Friday, May 30, 2008

This is from May 3rd - 5th

Hiromi and I went to a small island close to where I live called Iki. We took a ferry. Or as they call it in Japan herry. (they don`t pronounce the `f` properly)

It`s kind of open seating. Everybody just takes off their shoes and sits on the floor. Pretty customary here in Japan.

This here rock is suppose to look like a monkey. The Japanese call it monkey rock or saru-iwa in japanese.

And this is that same monkey rock taken from the bottom of the cliff. Doesn`t look too much like a monkey anymore.

After the monkey rock, Hiromi and I took a romatic Kayak ride out to this little island with a lighthouse. Only it wasn`t so romantic because I seemed to think it was a race even though there was noone else in the water. Hiromi wasn`t impressed

This is a picture of a pretty flower

And this is a picture of an idiot taking a picture of a pretty flower

I actually got to touch this dolphin. Admission to this park was a whopping $2, and I get to touch a dolphin. Unreal.

And of course I had to include the picture of the vending machines without a building in site in both directions. Only in Japan!

Rice fields. The island is covered with them. Literraly, even a space as narrow as a walking path might be used as rice field. Good old Japanese efficiency

`And this is Iki taken from the island`s highest point an astounding 353 meters.

Well that`s Iki. Overall not too much to do on the small Island. But certainly well worth the trip. I`d definitely go again if a was inclined to surf or spend some days relaxing on the beach. Actually with the added Dolphin attraction, I`d say its an excellent place to go and relax.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


This here is sports day. They dress all the kids up and they do coordinated activities all day long. Dances, races, etc. Looks like a lot of good fun for the kids.

After sports day we went to the beach for an hour. Good fun, but the water is still a bit too cold for me to get in.

Then we went to the highest point in Kitakyushu - Mt Sarakura.

But we didn`t hike. We took a cable car. I wasn`t too happy about it, but it was already 5pm and it was a fun relaxing ride with the girlfriend. Certainly I`ll eventually summit without the aid of mechanical devices

I jumped a fence to get to this Giant toilet. It was Narly!

I`m getting flushed out of the toilet! It was the 17th most exciting experience of my life.

I think that being flushed out of a toilet probably wasn`t even ranked in Hiromi`s top 100.

This is a high tech teleportion device that the Japanese constructed on the top of Mount Sarakura.

Hiromi just teleported back from Mars. We didn`t get any pictures of mars because we only had one camera, and hiromi wanted to make sure that we got a picture of her teleporting

The Japanese have the technology to develop a teleportation device but apparently they havent figured out how to flatten curvy wood. Seriously I tried this thing out and it was not good for the back.

I couldn`t wait to get back on the cable car. Actually I couldn`t wait to wait in line. It was so exciting. The prolonged anticipation of what`s to come far surpasses the actual experience. Only 75 seconds left but what an amazing 75 seconds it was.

Being the first person on has its advantages. This little warning sign on the steering wheel clearly says Don`t touch in 4 different languages, so I touched it and took a picture of myself touching it

Added this pretty picture because its purty.

What a great day. A crazy Japanese festival, A beach, moutainside scenery, and a bunch of crazy Japanese stuff on the top of a mountain. I`m lovin it

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sooo, I see that Andy`s going full force, Scott finally updated, Mike`s been goin strong on the pics, and Eston - his blog doesn`t even exist anymore. I`ll keep the link just in case, and actually, I`ll keep checking his none-existant blog. . . just in case. So that said, I figured it was time for me to do a quick update.

So, at first in Japan, my experience was limited to a bunch of bars, and working for a shitty company. Well it was an ok company, but they just stopped paying their employees, but we got that money from the government. Enough of that boring story.

So I`m living in what is a bit of a country town of 1 million people. Might not sound like a country town but actually its five small cities that are really close and they conglomerated to make what sounds like a big city. Anyways, between my limited travels (too much time in the bars) and living in a small town, I was really bothered by how ugly Japan was. Tokyo is an amazing city, and just the sheer number of people was such an interesting experience, but I found as I traveled to Osaka, Nagasaki, and my small country town, Kokura - I found that the whole country looked just like Tokyo - crowded and full of concrete. 127 million people in a country smaller than California. The most upsetting experience was a trip to Beppu. Now Beppu IS BEAUTIFUL, and I had a great time. Its basically the Yellowstone of Japan, full of hot springs and actually has one geyser. However, unlike Yellowstone, in order to get to said geyser you have to walk through a tourist shop to see a geyser that is encircled by concrete, and has a huge stone wall on one side that hangs over the geyser so that it actually shoots up hitting the ceiling of the stone wall. A beautiful place, but I`d prefer a nice hike rather than walkin through a tourist shop.

Let`s see, sorry for the long-winded aside, the point I actually wanted to make is that after my first few months of trolling bars and working for a shitty company, Now, I work at an elementary school, and do quite a bit of traveling. I miss meeting lots of new and interesting people, but my job is a lot more rewarding, and I`ve actually come to find out that Japan can be a very beautiful country.

You can look forward to more of the beauty of Japan in future posts. For now I`ll give you a taste with hiraodai- a small mountain range located in my small city that is mostly composed of limestone (which was an abundant mining resource used in construction for this once booming country town in the 70`s - the mine has since been closed, and it has been shrinking ever since)

Aint that purty.

Oh look at that-it just got purtier. (the girl standing on the rock is my girlfriend)

In case you were wondering why her jeans were wet and rolled up, I had to add the picture of us standing outside of this cave that we went in.

And here is a picture to prove that we actually did go into the cave

And I added this picture to prevent a comment from Scott saying that the prior picture only proves that my girlfriend went into the cave. (I debated adding this picture because I had to weigh the importance of preventing smartass comments from Scott with the idea that I could actually get a comment on my blog which is always a great thing. In the end, I imagined a long drawn out comment war between me and Scott that would eventually lead to me posting this picture, and Scott winning. And since I posted the picture before Scott ever even checked my blog, I win which is more important than getting comments.