Plarail – S-12 Shinkansen Doctor Yellow – S-12 ドクターイエロー

Doctor Yellow. A fine addition to the Mercer family collection.

Plarail - Doctor Yellow

Doctor Yellow Box

Name: Doctor Yellow
Takara Tomy Name: S-12 ドクターイエロー
Power Source: 1xC Alkaline Battery
Manufacturer Number: 4904810635390
Release Date: 2002-07-06
Features: detachable cars
Service Type: Highspeed Diagnostic

Plarail - Doctor Yellow

Plarail Doctor Yellow

 

In real life…

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Yellow

Doctor Yellow is the nickname for the high-speed test trains that are used on the Japanese Shinkansen (“Bullet Train”) dedicated express passenger train routes. The trains have special equipment on board to monitor the condition of the track and overhead wire, including special instrumented bogies and observation blisters.

The ‘Doctor’ part of the name is obvious from their test and diagnostic function, and the ‘Yellow’ part comes from the bright yellow color they are all painted. Some have a blue waistline stripe, some a green one. The original color scheme of yellow with a blue stripe (applied to the Class 921 track-recording cars) was created by reversing the colors (blue with yellow stripe) used on 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow-gauge track-recording cars.

In build and appearance, they are very similar to production, passenger carrying Shinkansen trains, and line inspection is carried out at full line speed (i.e. up to 270 km/h/168 mph on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen).

 

Plarail – Nankai Rapi:t – S-35 南海ラピート

If you are looking for cool trains in Japan, look no further that the Nankai Rapi:t. I used to see it all the time when working at Aim English Studio (at the old Hamadera-koen location). Wyatt got the Plarail version for Christmas in 2013. The Plarail version lives up to its real life namesake in speed. It is one of the fastest if not the fastest in the Mercer family collection.

Plarail - Nankai Rapi:t

Nankai Rapi:t – S-35 南海ラピート Box

Name: Nankai Rapi:t – S-35 南海ラピート
Takara Tomy Name: S-35 南海ラピート
Power Source: 1xC Alkaline Battery
Manufacturer Number: 4904810677567
Release Date: 2003-10-05
Features: detachable cars
Service Type: Passenger

Plarail - Hankyu

Plarail Nankai Rapi:t – S-35 南海ラピート

In real life…

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapi:t

Rapi:t (ラピート rapiito) is a rapid train service between Kansai International Airport and Namba Station in Osaka, Japan. It is operated by Nankai Electric Railway, and the train service uses on the Nankai Main Line and the Airport Line. The name comes from the German word meaning rapid, pronounced [ʁaˈpiːt].

Nankai Rapi:t - S-35 南海ラピート - click for a larger image

Nankai Rapito – Kansai Airport Express circa. 2008

The futuristic and retro-style six-car Rapi:t trainsets, officially designated as the Nankai 50000 series, were designed by architect Wakabayashi Hiroyuki and won the Blue Ribbon Prize in 1995, 1 year after entering service.

 

Plarail – Midosuji Line

I used to ride Midosuji Line every morning to get to work (at Royal Kids) in Yotsubashi, Osaka. It’s awesome having a piece of our life in Japan in our toy collection.

Plarail - Midosuji Line

Midosuji Line

Name: Midosuji Line
Takara Tomy Name: ライト付大阪市営地下鉄御堂筋線21系
Power Source: 1xC Alkaline Battery
Manufacturer Number: 4904810763987
Release Date: 2008-05-22
Features: detachable cars
Service Type: Passenger

Plarail - Midosuji Line

Plarail Midosuji Line

In real life…

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid%C5%8Dsuji_Line

The Midōsuji Line (御堂筋線 Midōsuji-sen) is a rapid transit line in Osaka, Japan, operated by the Osaka Municipal Subway. Constructed under Midōsuji, a major north-south street, it is the oldest line in the Osaka subway system and the second oldest in Japan, following the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. Its official name is Rapid Electric Tramway Line No. 1 (高速電気軌道第1号線), while the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau refers to it as Osaka City Rapid Railway Line No. 1 (大阪市高速鉄道第1号線), and in MLIT publications it is referred to as Line No. 1 (Midōsuji Line) (1号線(御堂筋線)). On line maps, stations on the Midōsuji Line are indicated with the letter M.

North of Nakatsu it runs above ground in the median of Shin-midōsuji, an elevated freeway.

The section between Senri-chūō and Esaka is owned and operated by Kita-Osaka Kyuko Railway (北大阪急行電鉄 Kita Osaka Dentetsu), but is seamless to the passengers except with respect to fare calculations.

 

Plarail – Hankyu Railway 9000 Series

It’s cool being able to get Plarail trains of the trains we have ridden in real life in Osaka. We didn’t ride the Hankyu line that often but it is an awesome edition to our Plarail collection nonetheless.

