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

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

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

Local Farmer’s Market

Hello friends and family, thank-you for checking out today’s blog post.  I haven’t posted in a while, it’s been full blast since the kiddos got out of school and the hubs has been out-of-town!  Thankfully we got Cole home this week and are looking forward to celebrating Independence Day with friends this year on the island.

This post is about our travels around the island of Okinawa.  Since moving to the island we’ve had the chance to visit many of the local produce markets and experience many new foods.  I’ve been meaning to share this post for a while now because this has been one of my favorite things to do since arriving.  Each little market is unique in its own way, which makes it exciting because you never know what you may bring home with you. Many locals visit the produce markets daily to purchase fresh produce for their meals. You can get anything from fresh-cut orchids to fresh lobster at these local markets.  The colors and smells are amazing and you get a little taste of how the locals cook their meals.
imageI wanted you to see the standard shopping cart, notice how small it is, the size of an American shopping basket.  imageAny type of green you can imagine.
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The three pictures above are of a local market near our house (JA), the one I visit most often.

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imageThis market is in Naha, two levels, upstairs was the meat market.  You can find any possible animal part to freshly caught lobster, and it’s so much fun exploring.
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imageFresh Baked BreadimageFresh LobsterIMG_0601

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imageBeautiful Dragon Fruitimage

imageBean SproutsimageWatermelon for 1980 Yen or approx. $15.00.image

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imageWide selection of rice.
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Can’t forget the flowers when you hit the market, because they are beautiful and very affordable.  Any assortment will run you around five to ten dollars.
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The next few pictures are a type of dessert or candy that I see in many of the markets and I’m not sure what it’s made of.  It looks like fudge, but it’s actually much softer.  Ava of course wanted the pink one, we tried a bite each.  It’s not sweet, really didn’t have much flavor at all, but it sure looks yummy.image

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imageSoda’s that will fit in the palm of your hand, the perfect serving size.

I hope you enjoyed touring a few of our favorite market spots and got a little taste of Okinawa.

Have a wonderful and safe fourth with family and friends!

Till next time, konnichiwa!

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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