S: JAPAN & the world - 2007-2010
1: During my 3 years living in Japan I took tens of thousands of photos... This is a collection of those photos, 3 years of life in Komono Japan, travels in Japan and abroad.
3: August 2007 Gozaisho Our first, but certainly not last trip up Gozaisho Mountain! Vanessa, Greg and I all headed up the ropeway and hiked around the top a little, taking silly pictures etc. Being summer in Japan it was extremely hot. We took a rest laying on some rocks at the top of the mountain when we heard someone approach us with caution and ask "would you like some beer?" We joined in happily - eating mushrooms and BBQ and that's how we met the hiking group!
4: Nagashima Spaland September 2007
5: Home Sweet Home
6: September 2007 School & Rice Harvest
8: Homestay September 2007
9: 1st trip to Ise Many to follow!!
12: Yours Truly
13: Cooking December 2007 Making cookies for the Scottish Xmas dinner. One of Vanessa's first CIR events, it was definitely not the smoothest of the events, but was an adventure!
14: Rice Cake Making December 2007
15: Mom in Japan Hakata & Komono New Years January 2008
16: NABANA NO SATO February 2008
17: Komono Snow Day - February 2008 looked out my balcony one day and discovered it had snowed
18: Yakuba Trip Hamamatsu Feb. 2008
20: Town hall trips are hilarious. They leave 9 am and drinking starts shortly after on the bus. We stopped off to visit the Asahi brewery for more drinks, the Toyota factory where we saw dad's car and had a good time playing with that. After a good bit of drinking, Karaoke starts in the Tour bus . Best part of the trip was the bird sanctuary!
22: Stowmarket homestay
23: Sumo March 2008
24: March 2008 - Hinamatsuri
25: India Habitat April 08 | India was such a unique place. Immediately upon arriving we were bombarded with the colors,the sounds, the humid and spice filled air. We spent one week building homes with habitat for humanity for a small town near Pondicherry that was affected by the tsunami. We did everything from shoveling sand, mixing cement, to carrying and laying bricks. Then we kicked back and enjoyed ourselves in Kerala!
31: Relaxing in Kerala was so amazing. We were able to rent a brand new houseboat and sailed around eating delicious food and getting tan.
32: Yokkaichi Banko Matsuri May-2008 | Crazy looking at these photos and seeing how young Chippy was!!
33: This festival is an annual festival in Yokkaichi for a certain type of pottery unique to that area. Big Sis invited us along and we had a blast (^_^)v
34: Ise Shima Badminton Trip | June 2008 The badminton group decided to take a trip to Ise Shima! We had an awesome time filled with silliness and good food - some of which were to our surprise still alive and moving! Epp! -Nicole | The Whole Gang looking fab | Climbing a Lighthouse | Tani-san surrounded by dying lobsters.!!
35: June 2008 | The wedded rocks! | Too hot to move | Famous noodles | Beautiful Ise Shima | Scapbook 115 Memory lane
36: CAMP INN - JUNE 2008 | Each year the MIE JETS got together in south of Mie to "camp" in cabins. Basically it involved getting drunk and barbecuing!
38: June 2008 Magome to Tsumago Hiking | First time hiking from Magome to Tsumago. It became one of my favorite places in Japan. a pretty easy hike with lots of scenery. Thanks Mori for introducing us to this place :)
40: Wind Chime Festival - July 2008 I saw an ad for this festival at the train station. I've always loved the sound of Japanese wind chimes - the sound have a very calming and soothing feeling. So I decided to head out one weekend to see it. Located at a temple somewhere near Nara, I entered by a street on which every home hung a chime outside their doors. A breeze blowing gently as i entered the temple make the most glorious sound as hundreds to glass and ceramic wind chimes sounded at once.
43: On my way home from the wind chine festival - I decided to stop off in Nara to see the famous deer that wonder the parts - I definitely got up close and personal... They ate my brochures and the plastic bags that held the glass wind chimes I had just purchased as gift for friends and family... | Nara - July 2008
44: July 2008 - Tottori
46: Walking in Tottori
49: August 2008 Obon
50: Komono goes to Koshien August 2008
51: Every year, the best high school baseball teams from each prefecture go to Koshien to compete to be named the best team in Japan. Komono won for Mie prefecture and nearly the entire town piled into buses at 3 am to see them compete at Koshien. Despite the loss it was amazing.
52: Elaine (Oobie) and John came to visit me in Japan. We toured around Kyoto, Tokyo and the town of Komono. Mostly eating... | 2008
54: Kamoshika Marathon & Face Painting October 2008
56: Thanksgiving November 2008
57: Mom & Dad Visit Komono
60: Scenes from Komono
61: Komono Jr High Cultural Festival November 2008
62: DECEMBER 2008
63: Lillian came to visit over my Winter break. Its always nice to see the country you have been living in through fresh eyes. We started off in Komono. And then we hit the road so to speak.heading south visiting Kobe, Hiroshima,, Miyajima and an onsen area in Kumashiro before heading to Okinawa.
65: MIYAJIMA | One of my favorite places in Japan. A little off the radar and beautiful
66: ONSEN | I don't think I can explain just how much I love the onsen/sento experience in Japan. It took some getting used to at first. Learning how to follow the right customs in the baths, getting into baths with strangers, completely naked, even just learning to pay to enter the baths. Everything was new about it. I often felt like a child in Japan. But sometimes just opening yourself up to something new. I discovered how much I loved the whole experience. It was humbling, warm, soothing and relaxing. I miss it a lot.
68: Welcome to Hiroshima This was an interesting trip. I wanted to visit Hiroshima, to see some of the memorials. But we visited on Christmas eve. It was a little bitter sweet.
69: Miyajima Youth Hostel
70: Hiroshima Peace Memorial
73: Ibusuki Hakusuikan It was a long journey to get to this hotel / onsen site, but I had always wanted to go to a sand onsen, and we ended up meeting the owner, getting a free tour of their museum and running into him and his family again in Okinawa of all places!!
74: Okinawa IEver since I was in High School watching Chura-san I've had a fascination with Okinawa. When I got there it was even better than I had imagined.
75: This is one of the Youth Hostels we stayed in. I was constantly amazed how nice the youth hostels were in Japan - and how cheap. This one I believe cost us around $30 a night. That seems like an incredibly good deal to me! Though some of them booked really quickly and often couldn't stay in one place for more than two nights in a row.
77: Shisa Making in Okinawa | Following a guidebook, some signs and with the aid of an old man we made our way to Shisa making ceramics class. Loved it!!
78: Ski Trip - January 2009
79: Gozaisho January 2009
80: Yukimatsuri- Hokkaido
81: February - 2009
84: South Korea March 2009
85: One of the best things about living in Japan was the fact that I could hop off to another country for a weekend. The town hall ladies, Vanessa , the ladies from the town hall and I decided to take a long weekend and go to Korea for food, shopping and a little sight seeing on a Japanese tour.
87: Sakura April 2009
88: England Baby!! - May 2009 Vanessa organized a trip for Komono people to go to England - her home country - do homestays, travel and generally have a fun time. I luckily got to tag along and help out and share in the silliness!
91: Komono Jr Sports festival | June 2009
92: Vanessa - June 2009
93: Shizuka's House
94: Onomichi -June 2009 This was one of the first places I traveled to alone. With only a guidebook I traveled to this town of old windy streets, cats and a temple with a view
96: Halley Arrives in Japan July 2009
97: Obon July 2009
98: Suika-wari July 2009
99: August 2009 My Birthday this year fell on one of my favorite days of the year - the local Obon festival! We go dressed up, danced the night away and had Tom Sawyer Cheesecake and I got a new outfit :)
100: Shikoku Adventures Vanessa and I headed out to Shikoku to visit her hold host family and to hitchhike to various destinations. We traveled by plane, boat, car, train and even ski lift seats (lol). It was quite the adventure that we didn't tell our parents about till we got back. | September 2009
103: Beach Trip September 2009
104: Orphanage Visit Bunkasai - October 2009 | Vanessa organized for the Mie Jets to attend the Culture Festival at an orphanage in Yokkaichi. We got to facepaint, play with the kids and overall have a great time :)
105: SOHEI MATSURI October 2009 This was our 3rd year carrying this shrine up and down the hills of Yunoyama. I think by far this time was the most fun. Lots of silliness and drinking. And finally got some good fire photos!
