March 10, 1985 A major breakthrough – both literal and figurative – took place for the construction of the Seikan Tunnel in Japan when the entire tunnel was finally opened from one end to another. This long-awaited boring through of the tunnel was made possible after Tokuo Yamashita, Japan’s minister of transport, detonated a dynamite... Continue Reading →

December 6, 2015 In northeastern Japan, a new subway line began operations in the city of Sendai in the Tōhoku region. The east-west Tozai Line was the second of the Sendai Subway’s two lines to go into service, with the north-south Namboku Line having been opened in 1987. The Tozai Line encompasses a total of... Continue Reading →

October 28, 1888 In Japan, the first line of the Iyotetsu (Iyo Railway) Company went into service in the Ehime Prefecture on the main island of Shikoku. The Takahama Line, covering 5.8 miles (9.4 kilometers) between the Ehime Prefecture’s capital city of Matsuyama and the port town of Mitsuhama, made its debut a little over... Continue Reading →

July 30, 1978 It was a day of many logistical challenges and a large number of confused motorists in the southernmost section of Japan, as Okinawa Prefecture (one of the nation’s 47 main administrative divisions) officially switched its traffic patterns from driving on the right-hand side of the road back to driving on the left-hand... Continue Reading →

Manjirō Nakahama became the first known Japanese immigrant to the United States when he arrived in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on board the American whaleship John Howland. He was only 16 at the time. Manjirō had been a fisherman in the coastal village of Naka-no-hama on Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands. His life underwent... Continue Reading →

The era of the Series 0 Shinkansen super-express trains (popularly known as bullet trains), which were the original trainsets built for a system of high-speed railway lines in Japan, came to an end after more than four decades of service. “Final bullet train makes ‘sayonara’ run,” proclaimed a headline in the English-language edition of the... Continue Reading →

At the age of 71, Minoru Saitō set sail from his native Japan for a circumnavigation of the globe on board his 50-foot-long yacht Shuten-dohji II. While Saitō previously sailed around the world on his own a total of six times, this particular trip was notable because it would make him the oldest person to... Continue Reading →

Just over six months after being launched, the Japanese training sail ship Kaiwo Maru was fully completed by Sumitomo Heavy Industries. The four-masted vessel, measuring more than 361 feet in length, was built to replace a 1930 training ship bearing the same name. (The original Kaiwo Maru is now a museum ship in the Japanese... Continue Reading →

Inoue Masaru, who became known as the Father of the Japanese Railways for his contributions to transit services, was born in the city of Hagi on Japan’s main island of Honshu. In 1863, Inoue – along with four other students from the region of Honshu that was then known as the Chōshū Domain (a feudal... Continue Reading →

Tsuru Shima Lighthouse, which can be found on the island of Tsuru Shima in southeastern Japan and remains in operation today, was first lit. This lighthouse was one of 26 in the Land of the Rising Sun that were designed by Scottish-born engineer Richard Henry Brunton during the early years of the Meiji era, a... Continue Reading →

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