The decision to move to Tanegashima was a bit of a
surprise for family and friends, although they are pretty
much used to me doing these kinds of "crazy" things. We went
through a lot to get to this place, including four
international moves. The moves, the island
house, and getting set up, all proved to be very challenging
but the benefits of being on this island were are worth the
Picture - Us doing the
traditional first visit of the New Year to a Japanese shrine
a couple of years ago.
I decided to put our Tanegashima story online in order to
information about the island (information in English is
minimal at best) including small points which
you cannot find elsewhere online. These small
details might prove useful to those of you planning to visit Tanegashima or even to travelers to other places in Japan. I
am hoping these pages might also serve as inspiration for those of
you who are contemplating moving to a new place and a bit
Hopefully you enjoy our story and can find some time to post
your thoughts. Thank you for joining us on
our ongoing island adventure.
Our little island dodged a bullet since the first case of
Covid-19 was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
On December 22, 2020, the first case of Covid-19 was
discovered on the island. (details below)
Picture - Notice at
the entrance of our property with instructions about keeping
distant and delivery instructions.
Due to the virus, we are not communicating in person for
awhile. Mail delivery, Invoices, ETC., please put in the
mailbox. Whatever does not fit in the mailbox, please put in
front of the entry. If you need to speak with us directly
please call the following number. Thank you very much.
- Covid-19 Update: Still no
new cases of the virus reported.
January 27, 2021 -
Covid-19 Update: A second case
of the virus has shown up on the island sometime during last
week. Apparently a man in his sixties is the second
confirmed case. We continue to self isolate. Our days are
being spent at home, working online, playing, listening to
music, watching comedy, staying warm, and enjoying being
December 22, 2020 -
Covid-19 Update: An 80 year
old woman in a nursing home tested positive for the virus.
Although information is limited, it appears that three
family members came to visit her from Tokyo. The island has
been issuing daily announcements over the public
broadcasting system urging residents not to panic but to
take precautionary measures. We isolated ourselves months
ago and just began easing up with a couple of house parties
recently. Now because of the virus hitting the island, we
are back to isolation once again.
We made the decision to totally self isolate pretty much at
the beginning of the pandemic. We only go
to our farms and to the beaches where there are no people. We
are no longer grocery shopping. We are purchasing all of our
dry goods online and we are growing more fresh food at our
farms than we can even use. We are currently using a quarter
acre farm close to our house which belongs to our friends.
They let us use it for free since they do not need to deal
with weed control and because they are very nice. We are
also growing most of our herbs on the quarter acre of land
where our house is located, and during the last couple of
years, we put in over 200 fruits trees including about 40
different varieties in our yard and bordering our property.
Yup, making absolutely sure we are growing enough fruits and
veggies for all our needs.
We are home educating our kids which keeps us from dealing
with school issues. Actually none of our kids have ever
attended any form of school or preschool....thank goodness. I spent the last couple of years
changing our property into a place which is interesting and
educational for our kids….basically converted our property
into a virtual park….please see picture. There is a
huge animal habitat with a rock mountain and a pond. This is
a totally open habitat where animals can come and go as they
please, with the exception of our small turtle, who is
unable to scale the walls. We caught tons of frogs, toads
in the farms the last couple of years, which we bring home for bug control at the house and
to keep them
from getting trampled at the farms. There is a huge greenhouse where
we are growing most of our herbs. There is a combination
smoker and BBQ which we also use to make bread. A huge
picnic table, constructed with a concrete block base and wood
top, is located in the middle of the recently installed sod.
The foot area of the table is filled with beach river rocks
for drainage and for foot massages. There is also a huge
sandpit not shown in the picture. We are also converting the
other three buildings on the property into a family room, a
playroom, and a farm processing area.
We are a family who spends 24/7 together to the astonishment of our friends.
This is with no fighting, well occasionally a few disagreements. We have
always been together and are very used to our situation.
This turned out to be a huge benefit since we were already set
up to endure this pandemic and any others which might spring up in the future. The economy,
school closures, event cancellations, all have little or no affect on us. Unlike
America, the health insurance in Japan is fantastic.
Premiums and copays are totally on a sliding scale dependent
on income. There is very little crime in Japan, and none on
this island. We enjoy a very simple existence, something you
would find hundreds of years ago (albeit with access to
modern technology....lol), with self sufficient farming
begin our work, the island along with the rest of the world
being our source of education, and the incredible friends we
made on the island as our source of socialization.
