- - - 8/27/2011 - - -

Okutama Camping

Filed under: — Andy @ 12:28 am

I went camping for the first time since I have been in Japan. I took the train out to Okutama and meet up with my usual hiking club members. The camp site was not that far from Okutama station along the Nagagawa river and although I have stayed in a tent before when backpacking up mountains, this time was more about making a big camp fire, cooking lots of food, and having fun. We BBQd lots of meat and veggies, made camp soup, and had lots of drinks. Afterwards we set off fireworks and I brought all the ingredients to make smores, which everyone loved of course.
The following morning we built another fire and made toast, bacon and eggs for breakfast. After that it was time to clean up and start our 3+ hour hike to Okutama lake.

Small picture, but this is the river.

Fire building.. the best part of camping.


- - - 8/21/2011 - - -

Horse Riding

Filed under: — Andy @ 3:25 am

Another good thing about working on a US base is that I can make use of all the military recreational facilities around Japan. One of them is the Ikego camp grounds and sports facility where my friend and I could go horseback riding. We also did a bit of archery :)

- - - 8/20/2011 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 3:07 am

I turned 30 years old. For my birthday I had a small pizza and cake party at my house. Lots of friends came over and we ate lots of pizza (bought cheaply on base). After eating we went to the park to set off fireworks and then back for the birthday cake.

- - - 8/12/2011 - - -


Filed under: — Andy @ 1:32 am

I went to my second electronic music festival. The first was Electraglide in 2005 to see Underworld. I went to SonicMania to again see Underworld with the same friend as before has his group of diehard Underworld fans. Although the festival ended at 5 in the morning I managed to stay away and enjoy a lot of the other groups as well.

- - - 8/7/2011 - - -

Japanese Sweets

Filed under: — Andy @ 4:40 am

I have always loved Japanese sweets. I have made various sweets on my own using the internet and books, but have never before tried to make Jyo-Namagashi. They are one of the most difficult and time consuming sweets to make, and once you make the base materials shaping them into works of art is the greatest challenge. I finally got a chance to attempt to make them when my friend invited me to a Japanese sweets making class.
It was a lot more difficult to wrap the inside anko inside the colored anko than I had imagined, but after that I think I was a natural. Not to brag.. but my sunflower looked a lot better than most of the other ladies in the class. The teacher and other students all looked at my sweets in amazement. :)

- - - 8/6/2011 - - -

Yokosuka Fireworks

Filed under: — Andy @ 4:24 am

Once a year Yokosuka base opens up for all Japanese people. They can go on base and buy lots of American foods, especially pizza. Since I work on base now I really had no interest in going, however a few friends invited me to go watch the fireworks so I decided to go anyway. As expected, there were lots of people and a big line to get on base.
Luckily, a coworker spotted me and invited all of us back to her apartment to watch the fireworks. She lives on the top floor of an apartment building and from her balcony there is an amazing view of Yokosuka as well as Tokyo bay.

I met up with my friends at the Taiko stage.

My coworker and friends.