Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Brilliant Christmas illuminations decorating the entrance of Shimayado Goen in Nagasaki Japan

Hi Taiyo from owner of Ojika island.

Last when the weather was getting cold, like winter

Finally it's cold

Before the weather was so amazing nice, I love warm weather

Unfortunately, winter has starting in Ojika island

How I feel good


Let's do

Brilliant Christmas illuminations decorating the entrance of Shimayado Goen in Nagasaki Japan

Our staff who from America, German

They helped me to organized it

Ume who from chef, he did outside illuminations

We are ready to Christmas

What I want to it

Just Love



Monday, December 24, 2018

Many gifts from all of the world. Happy to meet people in Ojika island Nagasaki Japan

Post from Italy

When I started opened our INN call Goen

I met many people who from all of the world

Specially Japanese culture

When you meet people who know or meet first time or friends maybe family too

We said

This is my small present to you.

This is a small but my heartful present to you.

Japanese culture

Bring some gifts (omiyage) such as food, drinks or flowers when you visit someone. It is pretty rude to visit without omiyage.

The price of gift is quite sensitive in Japan. Receiving valuable gifts need and equal or half price of the gift in return. consider well when you are giving expensive gifts.

Many people who will stay our INN, they brought us happy gift for us

Summer time many sweets from customers, our staff members happy to try it a lot of kind Japanese sweets

Many people who came from all of the world, they presented us and sometimes sent us gift from their country

We so happy when we received their gift

Great to start my business

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Life of island is a way to be free!

Merry Christmas from Ojika island

Beautiful sunny day!

Last year of Heisei is year of Japan.

The Emperor wants to abdicate the throne before he dies!

Time to come

New emperor of Japan will start his duty!

Nothing change our life

It is nor that life of ashore is distansteful to me.

But life at sea is better

Life of island is a way to be free!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Merry Christmas from Ojika island! Holy night and raining day

Merry Christmas from Ojika island Nagasaki in Japan

It's raining outside

I felt winter of island life now

We did  Christmas decoration prepared  a few weeks ago

One of the driving spot in Ojika island!

Every year I will try more decoration for Christmas and Ojika people will enjoy day of holy night.

Life is like an ocean. It can be calm and still or rough and rigid.

but is the end it's always beautiful.

I will spend christmas with my family

Enjoy island life

Friday, December 21, 2018

Ojika island sea is one of the most beautiful and magnificent sights in Nature in Japan, all admit.

My dream come true when I came to Ojika island
What is my dream, meet a lot of people who from all of the world


I have more dream

I want to have more freedom when I succeed my business.

You must not lost faith in humanity. 

Humanity is an ocean, if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

We will have beautiful ocean near by 

I can do whatever I want to try it

Monday, December 17, 2018

Beautiful sunset in Ojika island Nagasaki Japan

It's winter season had started it

This time of winter was a bit late, and warm


From last week it's getting so cold in Ojika island

Time to watch sunset

The sky is very clear because of cold weather make it

The best sunset you will see in Ojika island

Why not come to visit us

This is my INN call Goen

Any question free to ask

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Haiku About Adventures in Ojika, Nagasaki


はやくパン (Early Bread)
ふたり友だち (Two Friends)
さようなら (Farewell)

子どもいる (Children Are Here)
あそびとわらい (Playing and Laughing)
ねこのじかん (Cat Time)

せいじゃくな (Tranquil)
ひろいいなかの (Vast Countryside)
からのバス (Empty Bus / From The Bus)

スべンさん (Sven-san)
にじやか祭り (Busy Festival)
ポテトとケエキ (Potatoes and Cake)

ごごじてんしや (Afternoon Bicycling)
おはしをわたる (Cross the Bridge)
しゃしんをとる (Take a Picture)

くろいそら(Dark Sky)
はやくのさんぽ (Early Walk)
上の鳥 (Birds Above)

Monday, December 10, 2018

Island Pottery Class Featuring Ojika's Red Clay

Yesterday I went on a pottery adventure on Ojika island, featuring clay made from the red soil found here. The pottery class was held in a studio that is inside of the old church on the island, up a hill near the school. After walking up a hill, we were introduced to our two talented teachers, and then went to work.

At first, I struggled a bit to knead my clay and work out all the air bubbles. However, our teachers were patient with me and showed me exactly how to make the perfect starting shape for my lump of clay.

We used a non-powered pottery wheel to create our masterpieces - the tecnique involved creating a hole in the middle of a ball of clay that has been squished securely onto the wheel, and then pinching all the way around, slowly moving up and up, until your small ball of clay transforms into the shape of your choice.

