Posted in Food, Feelings, Place, Friends, Exercise, Travel, Diving, Nature, Restaurants

Hammerhead Sharks at Mikomoto

It’s a season and I had a free Saturday.

I caught an early Shinkansen (bullet train) to go down Mikomoto, Izu Shimoda, Shizuoka.

It’s such a nice day!

I overheard conversation of others and learned that we can view Izu Islands from train window.

At the window, there are shapes of islands that we expect to see from the window.

Could this be Ooshima?

Miyakejima?

8:50 am sharp, I arrived Izu Shimoda Station.

Today, I could see Hammerheads!!!

Big Yeah!!!

At the first dive of today, I saw one but very close by.

At second dive, I saw 6-7 Hammerheads in a group, picture is not clear to identify hammerheads.

For lunch, we went to a beach house.

It was nice and peaceful between two dives as if I were at vacation.

We celebrated at Izakata (Japanese pub) at Izu Shimoda Station to celebrate watching Hammerhead Sharks today.

This time, no stay over; going back to Tokyo.

Though I managed to see Hammerhead sharks not for singular for singular but plural, but now I become more greedy…I want more clear and more more more Hammerhead sharks!!!

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Nature, Surprise, Tokyo

Snake in Roppongi???

Today I safely returned from Bulgaria and Romania.

I had to catch up on my sleep during the trip so I took a break; I will upload ASAP.

Well, I had to report a shocking event happened today day.

When I arrived my apartment, there were a couple standing at the entrance, looking concerned.

According to them, there is a SNAKE!

SNAKE IN ROPPONGI…?

Soon police arrived and… wow…THERE IS A GIANT SNAKE!!!

How could it be in Roppongi???

There aren’t any jungle, but concrete jungles only.!!!

We think it’s a pet, escaped from the cage.

Hummmm

Posted in Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Nature, Place, River, Shop, Shopping, Travel, World Culture

Trip to Bulgaria and Romania (Day 2)

I started my day with a nice simple buffet breakfast.

Ingredients are indeed fresh to enhance a breakfast.

We departed hotel for Rila Monastery.

It is about two hours away from Sofia; therefore, we stopped few places before we reached there.

Rila Mountains

The area is famous for production of cherries.

We stopped at SMALL cherry shop to buy local delicacy.

We also stopped at small town to look for nests of storks.

In Japan, we believe a stork brings a baby to a family and I was told that in Bulgaria, a stork is also a symbol of good luck.

I could see a head of storks at chimneys; how cute!

Then we reached Rila Monastery; it is located over 1000 m from the sea level and opened by Saint Ivan about 960 years ago.

This monastery is the largest and most significant Monastery in Balkan Peninsular.

We are welcomed by Saint Gabriel, Jessica and Saint Michael at the gate.

There was a fire in 19th century to burn all down except the stone tower.

Those days, 500 people served at Rila Monastery, today there are only eight.

Rila Monastery is equipped with 300 bed rooms, a wine cellar, bakery, cheese factory, vegetable farms, kitchen and even library.

Rila Monastery survived during Turkish Yoke by paying taxes because they earned income by selling wine, reads and cheese.

There is a cute little post office.

Wow, this place has everything within the premises.

First, we visited the museum to learn more about the history of Rila Monastery and beautiful crafts of Eastern Orthodox.

This is the tower that survived from a fire in 19th century.

We went outside from another entrance to take a look of Rila River.

Rila means lilac in Bulgarian, but for Rila Monastery, it means the source of water.

Rila River

The Virgin Mary’s Church.

The church is nicely decorated by frescoes.

With no exception, these beautiful frescoes made the monastery famous.

There are significant frescoes.

For example, the judgement day: there is a door to the heaven and a path to the hell.

I found the Virgin Mary and her son (Jeasus).

I had trout for lunch at the river side restaurant.

I had my trout with Bulgarian local beer and cherry juice.

A bottle of Rila Water was provided to each of us so I happily took it back for my own consumption!

Again, food is simple, but I enjoy its simple ness.

After lunch, we visited another UNESCO World Heritage: Boyana Church (1979).

The first section was built in 11th century; the second extension was built in 13th century; the last (third) section was built in 19th century.

We can see the period clearly from the side of church.

The door to enter into church is made by wood (surface) and steel (inner) in 14th century though the building was built in 19th century.

The entrance is small to make us naturally humble to bow before entering.

Boyana Church became famous because of frescoes – so emotional.

It is very unfortunate that I won’t be able to share how beautiful these frescos are.

This was the last sightseeing spot of the day.

We returned hotel for dinner.

We enjoyed buffet dinner at the terrace.

After good laughs, time to hit bed!

Posted in Family, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Tokyo, Travel

Long Weekend @ Kamogawa, Chiba (Day 3)

It’s time to return to Tokyo.

I took a morning bath; then the last breakfast at Kanpo no Yado Kamogawa,

After breakfast, I played with niece at hotel’s children play area till I get tired.

I’ve been playing with her for three days.

She never stops playing!!! hahaha

I drove through woods, then Aqualine to reach Umihotaru (Sea Firefly) Parking Area for sightseeing and lunch.

This parking area is located on the highway Aqualine which is crossing Tokyo Bay between Kisarazu, Chiba and Kawasaki, Kanagawa.

I can see Tokyo skyline on the horizon.

