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cteno4

New JRM Layout at the 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival's Sakura Matsuri

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cteno4

Japan Rail Modelers Will Be Showing the New JRM Layout at the 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival's Sakura Matsuri - Japanese Street Festival

 

This year JRM is honored to be invited back again to show our layout at the National Cherry Blossom Festival Sakura Matsuri (Street Festival) in Washington DC. Presented by the Japan-America Society, the festival is the largest one day japanese cultural event outside Japan. Last year drew over 160,000 people attending in a 7 hour period!

 

more info here: http://www.japanrailmodelers.org/pages/news.html

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Guest ___

I managed to edit out the part where Jeff goes, "Make sure everyone has their flies up" just as the crowds made their way to the tent just after the parade ended.

 

YT really did a crap job on it's processing of the video which looked much better in WMM and WMP. The .AVI files looked pretty decent out of the Coolpix.

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Martijn Meerts

Nice, quite a bit of attention for the layout too.. I like how everyone reacts when the trains crash at the end ;)

 

Looks like quite a nice festival in general, I might have to plan a trip there sometime =)

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to2leo

Just when everyone thought it is safe to look away  :grin.

 

I hope there's no major damage to both of the trains.

 

I wonder what the Shinkansen Safety Record Team will say about that!

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Guest ___

The viaduct seemed to have had issues all day. My theory is thermal expansion, but I wasn't the one fixing the trains, nor the layout. (I had 26# of camera gear strapped to my body with no real safe place to offload it)

 

We were constantly crashing the shinkansens. The JR-Central booth was next to us, trying to sell bullet train technology to cap-hill. I don't think we were helping their cause. BTW: That derailment took out the train all the way through the tunnel and the other side of the mountain.

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bill937ca

Great crowds and the layout looks great.  Watch those eyes follow the trains!!

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to2leo

The viaduct seemed to have had issues all day. My theory is thermal expansion, but I wasn't the one fixing the trains, nor the layout. (I had 26# of camera gear strapped to my body with no real safe place to offload it)

 

We were constantly crashing the shinkansens. The JR-Central booth was next to us, trying to sell bullet train technology to cap-hill. I don't think we were helping their cause. BTW: That derailment took out the train all the way through the tunnel and the other side of the mountain.

 

Wow did you get a chance to mingle with JR Central, did they come over and chat?

 

You might be right, I would never have thought of thermal expansion happening to model railroad tracks too. 

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bill937ca

The viaduct seemed to have had issues all day. My theory is thermal expansion, but I wasn't the one fixing the trains, nor the layout.

 

How warm is it? What I see on the internet at 1:45PM Sunday is 72 degrees.

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cteno4

really didnt have too many wrecks maybe 20 in the first couple of hours, there were a few trains that were more finiky so we pulled them, and others worked fine. then i started to work on the viaduct and found a few rails that were miss matched in height and worked on loosening their mounting screws and leveling them and then trains ran fine i think no wrecks from about 1pm on. we need to experiment some i think these are due to the modules flexing and wracking in transport/handling some. im thinking we may need to lock the viaduct sections together with a stronger interlink between them, we shall see. i doubt its thermal problems as the temperatures are not that extreem from when rails were installed and the temp we run at, usually in a range of 60 to 70 degrees so little thermal expansion at those temps and plenty of joints with unitrack to take up the tiny slack if there was a tad.

 

crowds were generally heavier than in aaron's video shots, that was probably about the minimum crowd we ever had. most of the time it was 2 or so deep and got up to like 4-5 deep at times. our block was not as crowded as it was last year so you could walk comfortably on the street. last year ANA was at one end of the block giving out stuff and had a huge line gumming up all the flow and at the other the japanese tourism org had a givaway with a wheel spinner blocking the other end! felt much more comfortable than last year around the festival and in our tent. we were able to open up a longer area for viewing this year as the tents were a bit more spaced apart. i think they may have expanded the number of blocks the festival was in as when i walked down the food row on 12th it went on way further than it did last year! this may have also been why it did not seem as crowded. They will probably have figures on attendance this week sometime.

 

all and all it was our best show ever i think. the weather was perfect, mid 50s for setup at about 8am and then mid to high 60s later in the day with a small breeze, but not enough to knock anything over! the response was fantastic to the layout. lots more folks really interested in the trains with questions than last year. i think the jam on the street last year might have put folks a bit off, as the crush was not fun to be in even if you got to see something cool!

