Category Archives: Photos

2013 Kume Island Shrimp Festival

Just two days ago, on November 23, Kume Island held its annual Kuruma Shrimp Festival. The festival is small, but popular with visitors coming from outside of Okinawa for a unique chance to see and taste the prized shrimp (they’re actually prawns but you get the idea). The festival started off with the usual welcoming speeches by the town tourism office, mayor, and shrimp industry representatives. Workers from the four local farms and the Okinawa shrimp cooperative sent the season’s

Senso Temple in Tokyo

After visiting Tokyo Skytree during my two-day trip to Tokyo I worked my way down to the new train station to work my way back into town. Many people had suggested the Asakusa area so I got off at the Asakusa station, just a few stops from the tower. I didn’t have any specific plans or maps but I quickly found my way to a highly populated area before the Senso Temple grounds. Between the Kaminari (lightning) Gate and the Hozo

2013 Kume Island Marathon

Every year the Kume Island Marathon draws participants from around the world. This year a typhoon almost managed to cancel the event (ferries were canceled), but still several hundred people managed to make their way onto the ferry. As with last year, I was asked to do photography for the event. I started out at Miifugaa, but then worked my way around to a few other locations. I ended up with over a thousand photos total from the day. I’ve edited

Tokyo National Museum

Just outside the grounds of the Ueno Zoo is a wide paved pavilion. Walking from the zoo, past the Starbucks and to the left is the Tokyo National Museum. For those interested in Japanese history it is a great place to stop by and see a wide selection of art, architecture, and historic items.  The museum complex includes five separate buildings, each with a separate focus. Honkan: Japanese Gallery The largest and most central building of the museum is the

Ueno Tokyo

Although I’ve lived in Japan for more than five years, until recently I had never traveled in Tokyo, which is usually the first stop for most expats and the home of many.  So, I’ll have a series of posts on my Tokyo trip from the perspective of a guy with Japan experience, but a fresh eye on the big city. I grew up in Phoenix, a large city but one that is spread out.  Our streets get more crowded than

2013 Kanegusuku Festival and Shishimai

Every few years at the largest full moon of the year there is a small festival in the Kanegusuku area of Kume Island.  As with many events in Okinawa, the date of the event is based on the kyureki (lunar) calendar.  While this means that the event is on a different day each year, the lunar timing means that the event always takes place at a full moon.  In this case, August 15th of the kyureki calendar. This particular festival

Two Summer Endings – The Last Sports Festivals

On Kume Island, the first semester of school is over and students are on summer vacation.  For two of those schools it is the very last summer they will be open.  Due to rural depopulation both schools will close, with a ‘new’ school opening next April.  The unfortunate thing about the schools’ closing is the chance that local traditions and culture will be lost.  On this ancient island, each area has its own traditions that have become entwined with school

Daidoge Festival in To-gatta

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Zao Machi in Miyagi Prefecture with the local Tunnaha Daiko group while they performed at the Daidoge festival on June first and second in the To-gatta area.  The festival was a street fair with the entire street near the local onsen being shut down.  Jugglers, musicians, magicians, acrobats, comedians, and more descended on the street for two full days of performances. The artists performed at “stages” during scheduled times, competing amongst each other

Okinawa OTEC Power Initialization Ceremony

Update: You can now find out more information on OTEC on Kume Island at the official site OTECOkinawa.com June 16th marked the beginning of power generation at Kume Island‘s Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Power Plant with a ceremony and visiting dignitaries from around Japan and the world.  The newly completed OTEC power plant will be able to generate up to 50 kilowatts of electricity from a thermal expansion turbine.  The turbine is propelled by temperature variations provided by warm surface

Kumejima Kuruma Prawns

It’s no secret that Japanese food is popular outside of Japan.  Not only is the food in-country highly rated, but there are Japanese restaurants all over the world.  A lot of people wonder, why is Japanese food so good?  It’s a complex answer.  Many will tell you it’s umami, others the care and thought put into food, and yet more that it’s the simplicity of the dishes that highlights natural flavors. I’m not a food expert, but I think it’s a bit

« Older Entries Recent Entries »