Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sea Kayak

The waves have been small for awhile now and so when we got a call from a friend to go sea kayaking on the Uchibou coast north of Tateyama in Tokyo Bay we jumped at it.Aiko loading the 3-seater kayak on the car (thanks Cetus for letting us use it)Indian Summer's Indiana Jones (Hiroshi) unloading his car with our destination, the island, in the background.Disembarking for a little island exploring. There was an abandoned building and extensive ladders and bridges around the rocky foreshore which fisherman must've used to get to their best spots over the years. Good fishing here I imagine with a little oyster farm in the secluded bay. After a quick look around and an onigiri to fuel the fire we were back on the water where we circumnavigated the island before heading back.
Time for a quick spot of fishing on the way back. Aiko reeled in a fish with her first cast before the sinker would have even hit the bottom!! Unfortunately our luck didn't continue in that fashion and time was against us, so it was back to the shore where we loaded up the cars and made our way back. Right near where we launched the kayaks was this "earth" home which has featured in several house designer books and was very interesting so I stopped and took a pic. Thanks Hiroshi for a great time!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


A Katsuura specialty, this Ramen (Tan Tan Men) is super spicy just how I like it.
These potato chips are a souvenir from Nagoya
This vase/flower stand was hand made over three weeks or so. If you look closely at the label inside the collar you can see the name of the very kind student that gave me this. It also has a light in the base which, at night, gives the vase an added dimension.

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to some of my students that were very kind to give me presents recently for my birthday and to say how much I appreciate the effort they went to...

Sunrise & BBQ

I was up early the other day for Japan's final pool game in the WC in which they dispatched of Denmark with style. Awesome sunrise with pink skies reflecting across the bay. Let's hope Japan can do one better than NZ against Paraguay tonight!!

Good friend, Jun, and I have birthdays about a week apart so, we more often than not, we combine for a little BBQ and some celebratory beers with friends. He cooked up some of my favourites, lamb chops! These guys are to die for!! I don't know anyone who does these better. Fact!
Sunny was salivating as the smells wafted his way and he waited patiently for any bones or bits tossed his way.
Dave's surfboard sponsor recently got back from a sales trip and bought a souvenir in when he popped in to work to pick up his boy. Thanks Taro! These little crabs were really good! I was a little hesitant at first but after tasting one there was no stopping me.

Dave and I enjoying the crab snacks above and one of the little fellas about to meet his maker below.
Jun's boy Yashi is really growing up fast and is so much fun to hang out with. He has the same mischievous look in his eye as his father and a contagious laugh that brings smiles to everyone's faces.
Once the sun set the kids got to bust out the fireworks under close supervision from Jun and Toshiyuki which made the day for the little ones and was a great way to wrap things up.A huge thanks/mahalo to all those that came and bought mouth watering food for the grill, salad and beers, etc and to Aiko for the killer Cheese Cake she spent the previous night baking after a very long day at work. It was super delicious.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How's THIS guy?

This guy was snapped in front of Nonkey Surf & Sports (see side link) in Kamogawa as he rides and surfs his way around Japan. Awesome effort! From what I gather he aims to ride the length of Japan from Okinawa to Hokkaido and stop for daily surfs along the coast as he works his way up. Best of luck to him and I hope he finds some secluded magic waves on the way for all his efforts!

Friday, June 25, 2010


(image courtesy of
New Zealand bowed out in a very distinguished manner early this morning defying critics who had questioned their worthiness at the cup by registering their third successive draw and ending the tournament undefeated, only the fourth team in history to do so. It was inspiring to one and all to see a team with spirit and belief so great and perhaps an unrivaled passion and humility so often missing from some of the top tier teams as evidenced in the French and Italian camps at this W.C.

Congratulations to the boys on their results and their Mana. They did the country proud and I hope that New Zealand will go out of their way to welcome them home as the local heroes and great ambassadors they are. Soccer NZ is in a great place and with any luck can use this to catapult themselves to a more credible standing within the world soccer fraternity and gain more international fixtures for fans and players alike as well as opening more doors for young exciting talent emerging through the youth development programs.

As for now, I'll be focusing my allegiance on my adopted country, Japan, which have shown many of the great fighting traits evident in the All Whites performances. Japan played exceptionally well in dispatching the Danes this morning and young striker, Keisuke Honda, is fast becoming the next cult hero for soccer fans here.


(Picture from 2006 WC)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Celebrating 35 years

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, phone calls and presents that I received over the last few days. I was kindly reminded by friends, both based in Germany and in NZ, that I was entering my "mid" 30s, as if that were to signal some kind of change (downhill?), but as my father rightly pointed out on the phone the other day, the All Whites, who are punching well above their weight in the Soccer World Cup, have a 36-year-old holding down the all important mid-field role! I'm confident that this will be another fantastic year and looking forward to enjoying this 36th year of my life and all that it brings with it. To kick things off My wife and I enjoyed a very laid back day at home, snuck in a quick surf, then dined on the balcony with a homegrown salad, a big fat steak and an ice cold is good!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sea Festa Gallery Link

At Sea Festa there were a bunch of professional cameramen taking photos of all the dancers on both stages over both days. Follow this link to see for yourself and type in the password in the bottom box (email me for the password as I don't think I can post it here). Look for Luana Hula サークル click on that gallery and then use the page directory to see all the pictures. The girls danced on both June 5th and 6th so there are two galleries. All photos are available for purchase, prices obviously vary depending on the size ordered.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sea Festa A Success!

Woke Saturday to overcast conditions and the constant threat of rain. By some kind intervention the rain ceased and the clouds parted while Aiko's team took the stage. Some others later in the afternoon were not so lucky.
Sunday was about as perfect as one could wish for with temperatures in the mid twenties and not too much wind. The girls really enjoyed themselves and the kids got the crowd going looking super cute on the big stage. City estimates put the number of people that attended over the weekend at just over 80,000!!!Well done to all of those involved. The beer and BBQ went down a treat in the aftermath of it all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Mum!

Great to talk to my mum and sister today. It sounded as though they were enjoying a nice birthday lunch together. The grandkids were singing in full voice in the background in anticipation of the fancy cake Aunty Val had bought. Best wishes from us all here in Japan for a great birthday. Love ya mum

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Kamogawa Sea Festa 2010 takes place this weekend, June 5-6th, at Maebara Beach. Once again my wife and her Hula team the LUANA HULA CIRCLE will be participating. The kids will also be getting in on the action and have been practicing really hard and are primed for this event. They will take the stage first thing on Saturday on the Main Stage near Kakou surf point (near the river) at 10:20am and Sunday on the Marina Stage also at 10:20am.

If you have the time, get on down there and lend your support as I'm sure they'll appreciate it. The weather forecast is looking good with sun for both days predicted....YAY.

The city has been going to great lengths this year to really push the event and has the beach front looking pristine!

Unfortunately I have to work Saturday, but I'll be down there enjoying the vibes, cheering on the hula dancers and soaking up the rays.

For more info see this LINK

Signs directing traffic to the event site and parking.
Work is beginning on assembling the stages for the performers.
Parking. Freshly cut grass and marked out to accommodate the expected visitors.