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Hot chocolate - A new player in Tokyo's already crowded chocolate field

Yokosuka News - Mon, 01/13/2014 - 23:45
n/an/a<b>Address</b>:  3-19-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo Japan Phone: 03-6426-5059 Del'Immo websiteOperating Hours: Monday - Saturday: 11:00-21:00
Cuisine: Japanese Hot chocolate - A new player in Tokyo's already crowded chocolate field 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Saturday: 11:00-21:00
3-19-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo Japan Phone: 03-6426-5059 Cuisine: Japanese Del'Immo website By: Metropolis Magazine

With chocolate shops popping up left and right across Tokyo these days, it takes something rather special to get noticed. Fitting that bill is the new Akasaka cafe Del’Immo (3-19-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6426-5059. www.de-limmo.jp).

Chocolatier Kazuaki Eguchi  opened the café after deciding to widen his skills as a chef and pâtissier. Following on the city’s recent pancake craze, Eguchi has concocted monkey punch (¥1,000), chocolate cakes served with sliced banana, whipped cream and extra chocolate sauce for good measure. There are not one but two varieties of cocoa (both ¥800): one is a fruity, 66 percent cacao Caribbean chocolate with hot milk on the side that customers are encouraged to blend and savor by dunking slices of baguette (¥150); and the other is a bitter 70 percent cacao. The chocolat espresso (¥600) packs a punch and will redefine your understanding of cafe mocha.

Metropolis Magazine website

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide Hot chocolate - A new player in Tokyo's already crowded chocolate field 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Saturday: 11:00-21:00
3-19-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo Japan Phone: 03-6426-5059 Cuisine: Japanese Del'Immo website By: Metropolis Magazine

With chocolate shops popping up left and right across Tokyo these days, it takes something rather special to get noticed. Fitting that bill is the new Akasaka cafe Del’Immo (3-19-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6426-5059. www.de-limmo.jp).

Chocolatier Kazuaki Eguchi  opened the café after deciding to widen his skills as a chef and pâtissier. Following on the city’s recent pancake craze, Eguchi has concocted monkey punch (¥1,000), chocolate cakes served with sliced banana, whipped cream and extra chocolate sauce for good measure. There are not one but two varieties of cocoa (both ¥800): one is a fruity, 66 percent cacao Caribbean chocolate with hot milk on the side that customers are encouraged to blend and savor by dunking slices of baguette (¥150); and the other is a bitter 70 percent cacao. The chocolat espresso (¥600) packs a punch and will redefine your understanding of cafe mocha.

Metropolis Magazine website

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide Hot chocolate - A new player in Tokyo's already crowded chocolate field 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Saturday: 11:00-21:00
3-19-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo Japan Phone: 03-6426-5059 Cuisine: Japanese Del'Immo website By: . Metropolis Magazine

With chocolate shops popping up left and right across Tokyo these days, it takes something rather special to get noticed. Fitting that bill is the new Akasaka cafe Del’Immo (3-19-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6426-5059. www.de-limmo.jp).

Chocolatier Kazuaki Eguchi  opened the café after deciding to widen his skills as a chef and pâtissier. Following on the city’s recent pancake craze, Eguchi has concocted monkey punch (¥1,000), chocolate cakes served with sliced banana, whipped cream and extra chocolate sauce for good measure. There are not one but two varieties of cocoa (both ¥800): one is a fruity, 66 percent cacao Caribbean chocolate with hot milk on the side that customers are encouraged to blend and savor by dunking slices of baguette (¥150); and the other is a bitter 70 percent cacao. The chocolat espresso (¥600) packs a punch and will redefine your understanding of cafe mocha.

Metropolis Magazine website

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide

Calling all garlic lovers! Best garlic dishes in town!

Yokosuka News - Mon, 01/13/2014 - 23:05
n/an/a<b>Address</b>:  3-4-1 Wakamatsu-cho Yokosuka Japan Phone: 0468-74-7255 Garlic House website (English)Operating Hours: Monday: 17:01-0:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 17:00-0:00
Cuisine: Japanese Calling all garlic lovers! Best garlic dishes in town! 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 17:01-0:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 17:00-0:00
3-4-1 Wakamatsu-cho Yokosuka Japan Phone: 0468-74-7255 Cuisine: Japanese Garlic House website (English) By: JapanTravel

It was early evening when we strolled along the streets of Yokosuka and came across a sign that read “Garlic House.” What is this? A restaurant that specializes in garlic dishes? I am sold! Our very first visit was such a pleasant surprise. Food was outstanding, service was genuine and the atmosphere was super cozy. What makes this restaurant extra special is that each visit feels like dinner with a personal chef. Not only did the chef prepare each dish with passion, he greeted us at the door, showed us to our table, took our order, and then immediately delivered each plate to us fresh off the grill. With a seating capacity of about 40 and dining hours from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, reservations are highly recommended. It appears Garlic House is quickly gaining in popularity!

According to its Facebook page, Garlic House (Gahrikkuhausu) opened its doors on December 14, 2011. They update their status often by posting pictures of their mini-garlic mascot posing with their fresh made dishes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with garlic, it is a fundamental herb used in many or most dishes of Asia and Europe. In my native culture, a hint of fresh garlic is used in many of our recipes and it seems to grow to a larger serving, as I get older. In addition to its culinary purposes, there are numerous health benefits linking garlic to conditions associated with the blood system and heart. You can read more here.

You’ll immediately notice the ‘Recommended Menu’ at the entrance. But not to worry, the same items are highlighted in red on the English or Japanese menu. For starters, we typically order a salad and soup. The Avocado Salad made with fresh crisp lettuce, crunchy okra & baby corn is wonderful. The spicy thousand-island type dressing just awakens your taste buds. The Garlic Chowder is enough to feed three and is just so flavorful with the infusion of garlic and bacon in a creamy broth. Our top two menu items are the Garlic Pizza and Garlic Fried Rice; hands down, the most amazing garlic dishes in town! Probably the best pizza dough I’ve had since visiting New York City. And the rice….oh, the fried rice! The fluffy blend of their choice grain, scrambled egg, & chicken, topped with scallions is a winning combination! Finally, enjoy your meal with a glass of red wine. The chef carefully pours it to the brim, which makes it well worth the listed price.

Garlic House is easy to spot with its bright orange sign, clean lines of yellow & wood exterior. It is located across the street from CoCo Curry, about a 5-minute walk from Yokosuka-Chuo Station. Due to the occasional one-man army at Garlic House, plan on enjoying dinner here when you have extra time to spare. And when you finally make it out here, don’t forget to grab some complimentary gum before you exit. Enjoy!

JapanTravel website

Tags: Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide Calling all garlic lovers! Best garlic dishes in town! 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 17:01-0:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 17:00-0:00
3-4-1 Wakamatsu-cho Yokosuka Japan Phone: 0468-74-7255 Cuisine: Japanese Garlic House website (English) By: JapanTravel

It was early evening when we strolled along the streets of Yokosuka and came across a sign that read “Garlic House.” What is this? A restaurant that specializes in garlic dishes? I am sold! Our very first visit was such a pleasant surprise. Food was outstanding, service was genuine and the atmosphere was super cozy. What makes this restaurant extra special is that each visit feels like dinner with a personal chef. Not only did the chef prepare each dish with passion, he greeted us at the door, showed us to our table, took our order, and then immediately delivered each plate to us fresh off the grill. With a seating capacity of about 40 and dining hours from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, reservations are highly recommended. It appears Garlic House is quickly gaining in popularity!

According to its Facebook page, Garlic House (Gahrikkuhausu) opened its doors on December 14, 2011. They update their status often by posting pictures of their mini-garlic mascot posing with their fresh made dishes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with garlic, it is a fundamental herb used in many or most dishes of Asia and Europe. In my native culture, a hint of fresh garlic is used in many of our recipes and it seems to grow to a larger serving, as I get older. In addition to its culinary purposes, there are numerous health benefits linking garlic to conditions associated with the blood system and heart. You can read more here.

You’ll immediately notice the ‘Recommended Menu’ at the entrance. But not to worry, the same items are highlighted in red on the English or Japanese menu. For starters, we typically order a salad and soup. The Avocado Salad made with fresh crisp lettuce, crunchy okra & baby corn is wonderful. The spicy thousand-island type dressing just awakens your taste buds. The Garlic Chowder is enough to feed three and is just so flavorful with the infusion of garlic and bacon in a creamy broth. Our top two menu items are the Garlic Pizza and Garlic Fried Rice; hands down, the most amazing garlic dishes in town! Probably the best pizza dough I’ve had since visiting New York City. And the rice….oh, the fried rice! The fluffy blend of their choice grain, scrambled egg, & chicken, topped with scallions is a winning combination! Finally, enjoy your meal with a glass of red wine. The chef carefully pours it to the brim, which makes it well worth the listed price.

Garlic House is easy to spot with its bright orange sign, clean lines of yellow & wood exterior. It is located across the street from CoCo Curry, about a 5-minute walk from Yokosuka-Chuo Station. Due to the occasional one-man army at Garlic House, plan on enjoying dinner here when you have extra time to spare. And when you finally make it out here, don’t forget to grab some complimentary gum before you exit. Enjoy!

JapanTravel website

Tags: Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide Calling all garlic lovers! Best garlic dishes in town! 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 17:01-0:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 17:00-0:00
3-4-1 Wakamatsu-cho Yokosuka Japan Phone: 0468-74-7255 Cuisine: Japanese Garlic House website (English) By: Jessica A Paje JapanTravel

It was early evening when we strolled along the streets of Yokosuka and came across a sign that read “Garlic House.” What is this? A restaurant that specializes in garlic dishes? I am sold! Our very first visit was such a pleasant surprise. Food was outstanding, service was genuine and the atmosphere was super cozy. What makes this restaurant extra special is that each visit feels like dinner with a personal chef. Not only did the chef prepare each dish with passion, he greeted us at the door, showed us to our table, took our order, and then immediately delivered each plate to us fresh off the grill. With a seating capacity of about 40 and dining hours from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, reservations are highly recommended. It appears Garlic House is quickly gaining in popularity!

According to its Facebook page, Garlic House (Gahrikkuhausu) opened its doors on December 14, 2011. They update their status often by posting pictures of their mini-garlic mascot posing with their fresh made dishes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with garlic, it is a fundamental herb used in many or most dishes of Asia and Europe. In my native culture, a hint of fresh garlic is used in many of our recipes and it seems to grow to a larger serving, as I get older. In addition to its culinary purposes, there are numerous health benefits linking garlic to conditions associated with the blood system and heart. You can read more here.

You’ll immediately notice the ‘Recommended Menu’ at the entrance. But not to worry, the same items are highlighted in red on the English or Japanese menu. For starters, we typically order a salad and soup. The Avocado Salad made with fresh crisp lettuce, crunchy okra & baby corn is wonderful. The spicy thousand-island type dressing just awakens your taste buds. The Garlic Chowder is enough to feed three and is just so flavorful with the infusion of garlic and bacon in a creamy broth. Our top two menu items are the Garlic Pizza and Garlic Fried Rice; hands down, the most amazing garlic dishes in town! Probably the best pizza dough I’ve had since visiting New York City. And the rice….oh, the fried rice! The fluffy blend of their choice grain, scrambled egg, & chicken, topped with scallions is a winning combination! Finally, enjoy your meal with a glass of red wine. The chef carefully pours it to the brim, which makes it well worth the listed price.