I decided to make two mugs, and a bowl. Before I came to Japan, my boyfriend Conor and I would drink coffee everyday! So, now we'll have matching cups that I chose to have painted simply in solid black and white.

I also created a bowl, which is the perfect size and shape for a breakfast of oatmeal to eat alongside the coffee. It will be painted in a beautiful mixture of white and blue that will be mixed together to create a cloudy appearance like the sky.

Of course, this is easier said than done. My first cup ended up not surviving, and I had to smash the clay back together and start over! However, I then got the hang of it. I was surprised to find that after I got into the rhythm of it, my pieces improved each time. My final mug was definitely the most beautiful item I made, and I was very proud I managed to figure it out.

We will now wait to hear back from the local pottery studio, and since I'll be receiving my items in the mail at a later date, it'll surely be a wonderful surprise and memory - it'll be lovely to remember my time here on Ojika on cozy mornings, sipping coffee on the other side of the world from this small island in Japan.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Adventurous Hiking Day on Uninhabited Nozaki Island

On my third adventure to Nozaki Island, my day was very different than my previous excursions as a cleaning vounteer, and to watch a beautiful concert in a church. Instead, I ventured there with my friend Sven for a day of chilly wintery wandering. We didn't have a tour group, or guide, we just spent the day exploring the island without another soul in sight.

We started our day on a backwards route from the previous times I explored here, ending up on a vast landscape that resembled an African savannah. We walked to a graveyard right alongside the coastline that featured scattered ceramic items which had mostly shattered, but a few whole bowls, and teacups were visible as well.

The water on this cold day looked black, with the waves in the vast ocean whipping wind towards us.  On Nozaki island, due to the hilly landscape, the horizon is halfway up in your field of vision creating a stunning view that is mostly taken up by the water. The energy of the place had shifted with the weather, with the lack of any other tourists, dark water and numb fingers, creating a mysterious ambiance.

After we explored a few abandoned buildings and spotted some deer, we decided to climb the mountain on Nozaki island. This hike is well marked and easily climbable on one side of the mountain, with only a few areas of rocky scrambling - although the way down is quite a lot more treacherous. However, we managed to make it down the other side without much of a struggle, and we were greeted with a stunning panorama of a the ocean framed by green trees and an open sky.

We then took a walk near the ocean, with an idyllic beach that looked perfect for a swim if it wasn't only 7 degrees outside, our fingers numb and noses red from the wind. The water is a periwinkle blue that peeks through the trees and it's perfectly clear, allowing a shimmering look at the rocks and sand below.

We arrived at Nokubi church at around noon, and spent some time sitting in amongst the pews away from the wind. After exploring the inside of the building, we enjoyed our bento box lunches near the steps.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Comforting and Delicious Ojika Island Experience at Shimayado Goen Inn

Shimayado Goen Inn is located right on the edge of Ojika island, which is why the name of the guesthouse is "Goen," the Japanese word for "Edge." The inn was opened in 2015 by Taiyo Iwanaga and his family, whose roots here on Ojika go back for generations.

The inn features a traditional-style ryokan complete with tatami mats, as well as a guest capsule. The traditional ryokan offers single rooms with a bathroom for for 6,000 yen (12,000 for two people). The inn also serves breakfast and dinner, however, and the 7,800 yen room price including these two meals is greatly recommended!

The capsule is perfect for budget travelers, with a capsule bunk bed available for only 3,300 yen per night. The capsule includes bathrooms, showers, a microwave, and a refrigerator, and is a wonderful base for adventuring around the island.

Breakfast will often feature a fish that has been freshly picked out of the ocean by Taiyo's father Chikara-san, who wakes up at 4:00 AM every morning to head out with his boat to bring in the daily fish for the guests at the hotel. The roasted fish is served alongside tamago-yaki, a tasty Japanese-style rolled omelette with a bit of added sweetness.

Dinner varies each day, featuring Japanese delicacies such as nabe (stew), kara-age (fried chicken), and lots of incredibly fresh sashimi that was caught only a short distance from the shore! Drinks are also available for purchase as well, to compliment your meal.

The inn provides unlimited steaming rice, tea, and lots of coffee to fuel your morning. You can spend the morning relaxing by the large window with a colorful hammock swinging outside on the deck that overlooks the gorgeous oceanside.