Plarail - Hankyu

Hankyu Railway 9000 Series Box

Name: Hankyu Railway 9000 Series
Takara Tomy Name: S-39 阪急電鉄9000系
Power Source: 1xC Alkaline Battery
Manufacturer Number: 4904810741640
Release Date: 2005-5-24
Features: detachable cars
Service Type: Passenger

Plarail - Hankyu

Plarail Hankyu Railway 9000 Series

In real life…

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hankyu_Railway

Hankyu Railway (阪急電鉄 Hankyū Dentetsu) is a Japanese private railway that provides commuter and interurban service to the northern Kansai region and is one of major businesses operated by Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc. The railway’s main terminal is at Umeda Station in Osaka. The signature color of Hankyu cars is maroon.

The Hankyu network serves 1,950,000 people every weekday and offers several types of express service with no extra charge.

 

Plarail – EF510 Red Thunder (S-39 EF510レッドサンダー)

Red Thunder is the other Plarail train we picked up in Osaka. I figured it would be good to offset the uber cool Shinkansen 500 Series with a little freight pulling goodness. The Red Thunder certainly has more pulling power as it is powered by a ‘C’ size battery whereas the 500 series has an ‘AA’ battery for it’s power source.

PlaRail - EF510

EF510 “Red Thunder” Box

Name: EF510 Red Thunder
Takara Tomy Name: S-39 EF510レッドサンダー
Power Source: 1xC Alkaline Battery
Manufacturer Number: 4904810763956
Release Date: 2007-09-20
Features: detachable cars
Service Type: Freight Train

PlaRail - EF510

Plarail EF510 Red Thunder

In real life…

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JR_Freight_Class_EF510

The Class EF510 locomotives are Bo-Bo-Bo wheel arrangement multi-voltage AC/DC electric locomotives operated by JR Freight and East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan.

The design used many components common with the JR Freight Class EF210, and was intended to replace ageing JNR Class EF81 locomotives on freight services operating along the Sea of Japan coastal routes. The first locomotive, EF510-1, was delivered in February 2002 and initially based at Shin-Tsurumi Depot.

The first full-production locomotive, EF510-2, was delivered in November 2003, and this and subsequent locomotives delivered featured “Red Thunder” bodyside branding.

As of 1 April 2009, the fleet totalled 16 locomotives (EF510-1 to EF510-16). Four EF510 locomotives are scheduled to be delivered during fiscal 2009. None are on order for fiscal 2010.

 

PlaRail – Shinkansen 500 Series (S-02 500系新幹線)

Back in 2008, Dan and Becky bought us a Thomas the Tank Engine (Tomy) trainset. We played with it a few times but there wasn’t much we could buy to expand it. Then we went to Osaka this year and we discovered that Tomy makes an entire universe of toy trains called Plarail. So we went shopping at Aeon Rinku Town Mall (southern Osaka) and picked up this train along with a few more tracks. I think we’ll be asking Santa to increase out Plarail collection at Christmas time.

PlaRail - Shinkansen 500 Series

Shinkansen 500 Series Box

Name: Shinkansen 500 Series
Takara Tomy Name: S-02 500系新幹線
Power Source: 1xAA Alkaline Battery
Manufacturer Number: 4904810635338
Release Date: 2002-07-18
Features: detachable cars, 2 speeds & headlights
Service Type: Highspeed Passenger

Plarail Shinkansen 500 Series

Plarail Shinkansen 500 Series

In real life…

The 500 series is a Shinkansen high-speed train type operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and Sanyō Shinkansen lines in Japan. They were designed to be capable of 320 km/h (199 mph) but operated at 300 km/h (186 mph), until they were finally retired from the primary Nozomi service in 2010. The trainsets were then refurbished and downgraded to the local Kodama service between Osaka and Hakata.

The general design concept was overseen by German industrial designer Alexander Neumeister. The running gear utilizes computer-controlled active suspension for a smoother, safer ride, and anti-yaw dampers are fitted between cars for improved stability. All sixteen cars in each original trainset were powered, giving a maximum of 18.24 MW (24,460 hp). Each train costed an estimated 5 billion yen, and only nine were built.

 

Scotch Fest 2011

10th Annual Scotch Fest Poster (2011)

10th Annual Scotch Fest Poster (2011)

Auk wee I, Once again tiss time
to rattle the claymores and fill the Quaich.
Then let the flowing Quaich go round
and boldly let the pibroch sound
Till every glen and rock resound.

All wee clansmen and women are welcome
To the Tenth Annual Scotch fest 2011.
So bring your See ya Jimmy and get ready to crack your kranium.

7:00 PM AT 2985 Harriet Rd Nov 5th 2011
Hope to see you all then.
Cheers

For new people who will be coming
Please bring a bottle of
Single malt scotch to share.
If scotch is not your thing,
Well bring beer or wine and have a good time.

Visiting Osaka in October 2011!

Osaka
Hello All,
The Mercers (Craig, Kana, Yuki and Haku) are planning on coming to Osaka for a visit! Kana and the kids will be arriving on Friday, September 2nd and Craig will be arriving on Saturday, September 17th. We’ll all be heading back to Canada on Saturday, October 25th. We are looking forward to visiting with all of our friends and family. Below is our itinerary so you can see when we might be free to hang out and catch up. Mata ne!

