- - - 5/31/2007 - - -

Ikejima Beach BBQ

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:16 pm

A while ago I went with Ken and a bunch of his friends to the beach at Ikejima. It was my first time to actually go somewhere to a beach and have a BBQ, go swimming, play bacci ball, and I even went snorkeling for the first time in a very long time. The sea urchins were absolutely huge. From the road we had to hike a bit down to the water, but there was absolutely nobody else on the beach except us.

- - - 5/28/2007 - - -

Iejima waves

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:59 am

When we went to Iejima the wind was blowing quite hard which gave a spectacular show on the coastline.

Waves on the coast of Iejima (500K)

- - - 5/22/2007 - - -

Okinawa Cats

Filed under: — Andy @ 5:55 am

- - - 5/20/2007 - - -

Fast RC Cars

Filed under: — Andy @ 5:53 am

While riding my bike I heard a noise that sounded like racecars.
Upon following the noise I came across some really fast Japanese RC Cars.

Fast Cars

- - - 5/18/2007 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 8:50 am

Okinawa is really much more than one big island. There are many small islands all around the area as well as other large islands that are usually gotten to by plane. Iejima is one of the small islands that is located up near nago. One of the reasons I wanted to go see the island was to see the Lillys that bloom only 2 weeks out of the year. So early one Sunday morning Ken and I went up to Motobu port near Nago and got on the ferry to Iejima. The ferry, named Gusuku, was packed with a lot of middle school students all wearing blue on a school trip. Once at the island we rented bicycles for the day and headed off to the mountain that sticks up out of an otherwise flat landscape.

When we got to the mountain, we made our way to the top. From the top we got a spectacular view of the entire island. We sat back, relaxed, enjoyed the view, and plotted the best way to get to the Lilly fields.

The fields were filled with beautiful white Lillys and located next to the ocean. The strong wind pounded the waves against the shore creating huge splashes of water. There were also lots of middle school students around, all of whom also had bikes for the day. The fact that they were middle school kids that were given bicycles and complete freedom for the day to roam around was a bit amazing to me. I was never given that much freedom when I was in school. I also spotted an orange Lilly as well.


- - - 5/15/2007 - - -

桃原 Park

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:52 pm

On yet another one of my bicycle rides I came across this park.
There was a lookout tower from where I could see most all of my city, as well as a long slide which of course I went down. The most interesting thing was when I got to the top of the tower I found a guy passed out on the ground next to a half empty bottle of awamori. I guess that is how some Okinawans spend their afternoon.

- - - 5/12/2007 - - -

Piano, Viola, and Erhu

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:04 am

After seeing an advertisement in the newspaper for a live show featuring a trio of piano, viola and Chinese erhu, Ken and I decided to check it out. To our surprise it was actually held in a small hard to find bar with very few people attending. However, it was actually very good music and I really enjoyed it.

- - - 5/10/2007 - - -

Fun at the Dam

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:49 am

After going to the botanical gardens, I decided to go see the dam that was also close by. The area slightly stank of the adjacent landfill, but had a fairly nice view. The area where the water came out was turned into a play area and it seems that a lot of kids and families were out for a good time during golden week.

- - - 5/9/2007 - - -

Tonan Botanical Gardens

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:25 am

Like the past two years, this year for golden week I had to visit a botanical gardens. Like previously as well, I took a long bike ride to get there. But unlike previous years and since this is Okinawa, the gardens had much more tropical flowers and plants.

Only for Golden Week the gardens lets people go fishing in the pond. I saw lots of kids fishing and it looked fun, and of course there is no way I was going to pass this opportunity up. The was really only 1 kind of fish in the pond called ‘terepia’, which reminded me a lot of perch, but if you got lucky you could also pull in a nice big carp. With the one piece of bread they gave me as bait I pulled in 9 terepias and 1 carp. All the little kids around me were amazed that I got so many fish, and wondered why I was so good at fishing. I also took it upon myself to help the people around me get fish off hooks and so on. To bad its only one week a year, but I also realize that I am surronded by the ocean with lots of fish in it as well.

- - - 5/7/2007 - - -

Naha Hari

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:04 am

Every year during Golden Week there is a festival in Naha called the Nara Hari festival. A Hari is like a giant canoe, and teams race them down to one end of the port and back. One person in the front hits a gong to keap everyone in beat. I guess I am lucky, because I got to actually participate in the race.

The festival is big and contains a lot more than just the races. Live music, food, games, rides, and even sumo. This was a competition of the local high schools. Even though I have seen professional sumo, I was also quite impressed with these, large, high school students as well.

Some of my team members.

The competition. The group in white is an all female group from one of the military bases, and they looked strong.

Heading towards the finish. We got second with a time of 4:00:12

- - - 5/6/2007 - - -

3 Years!

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:53 am

Today is May 6th.
It has been 3 years since I came to Japan.
My original 3 year visa is now expired.
No problem, I’m in the process of renewing my visa for another 3 years.

Another 3 years!
Do I really want to stay in Japan for 3 more years?
In 3 years I will be 28.
3 years ago I was 22.

What will I do in Japan for another 3 more years?
If I dont stay 3 more years, what will I do back in LA?
Should I spend 3 years in a different country?
Will Japan be my home for more than 3 more years?

3 more years………?

- - - 5/1/2007 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 4:02 am

Golden Week 2007. I decided to bike around Kadena Air Base which in total is about 20 km. Its not all that far but I really enjoy stopping at anything interesting along the way… like this park with interesting slides throughout. I am not a kid anymore, but that wont stop me from going down each and every slide I came across. :)