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A few weeks ago I found myself alone one evening and in desire of the company of the fairer sex. Having little money and feeling rather tired, I made my way to the local convenience store.

While pursuing the beer cooler I found a can of Kirin Ice Beer. The instructions on the side of the can were intriguing:
1) Fill the glass with beer halfway
2) Slowly put in ice-cubes
3) Drink the Ice + Beer
4) A cute girl in a red dress will appear and say, "Cool!".

Assuming that beer cans do not lie, I purchased a can and took it home. At my apartment I took out a glass, carefully filled it exactly halfway with beer, skillfully filled the remained of the glass with ice-cubes, and then slowly began to drink the beer.

Unsure of where the women in red would appear from, I awaited a knock at the door. When none came, I checked my balcony, but found no one. As a last ditch effort I looked out the window to see if the women in red was downstairs waiting for me.

Needless to say she never came and I learned a valuable lesson, never trust a beer can.


A Day At ナガンヌ島

The morning did not start off the way I had wanted it to. My original intention had been to take my motorcycle via ferry out to Tonaki Island. However at the ferry terminal I was told that there was only one ferry a day to Tonaki, so I would have to spend the night on the island.

With my plans for the day shot down, I walked outside and noticed a brochure rack advertising day trips to the tiny island of Nagannu. Having always wondered what the island was like, I paid the steep 6,000 yen price for a ticket out there (Ticket includes round trip ferry ride and lunch. You can buy beer on the island, but its a bit expensive.)

After a 20 minute boat ride, I made for the western tip of the island. Having passed this island on Kenji's boat several times, I knew there was a coral reef at the islands western tip. Since most commercial fishing is forbidden close to the island, the reef was in great shape.

Surrounded by fish, I began to wonder where the predators were. As I swam around the side of the reef, I spotted a White Tip Shark. It was my first time seeing a shark. Thinking the shark could hear my heartbeat, I tried to remain calm and began to take pictures of it.

The shark then spotted me and at first swam towards me. It then turned around and swam under a rock. As I swam closer to the rock, I watched as two White Tip Sharks poked their heads out and looked at me.

I was now a good ways from shore, alone in the ocean, with two sharks looking at me. With my heart racing, I began to swim back towards the beach fearing that at any moment one of the sharks was going to swim up from behind me and take a bite out of my leg.

The bite never came. For the rest of the day I harassed the local wildlife, stayed close to shore, and enjoyed more then a few Orion Beers. 

Nagannu Island, Okinawa


Nagannu Island

Okinawa, Japan


Beaching Maijima

First dive off of the boat and into the open ocean.

Then swim through the reef towards the island.

Once your on the island, climb up to a high point.

Finally walk back down to the beach, slip into ocean, and swim through the reef back to the boat.

Adult Five-Lined Skink: Plestiodon Inexpectatus

A Five-Lined Skink with an American Cockroach almost as big as itself. Keep in mind, Maejima is an uninhabited island about 15 miles (25 km) off of the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Since Okinawa has a large US military presence, this roaches ancestors likely hitched a ride inside an Americans household goods and then flew or were blown out to Maejima Island.   

Maejima Island, Okinawa

Maijima Island II

Maijima, Okinawa


Shikinaen Royal Garden

Okinawa, Japan

Tokyo Trip

Going back and looking out of this window was rather strange. Back in my unemployed student, days I'd stare out into Tokyo thinking how I too was going to tap into all the money and success flowing below. Guess I forgot how good my eyesight was, because it seems I was looking all the way to Okinawa.
Ostrich Tamagoyaki (Japanese sweet egg) served at a members only restaurant near Roppongi. I had the privileged of having dinner with the celebrity chef owner and eating half the restaurant.

The view of downtown Yokohama from my friends apartment. This too was another view I used to stare out into in my younger days. Yokohama is growing, because every time I look out this window there's a new building.


Yokohama, Japan



This is what a Sea Urchin looks like (minus the wad of wasabi) if you were to chop off the shell and look inside. This was the first time I had ever seen sea urchin served this way and it was the best I have ever tried.

Thanks to my good friend Koji who introduced this to me: Naha, Okinawa