Tag Archives: photos

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

Kite Surfing Hateno Beach

One of the great attractions of Kume Island is the amazing white sand beaches, especially the chain of offshore sandbars known collectively as Hateno-hama. Just before Typhoon 1408 hit I had another chance to visit the beach with this year’s Nakasato Exchange. While the students were swimming and playing on the Nakano sandbar, I spotted a few kite surfers enjoying the mild winds and surf on Meenu Beach. Though I’ve never kite surfed, it was an amazing chance to get

Baby Blue Rock Thrush

One of the most prolific birds on Kume Island is the blue rock thrush. It’s a loud yet interesting species of bird that I’ve managed some decent photos of in the past. This time around I had a unique chance to get up-close and personal with a baby blue rock thrush (while being careful not to interfere. My gopro helped me out with that). One morning we woke to a chirping and rainstorm. The source was the baby bird, stuck

Aoshima Shrine

On the last day of my trip to Miyazaki Prefecture in January I traveled to Aoshima Shrine with my fiancée and her family. The shrine is located in the middle of the forest on a small island connected to the mainland by a bridge. The day we attended was a large festival where attendees braved the cold seawater for good luck this year. We arrived in the afternoon so we missed the crowds. Next to the island is an interesting

Food of Miyazaki Prefecture

You might have noticed that there was no post last week. The reason is that I spent 5 days in Kyushu’s Miyazaki prefecture. Though I’ve been to Kyushu three times with my students on their school trips, this was my first time to the southern prefectures.  There was a lot to see and do so I’ll split the trip into a series of posts on each place I visited. This post I’ll use to share some of the interesting differences

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

2013 Gima Obon Festival

Obon in Japan takes place at different times throughout the year.  In Okinawa it took place over three days from August 29-21. On the second night, communities throughout Kume Island celebrate together. Since all of the small festivals take place at the same time, it’s hard to see all of them.  This year I visited the largest festival since I was talked into buying raffle tickets in advance (they help pay for the fireworks and event materials).  This year the

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