Friday, December 30, 2011

Greetings from Japan!

Hello to everyone from the small island of Okinawa. If you weren't able to tell, this is Brian with the obligatory deployment post. It's the end of 2011 and the second deployment of the year for us. Deployments are never fun as being separated from Rachel, Brady, and everyone else at home is almost unbearable at times. That being said, Japan is much more enjoyable than the desert and we've stayed busy flying and exploring the island. There is quite a bit of culture and the people are very friendly and accommodating. Also, the food is outstanding and although it's been quite rainy, the temperature has been a comfortable 60-70 degrees, so I can't complain too much.

Here are some pictures I've taken so far:

Here's the little critter that was waiting outside my door to greet me when we arrived. Very big and slimy.

Everywhere we go there are vending machines that offer both hot and cold beverages. They're in the strangest places sometimes, but I'm always comforted that Tommy Lee Jones (Spokesman for BOSS Coffee) is there to keep me hydrated.

Moving on to food, here is a picture of my favorite meal so far. It's basically a plate of bacon with potato salad, leafy salad, tasty soup, and of course rice. No forks allowed.

This is our second favorite dining establishment. Its real name is Arashi but we call it the vending machine restaurant since you place your order through the vending machine (above) located at the entrance. The fried rice is delicious.

Here's a picture from our first drive up to the northern part of the island. We took the scenic route following the ocean most of the way.

A marker at the northern most point on the island. Not sure what it says but I'm sure it's interesting.

A statue of the bird that cannot be found anywhere but the northern part of Okinawa. We thought it looked like a combination between a chicken and a pineapple.

Dramatic cliffs at the northern point. They were very accessible and we climbed all over them.

Another scene of the northern shore. The rocks were very sharp but luckily no one was hurt.

The second trip up north was to Hiji Falls. Here's a picture of the entrance to the trail leading to the actual falls.

We had to hike a little to get to the falls but the views were pretty impressive.

We finally made it to the falls and the hike was worth the effort as the falls were very pretty.

Me in front of the falls. In the past, people were able to actually take a dip in the water at the base of the falls, but now it's roped off.

A picture of the outside of our billeting. Not the prettiest place in Japan, but still better than the desert digs.

The view from our place. Green grass in December is neat.

The view from my door. That's where the snail was to greet me.

And the interior of my room. It came fully equipped with a TV, fridge, and microwave. The lighting is very dim, but at least I don't have to have a roommate.

Here's a picture of the BBQ at our deployed commander's house on Christmas Eve. Very nice of him to have us over for a home cooked meal.

Finally a picture of our ride. The "Hagu" which I think means beater car in Japanese. Not very impressed.


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