Tokyobling's Blog

Iruma Base Air Show 2010

Posted in Places by tokyobling on November 10, 2010

It’s this time of the year again, the annual Iruma Base Air Show! I try to go every year but this year and last we were able to enjoy fantastic weather and a brilliant blue sky with just enough clouds to make it interesting. Iruma City is in the south of Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo. It is one the biggest Japanese Air Force bases and houses both fighter squadrons, helicopter battalions and Patriot Missile batteries. Quite interesting! Every year in November they stage a small festival and open their gates to interested visitors from Japan and abroad. There’s usually not that many foreigners though. It’s also one of the few places (the only one I think) in the Kanto region where you get to see the Blue Impulse Air Show, flying their distinctive Kawasaki T-4. As usual, their performance was perfect and a great time was had by the staggering number of 300 000 visitors! With numbers like that, you realize that this is not a day to just stroll on the train and get of at the nearest station.

More photos to follow tomorrow! Shooting air shows is, despite what you first think when you see the other photographers there, not just a question of long lenses. Sure, I had my 50-500mm Sigma lens but I took many photos with it at 100mm or 200mm. 500mm was definitely overkill for this task!


18 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. chorwin said, on November 10, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Nice photos, especially those photos with jet in the air are amazing…!!


    • tokyobling said, on November 10, 2010 at 4:12 am

      Thanks for the kind comment Chorwin! It seems like you have been keeping busy with a lot of weddings recently! Keep up the great blog!


      • chorwin said, on November 10, 2010 at 6:23 am

        LOL… not really, just a helping hand to co-worker on his wedding day.. 🙂

        Surprisingly, you got the time to continuously posting to your blog, and once my RSS Reader detected update, I will immediately “peek” at it, to see what kind of big surprise you bring us again.


        • tokyobling said, on November 10, 2010 at 8:04 am

          Well, I wish I was invited to as many weddings as you! I try to be ambitious and post every single day. It’s hard work to do that on a blog, but it’s great because it forces me to leave my office/house and find new and interesting things to shoot! If I didn’t blog I think I would just spend more time at home or being unproductive.


      • chorwin said, on November 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

        Agree with you, if no blogging, will be slack life at home.
        Anyway, I’m not lucky like you, where I need stay late in office. Too bad.
        You’re lucky, and do continue to blog.


        • tokyobling said, on November 11, 2010 at 12:26 am

          Ah, but you see I cheat! I sneak out if there is anything special, and then I go back late at night to finish work! (^-^) Or, very early in the morning. There’s nothing like cracking your desk open at half past five in the morning! Fresh start on the day…!


  2. sndenton11 said, on November 10, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Wow! Really nice photos!


    • tokyobling said, on November 10, 2010 at 8:05 am

      Thanks! Happy you like them! (^-^)


  3. Geoff Blackmun said, on November 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Great shots.There were 18 of us there from England on an Aeroprints Tour.Did you have a shot of a Fuji T-7 with a serial of 56-5932 or can confirm the serial ?



    • tokyobling said, on November 15, 2010 at 1:10 am

      Thanks! 18 Brits?! There really was a lot of people there, usually such a large group of foreigners really stand out! Sorry, I didn’t get any shots of T-7 this time, I assume you are interested in this one: but it probably wouldn’t have been at Iruma since it is stationed at Hamamatsu air base, a two prefectures over from Tokyo. Why, may I ask, are you interested in that craft?


  4. Geoff Blackmun said, on November 15, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Thanks for your reply.We all split up and did our own thing so that’s why we didn’t stand out.Thanks for the pic of 56-5923,although I asked about 56-5932.It’s possible I transposed the last two numbers.My hobby is collecting the serials and registrations of aircraft from all over the world.



    • tokyobling said, on November 15, 2010 at 2:54 am

      Must have been a great tour! What other air shows did you see? There was one last week in Kyushuu, a friend of mine went.

      Sorry to mix the numbers up! This is the plane you are looking for:

      Sorry, I’ve never seen it in real life.


  5. Geoff Blackmun said, on November 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks again for your reply.We didn’t do any other shows,just the main airports of Incheon,Narita,Haneda,Itami,Kansai,Nagoya,back to Incheon then Gimpo and 4 of us had a quick trip to Kobe from Itami.
    Thanks for the pic.Do you happen to know the c/n of 56-5932 and where it is based ?



    • tokyobling said, on November 17, 2010 at 12:15 am

      Sounds like you had a good trip! I have been a few times to Haneda to shoot myself. They have a good space up on the roof of the terminal.

      I am not sure about the c/n of that plane, all I know is the number I see on it’s side, 932. It is based in Hamamatsu Air Base, in Shizuoka prefecture. It belongs to the 11th Flight Training Squadron. 第11飛行教育団 in Japanese.


  6. Geoff Blackmun said, on November 17, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for all your help.



  7. Neil said, on October 31, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Is there any way of finding out a timetable for the day? I can not seem to locate any precise information about the day other than it is at Iruma Airbase on the 3rd November. Thank you to anyone who can help with this. Best regards. Neil


    • tokyobling said, on October 31, 2011 at 5:58 am

      This year it’s on the 3rd and I would recommend making sure you arrive an hour before it opens. The lines are pretty massive, especially if you go by train to the closest station. It’s also possible to walk from Iruma station if you don’t mind a little exercise. There’s a schedule on this site: It was the first I found using Google, I’m sure there are other sites as well.


    • tokyobling said, on October 31, 2011 at 6:17 am

      The official homepage of the Air Festival.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: