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2021 November Trip to Big Island   1 comment

November 2021 Big Island

         My nephew Kazu Hernandez reserved Kilauea Military Camp for 7 of us: Claudine & Chloe, Cliff & I and Kazu’s 2 younger daughters, Ailah & Aulia for Veteran’s Day weekend. 

         We left on the morning flight to Hilo and headed directly to Ken’s Pancake House for breakfast. We did some shopping in Hilo at 2 Ladies Kitchen for mochi and Sig Zane for some designer clothing. We shopped for our provisions at KTA and met cousin Elvis Kimura, who works there. We drove to Pahoa town and I was amazed at all the changes there. We drove to Volcano National Park and checked in at KMC. We found out that our 4-bedroom cottage had no kitchen, so we couldn’t cook spaghetti, ramen and other planned meals. We ate dinner at the bowling alley. 

         That evening we drove a short way to a parking lot at Devastation Trail and walked a mile on a paved road and a short way on a dirt path to the lookout area. We had an amazing view of the eruption from the lookout point. The moon and stars were shining and the red/orange lava was spewing. We got there around 9:30 pm and there were several people at the lookout, but we had no trouble getting a good view and taking photos there. Cliff was especially enjoying photographing his first in-person view of an eruption. 

         The next day was Friday and we decided to drive around the south point of the island to Kona. Our first stop was at Punaluu beach where we saw one sea turtle in the shallows. We stopped at the famous Punaluu Bakery and bought all kinds of goodies there to snack on. Onward to Captain Cook, Kona where we had lunch at the Manago Hotel, famous for their pork chops. Right next door we shopped at Kona Chips. We visited my cousins Brian and Winifred Kimura at H Kimura fabric shop in Kainaliu. Also visited cousin Rene at the Y Kimura lauhala shop in Holualoa. I have tons of Kimura cousins in Kona, which is where my Dad was born and raised. We drove to Hapuna beach to enjoy the Kona sunset, and we weren’t disappointed! We drove to Kamuela for dinner and found delicious Chinese food at Jade Palace. We drove back to KMC via the Saddle Road or Daniel K Inouye highway. That night we all went to sleep except for Cliff, who went by himself at midnight for another photo shoot of the eruption. 

         Saturday was a rainy day, so everyone stayed in to rest while Cliff and I drove to Hilo to purchase mochi from 2 Ladies Kitchen (Closed on Sundays) to take home on Sunday. I stood in a long line and waited a total of an hour before I got my orders of mochi. While we were gone, Kazu found a grill to make burgers for lunch. That evening, he made steaks on the grill. After dinner, we played games like charades and jun ken po. 

         Sunday we packed up, checked out and filled gas. Then we drove to Kalapana to visit my friends David Jones and Robert LaMont who have a lovely vacation home there. We drove to Hilo, shopped at Big Island Candies and returned our rental car and flew back to Honolulu. We had a most enjoyable and fun time together on the Big Island! 

Posted December 23, 2021 by lariyasui in family, Pacific, USA

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2021 Trip to New York City and Kansas City   1 comment

