Latest in Animals

Latest in Kumejima

Latest in Photos

Latest Posts

Video: Yajiyagama Cave Tour on Kumejima

I’ve always been fascinated with caves. Growing up in  Arizona, I would camp in Sedona every year with my family. Our campground was nested along a river and there were caves along the cliffs which you could hike up into. Farther south there was also the Colossal Cave which I found impressive but unfortunately tame. There’s just something about exploring a natural cave that is interesting, provided it hasn’t been too softened with walkways and guide ropes. On Kumejima the

Video: Okinawan Desserts on Kumejima

Okinawa boasts its own variety of sweets, many based on local flavors including fruits and sugar cane. On Kumejima, you can learn how to make some of the most popular Okianwan desserts at the Kumejima Island School tours, which were organized by the local tourism association. In the video below, locals demonstrate making two classics, Chinbin, a type of crepe, and Sata Andagi, or Okinawan Doughnuts. Both are delicious and participants, not only get the recipe and practice making them,

Video: Kumejima Wetland Forest Tour

Kume Island in Okinawa is unique among small islands in that it historically has had rich water resources. The tall mountains allow for ample rainfall which is collected in small lakes, wetlands and springs. The age of the wetlands has created a habitat for species now unique to Kumejima. The center of the island is taken up by wetland forests, which are preserved under the Ramsar Convention. Since most roads, houses, and other buildings are situated along the main roads

Video: Nishime Walkabout

How different can two neighborhoods be on the same island? Both the Maja Tour and Nishime Tours are guided around local neighborhoods on the same island by different local guides, yet the experiences are quite different. Dissimilar geography and historic precedents have led to the areas being used in different ways. In the Ryukyu period the island was separated into two districts, which became villages in the Meiji era. The separation of the island into districts and even smaller neighborhoods

New Video: Kumejima’s Maja Scenic Tour

Kume Island in Okinawa is home to many scenic and historic spots. For most visitors and locals, the main attractions such as Hateno Beach or events such as the yearly festival overshadow the much older local delights that can only be found when walking along with someone who truly knows the area. Recently, a new program is offering island experiences to delve into the historic, cultural, and natural side of Kumejima that the casual tourist might enjoy but find difficult

Betrayal (Samurai Awakening Book 3)

For those of you who didn’t know, Samurai Awakening’s third installment, Betrayal is available via Kindle on Amazon worldwide.  This third book continues David’s story in rural Japan where he faces the remnants of Japanese legend. It’s free for prime subscribers and only $3.99 for purchase. I hope you enjoy it! More Information: The evil of Japanese legend is real, and has once again reawakened. As an exchange student, David Matthews expected an interesting time in Japan, but after being

Pregnant in Japan

Okay, so I’m not pregnant, but my wife is. We’ve never been through this before and all my expectations are built upon the little bit I happened to absorb (against my will) as I grew up. Though I’m so far away from “expert” on American childbearing that a karate teacher wouldn’t bother giving me a white belt, I’ve already found that traditions and expectations between the two countries are very different. A little background: My wife and I live on Kumejima,

2015 Gasashi Wakachara Kumiodori on Kumejima

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written here on morethingsjapanese.com.  While I expect most of my regular readers have since moved on, I’m still alive and kicking here on Kumejima. Work and married life have taken up most of the free time I used to operate this blog over the last five years. Still, when I find a chance, I’ll use it to add a post and a picture or two (or 37). The other day students on Kume Island

Typhoon 1419 Vongfang

Tyhpoon Vongfang has been blowing its way through Okinawa this weekend. While the media has been hyping it as the strongest storm this year, the majority of the fury was spent over open seas. While there have been strong winds since early Friday morning, and Okinawa is still in the *red* zone, the danger has mostly passed since the typhoon has weakened to category 1. As for Kumejima, were all safe if still in lock-down. Unfortunately, the timing has led

High School and Hawaiian Festivals

Events abound in Japan’s Autumn, and although the weather still feels of summer, Fall is definitely in swing. This weekend saw a slew of events on Kume Island, dissimilar but also with underlying threads of culture to connect them. High School Festival Kume Island has only one high school for the entire island. It has a variety of classes for its students, but with such a wide range of classes it is difficult for them to fit every activity into