Tanegashima, Japan - March 2015
Rocket Marathon

- Welcome party, rocket marathon, after party, a rocket launch.

This was another busy month on the island. The highlight was definitely the Rocket Marathon along with the associated welcome and after parties. These events quite honestly KICKED ASS even with the mega rain which showed up towards the finish of the marathon.

Picture - Eating soup at the Minamitane Rocket Marathon Welcome Party.

The welcome party and the after parties were unbelievable. For the equivalent of five bucks per person for each event you received some food, all the alcohol you could drink, and fantastic entertainment. This place rocks.
Small Party

- The three wheel bike is finished now. We were hanging out with friends from Nishinoomote today.

Picture - Home - The three wheel bike is finished now.
Picture - Home - We were hanging out with friends tonight 1.
Picture - Home - We were hanging out with friends tonight 2.
Received Produce From Friend

- Today our friend brought over a bunch of veggies including a huge daikon, spinach, turnips and lots of potatoes.

Picture - Home - Hey thanks Ritsuosan for this.
Farm CDs Smashed

- Yup even cds, used to keep away the crows, were no match for the winds of Tanegashima.

Picture - Home - Although not a typhoon, the winds reached tropical storm force and shredded a few of the cds hanging in the upper farm.
Hase Park and Welcome Party

- We went to Hase Park for awhile today. Shai was able to climb the rock climbing thingy. Then we went to the Tanegashima Rocket Marathon Welcome Party for some food, drinks, and entertainment. This event was held at the recreation center of Minamitane town.

Picture - Us drinking at the welcome party.

For the equivalent of 5 bucks (500 yen) per person we were fed, watched some fantastic entertainment, and drank as much nodogoshi beer as we wanted.

Um okay this was the only ???? for the entire event. There were no plates on the tables for the finger foods but they did serve pancakes with syrup in these cheap containers. The guests were pretty much forced to eat these, like it or not, in order to get this container to use for the other foods. lol.

Thanks to the Kirin company for supplying my favorite beer and for sponsoring this fun party.

Picture - Hase Park - A windy day and a nice hair style.
Picture - Hase Park - Now he can make it to the top of the rock climbing thing.
Picture - Welcome Party - The tickets for the welcome party.
Picture - Welcome Party - We arrived at about 3 pm.
Picture - Welcome Party - Miso soup with chicken, veggies, noodles.
Picture - Welcome Party - Pancakes with syrup and chopsticks. lol.
Picture - Welcome Party - Woohoo all the nodogoshi beer you can drink in an hour and a half.
Picture - Welcome Party - Yup we kept drinking and drinking and drinking and....
Picture - Welcome Party - A special thanks to some of the town folks for volunteering to work the beer stand.
Picture - Welcome Party - A close up picture of the town folks working the beer stand.
Picture - Welcome Party - A taiko performance. I am a total fan of this traditional Japanese music. Really nice choice for the opening act.
Picture - Welcome Party - The Tahitian dancers. This seems to be pretty much a staple at events on Tanegashima.
Picture - Welcome Party - And then out came Makichan, the owner of the Isola bar in Minamitane. Now 6 months pregnant and performing.
Picture - Welcome Party - Then the young girls came out to show their stuff. What a cute group.
Picture - Welcome Party - The women came out with their grass skirts and coconut bras. Nice treat for the guys and very sexy.
Picture - Minamitane Town - We were walking back to the ryokan with alcohol in hand after the welcome party.
Picture - Minamitane Town - WUI....Walking Under the Influence of alcohol. Can you get a ticket for this....no way. lol.

Commentary - Yup this must be Japan....um especially a small island in Japan. I cannot even imagine walking around the streets in an American city, already a bit wasted, with a can of beer in each hand. No need for a lot of rules when the citizens can control themselves.
Rocket Marathon

- Today we went to the Tanegashima Rocket Marathon. This is an annual event held on the grounds of the beautiful Tanegashima Space Center and rocket launch facility.

Picture - Us getting ready to run.

The event includes a 2K family run, a 3K family run, a 10K, a half marathon and a full marathon which began somewhere in Minamitane town....somthing for everyone.

Pretty sure the entire event including, participation in the marathon, the welcome party, the after party, the shirts, towels, and other free stuff, cost us a total of the equivalent of 70 bucks for the entire family.  OY VE such a deal.

