Day 3 in Japan. Iruma is on the programme. Iruma is about 120 km's west of Narita. The highway to Iruma would lead us straight through Tokyo. Nice ! Based here is Sotai Shireibu Hikotai (= Defence Command Headquarter Squadron) flying a mix of Kawasaki T-4's, U-4's, a single EC-1 and YS-11's. Also Koku Shien Shudan is based (= Support Squadron) flying a mix of Kawasaki C-1's, U-4's, YS-11's, U-125's and good old CH-47J Chinooks. We stood up at 06.00 hrs. took a shower had a cup of coffee and drove off at 06.30 hrs. This time we bought our breakfast/lunch at a local supermarket in Narita together with a large coffee (again). We drove straight through Tokyo which was an adventure for itself. After a two-hour drive we stood at the fence of Iruma Air Base. At first we positioned ourselves in the landing of runway 35 (wind was coming from the north). But this turned out not be a good spot so we packed our things and moved to the taxiway. What a great spot ! In the morning you have some backlight but in the afternoon it's just great. Iruma is situated right in the middle of some suburbs of Tokyo. Just absurd. Some locals can photograph right from their backyards and when you are hospitalised in Iruma you can take pics right out off your sickbed in the Toyookadalichi Hospital. Excellent ! What's that, Noise Pollution ? Anyway we parcked our car on the premises of the hospital and shortly after that the first signs of flying activities where noted. A couple of Kawasaki C-1's came back from their mission. What a sight and what a plane. It is a true transporter but flies like a real fighter. They made an overshoot and a battlebreak just like fighters do. The first two made several touch and go's to practise their landingskills. In between a CH-47 was practising also. Then several T-4's and another C-1 came in. The wind changed so the next wave would take off from runway 17. That just sucked because this meant the planes wouldn't take the runway situated in front of us. We decided to pack our camera's and move to the other side. While driving we passed the local gateguards (F-86F, C-46A, F-104J and a T-34A). After arriving on the other side nothing happened anymore. Lunchbreak I suppose. We considered to take the oppurtunity to move to Yokota but decided to go back to our spot along the taxiway. Here we should be able to photograph the planes as they where taking off. Also nice. We scored more T-4's, C-1's, 2 very nice Gulfstream IV's (locally named U-4's which have VIP-transport as their role in the Japanese Self Defence Force), 2 YS-11's (for me the highlight of the day) and another CH-47. The Japanese Chinooks just look awesome in their camo-pyama's ! That's from another league compared to the boring Dutch, English and American Chinooks I am used to. In the afternoon the sun is just perfect on this spot but unfortunately no taxiing aircraft in front of us except for one U-125 (BAE 125-800) in a nice checkerboard custome which after landing almost immediately took off again. At 15.45 hrs we decided to hit the road again and try to photograph some Orions at Shimofusa which is on the way back to our hotel. While we where packing our things we spotted a light in the approach. A Hercules ! Nice, a Japanese C-130. After photographing the bird we drove to the first gas-station we saw to full up our car. Off course we left the gasstation with a cup of coffee. We where driving in a crowded area off Tokyo with lots of trafficlights and it became darker and darker. We lost too many time. So we came to the conclusion that we couldn't be on time anymore for Shimofusa. So we left Shimofusa for what it was and came straight to Tokyo again but now in the dark. Big city lights all over the place. I bought some presents for my kids at a mega department store in Narita and we arrived at our hotel at sevenish. Dinner was at a Korean Restaurant in Narita. After a couple of beers we drove back to our hotel and watched some tv. The next day another day at Hyakuri was on the programme. Yeah Baby !!