Keith's Ham Radio

Tokyo Ham Fair 


In the late summer of 2017 and 2018, I had the distinct honor of being an "ambassador" for the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) at the big Tokyo Ham Radio Fair in Tokyo, Japan.  Our mission was to personally invite Japanese hams to join us in Dayton, Ohio USA for our own big Dayton Hamvention®However, unlike the Dayton Hamvention, which is sponsored by a local (albeit one of the largest!) amateur radio clubs in the United States (DARA), the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL, the Japanese equivalent of our American Radio Relay League (ARRL) or Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC)), is the primary sponsor of the Tokyo Ham Fair each year. 


However, while Hamvention has moved from its long-time home at Dayton’s Hara Arena (which is now closed) to new “digs” at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio, the Ham Fair is held in a HUGE convention complex called the “Tokyo Big Sight”. In fact, the complex is so massive that the Ham Fair occupies only one of many large convention areas at the venue. And all of it is conducted under a single, massive roof.   


Needless to say, our booths at the 2017 and 2018 Ham Fairs were very busy. We spoke with hundreds of Japanese hams, posed with scores them for countless pictures (and gave away all of the Hamvention “trinkets” that we'd brought along!) during the two-day event.  I've since learned that the Ham Fair attendance is upwards of 39,000 and includes hams from all over the world in attendance. Clearly, like the Dayton Hamvention, it’s a world-class event for radio amateurs as well as short-wave listeners and scanner enthusiasts.


One of the highlights of the show were on-stage performances by two renowned Japanese television and radio personalities (plus song writers and recording artists) Masaco and Kaori Mita.  Both of these ladies are also very active Japanese ham radio operators (JH1CBX and JI1BTL respectively). 




You can listen to an audio sampler of Masaco's singing talent from her latest CD (in Japanese) HERE and you can also watch a short YouTube music video from one of her other CD albums HERE.  In addition, you can visit Masaco's official Internet Web Site (again, in Japanese, but your browser may allow you to translate it) HERE.  


A short YouTube video of Masaco speaking to a visitor at her booth at the Tokyo Ham Fair is shown HERE. And if all of her musical activities weren't enough to keep her busy, Masaco also publishes a free, monthly online Japanese ham-radio E-Zine called FBNews.  Once again, your browser may be able to translate parts of the latest edition from Japanese into English.




Kaori Mita is host to a number of ham-radio related programs on a Tokyo area FM station (FM Palalun) and even does a live broadcast of her Ham Radio For Girls program from the Ham Fair which features her singing (again, in Japanese) her show's opening song called "CQ, CQ, Hello CQ". You can also visit her official Web site HERE.  Again, your browser may be able to translate some of the Japanese into English.   


In addition, I've created links to some short YouTube videos of Kaori performing two of her many Japanese Television appearances. Those can be found HERE and HERE.  Many of her recorded songs reflect a Japanese music genre known as "Enka". The lyrics are most often written around the themes of love and loss, loneliness, enduring hardship, preserving in the face of difficulties and even suicide or death. 


Another YouTube video highlights some of Kaori's many ham radio-related activities performed in conjunction with her FM Radio Station's Ham Club JQ1ZKB.  And yet another YouTube video link highlighting Mita's on-stage performance at the 2016 Tokyo Ham Fair can be found HERE.

Some of my own photos of Kaori (dressed in her full Japanese Kimono for her performance at the 2018 Ham Fair and also doing her live 'CQ Ham For Girls" broadcast from the show) are shown below. 


And finally, in 2019, I had the distinct honor of hosting Kaori and her FM Palalun crew at the Dayton Hamvention®.  While there, Kaori assisted with the opening ceremonies, performed some of her songs at three special venues of the show and interviewed yours truly along with Hamvention officials. She was also interviewed herself on Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show via WTWW Shortwave, and even broadcast portions of her own "CQ Ham For Girls" program live back to Tokyo from their booth at the event!  Then, on the Monday after Hamvention, I also played "tour guide" for their visit to the Air Force Museum. 


A complete photo album of my visit with Kaori and her FM Palalun compatriots at the 2019 Hamvention (along with photos of several follow-on Ham Radio-related magazine articles that appeared in Japan about their visit) can be found HERE.

Click on the individual photos for a larger-sized view
(Close the larger photo file to return to this page)


The annual Tokyo Ham Fair, sponsored by the Japanese Amateur 
Radio League (JARL) is usually held on a late August or early
 September weekend at the Tokyo Big Sight...a huge
 convention complex in Tokyo, Japan.


  The Tokyo Ham Fair is just one of several ongoing 
conventions conducted at the Tokyo Big Sight.