Garlic House is easy to spot with its bright orange sign, clean lines of yellow & wood exterior. It is located across the street from CoCo Curry, about a 5-minute walk from Yokosuka-Chuo Station. Due to the occasional one-man army at Garlic House, plan on enjoying dinner here when you have extra time to spare. And when you finally make it out here, don’t forget to grab some complimentary gum before you exit. Enjoy!

JapanTravel website

Tags: Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide

Veg ramen during your commute at Tokyo Station

Yokosuka News - Mon, 01/13/2014 - 22:49
n/an/a<b>Address</b>:  JR Tokyo station Yaesu south exit, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo Japan Phone: 03-3218-8040 T's Tan Tan website (Japanese)Operating Hours: Monday - Sunday: 7:00-23:00
Cuisine: Japanese Veg ramen during your commute at Tokyo Station 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 7:00-23:00
JR Tokyo station Yaesu south exit, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo Japan Phone: 03-3218-8040 Cuisine: Japanese T's Tan Tan website (Japanese) By: JapanTravel

There is decent vegan ramen to be had in Tokyo... but it's a little tricky to find. T's Tan Tan is located INSIDE the turnstiles at Tokyo Station. That's right, you need to either be traveling on the JR train system already, or you need to buy a platform ticket (¥130 nyuujouken gets you past the ticket gates but not onto a train) to access the food and shopping area inside of the station.

After you get past the first hurdle (closest exit is Yaesu South), look for a food hall called Keiyo Street - conveniently located near the Keiyo Line. Once there, you'll soon see the restaurant: look for the vegetable-laden bowls of noodles and cutesy line drawings of smiling animals on the walls inside.

T's Tan Tan offers several types of ramen, including "white" (sesame, bean sprouts, and thick green onion in a spicy broth: this one is my favorite, it really clears out your sinuses!), "green" (ramen piled high with fresh greens and includes some kabocha squash), "shoyu" (soy-sauce based broth), "red" (tomato base) and more. A bowl of ramen will set you back about 850 yen. They also have salads and curry rice, and can provide a "big helping" for a few hundred yen more. Everything is vegan, as the pictures and text on the walls proudly proclaim.

One striking thing about the shop is that they seem to come from all walks of life, not just yoga-pants-wearing folks with dreadlocks or crunchy thrift store types (guilty). When I asked the manager about the clientele, he estimated that about half of them come to the restaurant specifically because they are vegetarian or otherwise healthfully-inclined. "There aren't that many vegan restaurants in Japan, so people come from far away to eat here," he says. But the rest are just people who just happen by during their commute, enticed by the good smells and sights coming out of the store.

An English menu is available for those who want it, and the menu is illustrated so it's easy to pick and point. The staff also speaks a little English (and some speak Taiwanese). Beer and soft drinks are available.

T's has a sister restaurant in Jiyugaoka, which is also vegan but not ramen-focused, called T's Restaurant.

JapanTravel website

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide Veg ramen during your commute at Tokyo Station 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 7:00-23:00
JR Tokyo station Yaesu south exit, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo Japan Phone: 03-3218-8040 Cuisine: Japanese T's Tan Tan website (Japanese) By: JapanTravel

There is decent vegan ramen to be had in Tokyo... but it's a little tricky to find. T's Tan Tan is located INSIDE the turnstiles at Tokyo Station. That's right, you need to either be traveling on the JR train system already, or you need to buy a platform ticket (¥130 nyuujouken gets you past the ticket gates but not onto a train) to access the food and shopping area inside of the station.

After you get past the first hurdle (closest exit is Yaesu South), look for a food hall called Keiyo Street - conveniently located near the Keiyo Line. Once there, you'll soon see the restaurant: look for the vegetable-laden bowls of noodles and cutesy line drawings of smiling animals on the walls inside.

T's Tan Tan offers several types of ramen, including "white" (sesame, bean sprouts, and thick green onion in a spicy broth: this one is my favorite, it really clears out your sinuses!), "green" (ramen piled high with fresh greens and includes some kabocha squash), "shoyu" (soy-sauce based broth), "red" (tomato base) and more. A bowl of ramen will set you back about 850 yen. They also have salads and curry rice, and can provide a "big helping" for a few hundred yen more. Everything is vegan, as the pictures and text on the walls proudly proclaim.

One striking thing about the shop is that they seem to come from all walks of life, not just yoga-pants-wearing folks with dreadlocks or crunchy thrift store types (guilty). When I asked the manager about the clientele, he estimated that about half of them come to the restaurant specifically because they are vegetarian or otherwise healthfully-inclined. "There aren't that many vegan restaurants in Japan, so people come from far away to eat here," he says. But the rest are just people who just happen by during their commute, enticed by the good smells and sights coming out of the store.

An English menu is available for those who want it, and the menu is illustrated so it's easy to pick and point. The staff also speaks a little English (and some speak Taiwanese). Beer and soft drinks are available.

T's has a sister restaurant in Jiyugaoka, which is also vegan but not ramen-focused, called T's Restaurant.

JapanTravel website

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide Veg ramen during your commute at Tokyo Station 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 7:00-23:00
JR Tokyo station Yaesu south exit, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo Japan Phone: 03-3218-8040 Cuisine: Japanese T's Tan Tan website (Japanese) By: Selena Hoy JapanTravel

There is decent vegan ramen to be had in Tokyo... but it's a little tricky to find. T's Tan Tan is located INSIDE the turnstiles at Tokyo Station. That's right, you need to either be traveling on the JR train system already, or you need to buy a platform ticket (¥130 nyuujouken gets you past the ticket gates but not onto a train) to access the food and shopping area inside of the station.

After you get past the first hurdle (closest exit is Yaesu South), look for a food hall called Keiyo Street - conveniently located near the Keiyo Line. Once there, you'll soon see the restaurant: look for the vegetable-laden bowls of noodles and cutesy line drawings of smiling animals on the walls inside.

T's Tan Tan offers several types of ramen, including "white" (sesame, bean sprouts, and thick green onion in a spicy broth: this one is my favorite, it really clears out your sinuses!), "green" (ramen piled high with fresh greens and includes some kabocha squash), "shoyu" (soy-sauce based broth), "red" (tomato base) and more. A bowl of ramen will set you back about 850 yen. They also have salads and curry rice, and can provide a "big helping" for a few hundred yen more. Everything is vegan, as the pictures and text on the walls proudly proclaim.

One striking thing about the shop is that they seem to come from all walks of life, not just yoga-pants-wearing folks with dreadlocks or crunchy thrift store types (guilty). When I asked the manager about the clientele, he estimated that about half of them come to the restaurant specifically because they are vegetarian or otherwise healthfully-inclined. "There aren't that many vegan restaurants in Japan, so people come from far away to eat here," he says. But the rest are just people who just happen by during their commute, enticed by the good smells and sights coming out of the store.

An English menu is available for those who want it, and the menu is illustrated so it's easy to pick and point. The staff also speaks a little English (and some speak Taiwanese). Beer and soft drinks are available.

T's has a sister restaurant in Jiyugaoka, which is also vegan but not ramen-focused, called T's Restaurant.

JapanTravel website

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide

Bubble Over: A good ol' American diner in Yokohama

Yokosuka News - Tue, 01/07/2014 - 20:02
n/an/a<b>Address</b>:  540-1, Ichigao, Aoba-ku, Yokohama-shi, 14 225-0024 Japan Phone: 045-972-2424 http://www.motherlucy.com/bubbleover/bubbleover.htmlOperating Hours: Monday: 17:00-0:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00-0:00
Cuisine: American Bubble Over: A good ol' American diner in Yokohama 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 17:00-0:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00-0:00
540-1, Ichigao, Aoba-ku, Yokohama-shi, 14 225-0024 Japan Phone: 045-972-2424 Cuisine: American http://www.motherlucy.com/bubbleover/bubbleover.html By: JapanTravel

Had I finally found it? A magical doorway that would transport me instantaneously back to the States? This was the first thought that went through my mind as I entered the Bubble Over cafe. As I cast my eyes around the wood-paneled dining area, I saw checkered oilcloth tablecloths, American license plates, and Eagles posters...but what I didn’t see was any obvious sign that I was still in Japan. My only clues were the faces of the customers and - if I looked closely - the yen symbol on the menus and signs that were otherwise all in English.

Owner Katsuaki “Kats” Samejima created this place, and two others under the “Mother Lucy” umbrella (American Restaurant Troubadour and Lucy’s Bakery), to share his passion for American cooking, especially homemade cakes and pies. Enthralled with rock music at first, he visited California for the first time in 1980, and since then has made two or three pilgrimages to the States every year. He reminisces fondly about his time there, especially the culinary discoveries he made on his journey into the heartland: “The deeper into the country you go, the more unexpected things you find. Especially breakfasts! I love American breakfasts!”

Bubble Over doesn't serve breakfast, but lunch certainly succeeded in making me forget which country I was in. After my first bite of the clam chowder, I looked out the window and half expected to see Atlantic waves breaking on the rocky shore of my New England home. The staff’s recommended “One Dish Plate” took me to the Southwest: a hamburger steak served with Mexican rice and topped with bacon, egg, and chili that was probably modulated for Japanese tastes but still had an attitude. (A milder version with demiglace sauce and plain rice is available for more timid tongues.) And the Oreo cake, which we selected from the dessert tray after intense deliberation, reminded us of the brownies beloved everywhere from Kodiak to Key West.

The Mother Lucy restaurants are also a prime spot for celebrating American holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, naturally, as well as some less well-known in Japan like New Orleans Mardi Gras, and occasional live concerts. Details can be found on the “schedule” page of their website.

Bubble Over is most easily accessible by car, but diners coming by train can work up an appetite with a 15-minute walk from Ichigao Station on the Tokyu line. Lunch sets (featuring hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, soft tacos, and other offerings) range from ¥1300-¥1500. A soft drink is included (with free refills for tea or coffee). The dinner menu has a wide selection of appetizers, chicken and steak dishes, hamburgers, and Tex-Mex dishes, generally in the ¥1000-¥2000 range (¥4300 if you want to splurge on a 16-ounce steak with all the trimmings).

The down-home American atmosphere and menus in English aren’t always a guarantee of English-speaking staff. An American server is on duty during the day on Fridays; otherwise it’s hit or miss. But all the staff know enough to take orders and explain the menu, and Kats extends a warm welcome to customers from all over the English-speaking world...with a postscript: “If there are any special expressions they use in your area, please teach us! We’ll be very happy!”

