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Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006

LIFELINES

Island travel and Mac help


Airport on Ogasawara?

J and partner have heard that there is an air service to Ogasawara (the Bonin Islands) -- described in my book Insider's Tokyo (2001) as "Tokyo furthest flung outpost."

Somewhat aghast that the islanders might have changed their mind about saying no to any kind of airport in order to maintain the unique quality and diversity of wildlife in this beautiful part of the world (technically part of the metropolitan area despite being 1000 km south of the capital), I called Ogasawara's village office at 3-7-9 8F Shibaura, Minato-ku (03-3451 5171).

Its official Web site (in Japanese only) can be found on www.ogasawarakaiun.co.jp

For a Web site in English, go to www.divejapan.com

This gives a lot of general and specific information on diving spots all over Japan, including Ogasawara, with details on places to stay, whale watching, bird watching and wild life in general.

Still the only way to reach Chichi-jima (which along with Haha-jima are the only two islands of the group to be inhabited) is by ferry.

Boats leave Take-bashi San-bashi in Tokyo Port, traveling overnight to arrive at Futami Port around 25 hours later.

There is a heliport and also a Maritime SDF seaplane facility for emergencies. But that is all.

And before anyone jumps in to argue, I would ask that you consider what is happening to all the beauty spots of the world, especially those newly promoted for tourism and development.

Japan's Shiretoko, recently designated a World Heritage Site, is a prime example.

Now everyone wants to go there, defeating the whole exercise in preservation. Maybe we have to follow the example of the Galapagos islands: make reservations well ahead.

Apple crashes

I was not the only one to experience trouble with my i-Mac last week. I know of two Apple computers that also developed problems. My own simply died, faded away.

But thanks to Matsuo Hisashi of "Good Mac Life Partner" Studio Hisa in the wilds of outer Fujisawa, it is now back up and running. And he sorted it out overnight -- the weather, he says, probably caused malfunction of the hard disc.

Studio Hisa is at 5608-1 Endoh, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken 252-0816 (Phone: 0466-48 4046; Fax: 0466-48 2386; Cell: 090-8631 8322) E-mail: hisashimat@mac.com

Archive

Reader Ken asks if it would be possible for all Lifelines articles to be collected in a database that could be easily accessed by our readers.

In fact, all Lifelines articles are archived together and accessible through the Community section of the Japan Times Web site at www.japantimes.co.jp

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp


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