18 September 2007

The Frog Prince Story

Once upon a time, on a small island off of Japan’s coast called Shiraishi, there was a girl called Marie.

She was having the time of her life dancing the night away for her birthday that weekend with her friends. On her way home, her friend Kyosuke spotted a frog. He picked it up and Marie became very interested in the frog. In her tired and fatigued state, she thought to herself, “if I kiss this frog, it will turn into a prince”. So she kissed the frog and waited…and waited….and waited…, but there was no prince.

Kyosuke decided to put the frog on Marie’s head just to take a photo of her failed attempt at turning the frog into a prince, but instead, the frog did a big, huge wee all over Marie’s head and down her back. She wanted the frog to turn into a prince, and all she got in the end was a big, wet shower of frog’s wee! The moral of the story is, don’t tamper with nature or else it will get you back. Frogs DON’T turn into princes!

I think I will go down in the Guiness Book of Records as the first person who has ever been peed on by a frog! Lucky me! Let this be a lesson to be learned by all!

Shiraishi Island for the second time

I went to Shiraishi Island on the weekend. As it is near my birthday, it was a good excuse to go away for the weekend and what better place to go than Shiraishi Island? I have been there once before as you would have read in my previous entries, but this time it was different, but just as beautiful!

I went with a big group of people including Tina, Lauren, Shinya, Taube, Makoto, Kyosuke, Maya and Hisashi.

We spent the weekend swimming on the beach, dancing to the music that the DJ was playing, throwing the frisbee, going hiking up the mountain, drinking cocktails on the beach and relaxing in the sun! Sound good? It was better than good!

Kyosuke brought a net with him to the island.

When I asked him why he brought this net, he replied, “it’s to catch things with.” I asked what kind of things and he said, “fish, crabs, jellyfish and girls!” That made me laugh so much so I got Lauren to come over and he caught Lauren with his net. Kyosuke was so proud and happy that he actually caught his first girl using his net!

While we were on the beach, I got Shinya to burry me in the sand, from my feet to the top of my neck!

I have never been buried in sand up to my neck before and it felt really weird and a bit gross because my skin had all grainy bits of sand all over it! It was fun at the time, but I don’t think I would like to do it again!

The villas we stayed in were International Villas and only foreigners are allowed to book them.

They can invite Japanese people to stay in them, but only foreigners are primarily allowed to book it. It is a good way to promote tourism and attract foreigners to remote areas of Japan and it is also a good way to enable me to go relaxing at the beach! These are what the villas looked like. We got the best view of the ocean from the deck.

This photo is of Maya relaxing in a hammock reading her book on the beach in the shade. I sat in this hammock too and it was so comfortable and relaxing.

These are the cocktails we drank on the beach. I drank a pina colada and it tasted so good! I felt like I was in paradise!

Tina and Lauren decided to lap it up and drink their cans of chu-hi in the water!

That night, we got ready to go to a beach party.

There was a DJ who was playing really cool music that we could dance to. Secretly, Tina and Makoto went up to the DJ and asked him if he could sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. The DJ called my name out from the crowd and I went to the front and he sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and I felt really special! It was so cool and he had the most amazing voice when he sang.

This is Taube, Maya, me and Shinya dancing at the beach party.

Later that night, when we went back to the villa, we had our own little private party.

We put on the music and started to dance. Makoto was showing us his dancing moves that night and he had the funniest dancing style I have ever seen! It was so much fun and we all enjoyed ourselves that night. It was the best birthday weekend I have ever had!

Funny As

After seeing the Koraukuen Gardens in Okayama, we were walking back to the hotel when we spotted the funniest sign ever.

There was a bookstore called, “Exciting Book Store” and then on the other side of the building, there was a funny picture of a boy smiling with a speech bubble coming out of his mouth saying, “I want to meet the person who created this store!” How funny is that? I wanted to go in the store just because of the sign!

There was also another restaurant nearby which was called “Pain Restaurant”. This made me laugh too!

Shinya, Lauren, Tina and I were walking back to the hotel and we were all feeling peckish so we went into this really cool restaurant near our hotel.

We saw the coolest thing there. It was called ‘french onion gratin soup’, but on the top of it was a layer of pastry which covered the bowl. It looked like a monstrosity, so just out of curiosity, Shinya and I ordered it! I’m so glad we did, coz it tasted absolutely delicious!

Korakuen Gardens Night View

The Korakuen Gardens in Okayama are one of the most famous gardens in Japan. I have been there twice before, and this time it was my third time going there. In summer, the Korakuen Gardens are open at night time and many candles and lights are lit which makes everything look so beautiful and radiant. The illumination of the lights make the gardens look more beautiful than what they do during the day time!

These are just some of the photos that were taken that night of the beautiful gardens. I hope that from these photos you can see how beautiful the gardens actually look at night time.

The lake’s reflection.

Triangular lights.

The reflection of the house within the gardens.

Okayama Castle.