JapanTravel website

Tags: American, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide Bubble Over: A good ol' American diner in Yokohama 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 17:00-0:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00-0:00
540-1, Ichigao, Aoba-ku, Yokohama-shi, 14 225-0024 Japan Phone: 045-972-2424 Cuisine: American http://www.motherlucy.com/bubbleover/bubbleover.html By: JapanTravel

Had I finally found it? A magical doorway that would transport me instantaneously back to the States? This was the first thought that went through my mind as I entered the Bubble Over cafe. As I cast my eyes around the wood-paneled dining area, I saw checkered oilcloth tablecloths, American license plates, and Eagles posters...but what I didn’t see was any obvious sign that I was still in Japan. My only clues were the faces of the customers and - if I looked closely - the yen symbol on the menus and signs that were otherwise all in English.

Owner Katsuaki “Kats” Samejima created this place, and two others under the “Mother Lucy” umbrella (American Restaurant Troubadour and Lucy’s Bakery), to share his passion for American cooking, especially homemade cakes and pies. Enthralled with rock music at first, he visited California for the first time in 1980, and since then has made two or three pilgrimages to the States every year. He reminisces fondly about his time there, especially the culinary discoveries he made on his journey into the heartland: “The deeper into the country you go, the more unexpected things you find. Especially breakfasts! I love American breakfasts!”

Bubble Over doesn't serve breakfast, but lunch certainly succeeded in making me forget which country I was in. After my first bite of the clam chowder, I looked out the window and half expected to see Atlantic waves breaking on the rocky shore of my New England home. The staff’s recommended “One Dish Plate” took me to the Southwest: a hamburger steak served with Mexican rice and topped with bacon, egg, and chili that was probably modulated for Japanese tastes but still had an attitude. (A milder version with demiglace sauce and plain rice is available for more timid tongues.) And the Oreo cake, which we selected from the dessert tray after intense deliberation, reminded us of the brownies beloved everywhere from Kodiak to Key West.

The Mother Lucy restaurants are also a prime spot for celebrating American holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, naturally, as well as some less well-known in Japan like New Orleans Mardi Gras, and occasional live concerts. Details can be found on the “schedule” page of their website.

Bubble Over is most easily accessible by car, but diners coming by train can work up an appetite with a 15-minute walk from Ichigao Station on the Tokyu line. Lunch sets (featuring hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, soft tacos, and other offerings) range from ¥1300-¥1500. A soft drink is included (with free refills for tea or coffee). The dinner menu has a wide selection of appetizers, chicken and steak dishes, hamburgers, and Tex-Mex dishes, generally in the ¥1000-¥2000 range (¥4300 if you want to splurge on a 16-ounce steak with all the trimmings).

The down-home American atmosphere and menus in English aren’t always a guarantee of English-speaking staff. An American server is on duty during the day on Fridays; otherwise it’s hit or miss. But all the staff know enough to take orders and explain the menu, and Kats extends a warm welcome to customers from all over the English-speaking world...with a postscript: “If there are any special expressions they use in your area, please teach us! We’ll be very happy!”

JapanTravel website

Tags: American, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide Bubble Over: A good ol' American diner in Yokohama 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 17:00-0:00
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00-0:00
540-1, Ichigao, Aoba-ku, Yokohama-shi, 14 225-0024 Japan Phone: 045-972-2424 Cuisine: American http://www.motherlucy.com/bubbleover/bubbleover.html By: Charles Kowalski JapanTravel

Had I finally found it? A magical doorway that would transport me instantaneously back to the States? This was the first thought that went through my mind as I entered the Bubble Over cafe. As I cast my eyes around the wood-paneled dining area, I saw checkered oilcloth tablecloths, American license plates, and Eagles posters...but what I didn’t see was any obvious sign that I was still in Japan. My only clues were the faces of the customers and - if I looked closely - the yen symbol on the menus and signs that were otherwise all in English.

Owner Katsuaki “Kats” Samejima created this place, and two others under the “Mother Lucy” umbrella (American Restaurant Troubadour and Lucy’s Bakery), to share his passion for American cooking, especially homemade cakes and pies. Enthralled with rock music at first, he visited California for the first time in 1980, and since then has made two or three pilgrimages to the States every year. He reminisces fondly about his time there, especially the culinary discoveries he made on his journey into the heartland: “The deeper into the country you go, the more unexpected things you find. Especially breakfasts! I love American breakfasts!”

Bubble Over doesn't serve breakfast, but lunch certainly succeeded in making me forget which country I was in. After my first bite of the clam chowder, I looked out the window and half expected to see Atlantic waves breaking on the rocky shore of my New England home. The staff’s recommended “One Dish Plate” took me to the Southwest: a hamburger steak served with Mexican rice and topped with bacon, egg, and chili that was probably modulated for Japanese tastes but still had an attitude. (A milder version with demiglace sauce and plain rice is available for more timid tongues.) And the Oreo cake, which we selected from the dessert tray after intense deliberation, reminded us of the brownies beloved everywhere from Kodiak to Key West.

The Mother Lucy restaurants are also a prime spot for celebrating American holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, naturally, as well as some less well-known in Japan like New Orleans Mardi Gras, and occasional live concerts. Details can be found on the “schedule” page of their website.

Bubble Over is most easily accessible by car, but diners coming by train can work up an appetite with a 15-minute walk from Ichigao Station on the Tokyu line. Lunch sets (featuring hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, soft tacos, and other offerings) range from ¥1300-¥1500. A soft drink is included (with free refills for tea or coffee). The dinner menu has a wide selection of appetizers, chicken and steak dishes, hamburgers, and Tex-Mex dishes, generally in the ¥1000-¥2000 range (¥4300 if you want to splurge on a 16-ounce steak with all the trimmings).

The down-home American atmosphere and menus in English aren’t always a guarantee of English-speaking staff. An American server is on duty during the day on Fridays; otherwise it’s hit or miss. But all the staff know enough to take orders and explain the menu, and Kats extends a warm welcome to customers from all over the English-speaking world...with a postscript: “If there are any special expressions they use in your area, please teach us! We’ll be very happy!”

JapanTravel website

Tags: American, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide

Cafe Goatee: Music, coffee, zakka in old Kamakura

Yokosuka News - Tue, 01/07/2014 - 19:19
n/an/a<b>Address</b>:  2-10-7, Komachi, 3F, Kamakura-shi, 14 248-0006 Japan Phone: 090-8430-9708 http://www.cafegoatee.com/index.htmlOperating Hours: Monday - Sunday: 11:30-22:00
Cuisine: AmericanJapanese Cafe Goatee: Music, coffee, zakka in old Kamakura 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 11:30-22:00
2-10-7, Komachi, 3F, Kamakura-shi, 14 248-0006 Japan Phone: 090-8430-9708 Cuisine: American, Japanese http://www.cafegoatee.com/index.html By: JapanTravel

Indie music lovers take note: in the midst of the temples and shrines of central Kamakura is a little coffee shop that serves up a great selection of Americana, blues, and singer-songwriter music alongside the caffeine and whiskey.

Located in Kamakura's busy Komachi neighborhood, the surrounding area is all hustle and bustle. Though central, the shop is a little easy to miss: walk down the narrow gauntlet leading from the station to the famous Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. Go through the red torii gate at the entrance to the little shopping street just outside the east exit of the station, walk a couple of blocks, and turn right at the butcher shop. Look up; Cafe Goatee is on the third floor.

Once inside, take a break from sightseeing with a cup of coffee, some baked goods, a plate of curry, or a Jim Beam, neat. Browse through the handcrafted knick knacks and bits of artwork, like knitted pom pom hats and stuffed toys (one of the staffmembers, Noriko, is quite arty-crafty and is responsible for many of the flashes of quirky creativity around the shop). Listen to the tunes and peruse the music selection: in addition to running the cafe, the owner also operates a small music label, music distribution company, and acts as a promoter for visiting artists, all under the Goatee moniker.

This explains why the shop is occasionally closed; when Keiji brings over musicians, he acts as a tour manager and takes the show on the road. The musicians always play at the café as one of the stops on their tour, the tiny space bursting with music fans sitting knee to knee in front of the piano, the artist on a stool at the front just inches from the nearest audience member. Check out acts like Scrappy Jud Newcomb, The Resentments, Neal Casal, Quincy Coleman, and local acts like Yusuke Muneta and Oharamaya (a cover charge will apply, varying depending on the act). When live music is not on offer, there is always a good selection of albums to browse, especially if your taste runs to folk, roots, and indie.

Next time you're in Kamakura, look past the temples and moss and drop in on a different kind of local color.

JapanTravel website

Tags: American, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide Cafe Goatee: Music, coffee, zakka in old Kamakura 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 11:30-22:00
2-10-7, Komachi, 3F, Kamakura-shi, 14 248-0006 Japan Phone: 090-8430-9708 Cuisine: American, Japanese http://www.cafegoatee.com/index.html By: JapanTravel

Indie music lovers take note: in the midst of the temples and shrines of central Kamakura is a little coffee shop that serves up a great selection of Americana, blues, and singer-songwriter music alongside the caffeine and whiskey.

Located in Kamakura's busy Komachi neighborhood, the surrounding area is all hustle and bustle. Though central, the shop is a little easy to miss: walk down the narrow gauntlet leading from the station to the famous Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. Go through the red torii gate at the entrance to the little shopping street just outside the east exit of the station, walk a couple of blocks, and turn right at the butcher shop. Look up; Cafe Goatee is on the third floor.

Once inside, take a break from sightseeing with a cup of coffee, some baked goods, a plate of curry, or a Jim Beam, neat. Browse through the handcrafted knick knacks and bits of artwork, like knitted pom pom hats and stuffed toys (one of the staffmembers, Noriko, is quite arty-crafty and is responsible for many of the flashes of quirky creativity around the shop). Listen to the tunes and peruse the music selection: in addition to running the cafe, the owner also operates a small music label, music distribution company, and acts as a promoter for visiting artists, all under the Goatee moniker.

This explains why the shop is occasionally closed; when Keiji brings over musicians, he acts as a tour manager and takes the show on the road. The musicians always play at the café as one of the stops on their tour, the tiny space bursting with music fans sitting knee to knee in front of the piano, the artist on a stool at the front just inches from the nearest audience member. Check out acts like Scrappy Jud Newcomb, The Resentments, Neal Casal, Quincy Coleman, and local acts like Yusuke Muneta and Oharamaya (a cover charge will apply, varying depending on the act). When live music is not on offer, there is always a good selection of albums to browse, especially if your taste runs to folk, roots, and indie.

Next time you're in Kamakura, look past the temples and moss and drop in on a different kind of local color.

JapanTravel website

Tags: American, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide Cafe Goatee: Music, coffee, zakka in old Kamakura 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 11:30-22:00
2-10-7, Komachi, 3F, Kamakura-shi, 14 248-0006 Japan Phone: 090-8430-9708 Cuisine: American, Japanese http://www.cafegoatee.com/index.html By: Selena Hoy JapanTravel

Indie music lovers take note: in the midst of the temples and shrines of central Kamakura is a little coffee shop that serves up a great selection of Americana, blues, and singer-songwriter music alongside the caffeine and whiskey.

