Okinawa Christmas 2016

Back porch swinging with daddy.

This may or may not be their last Santa picture.

Twinsies for church, wouldn’t pose for a pic.

Birthday dinner for Cole

Twenty-nine and holding!

Hiking on our last day of Christmas break.

Cute little local ladies serving up yummy carnival food!

Such a cutie!

Traditional Okinawan New Year’s Decor

Christmas shopping and this is how I find them.

Ava’s beautiful creation.

Squadron Christmas Party

School toy drive at the USO for a local orphanage.

Picnic at the park!

Cub Scout Christmas party with the Okinawan Troop.

Two hours of eating candy and making gingerbread houses.

This was a peek at our December through the pictures on my phone.  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family.  May 2017 bring you blessings of health and happiness.  Warm hugs to you from Okinawa.

Jessica

Okinawa Sunsets

This never gets old.

Yomitan Pottery Village 

If you’re looking for a fun day of exploring Okinawa you should definitely give this place,Yomitan Pottery Village, a few hours of your time.  Cole had a day off last week, so I thought I’d share a few pictures from this fun find.  You may want to wait until the weather cools off a bit, there’s said to be around 45 artists working in the village, so plan to do some walking.The Pottery Village was simple to find with google maps.

Yomitan Pottery Village

2653 Zakimi, Yomitan-son, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa-ken 904-0301

https://goo.gl/maps/KgqyjXCWMRG2

Hope you enjoyed the pictures from our day out and about, and add this place to you list of things to do before leaving the island, you won’t be disappointed.

Have a great weekend and thank-you for stopping by my blog!

Jessica

Spring Break In Tokyo

Hello, friends and family, I hope you are all well and enjoying this lovely spring weather, though it already seems like summer here in Okinawa.   This post is from the first few days of our trip to Tokyo, over spring break.  It was our first time visiting and we were excited to check it out.  Hope you enjoy the pictures, I will share the rest of the trip with you in another post.  image

The Tsukiji Fish Market was our first destination.  It’s said to be the largest fish market in the world. The market opens at around 4 AM, if you get there early enough they give out tickets to the first hundred who want to watch the tuna auctions.  These fish can go for the price of small car, we didn’t make it that early.  It was still a site to see all the different vendors selling any and everything related to seafood and the preparation.

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The freshest of sushi prepared in front of you.

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A happy customer.

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I saw this gentleman on Pinterest when I was researching our trip.  He was so cute and had to be approaching his 90’s, he appears to be leaning over the stove, but he had severe kyphosis.  There was a nice crowd around his kitchen, I’m sure his ramen was delicious.

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This soup looked and smelled amazing, and from the look of the long line waiting I’m sure it was.

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These are large rice rolls usually mixed with a type of meat, often Spam, and then wrapped in seaweed.

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Ava and I tried these, they looked and smelled so yummy.

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Seaweed and Seasonings

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imageCrowded side streets near the fish market.

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Chocolate teeth and all, makes for perfect ending to a fun day at Tsukiji Fish Market.  Definitely worth a trip, if you’re in town for a few days check it out.

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These trees were loaded with blooms, when the wind blew it looked like snow.

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The park had groups of businessmen and women taking their lunch break.  We had a picnic and soaked in the view.

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These ladies were taking care of the gardens at the park, all decked out in their aprons and hats.

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Beautiful pink dogwoods reminded me of home.

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The azaleas were also in bloom.

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Burning some energy after our picnic.

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Daddy’s girl!

We were fortunate to experience the cherry trees in full bloom, they were so beautiful. Hope enjoyed the pictures, more coming soon, just too many to post at once.  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Take Care,

Jessica

Ryukyu Lantern Festival

Happy New Year to all my friends and family, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with loved ones.  We had a nice, quiet Christmas on the island this year and headed to Australia to ring in the new year and Cole’s birthday.

This past weekend we decided to hit the first Yomitan Lantern Festival at Murasaki Mura Theme Park.  It’s about a twenty-minute drive from the base and took us about an hour to cover the grounds.  It was a perfect cool night to stroll through and check out the colorful lanterns.  The kids really enjoyed it and they food and crafts for everyone to enjoy.  The festival will last through February 21st, lanterns are lit from 18:00-22:00.  Admission is 6 yen for adults, 5 yen for junior and high school students, and 4 yen for elementary children.

For more information and directions click the link below.

http://www.japanupdate.com/2015/12/ryukyu-lantern-festival-2015-adds-to-charms-of-murasaki-mura/

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Yomitan is also known for its amazing pottery and they have pieces available for purchase.

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Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog.  Next up I hope to share pictures from our travels to Australia.  Have a great week!