Kurashiki is a very old, historical town that has many beautiful and old buildings in it.

I went to Bikanchiku which is the historical part of the town. On the way to Bikanchiku, I spotted the most peculiar-looking building. It was so thin and skinny and strange, so I had to take a photo of it. What do you think?

Bikanchiku was really beautiful. We saw a canal which ran all the way through the area.

We also saw a souvenir shop which sold things from Australia!

It was so strange to see a shop which sold Australian goods! It definitely caught our attention.

There was a really cool, old-looking Japanese boat which was taking people for a ride down the canal.

It was really interesting to watch and it looked so nice floating down the canal.

When the owners of the boat were resting, Tina took this really cool photo of the men with their traditional hats sitting beside their boat.

This was one of the many beautiful buildings within Bikenchiku. I really like this one because I think lots of detail would have gone into its design.

This is Steve, Tina, me and Lauren sitting by the canal in Bikenchiku.

Snorkelling Trip

One of the things I really wanted to do while I was in Okinawa was to see the tropical reef. The only way to do this is to do a snorkelling or a diving tour. Tina, Lauren and I decided to go on a snorkelling tour and I am so glad we did this because the reef was just beautiful! We were taken on a boat out to the reef and four instructors lead us to a coral reef full of many different types of colourful fish and coral. It was amazing because I had never seen anything like that and I considered myself as being very lucky to have been able to see something that looks so beautiful. I saw many different kinds of interesting fish happily swimming around, feeding off the coral below. It was so much fun!

On the boat before we set out, we all got some mugichya which is cold, iced tea made from wheat. It is really refreshing and delicious on a hot, summer’s day!

This was before we went snorkelling while the boat was taking us to the reef.

On the way to the reef, there were many people fishing near a lighthouse and I thought it made for a really nice photo!

This is Tina, Lauren and I in our wetsuits all ready to go!

Lauren and I using our floating devices to keep us alive! I got to use ebichan which means “Srimp Kid.” I loved that floatie and I wanted to keep it afterwards, but I had to give it back to the instructors sadly!

These are the four diving and snorkelling instructors who took us out on the boat. Lucky us!!!

At the end, we made sure we got a photo with them just to prove that we went there!

Taketomi Island

During our stay in Okinawa, one of the islands we visited was called Taketomi Island.

This island has a really good swimming beach, so Tina, Lauren and I spent most of our time on this island swimming in the ocean.

This is me and Lauren feeling calm and happy on a beautiful beach in Okinawa.

This is me, Lauren and Tina getting ready for a swim.

The beach was so clean and inviting. I think this photo captures how beautiful and serene the atmosphere was that day. Everybody was so relaxed, enjoying the beautiful weather and beach.

We hired bikes on this island so that we could get around quicker and more easily, so after spending a long while swimming in the beach, we cycled on to the next beach which was famous for its star sand. This sand is amazing because almost every grain of sand is in the shape of a star. I have never seen anything like it before, but it is beautiful nevertheless. This is what the sand looked like:

These are some people who are searching for the star sand on the shore.

It is so pretty, unique and precious that everyone wants to see it and enjoy it.

We saw a star fish while we were walking through the water which looked quite interesting.

There were many of these blue, tropical fish swimming in the shallow water. They were such a nice colour that we couldn’t resist taking lots of photos of them!

We walked out to a small, rocky island-type thing and spent a while just sitting on the rocks and having a chat. The scenery looked so nice that I could have sat there for hours without getting bored, but I had to worry about getting burnt, too!

This is me, Tina and Lauren on the rocks at the star-sand beach.

Moving on from the star-sand beach, we then went to a small section of the beach which had a jetty you could walk out to.

There was a man playing the shimasen which is a traditional Okinawian snake-skin guitar and it sounded so beautiful and relaxing. I loved listening to the sound of the shimasen while enjoying the scenery.

These strange, black things are actually sea cucumbers. They were absolutely EVERYWHERE in the Taketomi beaches and you really had to look where you were going in case you stepped on one. Anyway, I sat there examining these two particular sea cucumbers for a while and realised that they were moving slightly and blowing bubbles through the water. They look so strange, and many Japanese people enjoy eating them, but I had no desire to try one at that stage! Maybe one day further down the track I will get a bit more game to try!

There were so many hibiscuses on Taketomi and they are such beautiful flowers so that decorated the island well and made it look really colourful.

Tropical Beach

Tropical Beach is actually on Naha. It is such a cool beach. It took a long time to get there and the staff at the lobby of our hotel room spent about forty minutes explaining what we had to do to get there. We left early in the morning and ended up finding it eventually, so we spent most of the day enjoying the sun, sand and surf at Tropical Beach.

This photo is just to show you how blue the sea looks.

Tropical Beach from a distance.

I was so excited to be there!

The beach got busier as the day went on and there was lots of activity happening in the water and on the shore.

I like this photo because it shows how people are all doing their own thing at the beach from playing soccer, to swimming in the water, to relaxing on the shore.