Located in Kamakura's busy Komachi neighborhood, the surrounding area is all hustle and bustle. Though central, the shop is a little easy to miss: walk down the narrow gauntlet leading from the station to the famous Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine. Go through the red torii gate at the entrance to the little shopping street just outside the east exit of the station, walk a couple of blocks, and turn right at the butcher shop. Look up; Cafe Goatee is on the third floor.

Once inside, take a break from sightseeing with a cup of coffee, some baked goods, a plate of curry, or a Jim Beam, neat. Browse through the handcrafted knick knacks and bits of artwork, like knitted pom pom hats and stuffed toys (one of the staffmembers, Noriko, is quite arty-crafty and is responsible for many of the flashes of quirky creativity around the shop). Listen to the tunes and peruse the music selection: in addition to running the cafe, the owner also operates a small music label, music distribution company, and acts as a promoter for visiting artists, all under the Goatee moniker.

This explains why the shop is occasionally closed; when Keiji brings over musicians, he acts as a tour manager and takes the show on the road. The musicians always play at the café as one of the stops on their tour, the tiny space bursting with music fans sitting knee to knee in front of the piano, the artist on a stool at the front just inches from the nearest audience member. Check out acts like Scrappy Jud Newcomb, The Resentments, Neal Casal, Quincy Coleman, and local acts like Yusuke Muneta and Oharamaya (a cover charge will apply, varying depending on the act). When live music is not on offer, there is always a good selection of albums to browse, especially if your taste runs to folk, roots, and indie.

Next time you're in Kamakura, look past the temples and moss and drop in on a different kind of local color.

JapanTravel website

Tags: American, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Restaurant Guide

New guide covers topics on military-to-civilian transition

Yokosuka News - Wed, 01/01/2014 - 15:55
Tags: EducationNews New guide covers topics on military-to-civilian transition by: Susan S. Kelly, Ph.D. TVPO published: January 02, 2014 Share This:
Comments Email Print TVPO leads strong collaborative effort to revise TAP curriculumA message from the Director of the Transition to Veterans Program Office

Transition from Active Duty in the Armed Forces is an inevitable life-changing event for every Servicemember and family. The redesign of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), with the new curriculum called Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success), clearly shows the commitment of the Department of Defense and our interagency partners to helping you be ready to pursue your career goals in civilian life. We call this “career readiness” and, just like military readiness, it must be a well-planned, organized process that empowers you to make informed career decisions and advance your personal goals. The drive behind “career readiness” is twofold: for you to recognize the technical, as well as valued skills (like leadership), inherent to the military training and experience you’ve received, and for you to align those prized skills to what is needed in the civilian job market. The Department’s redesigned TAP acknowledges that everyone will, if all goes well, separate from Active Duty at some point and career readiness is the “exit strategy” needed by every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman.

As the Department’s lead integrator, the Transition to Veterans Program Office has the responsibility for revising the traditional end-of-career message and ensuring post-military career readiness is ingrained within the Military Life Cycle, a profound culture change for the Department and the Services. Our efforts to date have built a solid foundation for success that include Career Readiness Standards, command involvement, expanded preparation time, and linkage between Servicemembers and the benefits, information, and support they need. Most recently, we launched a Virtual Curriculum on JKO. You now have every module of the Transition GPS curriculum — 11 days of training ­— at your disposal 24/7. You can start and stop, back up for a refresh, and share the lessons with your spouse.

Primary in the redesigned TAP is feedback from those of you who participate in the new Transition GPS curriculum. Whether you attend workshops in a classroom at the installation or via the Virtual Curriculum at JKO https://jkodirect.jten.mil you have the opportunity to evaluate each and every aspect of the program — instructors, content, facilities, etc. Make sure your voice is heard and we stay on track to meeting your needs.

We are grateful to the leaders of the Department of Labor, Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Small Business Administration for contributing to the redesigned TAP. You should know that each have pledged their sustained support to preparing transitioning Servicemembers for civilian life. They have been and continue to be ardent advocates for Servicemembers and Veterans.

The [Stars and Stripes] Transition Guide is full of helpful information and a good first step. The second best step is to get to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) in your Service (ACAP for Army) and let the TAP staff tell you what you need to do to meet Career Readiness standards and build your Individual Transition Plan.  Do something good for yourself! It is never too early!

Susan S. Kelly, Ph.D.
Director, Transition to Veterans Program Office

For helpful information on transitioning out of the military, read the full text of the Fall 2013 Transition Guide here. Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News Related Content: New guide covers topics on military-to-civilian transition by: Susan S. Kelly, Ph.D. TVPO published: Share This:
Comments Email Print TVPO leads strong collaborative effort to revise TAP curriculumA message from the Director of the Transition to Veterans Program Office

Transition from Active Duty in the Armed Forces is an inevitable life-changing event for every Servicemember and family. The redesign of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), with the new curriculum called Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success), clearly shows the commitment of the Department of Defense and our interagency partners to helping you be ready to pursue your career goals in civilian life. We call this “career readiness” and, just like military readiness, it must be a well-planned, organized process that empowers you to make informed career decisions and advance your personal goals. The drive behind “career readiness” is twofold: for you to recognize the technical, as well as valued skills (like leadership), inherent to the military training and experience you’ve received, and for you to align those prized skills to what is needed in the civilian job market. The Department’s redesigned TAP acknowledges that everyone will, if all goes well, separate from Active Duty at some point and career readiness is the “exit strategy” needed by every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman.

As the Department’s lead integrator, the Transition to Veterans Program Office has the responsibility for revising the traditional end-of-career message and ensuring post-military career readiness is ingrained within the Military Life Cycle, a profound culture change for the Department and the Services. Our efforts to date have built a solid foundation for success that include Career Readiness Standards, command involvement, expanded preparation time, and linkage between Servicemembers and the benefits, information, and support they need. Most recently, we launched a Virtual Curriculum on JKO. You now have every module of the Transition GPS curriculum — 11 days of training ­— at your disposal 24/7. You can start and stop, back up for a refresh, and share the lessons with your spouse.

Primary in the redesigned TAP is feedback from those of you who participate in the new Transition GPS curriculum. Whether you attend workshops in a classroom at the installation or via the Virtual Curriculum at JKO https://jkodirect.jten.mil you have the opportunity to evaluate each and every aspect of the program — instructors, content, facilities, etc. Make sure your voice is heard and we stay on track to meeting your needs.

We are grateful to the leaders of the Department of Labor, Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Small Business Administration for contributing to the redesigned TAP. You should know that each have pledged their sustained support to preparing transitioning Servicemembers for civilian life. They have been and continue to be ardent advocates for Servicemembers and Veterans.

The [Stars and Stripes] Transition Guide is full of helpful information and a good first step. The second best step is to get to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) in your Service (ACAP for Army) and let the TAP staff tell you what you need to do to meet Career Readiness standards and build your Individual Transition Plan.  Do something good for yourself! It is never too early!

Susan S. Kelly, Ph.D.
Director, Transition to Veterans Program Office

For helpful information on transitioning out of the military, read the full text of the Fall 2013 Transition Guide here. Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News Related Content:

Program offers clear path for separating Sailors

Yokosuka News - Wed, 01/01/2014 - 11:33
Tags: EducationNews Program offers clear path for separating Sailors by: Wm. Cullen James Navy Personnel Command PAO published: January 02, 2014 Share This:
Comments Email Print

There is a rhythm to Navy service. You wake up at a certain time. You wear a certain uniform. You perform certain tasks. These things are givens and over the course of a career, they can become defining characteristics. So, what happens once that career comes to an end; how does a Sailor jump to civilian life?

The answer is with Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success). The program was created in response to the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act. It is mandatory and provides a variety of pre-separation assistance for separating Sailors. According to Tom Albert, management analyst, Navy Family Readiness office, Transition GPS is a five-day workshop that assists Sailors in making the transition to civilian life.

“There are career readiness standards — a common core that has to be met,” Albert said. “We want to see that you have a budget, are prepared to take care of your family, that you’ve done an assessment of your certifications and skills. It benefits you to make sure you’re ready to apply to the civilian workforce.”

Before the workshop, there are prerequisites. Pre-separation assessment and counseling is mandatory, but Albert suggests that Sailors also have a budget worked out and post-military goals set. “We have set up career readiness standards. Whether your goal is employment or education, we have standards in place to help you succeed,” Albert said.

After taking care of the prerequisites, Sailors can attend the Transition GPS workshop which includes Veterans Affairs benefits briefings, financial planning support, a Department of Labor job search skills building workshop and more. Each Sailor develops an Individual Transition Plan and has that plan assessed during a capstone event. The capstone occurs no less than 90 days prior to separation/retirement, although, according to Albert, Sailors can do this earlier.

“Sailors can go through the course 12 months out if they want to and can also access the Transition GPS virtual curriculum on Joint Knowledge Online (JKO - http://jko.jfcom.mil) any time after that for a refresher,” Albert said. Additionally, the JKO virtual courses offer smart phone applications.

For more information, visit the Navy Personnel Command Transition Assistance website at http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/CAREER/TRANSITION/Pages/TAP.aspx.

Transition GPS for the Reserves From Office of the Chief of Naval Reserve

Navy Reserve Sailors, mobilized or serving on Active Duty over 180 days, attend Transition GPS as they are demobilizing or deactivating. While many Selected Reserve Sailors previously attended Transition Assistance Program (TAP), the Transition GPS contains updated and useful information to help in the return to the civilian sector including education, entrepreneurial, or employment assistance. In particular, the Veteran’s Affairs brief contains new and additional information on benefits that are available to Sailors through their service in the Navy Reserve. While transition to or continuing Navy Reserve service can be one aspect of a successful transition from military to civilian life, Transition GPS contains tools to help whether a Sailor is going through their first transition or fifth.  

Navy Installations Command Keeps Transition GPS Running From Commander, Navy Installations Command

To prepare for the new Transition GPS, Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) installed the Department of Defense (DOD) standardized model across the Navy. This was done by completing site readiness assessments of the Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSCs) that were designated to deliver Transition GPS.

Currently, CNIC has installed at FFSC transition sites around the fleet wi-fi, delivered 2,457 netbooks, 81 printers, 114 barcode scanners, audiovisual equipment, 313 tables and 847 chairs to support the optimum class attendance of 50 participants.

CNIC has also incorporated Navy-specific information into the Transition GPS participant guides which included bridging Navy ratings to civilian careers and financial planning. More than 83,500 guides were shipped to centers around the Navy.

Before all of this was complete, CNIC sent out training teams throughout the Navy to ensure the FFSC staff was up ready to execute the training giving Sailors the options and information they would need to be successful once they returned to civilian life.

Once the program was in place and running CNIC hosted Transition GPS training events that included Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force leadership as guest speakers on topics including Navy’s Transition GPS curriculum review and delivery model and speakers from the Defense Manpower Data Center Transition Assistance to Civilian Life database, Fleet and Family Support Management Information System, Veteran’s Affairs Benefits Briefs, Technical Training Track and Capstone events to provide training on challenges and opportunities pertaining to Transition GPS.

