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Overnight climb to the summit of Mt Fuji

The society decided to have an August event in 2006, in the form of a climb up Mount Fuji (3776m).

The group congregated at the Shinjuku Chuo bus terminal just before 11am and boarded the bus in good time. In spite of some traffic on the route (particularly on the approach to Mt Fuji) we arrived at the Yoshidaguchi 5th station just a little behind schedule at 1:45pm or so. The weather was intermittently sunny and cloudy, but we could see far up the mountain during breaks in the clouds.

Phil Robertson had taken another route and we decided to have some ramen for lunch while we waited for him to arrive.

After meeting up we set off from the 5th station at around 3pm. The weather started to close in as passed the 6th station and became rather unpleasant for an hour or so as we moved past the 7th station. Visibility dropped to a few feet with quite a fall in temperature too. There were some murmurs about whether the climb was really a good idea, but as the weather cleared up and we could see again everyone became happier. There was quite a crowd climbing the mountain so we had to queue up in several places which slowed down our ascent considerably.

After several hours of climbing it started to rain again just as we reached our mountain hut – the Fuji-san Hotel, between 8th and 9th stations somewhat after dark. The accommodation was basic but following a simple curry rice meal with some sake we all retired to the communal hut bunk beds.

The hut staff woke everyone up before 1:30am in the morning and we kitted up for the final climb to the summit. The weather was still difficult with scattered showers and mist. We left the hut for the top and joined the huge crowd for the final ascent. At times it seemed like Shibuya crossing, but eventually the summit was in sight and suddenly the cloud lifted giving a spectacular view across a clear sky to the horizon. There were cheers from the crowd as everyone took in the sunrise.

Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Fri, 2006-08-25 15:00.
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Special Event: Trek up Mt Fuji (overnight)

Special Event: Trek up Mt Fuji (overnight trip)

August 26/27 Sat/Sun

Party at Roppongi Hills Club

Party at Roppongi Hills Club
Arrangements made by Mr Ian Powell.

22 June 2006

Outing to Mt. Takao and Dinner at Ukai Toriyama

Outing to Mt. Takao and Dinner at Ukai Toriyama

May 27 Sat, (12:00 – 20:00)

Dinner at Nambu Tei, Hibiya Park

Dinner at Nambu Tei restaurant in Hibiya Park

Wednesday, 19 April 2006


Reminiscences of Doreen Simmons (Girton, 1950-53; Hughes Hall, 1953-54)
Joined January 28, 1976: 29 years a member

My introduction to the C & O came in the 1970s through the British Council, which at the time was housed on one floor of the Iwanami Building in Jimbocho. I had been working for over two years at the International Language Centre, which occupied the floors above and below, before somebody told me about the British Council's annual no-fuss "light" lunch for the C & O, consisting of an assortment of cheese and biscuits, and the mainstay, a delicious liver paté made in pottery bento containers by two or three Council wives from a recipe handed down for years by the wives of successive Representatives. I joined the Society on one of these occasions, on January 28, 1976. At another, two years later, I heard of a Japanese foundation looking for a native rewriter; after a succession of interviews I landed the job at the Foreign Press Center/Japan which is still my main employment and which completely changed the course of my life. The paté lunches were a great success until the wife of a new Rep. declared "We can do better than paté and cheese!" -- and indeed they did; a talented organizer and a forceful personality, she dragooned all the wives into assembling a vast hot meal of gourmet dishes. This so exhausted the ladies that they never hosted us again.

I have always felt comfortable in the company of people one or two generations older than myself. Perhaps it's because I'm five years older than my nearest cousins, so as a child I was accustomed to being in the company of my elders. Most of my early memories of the C & O are of long pleasant chats with dear old gentlemen -- and one or two ladies -- who went to Oxford or Cambridge round about the time I was born. Some are no longer with us; others are still alive and reaching for the record books in one capacity or another. Of these, without doubt the most important to me was Masayoshi Kakitsubo (Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1932-35). We shared an office at the Foreign Press Center for nearly nineteen years and never had a cross word; this was not the least of his achievements. He was a retired diplomat. One of his early assignments was to supervise the evacuation of the British Embassy at the outbreak of World War II, ferrying the diplomats to the Port of Yokohama in a fleet of taxis. He was also sent to take over the Australian Embassy but was kept waiting outside for a long time; when he finally got inside the boiler was almost red-hot -- they had been burning all their documents! During the War he was assigned to Subhas Chandra Bose as his English-Japanese interpreter. For this reason he was often interviewed in later life by foreign journalists, especially Indians. In the 1950s he had been Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations and for decades thereafter continued to be sent on missions to Geneva and elsewhere for disarmament conferences. Outside these activities he was one of the most undiplomatic people I have known, and his frankness was very refreshing. It was accepted that he would stay in harness at the FPC; from time to time people at the Gaimusho had tried to "tap him on the shoulder", but he was so far senior to all of them that they gave up discomfited. His mind remained sharp as a tack right to the end, though his body was beginning to wear out. He often said it was good to die quickly; and that is what he did, on January 3rd, 1997, six months short of his 90th birthday.

