

The major group of foreigners is re-emigrated Brazilians of Japanese ancestry, but so far I haven't turned up any good brazilian restaurants or nightclubs. Will keep you informed.
downtown Ogaki
shop arcade Shopping Arcades.

One thing I truly love in Japan are the smaller shops that spill onto the streets. Arcades protect the wares and the customers from the rains. This is an arcade on the main street not far from the train station.

Note the dog in the foreground. There are a lot of dogs in Ogaki. They start barking at 7am and continue throughout the day. I do not like noisy dogs, however cute they are.
Ogaki Water Park.

This is a waterpark not far from downtown. Too bad my telephoto wasn't stronger - there was some sort of cub scout event happening, with adults dressed in furry animal suits jumping up and down and calling to the kids.
sweet shop Traditional sweet shop.

There are are fair number of old merchant houses in the town, such as this one that sells traditional Japanese sweets. This is slightly off the main drag but still in a good part of town. But you can't get away from the cables.
... and last but not least, Ogaki Castle.

This is a small but rather pretty building within a large park off the main road. It was destroyed in the air raids of 1945 (nearby Nagoya was a major target) and rebuilt since the war.

It's closed for millenium remodeling, so my report on its insides will have to wait.
Ogaki Castle

Main Page: Ogaki Report

o [Tamiko's Website] o [Mission Base]o