The capstone event is designed to evaluate a Servicemember’s preparedness to successfully transition to a civilian career and whether Career Readiness Standards (CRS) are met. This enables the FFSC and/or commands to conduct group or one-on-one events by the transition staff at the supporting FFSC, or by the Career Transition Officer (CTO).

To ensure the program improves and stays on track with changing technology and regulations, CNIC established the Region Coordinating Group (RCG) in collaboration with the Region Work and Family Life Coordinators to develop and enhance continuous improvement of Work and Family Life Programs.

Moreover, the council provides a platform to leverage collective experience affecting the administrative, operational, and strategic planning of our program(s) delivery across the Navy.

For more information about the Navy’s Transition Assistance Program, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/CAREER/TRANSITION/Pages/TAP.aspx.
 

For helpful information on transitioning out of the military, read the full text of the Fall 2013 Transition Guide here. Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News Related Content: Program offers clear path for separating Sailors by: Wm. Cullen James Navy Personnel Command PAO published: Share This:
Comments Email Print

There is a rhythm to Navy service. You wake up at a certain time. You wear a certain uniform. You perform certain tasks. These things are givens and over the course of a career, they can become defining characteristics. So, what happens once that career comes to an end; how does a Sailor jump to civilian life?

The answer is with Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success). The program was created in response to the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act. It is mandatory and provides a variety of pre-separation assistance for separating Sailors. According to Tom Albert, management analyst, Navy Family Readiness office, Transition GPS is a five-day workshop that assists Sailors in making the transition to civilian life.

“There are career readiness standards — a common core that has to be met,” Albert said. “We want to see that you have a budget, are prepared to take care of your family, that you’ve done an assessment of your certifications and skills. It benefits you to make sure you’re ready to apply to the civilian workforce.”

Before the workshop, there are prerequisites. Pre-separation assessment and counseling is mandatory, but Albert suggests that Sailors also have a budget worked out and post-military goals set. “We have set up career readiness standards. Whether your goal is employment or education, we have standards in place to help you succeed,” Albert said.

After taking care of the prerequisites, Sailors can attend the Transition GPS workshop which includes Veterans Affairs benefits briefings, financial planning support, a Department of Labor job search skills building workshop and more. Each Sailor develops an Individual Transition Plan and has that plan assessed during a capstone event. The capstone occurs no less than 90 days prior to separation/retirement, although, according to Albert, Sailors can do this earlier.

“Sailors can go through the course 12 months out if they want to and can also access the Transition GPS virtual curriculum on Joint Knowledge Online (JKO - http://jko.jfcom.mil) any time after that for a refresher,” Albert said. Additionally, the JKO virtual courses offer smart phone applications.

For more information, visit the Navy Personnel Command Transition Assistance website at http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/CAREER/TRANSITION/Pages/TAP.aspx.

Transition GPS for the Reserves From Office of the Chief of Naval Reserve

Navy Reserve Sailors, mobilized or serving on Active Duty over 180 days, attend Transition GPS as they are demobilizing or deactivating. While many Selected Reserve Sailors previously attended Transition Assistance Program (TAP), the Transition GPS contains updated and useful information to help in the return to the civilian sector including education, entrepreneurial, or employment assistance. In particular, the Veteran’s Affairs brief contains new and additional information on benefits that are available to Sailors through their service in the Navy Reserve. While transition to or continuing Navy Reserve service can be one aspect of a successful transition from military to civilian life, Transition GPS contains tools to help whether a Sailor is going through their first transition or fifth.  

Navy Installations Command Keeps Transition GPS Running From Commander, Navy Installations Command

To prepare for the new Transition GPS, Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) installed the Department of Defense (DOD) standardized model across the Navy. This was done by completing site readiness assessments of the Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSCs) that were designated to deliver Transition GPS.

Currently, CNIC has installed at FFSC transition sites around the fleet wi-fi, delivered 2,457 netbooks, 81 printers, 114 barcode scanners, audiovisual equipment, 313 tables and 847 chairs to support the optimum class attendance of 50 participants.

CNIC has also incorporated Navy-specific information into the Transition GPS participant guides which included bridging Navy ratings to civilian careers and financial planning. More than 83,500 guides were shipped to centers around the Navy.

Before all of this was complete, CNIC sent out training teams throughout the Navy to ensure the FFSC staff was up ready to execute the training giving Sailors the options and information they would need to be successful once they returned to civilian life.

Once the program was in place and running CNIC hosted Transition GPS training events that included Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force leadership as guest speakers on topics including Navy’s Transition GPS curriculum review and delivery model and speakers from the Defense Manpower Data Center Transition Assistance to Civilian Life database, Fleet and Family Support Management Information System, Veteran’s Affairs Benefits Briefs, Technical Training Track and Capstone events to provide training on challenges and opportunities pertaining to Transition GPS.

The capstone event is designed to evaluate a Servicemember’s preparedness to successfully transition to a civilian career and whether Career Readiness Standards (CRS) are met. This enables the FFSC and/or commands to conduct group or one-on-one events by the transition staff at the supporting FFSC, or by the Career Transition Officer (CTO).

To ensure the program improves and stays on track with changing technology and regulations, CNIC established the Region Coordinating Group (RCG) in collaboration with the Region Work and Family Life Coordinators to develop and enhance continuous improvement of Work and Family Life Programs.

Moreover, the council provides a platform to leverage collective experience affecting the administrative, operational, and strategic planning of our program(s) delivery across the Navy.

For more information about the Navy’s Transition Assistance Program, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/BUPERS-NPC/CAREER/TRANSITION/Pages/TAP.aspx.
 

For helpful information on transitioning out of the military, read the full text of the Fall 2013 Transition Guide here. Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News Related Content:

Career Readiness Standards set to prepare Soldiers for civilian careers

Yokosuka News - Wed, 01/01/2014 - 11:15
Tags: EducationNews Career Readiness Standards set to prepare Soldiers for civilian careers

The Army is committed to preparing Soldiers for life after the military. Soldiers must now participate at a higher level in training and counseling sessions and commanders must ensure they meet the requirements. The question is, “How do Career Readiness Standards help ensure a Soldier’s success?”

by: Army Transition Division DoD published: January 02, 2014 Share This:
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The spark ignited November 21, 2012 with the implementation of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act. A year later, the revitalized Army Transition Program is operating at full throttle with a completely re-designed, robust and intuitive program. Transition efforts are an enduring process. Further implementation standards and requirements are on the horizon.

The Army has changed the way it transitions Soldiers by developing the products needed to support the objective of preparing Soldiers for life after Active Duty. Part of the change was enhancing the counseling, curriculum, training, information, and resources necessary to meet Career Readiness Standards (CRS). So what are Career Readiness Standards and why are they important to a successful transition?

Career Readiness Standards are a Department of Defense set of mandated requirements to prepare Soldiers with the knowledge, tools, and skills needed to achieve their individual transition goals. All Soldiers must meet CRS prior to their transition date on their DD Form 214. The requirements for completion are:

  • Preseparation Counseling (DD For 2648/1)
  • Individual Transition Plan
  • VA Benefits Briefing I & II
  • VA eBenefits registration and MyHealtheVet registration
  • The Department of Labor (DOL) Employment Workshop - DOL Gold card
  • 12-month post-service budget
  • Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) Crosswalk with completion of Gap Analysis
  • Complete a job application package including: a private or federal resume, references, and two submitted job applications or a job offer letter
  • Documented continued Military Service opportunity via The United States Army Reserve (USAR) or Army Reserve National Guard (ARNG) — this applies to only Active Component Soldiers
  • Complete an individual assessment tool
  • Capstone event with DD Form 2958
  • Education and Technical Track

- (In accordance with your Individual Transition Plan)
- Assessment to identify aptitudes, interest, strengths, and skills
- Comparison of academic or training institution of choice
- College, university, or technical training application or acceptance letter
- Confirmation of one-on-one counseling with a college, university, or technical institution advisor or counselor

Now that we have defined what CRS is and what each of those individual standards are, it is important to understand the value each bring to the overall success of a transitioning.

Preseparation Counseling is the first step and it begins with The Army Career and Alumni Program. A counselor introduces the Soldier to the benefits and services they are eligible to receive. This counseling session is also where the Soldier begins their DD Form 2648/1.

The Individual Transition Plan (ITP) is the key to success for any education, training or employment objectives the Soldier may plan or wish to pursue. It is also a framework used to set and achieve realistic goals based upon the Soldier’s unique skills, knowledge, experience and abilities. The ITP helps identify actions and activities associated with transition then organizes those activities into manageable tasks. It also helps establish a timeline for completing the activities you select.

Veteran’s Affairs Benefits Briefings I & II is a comprehensive workshop that informs transitioning Soldiers of their veteran benefits options. During these briefings the Soldier will also learn about registering for eBenefits and MyHealtheVet.

The Department of Labor Employment Workshop includes assessment services, creating an individualized plan, career guidance and resume building, and job and training referrals. Soldiers are also informed on how to obtain a Department of Labor Gold Card.

Development of a 12-month post–service budget is achieved by attending the Financial Planning Workshop. A Financial Planning counselor will provide the information and tools needed to identify financial responsibilities, obligations, and goals after transitioning from the military.

The MOS Crosswalk translates military skills, training, and experience into civilian related skills and jobs. Understanding how military skills translate to the civilian sector will benefit Soldiers immensely in their employment search or provide a path to seek further education. The Gap Analysis is the required product documenting this crosswalk.

A job application package is paramount in achieving transition success. Soldiers will create a resume of choice either Federal or civilian, develop a reference list and produce two submitted job applications or you will present a job offer letter to their counselor or commander.

The Department of Defense mandates all active component Servicemembers are provided the opportunity to continue service with the USAR or ARNG and it is documented as part of the Career Readiness Standards.

The final quality control check in ensuring all CRS are met is completing the capstone event. This signifies the Soldier has met the requirements and has received the tools needed for transition success.

In essence, Career Readiness Standards help prepare a Soldier for success after Active Duty. The Army supports this initiative by providing nearly 700 counselors and staff world-wide at 71 locations and a 24/7 Virtual Center (www.acap.army.mil / 800.325.4215) allowing Soldiers to participate in the transition process or speak to a live counselor anytime from anywhere. Finally, to better connect Soldiers to employers, the Army encourages Soldiers to utilize Hero 2 Hired (www.h2h.jobs) for potential employment opportunities.

For helpful information on transitioning out of the military, read the full text of the Fall 2013 Transition Guide here. Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News Related Content: Career Readiness Standards set to prepare Soldiers for civilian careers

The Army is committed to preparing Soldiers for life after the military. Soldiers must now participate at a higher level in training and counseling sessions and commanders must ensure they meet the requirements. The question is, “How do Career Readiness Standards help ensure a Soldier’s success?”

by: Army Transition Division DoD published: Share This:
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The spark ignited November 21, 2012 with the implementation of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act. A year later, the revitalized Army Transition Program is operating at full throttle with a completely re-designed, robust and intuitive program. Transition efforts are an enduring process. Further implementation standards and requirements are on the horizon.

The Army has changed the way it transitions Soldiers by developing the products needed to support the objective of preparing Soldiers for life after Active Duty. Part of the change was enhancing the counseling, curriculum, training, information, and resources necessary to meet Career Readiness Standards (CRS). So what are Career Readiness Standards and why are they important to a successful transition?

Career Readiness Standards are a Department of Defense set of mandated requirements to prepare Soldiers with the knowledge, tools, and skills needed to achieve their individual transition goals. All Soldiers must meet CRS prior to their transition date on their DD Form 214. The requirements for completion are:

  • Preseparation Counseling (DD For 2648/1)
  • Individual Transition Plan
  • VA Benefits Briefing I & II
  • VA eBenefits registration and MyHealtheVet registration
  • The Department of Labor (DOL) Employment Workshop - DOL Gold card
  • 12-month post-service budget
  • Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) Crosswalk with completion of Gap Analysis
  • Complete a job application package including: a private or federal resume, references, and two submitted job applications or a job offer letter
  • Documented continued Military Service opportunity via The United States Army Reserve (USAR) or Army Reserve National Guard (ARNG) — this applies to only Active Component Soldiers
  • Complete an individual assessment tool
  • Capstone event with DD Form 2958
  • Education and Technical Track

- (In accordance with your Individual Transition Plan)
- Assessment to identify aptitudes, interest, strengths, and skills
- Comparison of academic or training institution of choice
- College, university, or technical training application or acceptance letter
- Confirmation of one-on-one counseling with a college, university, or technical institution advisor or counselor

Now that we have defined what CRS is and what each of those individual standards are, it is important to understand the value each bring to the overall success of a transitioning.

Preseparation Counseling is the first step and it begins with The Army Career and Alumni Program. A counselor introduces the Soldier to the benefits and services they are eligible to receive. This counseling session is also where the Soldier begins their DD Form 2648/1.

The Individual Transition Plan (ITP) is the key to success for any education, training or employment objectives the Soldier may plan or wish to pursue. It is also a framework used to set and achieve realistic goals based upon the Soldier’s unique skills, knowledge, experience and abilities. The ITP helps identify actions and activities associated with transition then organizes those activities into manageable tasks. It also helps establish a timeline for completing the activities you select.

Veteran’s Affairs Benefits Briefings I & II is a comprehensive workshop that informs transitioning Soldiers of their veteran benefits options. During these briefings the Soldier will also learn about registering for eBenefits and MyHealtheVet.

The Department of Labor Employment Workshop includes assessment services, creating an individualized plan, career guidance and resume building, and job and training referrals. Soldiers are also informed on how to obtain a Department of Labor Gold Card.

Development of a 12-month post–service budget is achieved by attending the Financial Planning Workshop. A Financial Planning counselor will provide the information and tools needed to identify financial responsibilities, obligations, and goals after transitioning from the military.

The MOS Crosswalk translates military skills, training, and experience into civilian related skills and jobs. Understanding how military skills translate to the civilian sector will benefit Soldiers immensely in their employment search or provide a path to seek further education. The Gap Analysis is the required product documenting this crosswalk.

A job application package is paramount in achieving transition success. Soldiers will create a resume of choice either Federal or civilian, develop a reference list and produce two submitted job applications or you will present a job offer letter to their counselor or commander.

The Department of Defense mandates all active component Servicemembers are provided the opportunity to continue service with the USAR or ARNG and it is documented as part of the Career Readiness Standards.

The final quality control check in ensuring all CRS are met is completing the capstone event. This signifies the Soldier has met the requirements and has received the tools needed for transition success.

In essence, Career Readiness Standards help prepare a Soldier for success after Active Duty. The Army supports this initiative by providing nearly 700 counselors and staff world-wide at 71 locations and a 24/7 Virtual Center (www.acap.army.mil / 800.325.4215) allowing Soldiers to participate in the transition process or speak to a live counselor anytime from anywhere. Finally, to better connect Soldiers to employers, the Army encourages Soldiers to utilize Hero 2 Hired (www.h2h.jobs) for potential employment opportunities.

For helpful information on transitioning out of the military, read the full text of the Fall 2013 Transition Guide here. Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News Related Content:

Transition GPS & Virtual Curriculum: Where you are, when you need it training for separation assistance

Yokosuka News - Wed, 01/01/2014 - 11:00
Tags: EducationNews Transition GPS & Virtual Curriculum: Where you are, when you need it training for separation assistance by: Transition to Veterans Program Office and JKO DoD published: January 02, 2014 Share This:
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Early indicators point to a strong start and receptiveness for online transition assistance by separating Servicemembers. The Defense Department Transition to Veterans Program Office announced availability of the Transition GPS (Goals, Plans and Success) virtual curriculum on the Joint Knowledge Online, or JKO, Portal in early October. Launched ahead of schedule to meet the need for an alternative training option due to government shutdown and closure of schoolhouse training, the Transition GPS virtual curriculum reports over one thousand course completions and positive user experience in the first three weeks. A credit to interagency partnership commitment to returning Servicemembers, the virtual curriculum is applauded as comprehensive, accessible, flexible and effective. 

Asked whether the online courses effectively support transition planning from Active Duty, survey responses of early users indicate 70% either “Strongly Agree” or “Agree.”  Comments offered reflect a positive experience as well: “This course helped me set a goal on what to do next.” “I learned how to make my transition to civilian life a lot easier.” “It helped because it provided a framework for the actions/considerations that will need to be considered as I approach retirement, as well as addressing the mental/emotional side of the process and available resources.” “It’s all good!!”

The virtual curriculum is part of the broader Transition Assistance Program redesign, packaged as Transition GPS, to deliver outcomes-based training based on career readiness standards to better prepare Servicemembers for successful transition from military to civilian life. The comprehensive program includes pre-separation counseling, development of a personal transition plan, and certification that career readiness standards are met before separation. The new curriculum, created by an interagency task force, is designed to provide a framework for making informed decisions - to set goals for civilian life and gain the skills and resources needed to make a plan for success in meeting those goals.

The Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force, responsible for the transition assistance redesign, reached out to the Joint Staff for assistance to deliver the curriculum virtually on JKO to ensure accessibility for all Servicemembers — those geographically isolated from installations and classroom training. The virtual curriculum does not replace classroom training, but is a critical component of the new program and enables the objective to integrate transition considerations earlier as part of the full military lifecycle. Continuous availability of the virtual curriculum allows Servicemembers to self-educate and potentially use the information to shape military career decisions as an integrated path toward transition to civilian life.

The Task Force looked to JKO as the Joint Staff online training capability recognized for distributed learning expertise. The architecture is a mature learning content management system providing global, 24/7 access to military training with over 1.3M registered users and averaging 85 thousand course completions per month. It made sense to use the existing capability that Servicemembers go to for military training and to provide continuous availability to this useful information and resources anywhere, anytime. Comprehensively, JKO is the learning management system and courseware development toolkit for developing, delivering, tracking and reporting online training, and the staff of experts in instructional design and distributed learning technology. This team worked collaboratively with instructional experts from the Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs, Labor and Education departments, as well as the Small Business Administration and the Office of Personnel Management to develop the Transition GPS virtual curriculum, ensuring all training modules are based on learning objectives and performance assessments to meet career readiness standards.

The core curriculum spans transition overview highlighting key issues and considerations for transition planning, financial planning, translating military experience and skills to the civilian sector, VA benefits briefings, Department of Labor employment workshop, and development of an Individual Transition Plan. Optional training tracks are available for accessing higher education, technical training and starting your own business. Training is practical and tangible as individuals prepare a 12-month post-separation budget, develop a job application packet with resume and personal and professional references, and learn how to apply for all eligible VA benefits. Depending on personal pursuit, Servicemembers may opt for training on identifying and applying to colleges or technical institutions using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, or the entrepreneur track that will assist in building a business plan.

The new Transition Assistance Program, Transition GPS, is a great example of cost effective leveraging of resources and capabilities to better serve our Servicemembers. The Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force, by virtue of collaboration and cooperation, is affecting a culture shift on a number of fronts ­— to a military lifecycle transition model versus waiting to the end of the service career, using online training to complement and augment schoolhouse training, and a cross-collaboration to develop a complete curriculum based on standards and learning objectives that can be adapted across Services without losing fidelity.

For helpful information on transitioning out of the military, read the full text of the Fall 2013 Transition Guide here. Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News Related Content: Transition GPS & Virtual Curriculum: Where you are, when you need it training for separation assistance by: Transition to Veterans Program Office and JKO DoD published: Share This:
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Early indicators point to a strong start and receptiveness for online transition assistance by separating Servicemembers. The Defense Department Transition to Veterans Program Office announced availability of the Transition GPS (Goals, Plans and Success) virtual curriculum on the Joint Knowledge Online, or JKO, Portal in early October. Launched ahead of schedule to meet the need for an alternative training option due to government shutdown and closure of schoolhouse training, the Transition GPS virtual curriculum reports over one thousand course completions and positive user experience in the first three weeks. A credit to interagency partnership commitment to returning Servicemembers, the virtual curriculum is applauded as comprehensive, accessible, flexible and effective. 

Asked whether the online courses effectively support transition planning from Active Duty, survey responses of early users indicate 70% either “Strongly Agree” or “Agree.”  Comments offered reflect a positive experience as well: “This course helped me set a goal on what to do next.” “I learned how to make my transition to civilian life a lot easier.” “It helped because it provided a framework for the actions/considerations that will need to be considered as I approach retirement, as well as addressing the mental/emotional side of the process and available resources.” “It’s all good!!”

The virtual curriculum is part of the broader Transition Assistance Program redesign, packaged as Transition GPS, to deliver outcomes-based training based on career readiness standards to better prepare Servicemembers for successful transition from military to civilian life. The comprehensive program includes pre-separation counseling, development of a personal transition plan, and certification that career readiness standards are met before separation. The new curriculum, created by an interagency task force, is designed to provide a framework for making informed decisions - to set goals for civilian life and gain the skills and resources needed to make a plan for success in meeting those goals.

The Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force, responsible for the transition assistance redesign, reached out to the Joint Staff for assistance to deliver the curriculum virtually on JKO to ensure accessibility for all Servicemembers — those geographically isolated from installations and classroom training. The virtual curriculum does not replace classroom training, but is a critical component of the new program and enables the objective to integrate transition considerations earlier as part of the full military lifecycle. Continuous availability of the virtual curriculum allows Servicemembers to self-educate and potentially use the information to shape military career decisions as an integrated path toward transition to civilian life.

The Task Force looked to JKO as the Joint Staff online training capability recognized for distributed learning expertise. The architecture is a mature learning content management system providing global, 24/7 access to military training with over 1.3M registered users and averaging 85 thousand course completions per month. It made sense to use the existing capability that Servicemembers go to for military training and to provide continuous availability to this useful information and resources anywhere, anytime. Comprehensively, JKO is the learning management system and courseware development toolkit for developing, delivering, tracking and reporting online training, and the staff of experts in instructional design and distributed learning technology. This team worked collaboratively with instructional experts from the Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs, Labor and Education departments, as well as the Small Business Administration and the Office of Personnel Management to develop the Transition GPS virtual curriculum, ensuring all training modules are based on learning objectives and performance assessments to meet career readiness standards.

