May 24, 2017

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*This program was first broadcast on Feb. 15, 2017

Tokyo's Amazing Backyard Part 2: Omiya

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The Omiya metropolitan area is about 30 minutes north of central Tokyo, in Saitama Prefecture. With abundant space to spread out, it hosts some huge, impressive sights. Enjoy the ambitious cultural and engineering attractions of Omiya!



The Railway Museum Enjoy lots of hands-on exhibits about the history and technology of railways, including life-size driver's compartment simulators of various trains like a steam train and a shinkansen bullet train. They have adjustable difficulty levels so anyone can experience what its like to be at the controls of a train.


Saitama Super Arena One of the largest multipurpose indoor arenas in Japan, holding up to 37,000 spectators. Its "moving block" system consists of reconfigurable seating, wall and floor elements to host all kinds of events.


The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama On permanent exhibit is a collection of about 1,000 pieces that are displayed on rotation. It is famous for its collections of notable designer chairs, which visitors are allowed to actually sit on.


Ogawa Studio Japan's number one maker of rubber masks, with a wide lineup of animals, politicians, and characters from movies and cartoons. They accept overseas orders on their website.


The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel One of the world's largest subterranean storm sewage works, this vast chamber 50 meters below ground can hold about 600,000 liters of water. When empty, it resembles a sci-fi underground temple. Public tours are given year-round.

Further Info

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1) The Railway Museum
Address: 3-47 Onaricho, Omiya-ku, Saitama
2) Saitama Super Arena
Address: 8 Shintoshin, Chuo-ku, Saitama
3) The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama
Address: 9-30-1, Tokiwa, Urawa-ku, Saitama
4) Ogawa Studios
Address: 1-86, Horinouchicho, Omiya-ku, Saitama
5) The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel
Address: 720 Kamikanasaki, Kasukabe, Saitama


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Megumi Ageishi

When did you first come to Japan?:
Born and raised in Japan.
What I like about Tokyo:
My hometown Tokyo is very unique and exciting. I can never get enough of the city's food & drink, art, music, culture, festivals, and more! There is a fantastic mix of traditional and new. You can discover and experience things that you will never find anywhere but Tokyo!
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George Maralious Cockle

Radio Personality
When did you first come to Japan?:
Born in Kamakura, basically lived in Japan until I was 19, lived in the USA until I returned to Kamakura about 1996
Reason for coming to Japan:
I was born in Kamakura, and basically grew up there, with short stints in between in Texas, Korea and Tachikawa,. I moved to the U.S as a young adult to attend University. As an avid surfer, I lived in San Francisco, California for over twenty years, but I realized one day that I was no longer able to comfortably ride the large waves that arrive there every winter. I decided to come back to my hometown of Kamakura to ride the easy and mellow waves. I met my wife, also from Kamakura so I am still here. I love Kamakura.