Tanegashima, Japan - August 2016
Family Visits

- This was a fun month since family came to visit. We spent most of the time at the beaches together, of course. Shai and the kids went crazy playing together. Then we finished off the month with the okuizome ceremony for our baby Lael  where he ate his first food, only a little bit.

Picture - Shai kissing his cousin, little Riachan.
Family Arrives

- Today our family arrived on the island. We spent a lot of time talking even though they all were tired from the trip

Picture - Home - All of us hanging out together and talking.
Picture - Home - All of us hanging out together and talking.
Beach Family

- Today we spent a few hours at the Tanegashima Space Center museum and beach. This was actually the first time for some of them to visit the island, and being Summer, this was where they all wanted to go, especially the kids.

Picture - All of us at the Tanegashima Space Center beach.

Picture - Tanegashima Space Center - Shai and Riachan behind rockets 1.
Picture - Tanegashima Space Center - Shai and Riachan behind rockets 2.
Picture - Tanegashima Space Center - All of us really enjoying a picnic in this beautiful place.
Picture - Tanegashima Space Center - All of us at the beach 1.
Picture - Tanegashima Space Center - All of us at the beach 2.
Picture - Home - The wood chips we plan to use for the smoker.
Picture - Home - Shai kissing his little cousin Riachan.
Picture - Home - Shai sitting with his little cousin Riachan.
Picture - Home - Made a party with family and friends tonight 1.
Picture - Home - Made a party with family and friends tonight 2.
Picture - Home - Made a party with family and friends tonight 3.
Picture - Home - Made a party with family and friends tonight 4.
Sightseeing Today

- We decided to go sightseeing today and visit a few of the beautiful places in this town before really hitting the beach.

Picture - Us at the beautiful Maenohama observation point.

We began with the really high observation point, called Nanairo which means seven colors in English, and overlooks Maenohama Seaside Park and beach, along with the countryside of Minamitane Town. Then we headed for Hamada Beach which is home to the Chikura Caves and some incredible rock formations.

Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the beautiful Maenohama observation point 1.
Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the beautiful Maenohama observation point 2.
Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the beautiful Maenohama observation point 3.
Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the beautiful Maenohama observation point 4.
Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the beautiful Maenohama observation point 5.
Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the beautiful Maenohama observation point 6.
Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the beautiful Maenohama observation point 7.
Picture - Hamada Beach - Us eating lunch at the Hamada Beach restaurant 1.
Picture - Hamada Beach - Us eating lunch at the Hamada Beach restaurant 2.
Picture - Hamada Beach - Us eating lunch at the Hamada Beach restaurant 3.
Picture - Hamada Beach - Us eating lunch at the Hamada Beach restaurant 4.
Picture - Hamada Beach - Us eating lunch at the Hamada Beach restaurant 5.
Picture - Hamada Beach - Us eating lunch at the Hamada Beach restaurant 6.
Picture - Chikura Caves - Us hanging out at this very cool place 1.
Picture - Chikura Caves - Us hanging out at this very cool place 2.
Picture - Chikura Caves - Us hanging out at this very cool place 3.
Picture - Chikura Caves - Us hanging out at this very cool place 4.
Picture - Chikura Caves - Us hanging out at this very cool place 5.
Picture - Chikura Caves - Us hanging out at this very cool place 6.
Picture - Chikura Caves - Us hanging out at this very cool place 7.
Surfs Up

- Today all of us really hit the beach in style, equipped with all kinds of toys and a couple of long boards. This was actually the first time for me to try surfing. This was not an easy task with a recently torn bicep which was all wrapped up, but what the heck, all in the name of fun.

Picture - Me actually riding a surfboard.

Today we decided to go surfing at the famous Hotel Mae, which means in front of the hotel. This is a really famous surfing spot for the locals and for visitors to the island. Anyway, I kept trying to stand up on the long board, and after about 30 minutes, could actually catch a few waves. Whoa what a rush. Yeah surfing is a lot of fun.

Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me surfing on the green long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me surfing on the green long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me holding Shai on the green long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Possibly Toukun waiting to catch a wave.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me surfing on the green long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Toukun surfing on the orange long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me surfing on the green long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me surfing on the green long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me and Toukun holding the long boards.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me and Toukun holding the long boards.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me holding the green long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me holding the green long board.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me, Shai and Toukun holding the long boards.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me, Shai and Toukun holding the long boards.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me, Shai and Akiko holding the long boards.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Me, Shai and Akiko holding the long boards.
Picture - Yasubei Restaurant - Us eating at the famous okonomiyaki restaurant in town.
Picture - Yasubei Restaurant - Us eating at the famous okonomiyaki restaurant in town.
Picture - Home - Hanging out together and lighting fireworks tonight.
Picture - Home - Hanging out together and lighting fireworks tonight.
Picture - Home - Hanging out together and lighting fireworks tonight.
Surf Boards

- We wrapped up the family vacation today with another trip to the beach. Then at night we went to the annual Rocket Festival complete with tons of food, entertainment, and of course, an unbelievable fireworks and laser display. I could not really enjoy the evening though. Thanks to eating a bit of old fish during the day, need to deal with a bit of food poisoning at night. Really sucked and then threw up in the bathroom there. The next day Akiko got the same thing.