The core curriculum spans transition overview highlighting key issues and considerations for transition planning, financial planning, translating military experience and skills to the civilian sector, VA benefits briefings, Department of Labor employment workshop, and development of an Individual Transition Plan. Optional training tracks are available for accessing higher education, technical training and starting your own business. Training is practical and tangible as individuals prepare a 12-month post-separation budget, develop a job application packet with resume and personal and professional references, and learn how to apply for all eligible VA benefits. Depending on personal pursuit, Servicemembers may opt for training on identifying and applying to colleges or technical institutions using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, or the entrepreneur track that will assist in building a business plan.

The new Transition Assistance Program, Transition GPS, is a great example of cost effective leveraging of resources and capabilities to better serve our Servicemembers. The Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force, by virtue of collaboration and cooperation, is affecting a culture shift on a number of fronts ­— to a military lifecycle transition model versus waiting to the end of the service career, using online training to complement and augment schoolhouse training, and a cross-collaboration to develop a complete curriculum based on standards and learning objectives that can be adapted across Services without losing fidelity.

For helpful information on transitioning out of the military, read the full text of the Fall 2013 Transition Guide here. Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News Related Content:

Old school ramen: Hope-ken

Yokosuka News - Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:47
<b>Address</b>:  Japan Phone: 03-3405-4249 Operating Hours: Monday: 0:00-0:00
Sunday: 0:00-0:00
Cuisine: Japanese Old school ramen: Hope-ken 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 0:00-0:00
Sunday: 0:00-0:00
Japan Phone: 03-3405-4249 Cuisine: Japanese By: Brian MacDuckston Metropolis Magazine

Imagine a 20-year-old kid dragging a ramen cart around Kabukicho in the ’60s. This is what the founder did for 15 years before finally moving in to the Hope-ken shop (2-33-9 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku. Open 24/7. Tel: 03-3405-4249) in Setagaya. A landmark in the area, this bright yellow building is impossible to miss. Just follow your nose. The ramen here is intense. Half pure pork bliss and half hot oil. Go for the one with the wonton (wontonmen ¥950). Open 24/7/365.

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide Old school ramen: Hope-ken 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 0:00-0:00
Sunday: 0:00-0:00
Japan Phone: 03-3405-4249 Cuisine: Japanese By: Metropolis Magazine

Imagine a 20-year-old kid dragging a ramen cart around Kabukicho in the ’60s. This is what the founder did for 15 years before finally moving in to the Hope-ken shop (2-33-9 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku. Open 24/7. Tel: 03-3405-4249) in Setagaya. A landmark in the area, this bright yellow building is impossible to miss. Just follow your nose. The ramen here is intense. Half pure pork bliss and half hot oil. Go for the one with the wonton (wontonmen ¥950). Open 24/7/365.

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide Old school ramen: Hope-ken 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday: 0:00-0:00
Sunday: 0:00-0:00
Japan Phone: 03-3405-4249 Cuisine: Japanese By: Metropolis Magazine

Imagine a 20-year-old kid dragging a ramen cart around Kabukicho in the ’60s. This is what the founder did for 15 years before finally moving in to the Hope-ken shop (2-33-9 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku. Open 24/7. Tel: 03-3405-4249) in Setagaya. A landmark in the area, this bright yellow building is impossible to miss. Just follow your nose. The ramen here is intense. Half pure pork bliss and half hot oil. Go for the one with the wonton (wontonmen ¥950). Open 24/7/365.

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide

Old school ramen: Sabuchan

Yokosuka News - Tue, 12/31/2013 - 22:43
<b>Address</b>:  Japan Phone: 03-3230-1252 Operating Hours: Monday - Sunday: 11:30-15:00, 16:20-19:00
Cuisine: Japanese Old school ramen: Sabuchan 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 11:30-15:00, 16:20-19:00
Japan Phone: 03-3230-1252 Cuisine: Japanese By: Brian MacDuckston Metropolis Magazine

Eating at Sabuchan (2024 Kandajinbocho, Chiyoda-ku. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm & 4:20pm-7:30pm, closed Sun. Tel: 03-3230-1252) is like taking a time machine to a Showa-era eatery. Opened in 1967, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were still using the same pots and pans. One thing is for sure—the ramen master, Mr. Sabuchan, is like a character out of an old black-and-white movie, noir-ishly chain-smoking out the back door between filling ramen bowls and frying rice. The concept of a bowl of simple shoyu ramen with fried rice on the side? Invented here. The half-fried rice with ramen is ¥720.

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide Old school ramen: Sabuchan 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 11:30-15:00, 16:20-19:00
Japan Phone: 03-3230-1252 Cuisine: Japanese By: Metropolis Magazine

Eating at Sabuchan (2024 Kandajinbocho, Chiyoda-ku. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm & 4:20pm-7:30pm, closed Sun. Tel: 03-3230-1252) is like taking a time machine to a Showa-era eatery. Opened in 1967, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were still using the same pots and pans. One thing is for sure—the ramen master, Mr. Sabuchan, is like a character out of an old black-and-white movie, noir-ishly chain-smoking out the back door between filling ramen bowls and frying rice. The concept of a bowl of simple shoyu ramen with fried rice on the side? Invented here. The half-fried rice with ramen is ¥720.

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide Old school ramen: Sabuchan 0 Comments Email Print Price: n/a Review: n/a Monday - Sunday: 11:30-15:00, 16:20-19:00
Japan Phone: 03-3230-1252 Cuisine: Japanese By: Metropolis Magazine

Eating at Sabuchan (2024 Kandajinbocho, Chiyoda-ku. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm & 4:20pm-7:30pm, closed Sun. Tel: 03-3230-1252) is like taking a time machine to a Showa-era eatery. Opened in 1967, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were still using the same pots and pans. One thing is for sure—the ramen master, Mr. Sabuchan, is like a character out of an old black-and-white movie, noir-ishly chain-smoking out the back door between filling ramen bowls and frying rice. The concept of a bowl of simple shoyu ramen with fried rice on the side? Invented here. The half-fried rice with ramen is ¥720.

Tags: Camp Zama, Japanese, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Restaurant Guide

Soldier pushes for change to GI Bill

Yokosuka News - Sat, 12/28/2013 - 18:44
Tags: EducationNewsBase Info Soldier pushes for change to GI Bill by: Hugh Lessig Foreign Policy published: December 29, 2013 Share This:
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WASHINGTON — The Air Force is flying into gale force winds as commercial airlines start a hiring spree while military aviators struggle with low morale due to cutbacks and idle jets. And the Air Force may see a shortage as pilots vote with their feet.

Over the next year, the commercial airline industry is going to begin hiring tens of thousands of new pilots as aging flyers retire and the industry regains its economic footing. That could put dark clouds in the way of the Air Force's wild blue yonder as it tries to persuade pilots to stay in a service even as top officials worry that pilots don't have enough yoke time.

"If pilots aren't flying in the Air Force because of our readiness issue, we worry that a number of them are going to say, 'I'm flying somewhere else,'" acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning told Foreign Policy in an interview this month. "If I'm looking at my jet parked on the ramp instead of flying it and I can get a job somewhere else flying, then I'm going to do that. So we are concerned that there is a sort of perfect storm approaching us in terms of flying retention."

Fanning said current retention rates are better than historical averages. But he fears there are a number of lagging indicators that don't tell the real story of how furloughs, the government shutdown, and lower readiness rates will affect the force over the next few years. The Air Force has publicly raised the alarm about its lower readiness rates because of sequestration and budget cutbacks. It may be using the threat of a pilot shortage to convince its budget overseers in Congress to ensure the service is properly funded. But no one disputes the factors at play are real.

Those factors start with the commercial aviation sector. There are three issues the industry is facing that could affect the Air Force in a significant way. The biggest one is the change to mandatory retirements for commercial airline pilots. In 2007, the FAA changed the mandatory retirement age for pilots from 60 to 65, keeping more seasoned pilots in the cockpits. But now thousands of those pilots are reaching retirement age and the airline industry, which is experiencing a comeback, will confront a shortage of experienced pilots across many airlines.

"That wave is just hitting," said one Air Force official.

The FAA also increased the minimum number of flying hours pilots must have after the crash in Buffalo, NY, in 2009 of a Colgan Air commuter flight that pointed out problems with more inexperienced pilots. There are additional crew rest regulations as well that require airlines to maintain more pilots on staff.

The numbers suggest the Air Force's fears are grounded in reality: Some worst case scenarios suggest the airline industry -- including international carriers -- could hire as many as 50,000 pilots over the next 10 years, and some estimates are even higher. If the industry aggressively targets pilots serving in the U.S. Air Force, the service could be in for some turbulence. The Airline Pilots Association, the primary trade group representing the interests of pilots and which is tracking the issue, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News, Base Info Related Content: Soldier pushes for change to GI Bill by: Hugh Lessig Foreign Policy published: Share This:
Comments Email Print

WASHINGTON — The Air Force is flying into gale force winds as commercial airlines start a hiring spree while military aviators struggle with low morale due to cutbacks and idle jets. And the Air Force may see a shortage as pilots vote with their feet.

Over the next year, the commercial airline industry is going to begin hiring tens of thousands of new pilots as aging flyers retire and the industry regains its economic footing. That could put dark clouds in the way of the Air Force's wild blue yonder as it tries to persuade pilots to stay in a service even as top officials worry that pilots don't have enough yoke time.

"If pilots aren't flying in the Air Force because of our readiness issue, we worry that a number of them are going to say, 'I'm flying somewhere else,'" acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning told Foreign Policy in an interview this month. "If I'm looking at my jet parked on the ramp instead of flying it and I can get a job somewhere else flying, then I'm going to do that. So we are concerned that there is a sort of perfect storm approaching us in terms of flying retention."

Fanning said current retention rates are better than historical averages. But he fears there are a number of lagging indicators that don't tell the real story of how furloughs, the government shutdown, and lower readiness rates will affect the force over the next few years. The Air Force has publicly raised the alarm about its lower readiness rates because of sequestration and budget cutbacks. It may be using the threat of a pilot shortage to convince its budget overseers in Congress to ensure the service is properly funded. But no one disputes the factors at play are real.

Those factors start with the commercial aviation sector. There are three issues the industry is facing that could affect the Air Force in a significant way. The biggest one is the change to mandatory retirements for commercial airline pilots. In 2007, the FAA changed the mandatory retirement age for pilots from 60 to 65, keeping more seasoned pilots in the cockpits. But now thousands of those pilots are reaching retirement age and the airline industry, which is experiencing a comeback, will confront a shortage of experienced pilots across many airlines.

"That wave is just hitting," said one Air Force official.