As previously stated, our kids are being home educated. We
do not give them formal instruction at all. We teach them
how to support themselves. We let them fully participate in
farming, we teach them how to cook, basic construction and
home maintenance, and they actually enjoy cleaning. They
have space in and out of our property which is totally their
own and it is up to them how they maintain that space. They
have tons of books, mind expanding toys such as Lego, board
games, and many shows online where they learn about the
world. All math and science is taught by application to
daily chores such as farming and working around the house.
We also talk a lot, which is probably their main source of
information. The conversations are on an adult level. They
know all about the pandemic, sex, politics, societal issues,
and basically about the good and bad in the world. We have
fantastic friends of all ages with kids of all ages. This
gives our kids the opportunity to constantly communicate on
many levels with people of different ages. We speak mostly
English in our house but our kids can understand Japanese as
it is spoken all around them on this island. We even watch
mostly English language shows. Now we are binging on The
Late Late Show with James Corden...a brit and an incredibly
funny guy. Our kids do not play video games, they do not eat
garbage, and they do not hate, in fact they are exposed on a
daily basis to the humor and music of different cultures.
Although me and Akiko read the news online, the news is not
ever playing on the TV. In fact, there is music playing the
entire day in out home. Our kids are very happy, they love
each other, our home, and are very happy to be in Japan.
sad though not to be able to meet our friends as much now. Hopefully things will
be much better in 2021. Be safe everybody....wear
We are now in the process of purchasing
a couple of small farms….the farm adjacent to the huge farm
our friend is letting us use and another farm across the
street. We received permission to use the small farms
pending completion of the paperwork finalizing the purchase,
which in Japan could be quite awhile. This year we are at
least doubled our farm production. This season we already
harvested over a thousand sweet potatoes, tons of regular
potatoes, a wide variety of white and colored radishes, and
many different leafy veggies. We also grow a lot of herbs,
including basil, dill, and parsley, which we eat pretty much
every day. FARMING ROCKS FOR SURE.
Message To Friends
Really looking forward to meeting friends again. We are no longer inviting
friends to the house....better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully you are all doing
well and getting through these difficult times. Would really
be nice to get a message from all of you.
Please post a comment on my
or send a message through messenger.
2020 Year in Review
This was both an exciting year and a difficult year for us. We were happy to
welcome our third son into the world. This was by far the best news of the year.
We were lucky all of us were able to be there for his birth. There
was a window of only a couple of weeks during the pandemic where kids were
allowed in and we were fortunate he was born during that time. Much of the year
was spent in isolation with the exception of a few small parties at the house
with friends and occasionally meeting friends at our farms. We stayed away from
the public beaches and most of the island events were cancelled. We spent most
of this year finally getting control of our farms and finishing off a bunch of
house projects. Then in August I could not walk for a few days. Although not
confirmed, I now have most of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Really sucks
and I plan to write volumes about this in the coming year. Anyway, with 2021
approaching, I would like to say Happy New Year to
all of you. Hopefully COVID will go away at some point and the world can return
to normal. Until then.
Welcome to Our New Son
June 9, 2020 -
Welcome to our new son, Ethan Mishael Hayman, who was born in Nishinoomote, the
north city of Tanegashima, on June 9, 2020. Check out our crazy story about the
night before and see pictures of the little guy.
2019 Tanegashima, Japan
We began this year with trips to a few of our favorite beaches. We made our
usual pilgrimage to Homan Shrine for hatsumode, which is the traditional first
trip to a Japanese shrine of the new year. We returned to the farms and
harvested tons of delicious potatoes. Then we were hit with a pretty strong
earthquake with the epicenter only about ten kilometers from the house. Summer
arrived and with it a lot of trips to the beach. We got a visit from family for
a few days and got together with friends at the house.
- Rice processing and a trip to the beach. A party with family and friends
and a rocket festival.
- Happy New Year fun and a trip to our favorite beach. A return to farming
and a pretty strong earthquake.
2018 Tanegashima, Japan
This year we moved to our new house in Japan and are finally settled....NO MORE
MOVING. The house we purchased has a one and a half car garage, a concrete
storage building, and a huge farm storage building, all this on about a quarter
acre of land. The house was basically in really good condition but the outside
was a mess. Much of the year was spent completely changing the landscaping and
painting and staining the outbuildings. The island was hit by a really strong
typhoon, in fact, the eye went directly over the island. It was crazy and pretty
much destroyed the huge 100 year old tree at the entrance of our property.
During Summer, we threw plenty of house parties. We spent a lot of time at our
favorite beaches and went to lots of music events. (pictures coming)
2017 Tanegashima, Japan
This was without a doubt the most difficult year for our family. The owner of
the house we were renting in Tanegashima said he might be thinking about
returning to the island someday and said we should beging thinking about moving.