106: Halloween In Komono October 2009
107: Thanksgiving in Japam November 2009
108: Nagashima Luminarie November 2009
109: Hiking November 2009
110: Kobe Luminarie December 2009
112: Princess Cruise New Zealand - Australia December 2009 - January 2010 My first cruise (I hope of many!) Mom and I met in New Zealand and embarked on a 13 day cruise that ended in Sydney Australia. The ship was gorgeous and full of luxuries like spa access and morning pilates classes. The excursions were full of amazing views, activities and .. sheep!
116: January 2010 - Wakayma trip Arashiyama Hot Spring
117: Takayama January 2010
118: Shirakawago February 2010
120: Rina's Wedding Feb. 2010 | I caught the bouquet!!
121: March 2010 | Komono was full of lovely people always willing to go out of their way for me. One of the teachers at my school offered to take me to see the plum blossoms in a neighboring town. I brought Halley along and it was absolutely gorgeous!!
123: Koya-San April 2010 | Koya-san is famous for Monks and Temples. We got to stay at one, eat traditional foods, visit a famous grave site at night and join in on meditation in the morning.
125: May 2010 Hiking the Kumano Kodo Towards the end of my time in Japan I started crossing places off my list that I wanted to go to before leaving. The Senmaida - 1,000 rice paddies was one. It took forever to get there and I only went for one day and headed back the same night. On the bus ride back the bus driver offered to pull the bus over so I could buy some oranges. Small town Japan can be so friendly.
126: Huis Ten Bosche & Nagasaki - May 2010
130: June 2010 - Weird Park - Fun Adventures!!
132: Volunteer Rice Planting May 2010 | Volunteer Rice Planting May 2010
133: Farewell Japan June-July 2012 The last month I was in Japan was filled with going away parties. At first I imagined all the tear-filled going away parties I had witnessed and worried I'd have to pinch myself to affect some similar tears (I'm usually very dry-eyed during goodbyes) However, as soon as the parties started, the tears started pouring!
134: Farewell Komono
137: Farewell Tom Sawyer
140: Curry Making Class :)
143: Farewell Komono Jr. High
146: Vietnam | As a last trip with Vanessa, Halley and I went to Vietnam. Basically chosen because the flights were the cheapest. But an amazing trip! The trip started with a cooking class that took us to an outdoor market to buy our ingredients
148: Cooking class time!! Making spring rolls! Yum!!
150: The food adventures did not end with the cooking class! We made some new friends and decided to try street food. Most food in Vietnam is actually street food - eating inside a restaurant is apparently only for tourists.So we sat down, pointed and ate !
151: Noodlage In Vietnam
154: Daisy Comes to Japan Epic Japan Farewell Tour | Daisy came to visit me in Japan, though I'm not sure if she knew what she was in for :D Being as it was my last chance to tour Japan, we only went to places I had yet to go to, or places I wanted to go to one last time. This involved hiking, scuba diving and kayaking as well as running for trains and generally walking everywhere in the middle of a humid Japanese summer. Sorry Daisy! but She to admit it was indeed Epic! ...and it made her lose 10 lbs :P
155: Miyajima Kayaking | What did she talk me into? | Le EXCITE!!!
157: Kyoto Visit
167: Fushimi Inari Shrine We walked this one until we literally started getting eaten alive by mosquitoes
168: Miyajima | Being one of my favorite place in Japan, I had to visit Miyajima one more time before returning home. This time we kayaked it.
169: Scuba Diving in Okinawa!!! | This is the face of Daisy hating me just a little bit! bwahaha :P
173: The name of Cape Manza comes from when the Ryukyuan King Sho Kei visited in the beginning of the 18th century and he praised the place by calling it " The field where a thousand men can sit.".
176: Youth Hostel Fun!! I know Daisy didn't like the idea of staying in youth hostels at first, but we got to travel to lots of interesting places and meet some very funny & unique people!