Walking outside the Hilton

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

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

Hanauma Bay

On the last day of our stay in Honolulu, we decided to go to Hanauma Bay.    The #22 bus is very popular route for Hanauma bay and Sea Park.    It was so crowded that we couldn’t get a seat.

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It took about 30 minutes to get there.   Wow, look at the beautiful coral sea!

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People are required to watch a short video before entering.

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A pretty bird came closer to us.

Maybe this tree is a mangrove.

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I enjoyed snorkeling for the first time.  It was really fun.    I bought a snorkel at a supermarket the day before.   Beach sandals are useless.  Fins or swim shoes are better.  You can rent snorkeling gear with ID and deposit.

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It was very exciting to see pretty fish like these.

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My son taking a shower.

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I expected that the bus might be crowded on the way back, so we left early.

Hawaii Report #9

Diamond Head

The next day,  we went to Diamond Head, it is a very famous volcanic crater in Hawaii and a popular hiking destination with panoramic views of Waikiki.

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We took #22 bus in Waikiki.   Then, we had to walk for 15 min to the entrance from the closest bus stop.  I checked the bus schedule in advance,  but didn’t notice the route change.   If you take a bus, check The Bus website.    The #23 bus stops at the entrance (see the  picture below)

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You need to walk a little to the toll gate from the entrance.

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There were trees with flowers around the gate.

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However, the mountain had no green.

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You have to walk a long slope for about 30 min.   It was a little tough for me.

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We avoided the steep steps and chose the alternative slope.

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Wow, what a great scenery!  Beautiful nature!  This is the view of Waikiki.

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You can see the crater which you walked across, and the south shore.

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We took the #23 on the way back.  This bus comes only once every hour.  Unfortunately, we waited nearly one hour after all.  We should have been back to #22 bus stop which comes every 30 mins.  Some other people decided to take a taxi instead.    That would be a good idea because it’s not a long distance.

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Hawaii Report #8

Kailua Beach

The next day,  we went to Kailua Beach.   Here is how to get there by bus:   You take the route 57 at the bus stop (west bound) on AlaMoana Shopping Center.

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The bus goes across the island and arrives at Kailua Shopping Center in 30 minutes.   You pass by the town and get off at the next stop.   You walk ahead a little.    Turn left and then walk about 15 min. along the Kailua Road.

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In fact,  if you take the #70 bus, you don’t have to walk.    However, that bus comes only once every hour.    So I suggest #57.   The #70 bus goes to the Lanikai Beach, but then it has no public facilities.   On a map,  these two beaches are within walking distance.  I want to go there someday.   “Lani”  means heaven and “Kai” means ocean in Hawaiian language.

When you see Kailua Beach Center on the left, the beach will be right ahead.

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The sea of Waikiki was aquamarine blue,  while the sea of Kaikua was emerald-green.   There were fewer people than in Waikiki.   I felt relaxed and refreshed by the beautiful ocean view and the sound of waves.

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Please check the route and schedule of the bus before your trip.  The Bus

Hawaii Report #6

My Summer In Hawaii

Hello.  It’s been a while.  How are you doing?   I’m doing great.    I just came back from Hawaii!    My family spent four nights at Waikiki on Oahu island and three nights at Waikoloa on Big Island for the  summer holidays.   It was my first trip to Hawaii.   I was so impressed by the beautiful nature on the islands.   All of my family enjoyed the activities very much.   I’m now preparing to upload a lot of pictures.  So just wait.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday too!

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Forest Bathing

As I wrote in the last post, I climbed Mount Kimpo in June.    In fact, I also went to a river last month.   My daughter wanted to go somewhere richly endowed with nature.   So we decided to go to Kikuchi Keikoku where it takes one hour drive from my house.

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Kikuchi Keikoku is located close to Mount Aso area in Kumamoto, Japan.     There is rich nature there.   You can enjoy forest bathing,  which means spending some time in a forest for the health benefits such as relaxation.    It is famous for a good spot to play with water in summer.  You can walk in the shallow stream.    In fall,  many people come to see the autumn foliage.

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The water is very cold and clear.   There are several springs, which create the stream.

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I think these pictures can’t convey the atmosphere to you enough without the sound of the stream.    I should have brought a video camera.    Instead, I link a YouTube video.

Mountain Climbing

Have you heard of Yuichiro Miura?   He is a famous skier and mountaineer in Japan.   In May, he successfully reached the summit of Mount  Everest (8,848 meters) at the age of 80.  To read his amazing story, please click here. Mail Online    The news of his accomplishment inspired me.   I climbed a mountain twice last month, but the mountain I chose was Mount Kimpo near my house which is only 665 meters above sea level.   I also drove  halfway up of the mountain. lol  There was  beautiful scenery of terraced rice paddies along steep hills at the base of the mountain.

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Hydrangeas are a typical flower in the rainy season, June.  They were blooming beautifully.

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Why don’t you listen to the birds singing while you read?   I recorded the melody of the little cuckoo and bush warbler.

After parking my car, the picture below is the place where I started climbing. There were two course: the easy and the hard trail.  Of course, I chose the easy one, but it was still a little hard for me. The distance to the peak was only 1.3 km though.

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I enjoyed being immersed in nature.  The cool breeze was comfortable.

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The trail was steep, stony and slippery.

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I took a little break.  A whole view of Kumamoto city and  the Ariake Sea can be seen from the mountain.

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Finally, it took about 45 minutes to reach the summit.    There was a shrine at the top.

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By the way, I came across an interesting creature on the trail.  At first, I thought it was a blue rubber hose, but then it moved!