The Independence Day Festival
of America
in the US Military Camp in Japan

Travel Journals

There is one of the US military camps in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, in Japan, right next to Tokyo, this US camp seems to be used as the residence of officers, rather than the general military and the families of base military personnel in the surrounding area. Personally, it was a memorable place where I did "Trick and Treat" for the first time in my life at a Halloween party as a child.

In the camp, there are ordinary residential areas, such as houses, torii gates, schools, bowling alleys and the like that are separated by sections in a landscape that seems to be in the USA, and it is probably completely different from the US military camp many people imagine. But in the meantime, you are now in America, not in Japan. Normally no one is allowed to enter, but this day was the American Independence Day Festival which also served as interaction with the community of its Japanese neighbors and the friendship of Japan and the United States, which was opened to the general public.

There was an address by the commander, a dance performance of children and so on, but everyone had fun sitting on the grass and lazy and relaxing. There were also fireworks at the end, probably set off in the camp. Although it was not on such a large scale, as it had been a while for me, the live fireworks touched me.

By the way, a short-short story. I went to this US camp in Japan for the festival with an American friend. I had a small bag but he didn’t have anything. My ID was my Japanese driver's license and his was the resident ID card issued with his working VISA by the Japanese government and his American passport.

Once I passed my security control easily by a kind MP, I turned back to look for my friend. Surprisingly, he was sitting in the pending tent… for a while, to be checked for additional info. Finally, his security control to enter the US camp took much more time than mine. I wonder why, though.

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