A Spiritual Place – The Heitate Shrine

The other day, I drove to a country side “Yamoto-cho” where it took an hour and a half to get from Kumamoto city.   There are several sightseeing spots in Yamato-cho.  One of them is the Heitate shrine.   Most people living in Kumamoto don’t know it.   However it is famous among some Japanese because it is known as a spiritual place, where a mystic force provides energy, good luck and healing to a person who stands there.   It seems that many people outside Kumamoto visit there.

You have to go up a long stone stars to reach the shrine.


This is the main shrine.


The history of the shrine is written on the board.   It has a long history as nobody knows when it was founded.   It worships several Shinto gods.


There are many huge trees around the shrine.   Somehow I felt refreshed.





The Shinto priest was performing a purification ceremony.    Some Japanese go to shrine to pray or purify something such as wishing their happiness, good health, or exorcising a person or place of evil spirits.   I’m not a religious person, but I have also gone to a shrine for a purification ceremony a few times before.


American Cartoons

When my family stayed in Hawaii, my daughter found a funny American cartoon on TV.  Does anyone knows the title of it?  Please leave a comment.  I want to watch it !  The story was very interesting.   The father turned out to be a gay, then he got a sex change surgery and became a female!  lol   What a story!  I’ve never heard the story like that even on a TV program for adults in Japan.  In addition, pictures of American cartoons are very different from Japanese ones.   They are very unique.     Some of American cartoons are available to watch on pay-TV in Japan.



Good Bye, Hawaii

Our very fun trip was over.   We flew from Kona again, transferred at Honolulu and went back to Japan.


At the Kona airport, my son bought a plain hotdog, which was six dollars.  How expensive!  I saw a ketchup pump for the first time.  I wonder if Americans like ketchup very much.   In Japan, I haven’t seen additional ketchup even in McDonald’s.   I think that Japanese prefer mayonnaise to ketchup.   In addition,  I wonder why hotdogs aren’t popular in Japan.





We got on a shuttle bus for transfer as soon as we arrived at Honolulu airport.  Then, we were able to get the international gate directly.



The cookies of this company are very delicious.




Good by, Hawaii.  I’ll for sure come back someday.


Hawaii Report #16

Kohara Spa

There is  “Kohara Spa” in Hilton Waikoloa Village, which is a facility providing massages,  body treatments and fitness & wellness classes.    I paid ten dollars and took a fitness class “Flex and Stretch.”


I saw several guests who came for a Hawaiian massage called “Lomi Lomi” when I was in a waiting room.   One of them said it hurt a lot, but was good.


The class started on time.  He was an instructor(I forgot to ask his name), and the participant was only me!   It ended up a private lesson.  Actually it wasn’t a class for relax.  It was like a power yoga.  I was a little tired because it lasted 45 min., but it was a good exercise.   Don’t you think he is cute?


The yoga class was taken place around the Buddha  statue outside.   It looked nice, but I didn’t want to get a suntan.

The picture below is a hula dancing lesson.  Unfortunately I didn’t have time to take.


Hawaii Report #15

Timeshare Sales

There is an office of “Hilton Grand Vacations Club” in Hilton Waikoloa Village.    It seems to be a system that the hotel guests are invited to the timeshare sales.   I had an interest in timeshare condo because Hawaii was a better place than I expected.   Then my family applied for it.  We were waiting for a person in charge in the lounge.


A salesperson was a  Japanese woman.   She took us to the “Kings’ Land Beach Resort” near the hotel by car.  The rooms were fabulous!



There was a wonderful view of Mt. Mauna Kea from the lanai.
You can barbecue on the terrace.
It has a pool, cafe and stage where hula shows are held.

After that, we had to listen to a long explanation.  The selling prices range between $40,200 and $80,200, which depends on the property.  There is more.   Annual maintenance fee costs between $1,500 and $1,800.   Wow!   No kidding!    Do owners have to pay that to the death?   We can’t afford to pay it.  However, the salesperson tried to sell aggressively.    Finally, she gave up persuading and gave us a $100 coupon in return, which was available only in the hotel.
After I came back to Japan,   I researched about that on the web.    I found that timeshare condo wasn’t a good investment to me.   It is expensive when you buy, but it would be cheap when you sell.   If you want to buy it, why don’t you think about buying resale property ?

Hawaii Report #14

Walking outside the Hilton

I took a walk to a market in Waikoloa around 15 minutes away.


There are five volcanoes including the famous one “Kīlauea,”  on the big island and two of them are active.  The ground is covered with black rocks.  Have you heard of Punaluu Black Sand Beach?  It’s located on the southeastern coast.  Can you imagine a beach covered with black sand!







There is nothing but hotels, condos and golf courses in Waikoloa.


The town has calm and peaceful atmosphere.  When my family went for a stroll at night,  we were safe even though streets were dark and had few lights.  We were able to see the Milky Way.   This island intentionally  suppresses the influence of lights to make star-watching easier.




Here is the view of the markets “Kings Shops” and “Queens’ Marketplace”

Hawaii Report #13

Walking inside the Hilton

Here are some pictures I took in the Hilton . This is an entrance of the main lobby.


The valet parking is interesting to me because it is very uncommon in Japan.



I was able to see only blackish fish, not colorful one in the lagoon.   My son saw a sea turtle from a boat here.


Several parrots stayed still without a cage.   They didn’t speak unfortunately.






Rocky shore outside the Hilton.   It may be as well to swim in a pool.


You can swim with a dolphin here by joining “Dolphin Quest”.




Although there is no photo, the most impressive sight was a night sky.   I was able to see many stars.  Fortunately,  our stay was in the period of the new moon, and so it was a good time to see stars in the dark sky.   When I was looking at the sky,  I saw several shooting stars, and one of them was very bright one.  Wow!  I felt like becoming one with nature.   It is said that a volcano “Mauna Kea” near Waikoloa is the famous star watching spot and has many celestial observatories from overseas.  I want to join a stargazing tour on this mountain sometime in the future.

Hawaii Report #12

Hilton Waikoloa Village

We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village for three nights in the Big Island.  The hotel was so huge that a monorail was running inside.

A boat was also used to transport hotel guests.    It was so fantastic to watch the starry sky from the boat.

It’s possible to walk around inside the hotel, but  you would be tired.   Pink is accommodations and blue is routes of transportation.


Though the room was not bad, I prefer a condo.  I wanted to stay at Aston’s condo at first, but I heard that only Hilton guests can use the facilities such as pools, so booked the Hilton.   Actually, there was no check of guests unless renting something.


There were three towers, Place, Lagoon and Ocean.   Our room was in the Palace tower.   My complaint was that only the Palace tower had no laundry room!   So I went to another tower by monorail to do the laundry.   In addition,  it was not easy to find the laundry room, it was like a maze.

The entrance of the Palace tower


The view from the entrance.       We were able to see the beautiful blue sky and sea every day.


Hawaii Report #11

Kona In The Big Island

After spending busy days in Waikiki, we headed for Kona in the Big Island.  On this day, my husband came from Japan and joined us.

Interisland Terminal


When I got to the island, I was surprised.   There was no building at the airport.  The gate has only a roof.   I thought it must have little rain in this area.


The taxi ran on one long road.   The scenery was very impressive for me because there was nothing there, no building, no traffic light,  even no grass.


I saw such a strange landscape for the first time.   The other day, I heard the news that astronauts are living on isolated Mauna Loa volcano in the big island to simulate life on Mars.   Yes, it makes me imagine Mars!



This video was taken from a resort area toward the airport on our return trip.     The scenery suddenly change from green grass land to black gravel.


Hawaii Report #10