Jessica

A Field Trip To Jogaku Elementary

Hi to all my family and friends back home and here on the island.  Today, I chaperoned my sons class to one of the local Okinawan elementary schools, Jogaku.   The school was about thirty minutes from the base and I think the kids really enjoyed their visit.  The local were very welcoming and provided us with lunch, we had curry with rice, it’s a favorite local dish.  We toured the school and played several games in the gym,  the kids got to interact with the Okinawan children and it was wonderful to see.

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These shoe cubbies were at the entrance into the school, shoes come off first thing.

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Their courtyard had a small garden and a chicken coop.

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A glimpse into their gym with all the kiddos.

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I hope you enjoyed the pictures and seeing a little of the island that we call home for the next few years.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Jessica

Nago Cherry Blossom Festival


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Hello friends, hope you all are having a wonderful week. I must say it feels like spring here, and with all the flowers blooming it definitely looks it, too!

This blog post is about a little road trip we took last weekend to the northern part of the island that is known for its lovely cherry tree-lined road that takes you up Mt.Nago. The 53rd Nago Cherry Blossom Festival is from January 31st to February 1st, but the trees have already started to bloom.  The cherry trees require cold temperatures to come into bloom, the pink blanket created by the trees moves slowly south from the northern mountains in one or two weeks.  It is believed that the blooms represent the end of winter and the beginning of spring.  It was a great day out with the kiddos, and I look forward to visiting again next year.

IMG_4434They had food vendors along the way selling traditional dishes and a few American favorites for the kiddos.

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imageYummy french fries and hot dogs!

imageThis was soup or soba with pigs feet and what appears to be an esophagus, I’m glad Cole chose the other bowl, I don’t think I could watch him eat that.

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On the way to the top of Mt. Nago there was a rest area with a shrine and locals selling oranges.

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imageThe Festival at Mt.Nago this weekend is expected to attract 200,000 visitors, with parades, street dances, and stage entertainment.  It’s worth the drive this weekend if you haven’t already checked it out.

IMG_4453A little Japanese translation for fun.

Cherry Blossoms – Sakura

Cherry Blossom Viewing – Hanami

Mountain Cherry Tree – Yamazakura

IMG_4455I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, and thank you for your support.  My little blog is starting to grow little by little, and I couldn’t do it without your subscriptions.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

Jessica

The Local Antique Shop

Hello friends, hope you all are well and enjoying the new year.

Today’s blog post features pictures from a local Chinese antique store, The Oriental Place, that a friend and I visited last week.  This local shop has been in business since 1999, and offers original antiques from China.  The prices were reasonable, they carry anything from one of a kind porcelain, small unique gifts, up to large furniture pieces.   For the ladies stationed on the island they will open their shop for coffees or business meetings, and offer information about their beautiful Chinese antiques.

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imageHope you enjoyed taking a look at this lovely Antique store, all the intricate carving and colorful painted furniture are amazing.  The brushes you saw in a few pictures that look like old shaving cream brushes are caligraphy brushes, they are a great affordable gift idea, I’d never seen these until moving here.  If you are in the area it’s definitely worth checking out.   They also offer gift cards, perfect for a friend or family member, they are available starting at $25.  Their website is www.orientalplaceokinawa.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/orientalplaceokinawa.

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Thank-you for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!

Jessica

Welcome to Okinawa

Konichiwa, or good evening from Japan!  We have been here for two weeks now and adjusting to the time difference, kids are in school, we have a home and are meeting some wonderful people.

Our first trip off base, we decided to check out a popular site, American Village.  You would be amazed by the shops and restaurants: Red Lobster, Sbarro, A&W just to name a few.  My favorite shop was American Depot, a used clothing store, basically an American thrift store.  This store had everything from flannels, afghan, cowboy boots, to used Birkenstocks, you name it they had it, all made in the USA.

imageimageOur first stop, American Depot.

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imageUsed Happy Meal toys for 280 yen, approximately $2.80.

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imageUsed Birkenstocks, anyone?

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imageThey had rows and rows of old leather jackets and US military fatigues.

The drink machines have quite the variety of beverages, some are more elaborate with noodles and food selections not seen in the states.

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imageNot bad for a cold coffee, but definitely not Starbucks.

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imageWhat is first thing you order when dining out in Japan, cheeseburgers, of course!imageimage

imageToes in the sand with my precious family.imageWe finished our day at the Kadena Marina a few miles from our house.  The weather was beautiful, not a bad way to end our day of exploring Okinawa.

Thank-you for following my blog.  I hope to start posting more now that I have gotten most of the boxes out of the house.  Take care and have a wonderful week.

Jessica

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