Although there was no time limit given, we decided to take matters into our own
hands and move anyway. We found another house in Minamitane town but right
before we were to meet the owner, we found out it had already been rented. We
completely changed the plan and decided to return to America and give it one
more try there. I still owned my condominium and had all my personal stuff
stored there. It was a matter of time before we had to return anyway. The
thought of moving to the condo with two young boys was unacceptable and I came
up with an alternative plan. I found a home up in the San Diego County mountains
and began negotiating the sale of the condo and the purchase of the mountain
property, all online. Thanks to the help of our friends and an incredible real
estate, I was able to pull it off. We moved to the mountains during the Summer.
It took only about three months to realize how awful this place was. It took
about another three months to prepare the property, mostly the outside
landscaping, for sale. We sold the property for a pretty nice profit and moved
out in January of 2018, a mere six months after we moved in there. I plan to
post a very detailed account of this really interesting story. (pictures coming)
2016 Tanegashima, Japan
This was a really good year for us. We were happy to welcome our second son into
the world. This was the happiest news of the year for sure. We were all able to
be there for his birth. This turned out to be our last full year on the island
before returning to America the following year. This was actually our second
on the island, and what fun it was. We spent plenty of time visiting our
favorite beaches, throwing a bunch of house parties, and perfecting our farming
skills. Basically enjoying our very simple existence on this incredibly
Rocket Launch and Thanksgiving
November, 2016 -
A rocket launch, hometown fair, picnic, beach trip, and a really nice
Thanksgiving on the island.
More Beach Camping and Crazy Parties
October, 2016 -
Another fun filled month with beach camping, crazy parties, and plenty of home
Full Moon Music Festival
September, 2016 -
A fantastic music festival, cool clouds, another typhoon, and lots of bike
Family Visits and Surfing
August, 2016 -
A visit from family and a whole lot of surfing.
Oldest Son Learning to Drive
July, 2016 -
Our oldest son Shai Maxwell Hayman got to drive a little for the first time
about a week after he turned seven years old, albeit in a beach parking lot.
Welcome to Our Other Island Son
May 3, 2016 -
Welcome to our other son, Lael Rani Hayman, who was born
on May 3, 2016 also in Nishinoomote, the
north city of Tanegashima. Check out our story from this fun and happy month. Live long and prosper.
December 2016 - A very cool nighttime rocket launch and the case of the
November 2016 - Another Thanksgiving on Tanegashima, a hometown fair,
and a rocket launch.
October 2016 - Really nice camping trip and a crazy Halloween party.
September 2016 - A couple of typhoons and a fantastic music festival.
August 2016 - A visit from family and fun at the beaches.
July 2016 - Happy Birthday Shai and a month focusing on him.
June 2016 - This month was our wedding anniversary, Daddy Day, and a
trip to our favorite beaches.
May 2016 - This month was all about the arrival of our new son Lael, and
a very special Mommy Day.
April 2016 - A couple of birthdays but overall a pretty quiet month.
March 2016 - The rocket marathon, a couple of parties, and a trip to the
park to see beautiful cherry blossoms.
The focus this month was mostly on farming.
Happy New Year. We spent a very traditional New Years on the island. There was
also a beach cow and a penis.
2015 Tanegashima, Japan
This was actually our first full year on the island. This years was incredible
with parties, festivals, and rocket launches. We got our new mountain bikes from
America. Then we participated in the Rocket Marathon which was one of the best
events ever on the island. There was a before and after party with plenty of
food, wine, and beer. The Summer was spent at the beach, doing BBQ, and spending
time with friends. Then we closed out the year with our second Hanukkah on the
Beach Camping and a Crazy Party
October, 2015 -
A fun month from our second year on the island.
A Really Busy Month
March, 2015 -
The Rocket Marathon, tons of parties, and a rocket launch.
- Celebrated our second very Happy Hanukkah on the
- Another fun month on the island. Connected our bikes
with a tow bar and watched another spectacular rocket
- A fantastic couple of days camping at beautiful
Kumano beach. Then a very crazy party at the end of the
- Continuing to work on this month.
- The annual rocket festival and a rocket launch.
- A fun Independence Day party at the house.
- Another pretty quiet month with a relaxing BBQ and
some very beautiful lenticular clouds which formed over
- Another crazy weather month. A very strong typhoon and
torrential rains which flooded and damaged the farms.
- Relatively quiet compared to last month. A really
boring preschool event and confirmation our son wants to be
March 2015 - A very busy month. Another rocket
launch and the rocket marathon along with a couple of
- Nice new toys. Our Haro mountain bikes came this month
and we took them to the Tanegashima Space Center for the
initial ride. Oh yeah, another rocket launch this month.