Read more…

Support Japan 2011 – Earthquke and Tsunami Relief

Support Japan 2011 - Gambare Nippon

The VNCS home page is being used temporarily to provide updates on the activities of the Support Japan 2011 Gambare Nippon umbrella group that includes the Japanese Friendship Society, Victoria Japanese Heritage School Society, the Victoria Morioka Friendship Society and the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society.

Support Japan 2011 – Gambare Nippon!
http://www.vncs.ca/wordpress/category/support-japan-2011/
The Support Japan 2011 page is where all of the activities and events around fund raising for the earthquake & tsunami survivors in Japan is being posted.

Media contact:  Michael Abe
President, Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society
Spokesperson, Support Japan 2011 Gambare Nippon
Cell:  (250) 704-6164
Email:  or

Scotch Fest 2010

9th Annual Scotch Fest Poster (2010)

9th Annual Scotch Fest Poster (2010)

Auk wee I, Once again tiss time
to rattle the claymores and fill the Quaich.
Then let the flowing Quaich go round
and boldly let the pibroch sound
Till every glen and rock resound.

All wee clansmen and women are welcome
To the Ninth Annual Scotch fest 2010.
So bring your See ya Jimmy and get ready to crack your kranium.

7:00 PM AT 2985 Harriet Rd Nov 13th 2010 Hope to see you all then.
Cheers

For new people who will be coming
Please bring a bottle of
Single malt scotch to share.
If scotch is not your thing,
Well bring beer or wine and have a good time.

6th Anniversary at Creyke Point, East Sooke Park



We spent our sixth anniversary out at East Sooke Park. It is a very serene location and not many people go out there. I remember doing field trips out there when I was in school and it always struck me a isolated yet very beautiful location. We picnicked out at Creyke Point (a rocky headland of unusual shapes against emerald green water – taken from the East Sooke Park Brochure http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/documents/east_sooke_web_brochure_000.pdf).

We finished our day on the playground at Hans Helgesen Elementary School. Good times were had by all.
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Wyatt Haku Mercer’s 1ST Birthday Cake



As many of you know we live in a two bedroom basement suite which is not quite big enough to throw a birthday party for our son Wyatt (Haku) in. After thinking about what would work best we decided on Beacon Hill Park as the venue as it was large enough and we might even have some sunshine. We then invited our Japanese and Canadian friends to come and join us for a picnic party and some Lighthouse Bakery birthday cake goodness. Then in true Mercer style we allowed Wyatt to eat his first birthday cake any way he wanted (which helped us make the wonderful video below). Happy Birthday Wyatt but next year you’ll have to use a fork!
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Japanese No. 1 Town – Cumberland BC

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We joined the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society (VNCS) back in January and we found out about this event taking place in Cumberland and even though we did not know what to expect we decided to go. The event was for the unveiling of a plaque commemorating/dedicating 31 sakura (cherry) trees in honour of the 31 Japanese families that were forcibly relocated as a result of the Government of Canada War Measures Act of 1942. It was attended by all manner of dignitaries, guests and descendants of the exiled families.

Obviously Kana and I are only vaguely aware of Nikkei issues on the west coast. Attending this event was a privilege and gave us some insight into not only the history of Japanese-Canadians but also into the present as well.

Becky’s Birthday Surprise

We’ve been doing homegroup with Kathryn “Toad” Dunphy and Dan & Becky McGregor for a couple of years now and birthday’s are always a great time to see if we can surprise each other. We were able to pull it off as shown in the video short we created "Becky’s Surprise Birthday".

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Craig becomes a board member of the VNCS

VNCS

We’ve been members of the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society (www.vncs.ca) for a couple of years now. We attended a few events and so I (Craig) decided to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to see what it was like. I took Kinya along for moral support…not sure why I thought a Japanese national would be moral support at a meeting of Japanese-Canadian Nikkei (diaspora)…LOL I am sure Kinya was more confused than me! We were sitting behind Roy Katsuyama and Roy Natsuhara (the two Roys) and the next thing I knew…I am now an elected member of the Board of Directors. Wish me luck!

Scotch Fest 2009

8th Annual Scotch Fest Poster (2009)

8th Annual Scotch Fest Poster (2009)

Auk wee I, Once again tiss time
to rattle the claymores and fill the Quaich.
Then let the flowing Quaich go round
and boldly let the pibroch sound
Till every glen and rock resound.

All wee clansmen and women are welcome
to the Eighth Annual Scotch fest 2009.
So bring your See ya Jimmy and get ready to crack your kranium.

7:00 PM AT 2985 Harriet Rd Dec 05 2009 Hope to see you all then.
Cheers

For new people who will be coming
please bring a bottle 15year or
better of single malt scotch to share.
If scotch is not your thing,
well bring beer or wine and have a good time.

A little something to tide us over till Christmas…

ChristmasHey Puritch Family,
I know that the Christmas season is soon approaching and was going through some photos and video clips from our 2007 get together at George & Elaine’s and threw a little something-something together to tide us over till this years’ party.

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