  Several JARL and International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) 
officials did the ribbon cutting to formally open the 2017 show. The
 ceremony was complete with a Japanese military band 
providing fanfare music.


Dayton Hamvention members at our 2017 booth at the show included
 (from left) Michael Kalter W8CI, DARA Treasurer, Tim Duffy 
K3LR, yours truly and Jay Slough K4ZLE. 

Dayton Hamvention members at our 2018 booth at the show
 included (from left) DARA Ttustee Jeff DeVoe K8JTD, 
yours truly, DARA Past President Don DuBon, N6JRL and DARA Treasurer Michael Kalter W8CI.

Our Hamvention Team Leader, Michael Kalter W8CI recently lost his brother David, also an active ham, to cancer.  In memoriam, Michael
 helped DARA sponsor a tent at the 2018 World Radiosport Team 
Championship (WRTC) and was proud to advertise that fact at 
our booth at the 2018 Tokyo Ham Fair.

Being the AMSAT-North America Treasurer, I took some time out to 
stop by and visit with our Japanese compatriots at their JAMSAT booth.

While we were at the 2018 Ham Fair, the JAMSAT Executive team
 treated me and my wife (Kate) to a authentic Japanese dinner
 at a a local Tokyo restaurant. 


Well known DXer Martii Lane OH2BH (left) meets and chats
 with DARA’s Michael Kalter W8CI (center) and
 Don DuBon N6JRL (right).

One of the new radios featured at both the 2017 and 2018 shows
 was the ICOM IC-9700, a VHF/UHF, all-mode, and satellite-capable 
radio. It features variable power output of 100W for VHF, 50 Watts for  UHF and 10W output on 1.2 GHz..


This young Japanese ham proudly shows off her very own 
Japanese call sign and VHF/UHF radio.


A future Japanese ham operator moons for the camera at the 
2017 Tokyo Ham Fair.


 A budding Japanese radio enthusiast assembles one of 
the many radio kits that were made available to youngsters 
in a construction area set aside exclusively for that purpose 
at the show.

A young girl and her Mom perform the initial 
"smoke test" on her just-built radio receiver kit.

While dressed in her full kimono, Japanese recording star
 Kaori Mita, JI1BTL sang songs from her many albums
 during an exclusive performance for the show’s attendees.

 Kaori also hosts her own weekly radio program called
"CQ Ham For Girls" on a Tokyo area FM Station. 
She even sings the show's
opening song!

Besides performing, Kaori did a live broadcast of her
FM Radio program from the Ham Fair. 

Kaori later stopped by our Dayton Hamvention booth to
 learn more about what she calls “Ham Radio Life” 
in North America


Another well-known Japanese recording artist/ham who performed
 some songs from her newest album at the show was Masaco,
 JH1CBX.  You can listen to an audio sampler of her singing
HERE and you can also watch a You Tube video from one 
of her many Japanese CDs HERE.

As with any amateur radio convention, there is usually more to look 
at that one could possibly see in a single day.

This young lady was pleased to receive one of the many 
Hamvention commemorative pins we passed out at our booth.


The annual Tokyo Ham Fair usually attracts well over 35,000 radio enthusiasts from all over the world.

Many amateur radio dealers wrap their display items in plastic so 
as to keep the items clean of oily fingerprints for a later, actual sale

The Alinco Radio booth at the 2017 Ham Fair. The major manufacturer booths were all located in the same general location, 
labeled as the “JAIA area”.  The JAIA, also known as the 
Japan Amateur Industry Association, is a consortium of 
major amateur radio manufacturers in Japan.


Many of the large Japanese manufacturer booths give 
away various promotional items to passersby.


Yours truly meets with one of the many costumed characters that 
were wandering about at the show.

These lovely ladies were passing out various Kenwood-themed items 
at the 2017 Ham Fair.

 Many  Japanese radio hams stopped by our booth to chat about 
coming to the United States and the Dayton Hamvention sometime 
in the future.

Yaesu was well represented by its large booth at the 2017 show.


The 2017 ICOM booth also attracted its share of passersby.

You can view a complete Google Photo Album from my 2018 Tokyo Ham Fair visit at:

You can also view a complete Google Photo Album from my 2017 Tokyo Ham Fair visit at:

In addition, the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) has since produced an impressive You Tube video of the 
2018 Tokyo Ham Fair that can be viewed HERE. It will give you a much better idea of the overall "look and feel" 
of the show. The gentleman who appears at the beginning of the video (and elsewhere throughout) 
is Mr. Takao Yoshinori, JG1KTC. Takeo is the current President of the JARL.