This was a fantastic, and well planned event, despite a rainy day which turned into a downpour later in the day.

Picture - Rocket Marathon - This is the Tanegashima Space Center, the venue for the Rocket Marathon.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - This was at the entrance to the outside bathroom at the Space Center. Very tsunami conscious.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - This picture came out really nice. Notice the museum and the replicated rocket in the background.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - The event program with free food coupons. The menu was rice balls, soup, and tea. And a coupon for onsen.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - We arrived at the Tanegashima Space Center for the Rocket Marathon at about 7:20 am and already raining.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - This is a nice picture of team 9094....names unknown....getting ready to compete.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - We are now ready to compete.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Now looking pretty stylish in our Tanegashima Rocket Marathon tee shirts.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Another picture in our tee shirts.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Yeah difficult to know which picture is the best. Why not include them all.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Now wearing our very stylish Tanegashima Rocket Marathon tee shirts.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Hanging out and waiting to begin.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Um seems like Shai is really getting into this island culture. The little dude is doing a double hang loose. lol.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - We met up with our friends who were also competing in the two kilometer family run.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Shai was really happy to see his good friends. Little Takeru is wearing yellow and Kose is wearing blue.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - This is a picture of the group behind us all ready for the family two kilometer run.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - We are now standing in line and ready for the Tanegashima Rocket Marathon two kilometer family run to begin.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Ready to begin and Shai was getting pretty excited now.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Yup we finished this run in 24th position out of the milliions....thousands....hundreds....um maybe 60 families.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - We received these towels after finishing the Tanegashima Rocket Marathon two kilometer family run.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Shai was really showing off his new towel.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Shai gave these towels and the entire weekend two thumbs up.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - With the run totally finished he began getting crazy.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Yup Shai was certainly happy to see this at the event. He was able to go crazy with a bunch of other kids.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - The rain was now pouring and we found a tent where we hung out and ate our complimentary lunch.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Really delicious soup and rice balls.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Yes of course they begin each run with a loud send off using the guns which partially made this island famous.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Ready to begin this particular run.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - And with a loud bang the runners for this event were on their way.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - The beginning of the ten kilometer run.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Hey who is the good looking American guy? Why David LaCharite of course.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - And there is the famous English teacher crossing the finish line.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Hey nice job doing this in about 47 minutes.
Picture - Rocket Marathon - Now cooling off and already thinking about the after party tonight.
Rocket Marathon After Party

- Same as the welcome party, which was held a day earlier, for the equivalent of 5 bucks (500 yen) per person we were fed, watched some fantastic entertainment, and drank as much beer as we wanted.

Picture - Girls at the reception desk.

The entertainment tonight included a nice singing duo, an African music and dance performance, some kind of traditional Japanese performance, and a crazy group janken pon game where they gave away all kinds of nice prizes.

The last event of the party was a group janken pon (rock, paper, scissors) competition.

This was the culmination of an incredible weekend of fun. This is without a doubt a must attend event for anyone visiting and especially residing on Tanegashima.

Picture - After Party - These were the tickets for the Tanegashima Rocket Marathon after party.
Picture - After Party - Shai was allowed to pick a raffle ticket three times, once for each of us. He won three towels which was the best prize.
Picture - After Party - Ah so nice to be greeted at the reception desk by four pretty woman with such happy smiles.
Picture - After Party - Now getting towards the finish of the festivities for this weekend.
Picture - After Party - This was a really long weekend for Shai and now getting pretty tired.
Picture - After Party - Shai played the group janken pon game and was able to walk away with this really cool satellite replica.
Picture - After Party - Then Shai received another prize, this time in the form of a huge container of beans.
Picture - After Party - Yup Shai was looking pretty good in his new suit and working as the CEO for JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency.
Picture - After Party - This couple performed a few very nice songs at the Tanegashima Rocket Marathon after party.
Picture - After Party - This group performed African music on the conga drums and were perfect. You could feel the energy from this island.
Picture - After Party - This was a really nice traditional Japanese performance.
Picture - After Party - Then the really crazy, group janken pon (rock, paper, scissors) competition. A lot of fun and the prizes were really nice.
Picture - After Party - We met Hagumi at the welcome party and then saw her again, with her family, at the after party.
Picture - After Party - Another picture of the group, albeit a bit blurry.
Picture - Yasu Bei Restaurant - We decided to go out to eat after the party was finished. A nice way to finish off an incredible weekend.
Bike Finished

- The three wheel bike is totally finished now.

