Aircraft Spotting in Japan - Hyakuri
Page 5 of 22
Day 4, Hyakuri, 02/11
The next morning we woke up as the sun was just rising and the morning fog was still hanging over the fields that we did not see when we arrived in the dark some hours ago. We also did not see that cemetery some 50 meters away!!! Quickly we got in the car, were looking for the next coffee distributor, that we found nearby the main gate of Hyakuri airbase, and had a look around the airbase.
Our first photo that day was one of a dumped T-33, and I even forgot to mention, we had once again a splendid morning with a glorious blue sky! Might we be able to get the green Recce RF-4E(J) Phantoms after the blue ones at Misawa yesterday?
Looking around the airfield we noticed that some thing had changed and spots that were still mentioned on our maps were no longer accessible. As we were keen on taking some taxi shots we searched and finally found a nice spot. Before going there we had a look on the ramp and all three Hikotais (204 & 305 with F-15(D)J Eagles and 501 with RF-4E and RF-4EJ did roll out their jets off the hangars.
On the spot we took nice photos of 3 F-15s that taxied to the last chance, but did not take of from the runway and rolled back to their hangars. Also there was no Phantom activity and were therefore not very motivated to photography the T-4 trainers that circled and the two C-1 that landed in the morning. Sitting, waiting, sleeping we spent the morning. The countrymen that were working not far away were surely a bit puzzled because of us. And we were even more surprised when the countrywomen approached us and gave each of us a tangerine and something to drink! What a nice gesture. Around midday the light became worse and worse and we said goodbye to the countrymen and changed our position.
During the afternoon we finally took some nice photos of F-15s, but only one RF-4EJ was taking of with no sun. So even with a lot of Eagles we were not completely satisfied and already decided that we needed to come back here because of the excellent photo positions and the missing Phantoms on this day. We also had our check at this position- finally, as we have been awaiting it already in the morning. At that spot we met also some British spotters with whom we have also spend the afternoon on Misawa.
When we left this spot we also saw a 'dump' with several heavily weatherd helicopters. As we wanted to approach them we quickly realized that they were guarded by some aggresive guarddogs. Fortunately they were on chains, but we also preferred to take he photos with our telelenses.
We drove back towards Tokyo afterwards and had our first impression of this mega city while we drove round the city and saw nothing but houses and traffic jams, the latter ones fortunately on the other lane! Our target that day was to get as close as possible to Iruma, where the airshow was held the next day.
Finding a love hotel was impossible; because of the bank holiday a lot of couples seemed to enjoy the night not at home. Bad luck for us three men, but we finally managed to find a business hotel near a train station.
A real hotel, perfect after the last night in the car.