I had Chiiiba Don (Chiba Local Food Rice Bowl) for lunch.

I had after lunch coffee at Starbucks.

This is Chiba’s mascot charactor: Chiiiba-kun.

I couldn’t take many photos today because I was driving.

I safely arrived home and ready to go to bed early tonight.

It was a nice family gathering.

Posted in Diving, Experience, Family, Feelings, Food, Hotel, Nature, Place, Travel

Long Weekend @ Kamogawa, Chiba

I woke up early at 5:30 am because we forgot to close the curtain.

I went to a morning bath; to my surprise, there are many people at 6:00 am.

Today, we plan to go to Kamogawa Sea World.

We reached at the entrance of Kamogawa Sea World. Yeah.

There are many performances by many aqua creatures.

First, watched Shachi (Killer Whales) Performance.

Great performances and splash!

Then Ashika (Sea Lion) Performance

Smile Family performed a comical play.

Then continuously watched Iruka (Dolphin) performance.

Four dolphins performed acrobatic show.

Then we took a break: lunch.

The last show: Beluga Whale Performance

They are cute!

Would I have an opportunity to swim with them?

And there are aquariums to meet many more creatures.

Yes, these are the situation that I want to swim with them!

After enjoying spending time at the Kamogawa Sea World, returned to hotel to take a bath before dinner.

Posted in Experience, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Shop, Shopping, Surprise, Tokyo, Travel

Golden Week Holiday in Okinawa (Day 4)

Today, it’s a sightseeing day.

We rent a car from Times Parking.

Once become a member, we can rent a car by our requested hours at the nearest Times Parking.

First, we went to Yoshinoya for breakfast.

I ordered a normal Gyudon (Beef Bowl) to compare it from Tokyo one’s.

Hummmm, it tastes the same.

Last night, uchina (Okinawan) recommended us to visit Gyokusendo (Cave) at the Sushi Restaurant Hagama Zushi.

Gyokusendo is located at the Okinawa World.

To my surprise, it’s a huge park, comprehensive Okinawa cultural park.

We started with Gyokusendo, the cave.

It’s a huge cave.

Ao no Izumi (Blue Fountain)

Ogon no Sakazuki (Golden Sake Cup)

There is a natural eel!

He swam slowly occupying the place to himself.

We exited the cave at the other side of park.

We walk through many parks back to the entrance/exit.

There is Ryukyu (Okinawan) glass park.

We can make crafts or simply enjoy shopping.

I shopped Ryukyu Glass Chopsticks holders here.

There are many cafe as well.

I enjoyed Uchina Zenzai (Okinawan Style Bean Ice Shave), shekwasha (citrus) juice and a bite of vanilla Blue Seal ice cream.

There are many more shops and cafe to enjoy.

This is Okinawa Style Traditional House.

This is Okinawa’s traditional costume.

I also tried Okinawa’s Buku Buku Cha (Foam Tea).

I need to chew the foam to prevent from choking.

This is my first experience to chew the tea. hahaha

I also watched Eisa (Okinawa Dance).

Another big event at this park is Habu Snake (poisonous snake found in Okinawa) vs mongoose.

Mongoose catches Habu; however, Animal Welfare Society protested to stop the fight.

Today, we cannot watch the fight.

They race to swim faster.

Mongoose won. hahaha

You will watch and even can touch many snakes here.

After enjoying this huge park, I went to walk on Shuri Kinjo-cho Ishidatami Michi (Shuri-Kinjo Town Stone Pavement).

It’s normal residential area, but I felt like I’m walking at the different time zone.

Luckily I walked down this slope.

It’s time to return to Tokyo.

Sayonara Shisa (Okinawa’s Lion/Guardians)

It’s the last day of Golden Week Holiday; therefore, all flights are sold out!!! Wow!!!

Had dinner at Kirin Bar also planning about next trip to Okinawa if any. hahaha

Sayonara Okinawa for now; look forward to visiting here again.

Posted in Diving, Exercise, Experience, Feelings, Food, Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Nature, Place, Restaurants, Travel

Golden Week Holiday in Okinawa (Day 3)

Today, we went to Kerama Shoto (Islands) area by this boat.

It takes one hour to reach diving points.

The first point: Kuroshima Kita (Kuroshima North).

We enjoyed landscapes; there are many corals (hard, soft and fan), crevasses, cracks and fish in cracks.

Kasago (Rockfish/Scorpion Fish)

I took a photo of boat from ocean.

The second point Kamigu.

Again enjoyed landscapes.

Reminded me of Oolong Channel, Palau.

Small Umiushi (Sea Slug).

Nimo! Kakure Kumanomi (Crown Fish)

I had lunch on the boat.

Then last dive in Okinawa at Jizuru.

We again enjoyed the landscapes.

HoshidaKaragai (Tiger Cowrie)

And there are many fish at the crack.

There are few Umiushi.

Kakure Kumanomi

At last, meeting a turtle.

On the way back to Tomari Port, we are lucky to watch Naha Hurley (Dragon Boat Race) 2018 from the boat.

I had a good look of it because I didn’t have to worry about people in front of me

For dinner, first, we went to Korean BBQ Roins, Naha, Okinawa.

Then we went to Hagama Zushi, too.

I enjoyed too much of Awamori (Okinawa’s strong rice distilled liquor).

I went to bed at 9 pm. hahaha