Picture - Home - The three wheel bike is totally finished now.
Picture - Home - We received more produce from the neighbors today.
Nice BBQ

- We made a nice barbecue today with the fish we caught. Then guess who came to lunch. Yup David showed up for awhile.

Picture - Home - We went fishing and caught a few fish for the barbecue. The catch included a bora, a megina and an oyabitcha.
Picture - Home - A bit of snacks before the meal along with some beer and ready to eat the main course.
Picture - Home - And David showed up to say hi.
Picture - Home - We gave David a taste of the fish which he really seemed to enjoy.
Sandwiches and Friends

- Today we sandwiched outside. At night we met our friends from Nishinoomote up north.

Picture - Home - We received more produce from the neighbor in the rear house again including spinach, daikon, and green onions.
Picture - Home - Today was really nice out and a perfect day for sandwiches.
Picture - Home - Kind of funny we are all doing the surfer hand thingy even though not of us surf. lol.
Picture - Home - Tonight Kazumi came to the house with her boyfriend Rudy and her very cute daughter.
Picture - Home - They brought a lot of food, we made some food, and everyone enjoyed hanging out together.
Removed Patio

- This patio really has been an eyesore since the day we moved to this house. The patio was filled with termites and dryrot and some of the supports were not even connected anymore.

Picture - Home - The messed up patio before it was removed.
Picture - Home - This is one of the patio support beams completely eaten away by termites.
Picture - Home - A few hours later the patio was taken out and the wood piled on the ground waiting to be used for a few new projects.
Rocket Launch

- Today we saw another rocket launch from Hase Park.

Picture - Getting ready for the rocket launch.

Picture - Hase Park - We are hanging out at Hase park waiting for the rocket launch.
Picture - Hase Park - Although this is like our fifth time to watch a rocket launch, the excitement is still there.
Picture - Hase Park - We met up with some friends who joined us for the fun.
Picture - Hase Park - A whole lot of thumbs up for this day.
Picture - Hase Park - A visit to this park is certainly not complete without a little time spent at the playground.
Rocket Launch Sequence

- The rocket launch sequence of pictures. These pictures were all taken within the time frame of two minutes. The best launch picture, in my opinion, is shown next to the links. Pretty much all of these pictures came out fantastic.

Picture - Rocket launch sequence picture #10.

Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 1 - notice the bug. lol.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 2.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 3.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 4.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 5.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 6.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 7.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 8.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 9.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 10.
Picture - Hase Park - Rocket launch picture 11.
Hanami and Friends

- This turned out to be pretty much a joke. We thought the trees in this park were going to produce cherry blossoms and we could do hanami....wrong. There were no blossoms, probably not even cherry trees, and it began pouring. lol. We were able to enjoy a nice afternoon with our friends though.

Picture - Hase Park - Really trying to get a nice picture.
Picture - Hase Park - This picture came out pretty nice.
Picture - Hase Park - We had no idea the blossoms were already finished and these were probably not even cherry trees. lol.
Picture - Hase Park - Yup we were pretty cool with our sunglasses.
Picture - Hase Park - The temperatures became much cooler, the wind picked up, and then it began to rain.
Picture - Hase Park - A picnic is really not complete without your favorite alcoholic beverage.
Picture - Home - We came back from the hanami at the park and decided to hang our with our friends at the house.
Picture - Home - This was a really fun afternoon.
New Chairs

- We made another nice barbecue with our new camping chairs.

Picture - Home - Yeah our new chairs came and we made a nice barbecue outside.
Picture - Home - Again we are doing the surfer thingy for some reason.
Fishing Together

- Another nice afternoon of fishing with Shai, the coolest kid in the world.

Picture - Minamitane West Coast Pier #6 - Today me and Shai enjoyed a bit of fishing together. Really nice picture.
Picture - Minamitane West Coast Pier #6 - Actually we caught a bunch of small saba today.
Recycled Patio

- The old patio was removed on March 25....see previous post. Today was all about putting the old wood to work again.

Picture - Home - A few pieces of the old patio were used to make this rear wall. The lower farm is in the background with the adjacent jungle.
Picture - Home - This is a nice view of the rear wall and patio area.
Picture - Home - A few pieces of the old patio were also used to make a laundry hanging area.
 
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