October 2021 NY & KC

Cliff wanted to see an exhibit by Yayoi Kusama in NY Botanical Garden. It was on for several months and ended in October. But circumstances with his rental units, prevented him from traveling in September and October. He encouraged me to go by myself, so I could visit my daughter in NYC. I decided to visit Marcus Dowty and Linda Burgher in Kansas City on my way home from New York.
It was my first time traveling alone on standby. Cliff chose flights for me that had ample open seats, so I didn’t have any problems getting on the flights. My first flight was a 10-hr non-stop to Newark. Luckily, I had a whole row to myself near the back of the plane, so I could sleep.
On Friday evening, Erik and Yvette left for a romantic weekend getaway in the Catskills. I took the 2 kids on an East Village Crawl. We ate small bites at 4 different restaurants, including Moroccan & Japanese.
On Saturday, I taught them how to sew by hand with a needle and thread. They sewed their journals to bind them and wrote in their journals. After lunch Noakai had to leave for a track meet and Marlowe and I had the whole afternoon to ourselves. She showed me how to make bracelets with colorful rubber bands. We got dressed and took a Lyft car to the theater to see Lion King. That evening after Noakai returned from his track meet, we ordered take-out for dinner and watched Avatar for movie night.
The family Sunday morning routine is to take the PATH train to NJ across the Hudson River and have a wonderful Indian brunch at Sapthagiri. That afternoon, Noakai had to study and I took Marlowe to a Halloween party sponsored by their building. Later, Erik and Yvette came home & we had pizza rolls for dinner.
Monday, Erik went to work & both kids went to school. Yvette and I had time to pamper ourselves by going to Chinatown for massages followed by lunch. My last day in NY, Yvette & I met her friends Anisha & Tara for tea next door at the Winter Garden.
Wednesday morning I took the PATH to Newark and a Lyft to the airport to catch my flight to Kansas City to visit my friends, Marcus & Linda. It was rainy in Kansas City. The next day, they took me to the Johnson County Museum. That evening Linda and I had dinner with my other KC friends, Anna & Lynn.
Friday was still rainy, so we went to 2 art museums. I loved both the Kemper & the Nelson Atkins museums. I learned the history of the N-A: Mary Atkins donated money to build an art museum and William Nelson donated money to purchase art from all over the world. The result is that N-A Museum has one of the most extensive Asian art in the country. That evening, after we enjoyed famous KC BBQ dinner at home, Marcus & Linda took me to the lovely KC Concert Hall for an amazing Symphony Concert featuring a gifted young violinist.
The sun finally came out on my last day there and we drove to some lovely parks in the neighborhood: Parkville, Kaw Point & Wyandotte Co Lake. We hunted fall colors & found a few trees here and there, but they said in a week, everything will be in full color, so I missed the full glory of fall colors by a week.
I am so fortunate to travel on standby thanks to Cliff’s generosity.



Posted December 22, 2021 by lariyasui in family, USA

2021 Summer Trip to LA-Den   Leave a comment

August 2021 Trip to LA & Denver

         Cliff and I went on our first trip together on standby. He worked for United Airlines for 43 years starting part-time during college and retired in 2015. His last job was in Operations. Before we fly, he checks which flights have many open seats for us to have a better chance of getting on. All his adult life, he has flown standby and before covid, he traveled about 17 times a year, sometimes going to Japan twice a month. This was my first time flying standby, so I learned not to expect anything but to make it on the flights we chose. 

         Due to the pandemic, my daughter Yvette and her family, who live in NYC, had not traveled for almost 2 years. They decided to visit her hubby Erik’s parents in Manhattan Beach in LA for a few weeks in August. I asked Cliff if we could visit her while they were in LA. He agreed and we made plans to go. We rented a car from Turo and found a motel in Manhattan Beach. We also made plans to fly from LA to Denver to visit my sister Christine in Boulder. 

         We took a red-eye flight to LA and our friend, Elbert picked us up with his fancy Tesla and took us to breakfast in El Segundo. He dropped us off at the Aronesty’s home in Manhattan Beach and we got to see Yvette, Erik, Noakai & Marlowe along with Joe & Diane Aronesty, Erik’s parents. That night our whole gang went to FishBar for dinner.

         The next day, Cliff drove me around LA to show me his old stomping grounds of when he lived in LA from the mid-seventies to mid-eighties. We drove to his friend Beverly McAllister’s home for Mexican lunch in her back yard. She is a wonderful gardener and a baker of cookies. She sent some cookies home with us. We had pizza & kale salad for take-out dinner at the Aronesty’s. The next day we all went to breakfast at Two Guns, where we sat outside to eat. We took the kids to Seaside Lagoon at Redondo Beach where they swam. We walked to the Manhattan Beach pier and checked out the small aquarium at the end of the pier. For dinner, Cliff and I took Noakai to Sushi Bei, which was Cliff’s hangout when he lived in LA. 

         Erik took us to the airport & we flew to Denver and took a bus from DIA to Boulder and Chris picked us up at the bus terminal. Chris cooked dinner for us and Desmonne, Brian & Coen joined us. 

         Chris drove us to Westminster Denver to take Shirley Stokoe for lunch at Cava where we enjoyed Mediterranean bowls. Back in Boulder, we shopped at Trader Joe’s. We met Tom & Tyke Wortman, who drove in from Ft Collins for dinner at Chez Thuy. After dinner, Chris drove us up to Flagstaff for the view of Boulder from the mountain.