 

unloading and set up took about 2 hrs total. it was a bit slow as we had to do a lot of fiddling on locating the layout w/in the tent space with our bamboo barricade and also had to level the layout as streets are never level in any direction for drainage! also just us figuring out the new layout and still lots of pieces we dont have down on the layout were set up by hand. we also were pretty relaxed in the setup which made it nicer to do! since we were not showing the station side of the layout (public was only on one long side and the ends of our tent) we made a little street scene along the back of the station modules that stuck out into the middle to make that side look nicer. this summer the station is going to be totally redone and will have shops and station entrances under the station that can be seen on the back as well.

 

we still have a lot of scenery and tweaking to do on the new layout, but its coming along nicely and definitely is easier to set up! we now have boxes for each module that nest together with a lid on top that can just be strapped into blocks for transport and storage. we made the box very generous on height to start out with, but we may go back and cut them down to a lower height later and just remove any tall buildings for transport. this should make transport and storage easier. the new layout took about as much transport space as the old one, but we had a lot of boxes of stuff that will go away as those elements get moved onto the modules.

 

We were filmed by several news crews and Curt was interviews by Indonesian TV at one point! ill get a full article up on the jrm site this week and some photo galleries as all the shots come in from members! Matthew's wife is now playing Koto and performing with the japanese cultural society koto group (and at the festival and other cheery blossom events this year). we got her to set up and play for a while behind the layout and that was wonderful! next year we stick her out on the front table!

 

matthew was asking kids up front if they liked trains and these were the two best answers:

 

a) NOW I DO! (after seeing the layout) - that was the best compliment we could ever get!

 

b) No i like the monsters...

 

cheers,

 

jeff

 

few picts for you all now with the crowds, goji attaching the capital, and such.

post-25-13569924522264_thumb.jpg

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post-25-13569924523552_thumb.jpg

post-25-13569924524039_thumb.jpg

post-25-13569924524408_thumb.jpg

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cteno4

few more picts

post-25-13569924524763_thumb.jpg

post-25-13569924525194_thumb.jpg

post-25-13569924526906_thumb.jpg

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Guest ___

Note to Jeff, 20 is not too many wrecks ^_^

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cteno4

forgot to clarify Aaron's comment about the zip up the flys.

 

Last year it was more overcast so most everyone was using flashes. in the middle of the afternoon i was standing behind the layout with gyula with flashes going off at more than 1 per second and it dawned on me that the two of us were getting in everyone's shots from about our crotch to our chest. I mentioned this to gyula and we both looked down at the same time to check our flys! then we tucked in our shirts and sucked in our bellies!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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to2leo

forgot to clarify Aaron's comment about the zip up the flys.

 

Last year it was more overcast so most everyone was using flashes. in the middle of the afternoon i was standing behind the layout with gyula with flashes going off at more than 1 per second and it dawned on me that the two of us were getting in everyone's shots from about our crotch to our chest. I mentioned this to gyula and we both looked down at the same time to check our flys! then we tucked in our shirts and sucked in our bellies!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Hahaha maybe that's the added bonus of why the crowds are snapping pictures last year!

 

I am glad all of you had fun.  Wish I was there!  :laugh:

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Martijn Meerts

So, you think there'll be a 2011 festival with a Japanese layout? ;)

 

I'm seriously considering taking a week off for a quick trip and visit the festival, could be fun to help out with the layout then as well.

 

It sort of depends on available acommodations as well, I don't like hotels when traveling solo, they're always so depressive ... They get even more depressive when I have to pay for double rooms because hardly any hotels have single rooms (unless the US is better at this anyway, in Europe it sucks ;))

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cteno4

Martijn,

 

yes we plan to be there and from all accounts the like having us there. would be wonderful to have you here for it! we could scare up some spare rooms for you to stay with, youre welcome here at our house for a few days and im sure other club members would be into meeting you and sharing some spare bedrooms.

 

There is always one caveat in that they have to get our tent (actually a triple tent) paid for one way or another (either a sponsor or the festival eats it) as we cant afford to pay for the tents as vendors (thats a bit of $$) and they usually dont have that all set until like jan or feb. we usually are making our final arrangements with them in february for sure, so i would not want you to buy your tickets until our contract with them is signed.

 

there is one new wrinkle with them is that the price to use the streets down in DC (its about 8 square blocks on pennsylvania ave) with all the services from police, city, etc that they may have to go to having this a paid event now (its been free admission) or they wont be able to afford to do it. they are currently working on the costs for 2011 and what they would have to do to turn it into a paid event, so that may change what gets into the festival next year. would probably limit the crowds some if its a paid admission event and it was really wild being in a 160,000 visitor event, but the crowds at times can be way way way overwhelming...