- Happy New Year. This was actually our first new years
on the island. Nice weather allowed us to hang out at the
2014 Tanegashima, Japan
A really fun year and the beginning of our island adventures. Much of this year
was spent setting up and getting used to this place. A couple of typhoons within
a week of each other slammed into the island damaging the house and wreaked
havoc on the farms. Caught some nice fish, and visited a couple of beautiful
beaches, along with some incredible caves. We saw a rocket launch, went to a fun
fish festival and celebrated our first Hannukah on the
island. Can you guess which kid in the picture is our son
Shai? A bunch of really cute kids for sure.
Back to Back Typhoons
October, 2014 -
Our first attempt at farming turned to disaster compliments of back to back
typhoons that slammed the island.
First Days on the Island
September, 2014 -
Traveling back to the year 2014 and our first days on the island.
- A really fun month. We saw a rocket launch, went to a
fun fish festival and celebrated our first Hannukah on the
- A nice change. Warmer temperatures, some nice fish,
and visits to a couple of beautiful beaches, along with some
October 2014 - Definitely call this typhoon month. A
couple of typhoons within a week of each other slammed into
the island damaging the house and wreaked havoc on the
- The beginning of our island adventures. Much of this
month was spent setting up and getting used to this place.
July 2014 - Ando Town, Nara, Japan house for sale. (no
June 2014 - Found a room for rent with internet that
Akiko could use for work. Spent a lot of time at the beach
before returning to Nara again. (no pictures)
- Found a rental house on Tanegashima island. Began work
on getting this incredibly messy house ready for us to move
there. (no pictures)
2013 San Diego, California Vacation
March 2013 - Return to Japan and meeting friends and
going to restaurants. (no pictures)
February 2013 - Hanging out in beautiful San Diego,
California. (no pictures)
January 2013 - Family returned to Japan after vacation
in America. (no pictures)
2012 Nara, Japan and Traveling to America
December 2012 - A small house party and then traveling
to America for a three month vacation. (no pictures)
November 2012 - A very cool Halloween party at our house
in Japan. (no pictures)
2011 Nara, Japan
December 2011 - Decided to keep the English Global
Group site online. (no pictures)
November 2011 - Decided to close the English Global
Group school. (no pictures)
October 2011 - Totally exhausted from working on the
adjacent house every day. (no pictures)
September 2011 - Work continued on the adjacent
house. (no pictures)
August 2011 - We purchased the adjacent house. (no
July 2011 - A lot of parties this month, a
traditional Japanese festival, and the beach. (no pictures)
June 2011 - Another Summer party at the house. (no
May 2011 - Beginning of Summer party and a typhoon.
April 2011 - Flower viewing in the mountains and
another house party. (no pictures)
March 2011 - A very strong earthquake hits Northern
Japan. A beginning of Spring party at the house. (no
February 2011 - The Super Bowl, tons of snow, and
January 2011 - New Years Day at Nara Park, Nara,
Japan and then a trip to Falafel
Garden and Tullys coffee shop. A lot of house
parties. Then a few days of beautiful sunsets.
2010 Nara, Japan
December 2010 - Holiday party and trip to Nara Park.
November 2010 - Baby Gap contest and a Thanksgiving
October 2010 - Halloween Party.
August 2010 - Yoshino, Shimokita Mountain for some camping, fishing,
and hiking. Then hiking at Odaigahara
Mountain, Kamikitayama (Village) Mura, Yoshino-gun,
July 2010 - Independence Day party at our house.
Shai's Birthday parties at our house. Onbara Festival and
Fireworks at Mimoro Mountain,
Miwa, Sakurai, Nara, Japan.
June 2010 - Hiking at Myoujin Mountain,
Oji, Kitakatsuragi-gun, Nara, Japan.
April 2010 - Yoshino Mountain cherry blossom viewing
at Yoshino Mountain,
March 2010 - Nabe party with friends.
January 2010 - Purchase of home in Ando Town, Nara,
2009 America and Japan
December 2009 - The beginning of our Japanese
November 2009 - Meeting friends before moving to
August 2009 - Spending time with our new son and friends.
July 2009 - Possible home purchase in Grand Island,
New York and posts from San Diego, California including Independence Day
at Mission Trails Park. And most importantly the arrival of
our new baby.
June 2009 - Possible home purchase in Horyuji, Nara,
May 2009 - Tons of posts while residing in San
Diego, California including the 30th Annual Ethnic Food Fair
at Balboa Park, San Diego, California.
1960-2000 Ancient History
Ancient History 1960-2000 -
A lot of really old stuff.