Although I have tons of posts to make about Tokyo, I really wanted to first share about Ben’s recent work trip to Iwo Jima, the photos he took are amazing! Unfortunately (and in true military fashion) he found out that he would be going to this training operation last minute and it just so happened to coincide with our family trip to Tokyo! While we were obviously very bummed, we were also grateful that Ben would have the once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Iwo Jima and be there to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the battle. Ben would also be the Officer in Charge for the 3rd Medical Battalion detachment which is a pretty incredible/unusual opportunity for a Supply Officer! The Marine Corps is terrible at timing, but when it’s for an opportunity like this it’s worth the annoyance.
On our week long family vacation to Tokyo, by day six we were officially ready to adventure outside the concrete Tokyo metropolian area. It was easy to set our sights on the lakeside/mountain town of Hakone, it looked beautiful and seeemed easy enough to get to... Bbut little did we know that all-in-all it would take eight trains, one cable car, two “rope ways”, one pirate ship and a bus to get to/thoroughly explore all of Hakone. That’s right, we took FIVE different forms of transportation to see some black smelly eggs (will explain more below), a brief glimpse of Mt. Fuji, and an oversized Torii gate. While that may seem absurd, we all unanimously agreed that getting the opportunity to enjoy Japan’s wilderness while spending a ton of quality family time was 100% worth it!
Oh man, I did not expect to feel this conflicted at the beginning of our last year on Oki. I thought for sure that I would be 100% ready to truck through these last 365 days on island and get our butts back to the states...
Ever seen a 200 million year old rock??! After visiting Daisekirin National Park I now can say I have! I never thought this would be something I’d absolutely, positively want to see in my however after viewing these extraordinarily ancient limestone karst rocks, that have some how withstood the test of time, I’m glad I have.
One of my favorite things about moving abroad was shopping locally for food. It’s so fascinating to see what different types of food products are sold at restaurants, convenience stores and especially grocery stores in Japan. I remember mine and Ben’s first experience in a Japanese grocery store and let me tell ya, it was OVERWHELMING. Everything was packaged in colorful, eye catching designs - many of which included cute cartoon characters. At random areas in the store catchy jingles or kitschy songs would be playing although we couldn’t figure out why! The seafood selection was also unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed as well... Have you ever seen an entire octopus sold at the grocery store? In Japan it’s just another common item stocked at the grocery store.
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
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