 

Ill keep you posted as we hear what the story is. the Sakuri Matsuri is April 9, 2011. the week before is all the other national cherry blossom events. one warning, there are a lot of people in town that week! weather can be nice or pretty cold and wet its at that point in the year its a crap shoot around here!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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cteno4

Martijn,

 

I forgot to mention that there is another event at the national building museum earlier in the week we may look into doing or as a possible replacement for the Sakuri Matsuri if that ends up not working out. its March 26, 2011.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I tend to book fairly late quite often actually, considering I often travel to events without knowing much details until at the earliest a month before the event. Of course, I usually don't have to take care of any hotels, considering I pretty much always have a place to stay (friends, ex-colleagues etc.)

 

I've actually never been to the US, so it'd be an experience either way, but it would of course be extra fun to arrange it when there's some event ;)

 

Would be great if I could crash in someone's guest room for a while, obviously I'd make sure there's some form of compensation for using it :)

 

 

As for the event, it's a shame everything has to always cost money. Obviously it's not an everyday thing to close down a street for a day for a festival, but on the other hand, it's something that makes the city look good as well, especially with that many visitors. A few years from now it's going to end up that you need permits to hold a garage sale, and of course pay taxes on the items you might sell ...

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cteno4

no worries, folks dont need compensation, just would be more schedules etc to work out.

 

DC has a lot of museums if you like that! most all free and most right on the mall downtown.

 

yeah its really a bummer. the sakuri matsuri is done by the japan america society and is separate from alot of the other downtown cherry blossom festival stuff which is a bit more centered on DC than japan. more a celebration of spring in dc with the cherry blossoms being the central thing. the Sakuri matsuri is the event that focuses on the japanese culture stuff (and the root of us having cherry blossoms here in dc!)

 

the cherry blossom festival stuff has the big things like the parade and things like that. it tends to be a bit more higher profile in the press and news so i think they can grab the bigger sponsor money. those must really cost as they shut down a big hunk of streets for the parade! again most of the parade is not japanese oriented except for the large shrine carry.

 

ill keep you posted on the event as we hear things.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

At least they have a cherry blossom festival there.. Over here it'd be "saku-what?" .. And when you mention it's a Japanese thing, they start talking about raw fish =)

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Guest ___

I may get a room as I liek mini vacations, and usually get two rooms so if I go and get a room ,you're free to crash on the other bed.

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Martijn Meerts

One thing I definitely want to see if I do go to the US, is an F3 and/or F7 up close =)

 

First one I ever saw was one with the Santa Fe warbonnet scheme, and while I still think that one looks by FAR the best, I've started liking the locomotives in general ..

 

I do like museums as well, as long as they're not modern art stuff.. I don't understand modern art.. I don't see why a piece of paper with a couple of lines painted on them in 3 or 4 different colors is art ;)

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cteno4

Martijn,

 

there are a few rr museums w/in a couple of hours of dc that may have an F3 or F7 in their collections.

 

LOL, lots of the modern stuff is pretty devoid of art, its turned into a bit of the if you dont see it you are dumb and dont get it sort of philosophy... some art museums do a great job of finding good stuff and explaining the movement, but most really get pretty snobbish when it gets into the contemporary stuff. worst case of this ive is the chicago art institute new contemporary art wing. awful collection of just outrageous stuff that is devoid or any art spirit along with long labels that talk over everyones heads and really dont say anything of value or content....

 

lots of other stuff around here. if you like airplanes the new air and space out at dullas airport has a huge hanger of planes, but w/o much in the way of labels or exhibits. main air and space on the mall is nice with more traditional display and exhibits with the main historical pieces.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I mentioned the idea of going to the US for a week to my boss today, he immediately said I could take the company credit card so I can load up on gadgets ;)

 

 

I guess there's a ton of stuff to see, and only about 1 week won't nearly be enough to get even a glimpse of what the US has to offer. I guess that's normal though, consider the size of the US. I bet most Americans haven't really seen much of their country. It's not like us Europeans have seen all of Europe either ;)

 

I have to say though, the more I think about it, the more I feel like going. Obviously, the festival would make it even more fun, but what's the most fun for me would be to help out with the JRM layout at some show. From what I've read, I feel the JRM is a lot more helpful and friendly towards the public than any of the clubs near here. In fact, I have never joined a club here not because of lack of Japanese models, or N-scale in general, but because the members tend to be stuck up, elitist fools ;)

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