We all grew up well aware that with warmer Spring weather comes plenty of rain fall. “April showers bring May flowers” as they say, however when you live on a subtropical island “showers” are replaced by a seemingly never ending monsoon season. It’s been a nonstop mix of rain, clouds and thunderstorms for the past few weeks and even though I’ve lived through two other Okinawan Springs by now this one is driving me especially crazy.
Just when I think we’ve exhausted every Battle of Okinawa site on this island, another one comes out of the woodwork! CNN Travel wrote an article about its “Top Okinawa Tourist Sites” which included a Japanese Army Observation Post on hill 161.8 (named so because it’s 161.8 meters above sea level) located in the town of Nakagusuku. It had 360 degree views from the top and was somewhat of a challenge to access due to its steep ascent which was paved in jagged, sharp rocks.
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...
We're Kara, Ben and baby Zoe also known as the Lesniaks. We’re a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Yorktown, Virginia after a three year tour in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together!
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