         The next day, Chris drove us to Red Rock. We hung out at the amphitheater and had lunch at Golden Diner. Back at home, we walked down to Boulder Creek from their house and watched all the picnickers and swimmers floating downriver. That evening, Chris cooked a delicious dinner and Desmonne, Brian & Coen joined us before we left the next morning.

         On our non-stop flight back home to Honolulu, we were lucky to be upgraded to Polaris first class seats! Yay! It was a wonderful trip and I was glad that Cliff got to meet my mainland families and they all got to meet him.

Posted December 22, 2021 by lariyasui in Uncategorized

Christmas Newsletter 2021   22 comments

2021 Holiday Greetings from Lari & Cliff

         Hopefully we are slowly coming out of pandemic mode, so we can return to traveling, sporting events, concerts and partying with family & friends.  

         My daughter’s family: Yvette, Erik, Noakai & Marlowe returned home to Battery Park City in early September after spending almost 2 years in Margate City, NJ during the pandemic. Marlowe is in second grade at Battery Park City public school and Noakai is a senior at Stuyvesant High School nearby. 

         My son’s family: Ryan is an instructor at Shipfitter Shop 11, Pearl Harbor Shipyard. Kara teaches kindergarten at Holomua in Ewa Beach. Jensen is a Junior at UH West Oahu. Madisen is a senior & varsity cheerleader at Moanalua HS. Allysen is a 6th grader at Salt Lake Elementary and is in club Cheer. 

         My brother Bruce Kimura and I used to go dancing before covid and now we occasionally have dinner together. He loves to sing karaoke. He is retired but still does small jobs for friends and family. He helps me around my condo whenever I need odd jobs done. We are each other’s airport shuttle. His baby is Sweetie, a lovable Yorkie.

         My sister Christine lives in Boulder, CO with her hubby Phil Shull. Her daughter Desmonne lives nearby with her hubby Brian Bennett and their son Coen, who is now 5 years old and in kindergarten. They usually come to Hawaii in February, during their winter to warm up at our beaches. 

         My nephew Kazu Hernandez, who is a doctor at Schofield, reserved KMC (Kilauea Military Camp) for the Veteran’s Day weekend for Cliff & I, my niece Claudine with her daughter Chloe, and his two younger daughters, Ailah and Aulia. We took a day trip around the island to Punaluu, Kona, Hapuna beach and Kamuela. We also visited Pahoa, Kalapana and Hilo. During the summers we go tent camping at various beach campgrounds around Oahu with Claudine and Kazu & their kids, along with Madi &Ally. Last year, we camped at Malaekahana and this summer we camped at Bellows.

         Grandma Lari’s Camps: Three times a year, I invite 7 kids to sleep in my condo for 5 days-during spring break, summer break and winter break, starting in 2020 & continuing in 2021. They love to come to play, swim, and have fun together. I taught them how to sew in March of 2020, and now they come with sewing projects of their own. Most of them already know how to cook breakfast and dinner, so they can prepare meals while they are here. They love to bake cookies, swim in my condo pool, take bus rides around town, play in Makiki District Park nearby, play board games, create skits & plays, play scavenger hunt, card games and more. We usually have a movie night with popcorn and Grandma chooses the movie. They love Uncle Cliff’s Instant Pot spaghetti, so they request it each time they come. 

         This year for Thanksgiving lunch, I ordered a delicious meal from LCC (Leeward Community College) culinary school. Cliff’s family came to enjoy Thanksgiving with us at his home in Kapahulu. Cliff’s son Jordan with Easton (5), daughter Dayna with her hubby Cayce and sister Liane with hubby Paul came for turkey lunch. (sorry, but I forgot to take a photo of Cliff’s family) We ate another turkey dinner at Ryan & Kara’s home in Salt Lake with Kara’s sister, Kandyce and her family.

         On Fridays & Sundays I go to Tsutomu Nakao’s Dragon Beat Taiko classes at Jodo Mission. His classes are so much fun! Saturday mornings I go to the Kakaako Farmers Market on Ward and Ala Moana Blvd. Later in the morning I walk with neighbors to Sandra’s condo’s heated pool at the top of Wilder Ave, where we swim & do water exercise-sometimes we do more chatting then exercising! 

