Monday, November 29, 2010

New Hat

I found a cool hat to keep me warm this winter @ Rulez Peeps in Kamogawa when I stopped by after jogging down to Maruki. They have these cool 'Xob' caps made from 100% UPcycled Wool/Wool blend sweaters imported from Colorado in the States. It was a beautiful day as you can see in the pic above taken looking back over Maruki surf point up to Seaside with me sporting my new winter look. What do you think?

Sei & Toyota Prius

Good friend, Sei, is featured in the latest Toyota Prius ad running on TV here in Japan. Check it out below!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beef Tongue!

A student of mine brought this back from Sendai, where it is the local delicacy (imported all the way from NZ no less!), as a souvenir. The last time they went up north they also bought back some really delicious sweets and I had (tongue in cheek - no pun intended) asked them to bring some beef tongue back the next time they were up that way.
When I was eating it I remembered my Grandad, Jim. When I lived on a farm in my youth he used to always request the tongue whenever we had livestock killed and we happily gave it to him thinking we were well rid of it. How things change.
Anyway, I think I owe them a thing or two from when I next visit NZ.
Thank you so much!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ramen @ Bakin in Kamogawa

 Mine was so good with the spicy negi to give it a kick and extra noodles.
 Aiko had the Tantanmen, another spicy number.
And ramen just wouldn't be the same without a decent serving of Gyoza!

Autumn leaves

 We slept in after a late night celebrating and didn't feel like doing a hell of a lot so decided to go for a drive back into the hills behind Kamogawa to check out the autumn leaves. First stop was Kiyosumi Temple where I took this photo looking back out over the Pacific. While we didn't have perfect blue skies to light up the colours, we did have some clouds for dramatic effect.
 Someone's residence, built years ago and still going strong. The simplicity of rural Japan is a stark contrast to the high tech neon lit images associated with urban cities such as Tokyo which many visitors assume as the norm.
 A little further down the road and we saw this spectacular assortment of colours. We weren't the only ones stopping to take a closer look.
 It seems that the trees that lay in close vicinity to water often have the brightest colours and when reflected on the waters surface or combined with the gentle sound of a small creek trickling along the serenity is amazing.
 Another spot just a bit further down the road.
And finally, Yomogifudou waterfall. I saw a sign and followed it (along a very narrow one lane track/road) which lead to this nice little waterfall. The water was crystal clear and the pool at the base was very deep. It might be a nice place to visit in the hot summer months...

Shinya's B'day!

Sunday was Shinya's birthday. I had some ribs from the store and whipped up a honey mustard marinade which was a hit with the girls. I know the boys all liked them, too and sunny would have loved the bones! Everyone else prepared dishes, including Gifu beef, wild boar, sausages, fish, salads, rice noodle chicken ginger soup, and a kick-ass cake. It all went down a treat with a bunch of beers and new year wine! Happy birthday buddy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hot Water Beach

This is Hot Water Beach, on the Coromandel Peninsula, N.Z.
With any luck it'll be breaking like this when I visit early next year!
What makes it really special is the natural hot springs that you can dig on the beach at low tide to warm up in.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Indian Summer Pension.

Hiroshi @ Indian Summer Pension in Kamogawa has just renewed his homepage. The front page features a picture of my wife and I kayaking from maybe April or May this year. (scroll over to see it).

Indian Summer is a great place to stay when visiting Kamogawa and the hosts are fantastic company. They have an outdoor bath with amazing views out over the ocean and if you're into surfing, just pick Hiroshi's brain for where best to surf on the day. His wife also puts on a great spread for dinner if you choose that option.

Check his HOMEPAGE HERE for details and pricing.

Home Break

Aiko feeling at home out surfing @ Seaside (above) and me catching a nice nose ride (below)
Both pictures courtesy of DAVE YAMAYA.
Mahalo for the photos

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

My next six weeks is probably going to involve a lot of waking early and watching the events as the VANS TRIPLE CROWN of SURFING takes place in Hawaii live on my computer. It's cool to see the surfers committing to some of the bigger waves on tour and listening to the commentary team (in English) which is usually a bit of a laugh, too. There's a decent swell forecast to hit late Sunday, so maybe things will get started as that starts to fill in, either Monday or Tuesday morning here in Japan.

Friday, November 12, 2010

SurfSpeak BlogMedia new story!

Good friend and colleague, Dave Yamaya, has set up an on-line magazine which people can contribute to with stories and experiences about pretty much anything. He has just published a little story I wrote on Hachijojima which, if you have time, is worth checking out.


He's always welcome to new stories/articles, so if you have something to say just go to this site and source the contact details.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NZ Surfing Magazine arrived!

Big thanks to my sister for the renewed subscription! The Nov/Dec issue arrived the other day and has been fueling the stoke. Super looking forward to the next trip home and hoping to score some of the epic waves NZ has to offer.
This is a line up shot of the points firing at Raglan. From the top; Outside Indicators - Indicators - The Valley - Whale Bay - Boneyards and the Ledge at Manu Bay.
And these two shots are taken from down south. I surfed both these points when I was university down in Dunedin. Aramoana was one of the best peaky beachies I've ever surfed. The dawny with freezing southerly off shores will chill you to the bone but the memories will stick with you for life.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Halloween Wrap

This was how we kicked things off, with a Halloween Party/Lesson at work for the kids.
All the staff that made things possible and had things running smoothly from start to finish.
Dave put his Mad Hatter costume together from scratch! It looked pretty damn fine on the day and all the stitching held together fine. Some of the kids weren't quite up with the play, but the adults were all mighty impressed. I'll have to start putting the thinking cap on much earlier than this year as he keeps raising the bar in regard to the standard of costumes!!
Next up was Aiko's birthday. This is a cake friends of hers made. ALOHA
We made a little Pinata filled with candies for the kids to smash and grab. There were about 15 or so kids in total so you had to be quick in order to avoid walking away empty handed!
Good friend, Shinya, had some wild boar that a hunter friend of his had caught locally. He made up a couple of different marinades and we cooked it up on the BBQ. One of the young boys couldn't get enough of it. He was over the kids games and was parked up with the men by the BBQ waiting eagerly to be offered another piece hot off the grill. Classic! Welcome to the team Ibuki-kun
Happy Halloween = Happy Birthday

Tinkerbell from work is a bit of an artist. She made these decorated cookies, each one an original design! They looked and tasted awesome and were a big hit with one and all.
In the evening, a few gathered back at our place for a few more drinks and we donned costumes for the occasion.

Halloween 2010 will be remembered for a good while. Thanks to everyone who shared the fun and games with us and made the effort to get in the spirit. See you all again in 2011!


Aiko got out for a surf on Monday @ Seaside in Kamogawa. The waves were fun and the sun was out without a breath of wind! Saiko!
Thanks Toshizou for the picture.
(Check Toshizou's photos from around Kamogawa HERE)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beautiful Day

The sun was out and the waves were fun! I'm so stoked that my back is feeling better and improving day by day. Local legend Mikio Kawai paddled out with a waterproof camera and snapped this picture of me on a left. I was riding a board (the "Mackerel") that I borrowed from good friend and surfboard shaper, Junji Sonoda. It goes soooo good and I was having a ball.
Thanks Junji!
Thanks Kawai-san!