When the weather is warm, the hammock is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon resting or reading. If you spend time outside the guesthouse, you'll probably meet a few of the cats that also call it home, who are very friendly and always eager to receive a few pats and strokes.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Eating Nagaski Delicacy, Champon, in Ojika

Champon is a mixed noodle dish that is famous in Nagasaki, Japan. I was introduced to it by my friend Megumi who is a local to Tokyo but absolutely loves Champon! It can be eaten in two ways, one way with soup and egg-style noodles and one with fried noodles and a tasty sauce. I was excited to try it out on an afternoon after work on the island, very hungry and ready for some food.

We went to a local restaurant in Ojika, a small island in Nagasaki, called Furusato to try it out.
We left on bicycles and zoomed down the hill, past the harbour, to the main road. We were told by a wise local that Furusato was an excellent place to eat Champon, so we were determined to find this spot.

After exploring a bit we realised we didn't know where the restaurant was exactly. Megumi stopped an old woman who was walking down an alleyway, and asked her for some directions. She was provided with a wealth of quickly spoken directions in Japanese, that kept coming and coming.

We both smiled at eachother and thanked the woman repeatedly, assuring her that what she has told us already would help us get there, before saying goodbye. As we left, she grabbed my hand and wished me well and we exchanged pleasantries.

Then, we found the bright red sign of Furusato, down a winding alleyway close to the Community Center on the main street. Considering the general ambiance on Ojika island is very quiet, with an occasional passerby that will always greet you with a smile, I was surprised to see that the restaurant was absolutely packed with people on the afternoon we chose to venture out from our guesthouse.

I had the soup style Champon and Megumi had the fried noodle salad style. There's something so comforting about coming in from the chilly November wind into a room filled with friendly chatter, the smell of tasty food, and a warm bowl of noodle soup coming your way.

The portion sizes at Furusato are generous and warming, with my Champon consisting of a mixture of meat, cabbage, flavorful broth, and egg noodles.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A December Ocean Swim in Ojika, Nagasaki

In summertime, Ojika island is a paradise of beaches available for swimming with gorgeous views, but swimming is not a very popular activity in winter for obvious reasons. However, yesterday I headed off to the beach and took a dip in amongst the waves regardless.

Despite the fact that the temperature is about to drop below 9 degrees in the next few days, we were given a randomly warm day out of nowhere. In the early morning air when I headed out on my daily walk, I had noticed that I almost felt like I didn't even need a jacket. So, after the work at the Shimayado Goen Inn was completed and our lunch was eaten, we headed off to the coast. In the time between eating lunch and heading off, the sunny sky had turned a bit dark, despite the air still feeling quite warm and spring-like.

Sven (another visitor from Germany) and I took a walk over two bridges to a section of rocky coastline near Kuroshima, a small connected island which is included in the city of Ojika. I tried to avoid wearing my Birkenstock sandals into the ocean because they're not made out of optimal materials to wear in sea water, however after venturing outward I quickly realized that I found it incredibly difficult to walk along the rocks without stabbing my feet (only a problem if you decide to swim in a strange spot, like we did).

So, I walked awkwardly and stumbling, avoiding spikes and dangerous crustaceans who had made the rocks rough and sharp. Not yet used to the water's temperature, I avoided falling all the way in, allowing the water to inch higher and higher up my legs, until I finally made it to where the rocks disappeared beneath the surface.

I took my glasses off and held them above my head, then dunked myself under. As I emerged again, I absorbed the view,  and floated along by lifting my legs off the ground. My skin slowly got used to the water temperature and it definitely didn't feel like I was swimming in December!

We splashed around in the waves, the sky a vaguely grey shade of blue with a few darker clouds, and the wind blowing my hair into my eyes. I saw a few cars pass by on the road beside the coastline, and imagined the occupants chuckling and thinking we are insane for dipping in the ocean in December, and the thought made me smile.

In the shallows, we snapped a few photos. Sven was using a twenty-five year old film camera which added a bit of eager anticipation, since we now get to wait to see how the images turn out and have a hopefully have a few excellent shots that remind us of a fun memory.

Walking back to the share-house, wet hair, the wind chilly against damp skin, we felt that beautiful sense of awareness and awake-ness that is unique to the moments after you swim out in nature. I find that no matter how cold the water is, no matter how much I second-guess it beforehand, I never regret getting in.

Jumping out of my comfort zone always provides the most wonderful moments to look back on.

A Magical Matsuri Experience on Ojika Island

If it wasn't enough of a beautiful adventure to emerge off a ferry at 4:30 AM, on a tiny Japanese island called Ojika (a member o...