         Cliff Kimura and I met on Match.com in September 2020 and celebrated our One Year Anniversary this September. Yanagi Sushi was Cliff’s hangout late at night while he was working swing shift at United Airlines Operations office. He was a late night regular there for years and now we go there every Saturday night. In May his St Louis class of ’71 celebrated their 50th Class Reunion. We go to art museums, galleries, to the beach, dinners, enjoy wine (beer & sake too), watch movies & enjoy sunsets. Cliff enjoys his photography hobby and goes out often for various photo shoots throughout the year, which include Astro Photography, surfers, Raptor planes, sunsets, sports and more. When he is not taking photos, he is editing them on his computer and sharing them on Flickr and on his WordPress blog.

We traveled standby on United Airlines together for the first time in August. We went to LA for 3 days & flew to Denver for 3 days. In October, he couldn’t travel, so I went by myself on standby to New York to visit Yvette and her family for a week. On the way home, I visited Marcus and Linda in Kansas City, MO for a few days. We can’t wait to travel to Japan & hope to enjoy many future trips together. 

May the holidays and the New Year bring you much peace, health & happiness.

                              Love and aloha,

                                Lari & Cliff

Posted December 15, 2021 by lariyasui in Christmas, Christmas news

Cousins Video   3 comments

Grandma Lari made this video with love for all her grandkids:

Fun, fun, fun!!!

Posted February 5, 2021 by lariyasui in family

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Christmas Newsletter 2020   1 comment

2020 Holiday Greetings from Lari


Who knew? That we would be stuck at home for months? We are living in unprecedented times and will never go back to the old “normal”. Hopefully, the “new normal” will be much better. I love how Mother Earth has been rejuvenated since we all stayed home… we need to keep caring for Her with less abuse. Traffic has been so easy. We have many blessings during this pandemic.


Who knew? That I would cancel 4 trips: to Australia with Madi in March during spring break, to Myanmar to visit friends in April, to Fukuoka with 3 girlfriends in May and to Switzerland with 3 Pohakea teacher friends in June. Side benefit: saving money!


Who knew? That I would find a new romance in this pandemic? Cliff Kimura and I met on Match in September and are in a happy and loving relationship. We both enjoy travel, wine, jazz, photography and more. In fact, he is an avid photographer with a big camera and belongs to 3 photo clubs. We go on photo expeditions to Kewalos, Sandy Beach, Diamond Head, Pipeline and more for surfing & sunset photos. He gets some nice sunset photos from my lanai. Because we are not traveling, we are spending most of our days and nights together, meeting each other’s families/friends and watching Netflix and Prime Video. His son Jordan has a daughter Easton and his daughter Dayna is married to Cayce.


Who knew? That my new boyfriend would cook for me? And because Cliff retired from United Airlines, that he would share his flying privileges with me? We can’t wait to travel together! We walk to Kaimana beach from his home in Kapahulu, so we get our exercise and enjoy the ocean getting some vitamin sea.
I invited 7 grandkids to sleep over for 5 days for Grandma Lari’s Spring camp during spring break in March. The “Bigs” are 3 high school girls, the 3 “Littles” are girls in elementary school and 1 boy in middle school. We had many fun activities: daily play in my condo pool, playing in Makiki District park across the street, board games & movie nights in the evenings. I taught them to sew their own pillowcases on my sewing machine. They wrote in their journals each evening.


In July, I had them over again for Grandma Lari’s Summer Camp for 5 days in July. More fun activities and this time, they each sewed their own masks. They loved it so much, they requested a Winter Camp in December. End of July, Kazu & Claudine invited me to a camping trip at Malaekahana for the weekend. The 7 kids spent all day in the ocean, we ate delicious food cooked by Kazu and Claudine, crab hunts at night and slept in tents.

I miss my daughter Yvette’s family in New York/New Jersey. They are fine and doing well there. Noakai is a Junior in NY and Marlowe is a 1st grader.


Both Cliff’s family and my family are safe and healthy. We are thankful for our many blessings. Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with love!
Love and aloha,

Lari

Slide show has many photos including many friends, families, visitors and activities during the past year.

