12/23/10

Toyota Fun Cargo

Being back in America has made me realize one funny thing, I am now used to driving on the left hand-side of the road. Though I have ended up driving on the wrong side of the road here in America a few times, luckily there were not any other cars around.

An Iguana In a Coat

In the park in front of Osaka Castle I saw a Japanese man sitting on a bench with an Iguana in a coat. After walking over to talk with him about his Iguana, the man offered to take some pictures of me with his pet. The Iguana was very well behaved. What else is there really to say?

12/22/10

Osaka 城


Balcony View

Ginowan, Japan

PPE





As the car turned out into traffic in front of me, I pulled back hard on the brakes. The back tire locked up and the cars bumper was the next place I was going to be. Letting off the brakes, I dove right, trying to make it around the car.
It was going to be close and I was going to hit the cars side-view mirror. Then there was a crash, followed by nothing. My eyes opened while I still sliding down the highway. Ahead was a tunnel and I began to wonder if I would slide all the way down there.
Darkness, but no pain. What was broken or missing? As I gently flexed and moved my body a strong pain came from my knee. Worried about lying in the road I crawled up onto the median. I needed to call someone to let someone know what had happened, but I could not remember anyones name or how to use my phone.
Strangly my knee was feeling better, so I got up to walk across the highway, while a Japanese man prostested and told me to sit down. Standing up I told him I was OK in Japanese and walked to the other side of the street.
Before long I was in the emergency room, my memory had returned, and the knee was just a little swollen and cut up. Yet another close call and another of my 9 lives spent; I wonder how many I have left.

Blured





These shots were the result of my friends and I messing around with my new camera on a night off.

11/23/10

Somehow II

There I sat as one girl played the piano, while another played a violin drinking a glass of whisky. Every girl in the place was wearing an evening gown and had their hair done up. While I had heard of hostess bars like this, being in one while my Japanese friends joked around was rather sureal.

Royal Hotel Okinawa



There is nothing more rewarding than finding an abandoned hotel in the middle of the mountains.
At the time my friend Cory and I found it we did not know its back story. After returning home I did some research and found that the hotel was financed by a rich business man and built over some haunted caves. After several of the construction works died in accidents during its construction, the project was stopped. Soon after that the business man ended up in an insane asylum.
The hotel, which was never completed, was intended to have a zoo inside of it as well. The buildings very odd floor plan and size make it a wild and rather scary place to run around. Though Okinawan's claim the building is haunted to this day, Cory and I did not encounter anything strange.

Somehow

The road of life recently led me through an Okinawan themed hostess bar. There I danced with 70 year-old hostess and drank Awamori while listening to and watching excellent traditional Okinawan entertainment.

10/13/10

Funny Face


Philippines Sea, Okinawa

The Fishes Sky




Part of the fun of buying something new for me is seeing how it works. Wondering what the surface tension of the water looked like from inside the water, my camera and I had some fun.

Found Nemo

A small Clown Fish in a Sea Anemone near Camp Hansen, Okinawa.

10/3/10

Kin-nisshu-do

The entrance to the cave

The racks where bottles of Awamori were aged.



These pictures were taken at Kin-nisshu-do temple/ Awamori distillery in Kin Town, Okinawa. The fun thing about sticking a large amount of hard liquor underground is that the air slowly begins to have an alcohol percentage to it. This fact made my time down in the cave fun, but made coming back up the steep flight of stairs out of the cave rather dangerous.

Under the Sea





These are the first batch of underwater picture taken with my new
Olympus 8010 camera, taken near Futenma, Okinawa.

So Long Old Friend

After months of procrastination, I finally bought a new camera. While my new camera will take pictures underwater, work in the bitter cold, and survive a 6 foot drop, I will miss my old Sony Cybershot.

Though its a little ruff around the edges, the lens cover has stopped working, and the zoom works when it wants to, this camera has been my external memory for my trips around Asia.

RIP old friend.

9/23/10

Last Dance

Okinawa and its American influences can be so amusing.
In Kin Town, which is outside of a Marine Base, somehow I ended up in this country western bar just as it was closing. Since girls were in short supply, some of the bar patrions took to dancing with bar stools as the final song of the night played.

Random Fishing Harbor

Somewhere on the West coast of Okinawa

9/13/10

Family Mart


Family Mart is a chain of Japanese convenience stores. This particular one had quite a view of the Philippine Sea to offer while I ate cup noodles and drank Orion.

The Vomit Comet




Being a rather public figure on base, has its benefits as I frequently end up in funny conversations with interesting people.
The first time I spoke with Adam he mentioned he owned a sailboat for one reason or another. Having always desired to try out sailing, I asked if we could go sailing sometime. As the pictures above show, a couple of weeks later Adam took me out on his boat Scarlet, where I tried my hand and stomach at sailing on the East China Sea.
Being out on the sailboat in the ocean with only the sound of the wind in the sails and the water splashing against the hull was peaceful. It was also fun to realize that nothing more than the wind was driving us along. However Scarlet was a rather wayward women. She pitched back and fourth as the harsh Okinawan sun beat from above.
Before long I felt sea sickness creeping up on me. Though I wanted nothing more than to lay down, the size of the boat and the fact that I still needed to help Adam meant I just had to solider on. In hindsight the experience was a great deal of fun and though my stomach will take insects and food from the market in the third world, it draws the line at sailing.

7/27/10

Roadside Attraction


On an amazing ride up to Okinawa's Northern most point I happened across an odd scooter parked on the side of the road. As I passed it, just out of the corner of my eye I spotted its driver in his flower laden bicycle helmet milling about on the side of the road. However alas I was going to fast and had no time to take picture.
After an afternoon of snorkling amoung some of the oddest coral formations I have ever seen, I began ridding back home. Then up ahead in the distance I saw a swaying scooter. Much to my delight this odd collection of stuff and its driver had passed me while I was swiming.
Quickly I reached inside my motorcycle jacket, pulled out my camera and started shooting. Since I was in a bit of rush the quality is not pefect.

6/13/10

The 58th

video
This motorcycle video is long overdue. Sporting a new motorcycle and jacket I take a crack at rush hour traffic in Okinawa, Japan. Being that I'm a little rusty at shooting and ridding, this time around the speed was kept down a bit.

6/7/10

Rock Soup


What's in my bowl?

At a local ramin shop I noticed one of the menu items was a hot stone. Curious I ordered a bowl of ramin and the hot stone. First the ramin came out, so I thought maybe the stone was already in it. However then the super hot stone came out a spoon and was placed next to the bowl.

Perplexed I asked the waitress what the purpose of the hot stone was. She explained that adding the hot stone to the ramin would bring out more of the soups flavor and also keep the ramin warmer.

So that's how they did it before the microwave.

Really?

What's going on here? Guns are outlawed in Japan, how many armed robberies in parks occur in Okinawa? Wait... Lets read this sign, it talks about not doing graffiti and starting fires in the park. But no where does it talk about armed robberies?

Maybe the picture is just a clever way of getting people to read the sign. OR Maybe its a clever way of keeping people from ever coming into the park in the first place.

6/3/10

Nerd Bird


This would be a little bird who lives in the tree outside my balcony. All morning he fly's around with his Mom asking for food. In the evenings, for reasons I am unsure of, he sits outside my door with a grumpy look on his face waiting for me to get home. When I arrive home and approach my door he pretends like he can blend into the wall and waits impatiently for me to go inside of my apartment.

Kinser Set




Wendesday nights sunset.
Typically I pick the best photo of group, however in this case it was impossible to choose.