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!

The Active Volcano “Aso”

My daughter and I went to “Aso” this month. Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan. It also has one of the largest calderas in the world. We can get to the Aso area in only an hour’s drive from our house. In another 30 minutes  we can reach the craters of the volcano. Even though I live nearby, I rarely go to Aso. It was a warm spring day, but the mountains are still brown. There were only a  few visitors.   However, the mountains will turn a beautiful green in May and many tourists visit.

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We made it to the top of the mountain.
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The earth is alive!
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Get into the shelter when something happens?!
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Does“Jizo”protect us? “お願い地蔵” means “make a wish on Jizo”?
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Is this a scapegoat”身代不動” for us when something happens?
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When I was strolling along the walking trail, suddenly people around me,  including myself,  had a slight coughing fit. When I turned back later, I realized that volcano gas was drifting over the spot.
caution

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The Cherry Blossom Season

It’s getting warmer and warmer day by day. Now the cherry trees are in full bloom in Kumamoto. Last Saturday, my family went to see the cherry blossoms in a park which is very close to my house. People were having a picnic lunch under the trees. Children were sliding down the grassy slope,  and playing on the grass with a ball or jump rope.

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Fall Foliage And Felix Baumgartner

I don’t take an English conversation lesson regularly, but I attend the English class once in a while which picks a topic in advance.   I can decide whether to go or not.  I attended the class of “Beautiful Fall  of North America” last week.

First of all, the teacher talked about New England, where the Puritans immigrated to.  It has 6 states.  Do you know where they are?  I didn’t know the exact location.

RI means Rhode Island.   Ontario,Quebec and New Brunswick in Canada have the border with New England.  We can get the information about fall foliage from yankeefoliage.com    Fall colors are fading already!  How about Middle America?    Central Il   It looks like peak now. How about West?   Southern CA         Looking around my house, trees remain green.  I live in the southern part of Japan.  Fall foliage of this area isn’t impressive.

After that, we had a small talk about Felix Baumgartner.  I didn’t know his big news.  Do you know RedBullStratos?   Redbullstratos.com
According to wiki,
“He set the world record for skydiving an estimated 39 kilometres (24 mi), reaching an estimated speed of 1,342 kilometres per hour (834 mph), or Mach 1.24, on 14 October 2012, and became the first person to break the sound barrier on his descent without vehicular power.”
Wow!  It’s hard to believe.  What a crazy man!  He is an Australian.  It was also new to me that Red Bull is an Australian energy drink.