The FAA also increased the minimum number of flying hours pilots must have after the crash in Buffalo, NY, in 2009 of a Colgan Air commuter flight that pointed out problems with more inexperienced pilots. There are additional crew rest regulations as well that require airlines to maintain more pilots on staff.

The numbers suggest the Air Force's fears are grounded in reality: Some worst case scenarios suggest the airline industry -- including international carriers -- could hire as many as 50,000 pilots over the next 10 years, and some estimates are even higher. If the industry aggressively targets pilots serving in the U.S. Air Force, the service could be in for some turbulence. The Airline Pilots Association, the primary trade group representing the interests of pilots and which is tracking the issue, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, Education, News, Base Info Related Content:

US military sex assault reports jump by 50 percent

Yokosuka News - Sat, 12/28/2013 - 03:15
Tags: NewsBase Info US military sex assault reports jump by 50 percent by: LOLITA C. BALDOR The Associated Press published: December 28, 2013 Share This:
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WASHINGTON — The number of reported sexual assaults across the military shot up by more than 50 percent this year, an increase that defense officials say may suggest that victims are becoming more willing to come forward after a tumultuous year of scandals that shined a spotlight on the crimes and put pressure on the military to take aggressive action.

A string of high-profile assaults and arrests triggered outrage in Congress and set off months of debate over how to change the military justice system, while military leaders launched a series of new programs intended to beef up accountability and encourage victims to come forward.

According to early data obtained by The Associated Press, there were more than 5,000 reports of sexual assault filed during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared to the 3,374 in 2012. Of those 2013 reports, about 10 percent involved incidents that occurred before the victim got into the military, up from just 4 percent only a year ago. That increase, officials said, suggests that confidence in the system is growing and that victims are more willing to come forward.

Asked about the preliminary data, defense officials were cautious in their conclusions. But they said surveys, focus groups and repeated meetings with service members throughout the year suggest that the number of actual incidents — from unwanted sexual contact and harassment to violent assaults — has remained largely steady.

"Given the multiple data points, we assess that this is more reporting," said Col. Alan R. Metzler, deputy director of the Pentagon's sexual assault prevention and response office. He also noted that more victims are agreeing to make official complaints, rather than simply seeking medical care without filing formal accusations.

The military has long struggled to get victims to report sexual harassment and assault in a stern military culture that emphasizes rank, loyalty and toughness. Too often, victims have complained that they were afraid to report assaults to ranking officers, or that their initial complaints were rebuffed or ignored.

As a result, the crime has been vastly underreported -- a fact that became evident when officials announced earlier this year that an anonymous survey had revealed that about 26,000 service members reported some type of unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault.

According to the latest numbers, the increase in reports across the services ranges from a low of about 45 percent for the Air Force to a high of 86 percent for the Marines, the smallest service. The Navy had an increase of 46 percent and the Army, by far the largest military service, had a 50 percent jump.

Jill Loftus, director of the Navy's sexual assault program, which also includes the Marine Corps, said the increase in reporting also suggests that more service members are starting to understand what types of behavior constitute harassment or assault.

She said that based on Navy surveys, "we are not seeing a perception that the number of incidents are going up."

"More likely, we have people who understand what sexual assault is," she said. And, she said, officials are hearing that more people are comfortable coming forward.

Meanwhile, a myriad of sexual assault arrests and scandals, including an Air Force commander's decision to dismiss sex assault charges against another officer who had been convicted of multiple offenses, got the attention of Congress. And it all led to a series of often emotional public hearings in which victims described their experiences.

On Friday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said the data shows that bold reforms are needed in order to get more victims to report the abuses, and not fear retaliation or worry that nothing will be done.

"These numbers further confirm the epidemic of sexual assault that exists in the military," said Gillibrand, one of several women in the Senate who pushed for changes in the military justice system. "We must do more to weed out these offenders and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

The legislation signed Thursday by President Barack Obama prevents commanders from overturning jury conviction for sexual assault, requires a civilian review when commanders decline to prosecute, requires dishonorable discharge or dismissal for those convicted, eliminates the statute of limitations for courts-martial in rape and sexual assault cases and criminalizes retaliation against victims who report an assault.

As Congress debated changes in the military's justice system, the Pentagon and the services instituted new training programs that targeted rank-and-file service members as well as top commanders and officers.

Several of the new programs were aimed at encouraging service members to be more vigilant, and to look out for each other and intercede if they saw a bad situation developing. There also were moves to restrict alcohol sales, since drinking has long been associated with sexual assault and harassment.

By year's end, after lengthy negotiations between Capitol Hill and the Pentagon, lawmakers passed legislation that beefs up legal rights for victims and strips military commanders of their ability to overturn jury convictions. It also requires a civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case and requires that any individual convicted of sexual assault face a dishonorable discharge or dismissal.

Defense officials beat back efforts to more drastically revamp the military justice system that would take authority away from commanders and allow victims of rape and sexual assault to go outside the chain of command for prosecutions.

Still, military leaders acknowledge a lot of work remains to be done.

Metzler said the goal for this year is to continue efforts to increase reporting while also working more directly to reduce the survey number of 26,000 sexual harassment and assault victims.

Already, the military services are exchanging information on prevention programs that seem to be working.

Air Force officials, for example, visited a Navy pilot program at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois that worked with local hotels and bars to try to crack down on drinking by sailors from the naval station there. In the program, sailors are being taught to intervene when they see mates in trouble or engaging in bad behavior.

Loftus said the goal this year will be to improve the training so that sailors will actually have to act out scenarios in order to help them figure out when it's best to intervene and to ensure they have some type of plan before jumping into a situation.

Other programs that are being used more broadly include moves to cut hours of alcohol sales and the use of roving patrols of service members looking out for troops in trouble. She also said that some commanders are making their courts martial more public, publicizing the punishments for crimes, including sexual assault, and even holding cases on their parade fields, where all can watch.

"We're still not where we want things to be," said Metzler. "But we think all of this is having an effect."

Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, News, Base Info Related Content: US military sex assault reports jump by 50 percent by: LOLITA C. BALDOR The Associated Press published: Share This:
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WASHINGTON — The number of reported sexual assaults across the military shot up by more than 50 percent this year, an increase that defense officials say may suggest that victims are becoming more willing to come forward after a tumultuous year of scandals that shined a spotlight on the crimes and put pressure on the military to take aggressive action.

A string of high-profile assaults and arrests triggered outrage in Congress and set off months of debate over how to change the military justice system, while military leaders launched a series of new programs intended to beef up accountability and encourage victims to come forward.

According to early data obtained by The Associated Press, there were more than 5,000 reports of sexual assault filed during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared to the 3,374 in 2012. Of those 2013 reports, about 10 percent involved incidents that occurred before the victim got into the military, up from just 4 percent only a year ago. That increase, officials said, suggests that confidence in the system is growing and that victims are more willing to come forward.

Asked about the preliminary data, defense officials were cautious in their conclusions. But they said surveys, focus groups and repeated meetings with service members throughout the year suggest that the number of actual incidents — from unwanted sexual contact and harassment to violent assaults — has remained largely steady.

"Given the multiple data points, we assess that this is more reporting," said Col. Alan R. Metzler, deputy director of the Pentagon's sexual assault prevention and response office. He also noted that more victims are agreeing to make official complaints, rather than simply seeking medical care without filing formal accusations.

The military has long struggled to get victims to report sexual harassment and assault in a stern military culture that emphasizes rank, loyalty and toughness. Too often, victims have complained that they were afraid to report assaults to ranking officers, or that their initial complaints were rebuffed or ignored.

As a result, the crime has been vastly underreported -- a fact that became evident when officials announced earlier this year that an anonymous survey had revealed that about 26,000 service members reported some type of unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault.

According to the latest numbers, the increase in reports across the services ranges from a low of about 45 percent for the Air Force to a high of 86 percent for the Marines, the smallest service. The Navy had an increase of 46 percent and the Army, by far the largest military service, had a 50 percent jump.

Jill Loftus, director of the Navy's sexual assault program, which also includes the Marine Corps, said the increase in reporting also suggests that more service members are starting to understand what types of behavior constitute harassment or assault.

She said that based on Navy surveys, "we are not seeing a perception that the number of incidents are going up."

"More likely, we have people who understand what sexual assault is," she said. And, she said, officials are hearing that more people are comfortable coming forward.

Meanwhile, a myriad of sexual assault arrests and scandals, including an Air Force commander's decision to dismiss sex assault charges against another officer who had been convicted of multiple offenses, got the attention of Congress. And it all led to a series of often emotional public hearings in which victims described their experiences.

On Friday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said the data shows that bold reforms are needed in order to get more victims to report the abuses, and not fear retaliation or worry that nothing will be done.

"These numbers further confirm the epidemic of sexual assault that exists in the military," said Gillibrand, one of several women in the Senate who pushed for changes in the military justice system. "We must do more to weed out these offenders and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

The legislation signed Thursday by President Barack Obama prevents commanders from overturning jury conviction for sexual assault, requires a civilian review when commanders decline to prosecute, requires dishonorable discharge or dismissal for those convicted, eliminates the statute of limitations for courts-martial in rape and sexual assault cases and criminalizes retaliation against victims who report an assault.

As Congress debated changes in the military's justice system, the Pentagon and the services instituted new training programs that targeted rank-and-file service members as well as top commanders and officers.

Several of the new programs were aimed at encouraging service members to be more vigilant, and to look out for each other and intercede if they saw a bad situation developing. There also were moves to restrict alcohol sales, since drinking has long been associated with sexual assault and harassment.

By year's end, after lengthy negotiations between Capitol Hill and the Pentagon, lawmakers passed legislation that beefs up legal rights for victims and strips military commanders of their ability to overturn jury convictions. It also requires a civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case and requires that any individual convicted of sexual assault face a dishonorable discharge or dismissal.

Defense officials beat back efforts to more drastically revamp the military justice system that would take authority away from commanders and allow victims of rape and sexual assault to go outside the chain of command for prosecutions.

Still, military leaders acknowledge a lot of work remains to be done.

Metzler said the goal for this year is to continue efforts to increase reporting while also working more directly to reduce the survey number of 26,000 sexual harassment and assault victims.

Already, the military services are exchanging information on prevention programs that seem to be working.

Air Force officials, for example, visited a Navy pilot program at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois that worked with local hotels and bars to try to crack down on drinking by sailors from the naval station there. In the program, sailors are being taught to intervene when they see mates in trouble or engaging in bad behavior.

Loftus said the goal this year will be to improve the training so that sailors will actually have to act out scenarios in order to help them figure out when it's best to intervene and to ensure they have some type of plan before jumping into a situation.

Other programs that are being used more broadly include moves to cut hours of alcohol sales and the use of roving patrols of service members looking out for troops in trouble. She also said that some commanders are making their courts martial more public, publicizing the punishments for crimes, including sexual assault, and even holding cases on their parade fields, where all can watch.

"We're still not where we want things to be," said Metzler. "But we think all of this is having an effect."

Tags: Camp Fuji, Camp Zama, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Misawa Air Bae, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokota Air Base, News, Base Info Related Content: