Japan

Showa Kinen Park in Autumn

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the end of November! Living in Hawaii, seasons just kind of blend together and sometimes it doesn’t really feel like time is passing. (Then I check to see how long it’s been since my last blog post and I’m shocked!) I’ve been hearing about the beautiful autumn leaves (and now snow) from family and friends in Virginia so I’ve been feeling like I’m missing out on Fall. My solution: looking through my Fall photos from Japan! Last year we enjoyed a lot of time in Showa Kinen Park and the autumn leaves were simply gorgeous.

Lots of people visit the park during the peak season for the autumn colors. It’s a bit similar to the viewing of cherry blossoms in Spring except it doesn’t quite draw the same crowds (the cherry blossoms only last a few days so everyone is viewing them at one time) and you don’t have the picnics beneath the trees.

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Still, we tried to go on weekdays when there were fewer people. There was an exhibit the park presented with images created from flower petals and twigs from trees. These must have taken a lot of time! The first image is from an anime named Gatchaman Crowds while the second is a scene with fireworks and autumn leaves.

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The entire park was filled with beautiful autumn leaves so we just enjoyed walking down the various paths and enjoying the beauty while enjoying a hot chocolate from a vending machine.

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We even found some flowers blooming!

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The Japanese garden section had some of the most beautiful autumn scenery so we spent quite a bit of time there. There were some turtles enjoying the scenery and fading light as well!

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With that trip down memory lane, I’m feeling more in the spirit of the season! 🙂

Culture Day in Japan

I was just relaxing and checking the news after a busy day of class and work when I realized that today is Culture Day in Japan! Of course we missed all the celebrations this year but we were in Tokyo last year for Culture Day and had a great time at the celebration held at Meiji Shrine. Remembering that led to an immediate search through my photos to relive some fun memories.  (more…)

Memories of Tokyo Fireworks

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I know the temperatures are starting to fall in a lot of places but not here! The unusually hot weather that arrived at the beginning of the month seems to have decided to stay and if today’s hot, humid weather is any indication, we’re in for more. All this hot weather has me thinking back to the last festival we went to before leaving Japan: the Showa Kinen Park Fireworks Festival! (more…)

Returning to Hawaii & Reverse Culture Shock

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Just a little over a week ago, I returned to the US after living in Japan for two years. I really loved my time in Japan and the move back was somewhat bittersweet. I expected that I would miss all the things I loved about Japan (friends I’d made, delicious Japanese foods, exploring the country and culture, etc.) but I was also really looking forward to seeing friends and family, eating all the foods I’d missed, and just generally being home. And I was returning to Hawaii, a gorgeous place to visit and to live, so really there were a lot of positives, too. What I did not expect was to return to Hawaii only to feel completely out of place and almost a bit like I was visiting a new foreign country. I was completely surprised to feel this way and more than a little dismayed. This is what is known as reverse culture shock. I just read a very interesting post on the topic by Tokyo Five and posted my initial thoughts there in the comments but here are my thoughts after a few more days back in Hawaii. (more…)

A Little Owl Love at Fukuro Sabo

You may have heard of cat cafes in Japan where you can sit and enjoy a drink and perhaps have a slice of cake, all while cats roam around the room looking for treats and head scratches. They are fairly popular with those folks who love cats but cannot have one in their own apartment and though I was surprised to hear of them at first, it really makes a lot of sense. But have you ever heard of an owl cafe? They exist! (more…)

Our Last Day in Okinawa

On our last day in Okinawa Prefecture, we said goodbye to our resort in Ishigaki and flew back to Okinawa Island. We had most of the day before we had to be back at the airport for our flight to Tokyo so we had time for at least one more sightseeing spot around Naha. Since my husband is really interested in modern Japanese history, we headed to the Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters.  (more…)