Posted in | Submitted by Doreen Simmons on Mon, 2005-02-28 15:00.
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Buffet Supper at The Agnes Hotel, Kagurazaka

Tuesday, 19th March, 2002 (18:30 - 21:00)

The rather peculiarly named Agnes Hotel (the owner's name spelt backwards, apparently) came with strong recommendations from the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, so we booked it without hesitation for our March dinner. It's a small, elegant, modern place, and the high-ceilinged "Agnes Hall" fitted our needs perfectly. One felt that the manager and his staff had gone out of their way to provide us with good homely fare of a high standard at an extremely reasonable price (\5,500 including drinks - the menu is attached below). Unfortunately, someone seemed to have absconded with the Fish and Chips before we arrived, but its absence was more than compensated for by the wonderful roast pork and roast beef. Several members eyed the latter suspiciously at first, but most tucked in after assurances had been issued that it was Australian. During the course of the evening, two new members were introduced: Mr Paul Etheridge (Pembroke, Oxford) and Ms Mika Tsuchiya (Trinity Hall, Cambridge). Five of us finished off with a few post-prandials in the hotel's bar. This was possibly slightly too cozy for the presence of a pianist, whom David Turner had to be restrained from throttling. Nevertheless, we will undoubtedly make return trips to The Agnes. (TDM)


Assorted Italian salami and cold meats
Salad of shell pasta mixed with garden vegetables
Assorted sausages
Welsh rarebit
Shepherd's pie
Fish & Chips
Spaghetti Bolognese
Gnocchi gratin
Chicken pie
Roast pork with apple sauce
Roast beef
Fried rice with bacon and mixed vegetables
Fruit punch

Buffet Lunch at La Bisboccia

Friday, 22nd February, 2002 (12:15 - 14:00)

Hiroo's La Bisboccia must be one of the finest Italian restaurants in Tokyo, and it has long been a regular venue for C&O lunches. Apart from the excellent cuisine, a definite attraction from our point of view is that it isn't open to the public for lunch, which means that our boisterous presence doesn't bother anyone else. The meeting on 22nd February was actually rather less boisterous than usual as numbers were low: only thirteen members and two guests. There were no new members to be introduced, but no no-shows, either. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all, and we are grateful to La Bisboccia for providing the usual five-star Italian feast. (TDM)

Evening Buffet at Ginza Tobu Hotel

October 26, 2001

C&O Poolside Party hosted by New Chairman

Dr. and Mrs. Barraclough's house
Minooka-dori 4-5-3 Nada-ku KOBE
(10-15 Minutes walk form Hankyu Oji-Koen Station, last house on the left)

See map


Tomoyuki Imai, St Antony's, Oxford, 1960 - 61

Being asked to write about the Society's activities in the old days was rather embarrassing to me as I would have to reveal my real age. I have been disguising myself as someone ten years younger, although the deception was probably obvious on golf courses. Nevertheless I decided to accept the request, thinking, "Who cares about my age?!" In any case, I have recently had to buy that wicked old man's driver and spoon called an S-Yard to maintain the distance of my woods shots.

I believe it was in early 1963 that I joined The Cambridge & Oxford Society. My ultimate & very senior boss, the President of Shell Sekiyu K.K., took me to a regular Society luncheon at the Diamond Hotel in Ichibancho, the usual venue. My memory tells me that there were about fifty members in attendance and that they were mostly British. After half an hour or so spent drinking aperitifs we sat on both sides of a long table shaped like a katakana 'ko', with the President sitting in the centre so that he could be seen by most of those present.

My boss had warned me in advance that all the new members of the Society would be asked to make a short speech. I had obediently and diligently prepared a sheaf of notes for my speech which, I remember, included some humour, and was confidently waiting to be called upon. However, a moment before the President started making his introductions, my boss whispered in my ear that because time was limited my speech must be very short and that I should simply introduce myself. I was the first to speak and became extremely nervous. As a result I simply stated my first and second names, which college I had attended and when, what job I was engaged in, and a little about my sporting and other interests. To my consternation, this caused roars of laughter, which were immediately followed by the President's cynical observation: "The speech was very concise and efficient and I sometimes feel that all the introductory speeches should be as efficient as this". This provoked yet more laughter. The English gentleman who came after me spoke ten times longer than I did, yet quite humorously and entertainingly. This made me feel even more embarrassed.

Posted in | Submitted by tomoyuki.imai on Tue, 2001-05-29 15:00.
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