Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kabushima Island

This Kabushima island is a little island located in the port of Hachinohe, Aomori Japan 15 mile south of Misawa Air Base. It is the breeding ground for thousands of black-tailed seagulls. It used to be an island but it is now connected to the port.

Standing on a 67-foot-tall rocky point, the Kabushima Benzaiten Shrine was rebuilt in 1706 when a former shogunate family ruled the area known today as Hachinohe. The shrine overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

When we came there, there were no seagulls flying around yet. Breeding season is in May and they usually gone during winter season.

Maybe we will try to come back in May to see the thousand of seagulls and I will bring umbrella to cover us from birds' droppings :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Misawa Air Base

This was taken on Misawa Air Base, Japan. These two airplanes are displayed in front of the commissary and bx (base exchange).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shinto Shrine

This shrine is close to where we live off base but I haven't tried to go and see inside it. If you will notice on my previous picture with the title, the tree and the barn..... behind the tree is the shrine. This is the close up picture of the shrine. Not too much snow inside because of the big trees that are covering them.

According to wikipedia:

A Shinto shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house ("enshrine") a Shinto kami, and is usually characterized by the presence of a shinden (神殿?) (also called honden (本殿?)) or sanctuary, where the kami is enshrined. The honden may however be completely absent, as for example when the shrine stands on a sacred mountain to which it's dedicated, or when there are nearby himorogi or other yorishiro that can serve as a more direct bond to a kami.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The tree, the barn and the rice field with snow

This was taken yesterday morning, the sun finally did show up (and even today yahoo!!!). I have to shovel a bit of snow from our driveway and saw this view from our house and so I grabbed my camera and took this shot. I'm just starting to familiarize with my new camera and I was testing my settings here and I don't know if this is a nice shot, for me it was hehehe.

If you will notice behind the tree is a shinto shrine and you will also see the barn. The left side is the rice field. There are lots of shinto shrine here in Misawa and even I live close by this shrine I don't know how people worship there. I don't see a lot of people coming in and out there and there's no parking area too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tiny Car

This was taken in Misawa Air Base driving from the Ski Lodge going to the main base last Dec. 30. We just happened to pass by this area and I took a shot of this tiny cute car. I have no idea why the car was parked there in the middle of nowhere.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Parking Notice Sign

Here's another one of parking notice signs from Japan lol. I took this picture from the 100 yen sushi bar restaurant. Good luck! hehehe

Friday, January 9, 2009

100 Yen Sushi Bar

One of our favorite places to eat sushi is the 100 yen sushi bar. Actually we don't really know what the name of that sushi bar is since we can not read kanji, we just call it 100 yen sushi :-) The price per plate is 100 yen (2 sushi/plate) for most of sushi but they also have 150 yen for some expensive ones like tuna and I forgot the rest hahaha. The dessert is 150 yen, they have cheese cake, chocolate cake, tiramisu and choco pudding. I like their free green tea too, I'm not a tea drinker but when I tasted their green tea...hmmmm I liked it. You can buy green tea from their over the counter shelf. I bought 2 and it costs 100 yen per pack.

The last picture above is the mini train that carries your special order, they call it tokkyu lane. If you want some sushi that you can not find in the bar then you can order it from their touch screen menu monitor (second picture), just press the "order" button and in a minute you will be receiving your special order fresh from tokku lane just grab it and press the red button and the train will leave that quick :-) cool huh?!!

Some of the sushi and food that we have tried here are: tuna, salmon, sea urchin, crab livers, tako yaki (octopus), soy beans, natto (rotten soy beans, eeewww), salmon with onion toppings and mayo sauce, shrimp, crab legs, centipede (it's like centipede but I don't know the name of that fish hehehe, see the 4th picture), spicy tuna roll, shrimp tempura and tamago.... and a lot!!! We are trying to taste them all hahaha

During weekend, it's really crowded and you have to wait in line maybe 30 to 40 minute waiting time and I probably recommend you to go on weeknights or weekdays.

Driving Directions:

From Misawa AB main gate:

Travel out from the main gate
Go straight and make a right turn on the second traffic light (first traffic light is the corner of Lalala karaoke bar)
Go straight until you see a Y intersection, make a left on this intersection
You will see on your left side this sushi bar before the McDonald's traffic light.
The sushi bar is along side of the road, a lot of parking space.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Naqua Shirakami Resort (formerly Ajigasawa Ski Resort)

Our first road trip in 2009....Naqua Shirakami Ski Resort formerly known as Ajigasawa ski Resort. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get there due to weather condition, it was snowing and there was a bit of hail too that day. Normally it's a 2 hour-drive from Misawa Base.

We got lost when we followed the ITT driving directions. Wheww it's really hard to drive in Japan even with directions, since the signs are very confusing. You have to go by landmarks and by distance travelled like go straight for 18km and so forth (whatever!). Fortunately we were able to get there in convoy, we just followed our friends hehehe.

The kids enjoyed the tubing, sledding and riding the snow mobile.
The tubing is 100 yen per slide, the snow mobile is 500 yen for 10 minute ride.
We didn't have the chance to ski, since we're afraid on how to get back once we take the gondola up the slope hehehe.

Toll Road price (one way trip):
first toll gate- 830 yen
2nd toll gate- 800 yen

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Appi Ski Resort

Appi Ski Resort is located in Iwate Prefecture. It's about 2-hour drive from Misawa AB.

Appi offers the LONGEST beginner slope in Northern Japan – 5 Kilometers of uninterrupted fun!

We went here last Dec.27 and it was so windy and can not take pictures of the view. It's my first time to try skiing, and it's fun though even we just stayed at the base of the slope. My kids tried snow boarding and they liked it! We took the bus tour going here and so I have no idea on how to get here, the weather condition that time was snowing and windy and can hardly see the road. I wish we could go back here when it's sunny so I could enjoy the view as much as skiing hehehe.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Misawa Base Ski Lodge

Misawa Base Ski Lodge is located at the north side of Misawa Air Base. Our first time to see the ski lodge was last Dec. 30, 2008 we enjoyed the sledding, it was fun. Few people were there maybe only 4 families including us. I saw some teen agers were snow boarding maybe this is a good place for beginners. I wish I could snow boarding....I wish :-)