Picture - Us with the incredible long boards.

Picture - Tanegashima Space Center - Us holding surfboards at the beach 1.
Picture - Tanegashima Space Center - Us holding surfboards at the beach 2.
Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the annual rocket festival 1.
Picture - Minamitane Town - Us at the annual rocket festival 2.
Picture - Minamitane Town - The annual rocket festival incredible fireworks 1.
Picture - Minamitane Town - The annual rocket festival incredible fireworks 2.
Picture - Minamitane Town - The annual rocket festival incredible fireworks 3.
Barbecue Party

- Today we were invited to a barbecue party at Hotel Mae beach.

Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Shai getting ready to smash a huge watermelon with a stick 1.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Shai getting ready to smash a huge watermelon with a stick 2.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Shai doing a bit of fireworks on the beach 1.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Shai doing a bit of fireworks on the beach 2.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Us with a group of friends 1.
Picture - Hotel Mae Beach - Us with a group of friends 2.
Crazy Bugs

- A few pictures of some of the incredible bugs on this island. Also a few pictures of bitter melon, AKA goya, growing in the farms

Picture - Home - A picture of a cicada bug, AKA semi, from the farms 1.
Picture - Home - A picture of a cicada bug, AKA semi, from the farms 2.
Picture - Home - A picture of a suzumebachi bee, AKA worst bee in Japan, from the farms 1.
Picture - Home - A picture of a suzumebachi bee, AKA worst bee in Japan, from the farms 2.
Picture - Home - A group of tasty bitter melon, AKA goya, hanging over the driveway 1.
Picture - Home - A group of tasty bitter melon, AKA goya, hanging over the driveway 2.
Bicep Tear

- Yup I totally messed up my right arm trying to pull our car out of a sand hill at the beach. This actually happened about a month ago, and finally decided to post a picture now. Anyway, this sucks but at least it got me to return to the computer and finish up a lot of online projects. Going to post the details of this in another section of the site.

Picture - My totally messed up arm.

Picture - Home - My arm flexed and visibly messed up.
Picture - Home - My are unflexed and looking more normal.
Picture - Home - Lael hanging out and relaxing on the bed 1.
Picture - Home - Lael hanging out and relaxing on the bed 2.
Goya Seeds

- Another nasty bug to deal with in the farms. Trying to catch a few bitter melon, AKA goya, seeds in a bag.

Picture - Home - This is a common biting horse fly from the farms 1.
Picture - Home - This is a common biting horse fly from the farms 2.
Picture - Home - A bitter melon turning yellow and going to seed.
Watch Out

- I made this little watch out for goya plaque using an old piece of driftwood, a magnifying glass to use the sun to burn the wood, and some oil crayons for the bitter melon.

Picture - Home - A watch out for the bitter melon plaque.
Harvested Popcorn

- A nice line of popcorn harvested from the farm and sitting outside to dry.

Picture - Home - A nice line of popcorn drying outside.
Bitter Melon

- A tasty group of bitter melon cut, salted, and ready to be made into dill pickles. Another tasty group of bitter melon cut and ready for storage.

Picture - Home - A tasty group of bitter melon ready to become pickles.
Picture - Home - A tasty group of bitter melon ready for storage.
Bitter Melon Again

- Yeah a lot of stuff about bitter melon. This is definitely a favorite grown in the farms again this year. A lot of these were made into delicious pickles and others were turned into little bitter melon ice chunks and stored for later use. This week one of the neighbors cut a lot of trees along the street. This wood was later used for the barbecue and food smoker in the yard.

Picture - Home - A nice group of bitter melon ready to be made into pickles.
Picture - Home - A tasty bunch of bitter melon ice chunks ready for storage.
Picture - Home - The bitter melon made into pickles and stored in jars.
Picture - Home - A huge pile of cut trees to be used for cooking.
Another Party

- Another fun party tonight with our friends Oyabing, Yocci, and their kids.

Picture - Home - Shai and his friend Taiyo doing fireworks in the yard 1.
Picture - Home - Shai and his friend Taiyo doing fireworks in the yard 2.
Picture - Home - Shai in the yard doing fireworks again.
Picture - Home - Shai and his friend Taiyo eating watermelon at the table.
Picture - Home - All of us hanging out together 1.
Picture - Home - All of us hanging out together 2.
Okuizome Ceremony

- Today we celebrated Okuizome, お食い初め, which is a Japanese ceremony to celebrate the 100th day of the birth of a baby. The word okuizome literally means first eating, and is the time when a baby is given the first taste of food.

Picture - Little Lael ready for his first taste of food.

Picture - Home - A tai fish which has a lot of meaning in Japan.
Picture - Home - A few foods for the baby to taste and a rock. that also has meaning.
Picture - Home - Another picture of the food all together.
Picture - Home - A picture of the dessert.
Picture - Home - Lael with all of the food close up.
Picture - Home - Lael with all of the food again.
Picture - Home - All of us together with the food.
Picture - Home - All of us together with the food again.
 
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