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  1. An interesting program about JR Central's Hamamatsu Works. I've seen some other documentaries about this facility, but this one is recent and is edited in an interesting style, not a lot of talking. Kinda good to chill out to 🙂 This is on TV Aichi's YouTube channel.
  2. Regional operator Shizuoka Railway has announced that it has ordered new rolling stock for the first time in 40 years. Delivery will begin in Spring 2016 and extend over eight years, and totals 24 units organized in 12 sets of two units each. Carbodies will be stainless steel, VVVF inverter equipped, AC motors. Service speed will be 70km/h, the same as current units. Energy consumption will be 50% of current units. http://response.jp/article/2014/11/28/238503.html http://train.shizutetsu.co.jp/shingata-syaryou.html
  3. I have always wondered why so many plastic model kit makers were based in Shizuoka. There are the big 4 of Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fujimi, and Aoshima, and toymaker Bandai as well has a plastic kit plant for Gunpla in Shizuoka. Apparently, it has to do with the abundant timber resources in the prefecture (then called Suruga), and the influence of the Tokugawa family. The Tokugawa recruited woodworkers and craftsmen from all over the country to work on shrine building and in particular the intricate carvings used in such structures. Such a concentration of talent in one spot led to intense competition and a resulting rise in level of technique. In the twentieth century, the founder of Aoshima started using these techniques to manufacture wood airplane models. After the end of the war, production of wood kits shifted to plastic, which led to the current situation today. Apparently now plastic kits made in Shizuoka Prefecture account for a 90% share of the domestic kit market.
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