Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category

Hints of Higashi

Seth and I took a much needed weekend escape to Northern Okinawa and I swear I will never get used to the beauty of this island. We stayed in a log cabin at the military recreation facility, Okuma, which was only a 15-minute drive from the area I wanted to explore, Higashi. Since the first couple months I arrived in Okinawa, over 3 years ago, I have been dying to go kayaking through the mangroves up north and that was our big intentions for this weekend. Well, we didn’t get to do the kayaking because it was out of our budget for this weekend trip but we found a nice kayaking place for our next weekend getaway. However, we did get to explore a secret beach, follow a stream to a waterfall and got to see what the Japanese call the “Looking Glass Tree”. Directions for both are below.

For about 30-40 minutes we followed a stream that was coming down from the mountainside into the Pacific Ocean, from the beach we discovered, only to be rewarded with a beautiful waterfall. We reached the waterfall at the perfect time of day because there was a rainbow at the bottom of it the entire time we were there. It’s just amazing that we reached it at just the exact time that the sun would be shining down through the trees to make that rainbow. My co-worker Tina believes it was some sort of sign for us. Just maybe, who knows though?

We had a traveler’s guidebook explaining how to find the tree with amazing, wall-like roots but were having some trouble following the directions. After searching for about an hour on our own we finally came across a conservation museum and the polite Japanese girl working the front desk gave us directions in broken English; luckily I had my number cheat sheet that co-worker, Nao San, created for me so I knew exactly how many kilometers she was telling us to travel. We finally found the tree and it was like nothing I will probably ever see again, some of its roots were nearly up to my shoulder. Looking down onto the roots from above they made intricate swirls and designs; some of which held water. I have tried to learn why they call it the “Looking Glass Tree” but my Japanese co-workers couldn’t answer and the closest thing I could come across on a Google search was that the leaves are a silvery color underneath. I can’t help but remember back to my childhood of watching “Disney’s Pocahontas” where that great willow tree tells her to listen to her heart and of watching “Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” where the wicked queen would ask her mirror (or looking glass) “who’s the fairest of them all”. So, just maybe you’re supposed to look into the water, as if you would a mirror, and hope for the great answers to life. Just maybe this weekend was supposed to be full of signs and answers but as life would have it, I overlooked them all. Maybe next time God… if you are listening… if you are up there.

Directions from Okinawa Explorer 2nd Edition by Kenny Ehman:

First, to get to Higashi:

If coming from the West side of the island take H58 to Nago and use Route 14 to cross over to H329. On the East side of the island take H329 North past Camp Schwab. Continue North on H331 after Camp Schwab. Follow the signs on H331 through Nago, you will start to notice the swampy mangroves on you right hand side and shortly after you will enter Higashi.

To get to Looking Glass Tree:

Take Route 70 North to Taira Village and turn left after the second bridge from center of Village. Turn left at the fork and follow the winding road until a white sign with an arrow is pointing the way on the left. Follow these signs until you come to a lot on your right. Park here and the looking glass tree is near the edge of the woods.

To get to Miyagi Meoto Waterfall:

Take Route 70 North through Kawata Village to Miyagi. About 6.2 kilometers from Kawata you will find Bus Stop #70 on the right along with a small store, turn right directly before this Bus Stop. Follow this road down until a sign and small lot appear on the right. Park here and walk down a trail to the beach, then follow the stream up until you find the waterfall.


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I did a vintage modeling shoot with my photographer friends Deni and Anya. (Click on each name to visit their blogs.) Deni worked up the nerve to ask a couple of well-dressed, Japanese, gentlemen passersby to pose with me. Below are my favorites from Anya, I will make a later post of Deni’s images when I get them.


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November 10, 2009

November 10th is Seth and my anniversary as well as the USMC Birthday. So Happy 4 Year Anniversary, Seth and Happy 234th Birthday, Marines!

This year we attended our third USMC Birthday ball and I won’t lie, it was as boring as usual. LOL! But it’s always nice to get dressed up and to see my honey get dressed up in his “Prince Charming” uniform. A small explanation to that comment, I have this whole view that most of the military’s uniforms are dated and the Marine’s Dress Blues remind me of something Cinderella’s prince would have worn. It’s only missing the little mop-like, brush things on the shoulders. No offense intended, you’re all very handsome in your Dress Blues!

Our first ball Seth was part of the Color Guard and this year he got to be the Adjutant or I guess you could say, the guy who calls attention to start the ceremony. You can see a small video clip of this below if you’re interested.

My dress for the Ball was one that I had ordered to wear two years ago but it wasn’t shipped on time, then I was supposed to wear it last year but Seth was deployed so, I finally had a chance to wear it this year. I had it altered and dry cleaned only to, stupidly, try it on only the day before our Ball and realize it didn’t fit. It looked like they only took it in from the sides, leaving a saggy part in the stomach area, making it look like I was wearing a maternity gown. I should have known the thing was cursed but it took me three years to realize it! Anyway, we went dress shopping about 20 hours before the Ball actually started; luckily I found something to work (see pic above). The best part of the ball I am proud to say is that I did my own hair and make-up (see pics below).

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I have a few things I’d like to share that I just downloaded from my cell phone and they don’t really go together so I apologize for the randomness.

The cutest ice cream sundae ever, from a Japanese Baskin Robins. The Japanese know how to do things the kawaii way. . .

Japan Baskin Robins Halloween Ice Cream Sundae

From this summer’s total solar eclipse . . .Solar Eclipse 2009 from Okinawa, Japan

Apparently, when Seth goes to sleep his neck breaks… he’s going to kill me for posting this!

Soundly Sleeping with a Broken Neck

Some more embarrassing stuff for the hubby… some audio clips I recorded one of the nights we had some guys over to hang out. Even though it’s crappy quality you can tell they’re pretty good for practically pulling this stuff out of thin air using only a single bongo drum and two guitars.


Now that I’ve probably officially embarrassed Seth into hating me he should forgive me since tomorrow is our 4 year anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Babe!

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EOD News…

Well, I’m sure most of you have heard the news that Seth is selling his soul for another 4 years to the Marine Corps and he’s doing a lat-move into EOD, so April/May we’ll be moving from Okinawa to Florida where he’ll attend EOD schooling for 8-9 months. For those of you who aren’t familiar with military acronyms EOD stands for Explosive Ordinance Disposal. It is pretty self-explanatory and some pretty scary stuff, if you ask me, but it’s what he wants so I’ve got to do nothing short of support him. I’ve experienced some negativity when this has been mentioned so I can’t lie; I’ve had my doubts about how this would all pan out. However, I’ve become good friends with an EOD wife from work, Cassandra, and she’s helped me out a lot by offering helpful advice and showing me plenty of Internet sites. She even invited us to her and her husband’s going away party where we were welcomed by all of the EOD techs and family, no matter what rank they were. The wives gave me helpful information about EOD school in Florida and the guys joked with us all night long. It felt as if I had known these people all of my life. I’ve got to say nearly all my doubts disappeared on that night because of these great people. I cannot wait to become part of the EOD family!

Bobby and Cassandra's Going Away

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