Bowling, PS2 tourney among Columbus Day activities at bases in Japan
Stars and Stripes October 8, 2005
Columbus Day isn’t the busiest of holidays, nestled as it is among bigger days such as Labor Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.
But servicemembers, their families and others living on bases in Japan have a few events to choose from if Monday rolls around with nothing to do.
None of the bases in mainland Japan have specific events planned to mark the holiday, which has been celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States since 1971.
According to the Library of Congress, the first recorded celebration for Christopher Columbus occurred on Oct. 12, 1792, and was organized by The Society of St. Tammany, called the Columbian Order. The event commemorated the 300th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World.
The day was marked again 100 years later, in 1892, and inspired the first official Columbus Day holiday when President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation urging Americans to note the day.
They did so, with school programs, plays and community festivities, according to the Library of Congress.
That enthusiasm may not have spread to today’s Pacific military community — but it’s still a day off.
Japanese nationals also have the day off Monday, for a holiday called Health Sports Day in Japan. The day was established, according to the Japanese Cabinet Web site, for people to enjoy sports and to foster a healthy mind and body.
Here are a few things to do around the region on Monday. Not all are Columbus Day-specific events, but the intrepid explorer certainly would have enjoyed the sports, shopping and entertainment had he sailed a lot farther west to Japan.
Naval Air Facility Atsugi
No events planned.
No events planned.
Misawa Air Base
Monday Madness Bowling at the Walmsley Bowling Center. A $10 card buys as many games as you can play with free shoe rental, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Call DSN 222-7731 for information.
Sasebo Naval Base
Visit Costco with International Tours and Travel. Bus cost is $12. Call DSN 252-3433 for information.
Columbus Day 5K Discovery Run at 11:30 a.m. at Spare Time Fitness.
Yokosuka Naval Base
Single Sailor Trip to Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park, which has the world’s highest roller coaster. Cost is $55 for transportation and entrance to the park. Pickup is at 6:30 a.m. and return at 7 p.m. Contact Single Sailor Liberty at DSN 243-7346.
Spectrum Center Columbus Day Celebration, starting at 2 p.m. Featuring a PS2 Madden 2005 tournament, an eight-ball pool tournament and appetizers, all free in the Spectrum Lounge.
Columbus Day International Boat Fishing Tournament. Registration fee is 12,000 yen (about $106) and includes transportation, boarding pass, equipment and more. The trip leaves at 6:30 a.m. and returns in the afternoon. Call DSN 243-4731 for information.
Yokota Air Base
Tomodachi Lanes Bowling, Blue Monday special. From 11 a.m. to close, all games are 75 cents and shoe rental is 25 cents.
Free time at Tama Hills Tours, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Cost is $6 for transportation. Activities such as paintball, miniature golf and horseback riding are extra. Contact Local Tours/Outdoor Recreation at DSN 263-4671 for information.