Posted December 14, 2020 by lariyasui in Christmas news, family, Uncategorized

Christmas 2019 in Colorado   3 comments

In 1992, our Kimura family had a reunion in Mt Hood for Christmas. The cousins remembered how much they enjoyed being together there and wanted their children to have that bonding experience, so we planned a family reunion for Christmas in Colorado. I found a huge house called Homestead House in Dillon-Keystone area that sleeps all 24 of us (13 adults & 11 kids) with 8 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. We planned this trip well in advance. We set up a Christmas Eve sleigh ride, set menus for shopping and cooking, prepared for skiing, planned for events before and after the Christmas week, and more. Then unexpectedly, Kara’s mom died the day after Thanksgiving, so Ryan’s whole family had to cancel their plans to attend. Now instead of 24, our group was down to 19 people. We had to carry on without them. 

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Claudine and Yvette’s families and Lari stayed in Boulder before and after Homestead House. Kazu’s family and Bruce came just for the Christmas week at Homestead. Those of us who were in Boulder went to the Denver Zoo lights and the Planetarium show at CU campus. On Monday, Dec. 23, everyone drove up to Homestead after some of us did grocery shopping at Costco and Trader Joes. We settled in and bought pizza for dinner.

The house had foosball, pool table and all kinds of games, a fireplace and a kitchen with 2 dishwashers, 2 sinks, an island, and tons of dishes, pots and pans. They had parking for 6 cars and a hot tub outside as well as sleds for the kids to play in the snow.

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Phil just got a hip replacement, and he couldn’t ski so he worked on his puzzle.

On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, the skiers went to Keystone while us non-skiers did more shopping. Since our Christmas Eve sleigh ride included dinner, we didn’t have to cook. All 19 of us rode in a sleigh pulled by 2 mules. During dinner they provided entertainment for our listening pleasure. We sang Christmas carols on our sleigh ride back. It was a fun experience for all.

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Kazu and his girls along with Brian, Coen and Desmonne waiting for the sleigh ride

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7 kids at sleigh ride dinner

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On Wednesday, the skiers drove to Vail while the rest of us prepared Christmas dinner. We had shrimp scampi, prime rib and all kinds of sides. After dinner, the 8 kids were divided into 2 teams for a Gingerbread House competition. Both houses were fabulous, so the judges declared a tie.

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Prime Rib for dinner!

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Claudine always cleaned up!

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On Thursday, the skiers were tired, so we decided to go to Keystone Lake for ice skating. The kids had a blast! For dinner on Thursday, we had Mexican with all the fixings for make your own tacos. 

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Skating cousins: Azlyn, Chloe, Aulia, Ailah & Marlowe

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Skating cousins, Kazu, Claudine & Yvette

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Friday was the last day for skiing… we prepared curry stew for dinner. Kazu’s cousins (on his Dad’s side) who live in Denver joined us with their kids. The 13 kids got to play games like scavenger hunt, card games and fun minute-to-win-it games. 

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While the kids were running around the house playing scavenger hunt, these adults played their own game.

Saturday, we cleaned up, and left the house to go tubing on Copper Mountain. We had a blast! Some of them made a train of 10 tubes sliding down the hill. Then off to the airport for Kazu and to Boulder for the rest of us.

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Our last day at Homestead house.

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8 kids

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Whole group before leaving Homestead House… only Phil & Bruce are missing.

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3-person train at Copper Mountain tubing

Back in Boulder, 3 families did some activities: Yoshiki, Aronesty & Bennett families tried going to the Wild Animal Sanctuary, but it was closed due to high winds. So for plan B we went to Urban Air Adventure, where the kids from 3 to 15 could enjoy indoor rock climbing, zip lining, trampoline, and much more. That evening we went to a Denver Nuggets NBA game at Pepsi Center. The next day, we did a tour of University of Colorado Campus, Yvette’s alma mater. It was very impressive. On New Year’s eve, we had dinner at Christine’s house and on New Year’s Day, the Aronesty’s and Yoshiki’s went home. Lari stayed a few more days and visited friends in Fort Collins and Denver.

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Rocky the Denver Nuggets mascot

Posted February 13, 2020 by lariyasui in Christmas, family

Christmas Newsletter 2019   1 comment

2019 Holiday Greetings from Lari

Greetings to all from this “Townie” It has been a wonderful and exciting year for me, adjusting to life in Honolulu after living in Pearl City for over 50 years. Although I miss my Pearl City friends and neighbors, my life is so exciting with so many opportunities for fun right here in town. I am close to my doctors, my hair salon, my karaoke gang, theater shows, concerts, seminars, foodie events, birthday parties and much more.

As for my travels, this year, I did seven domestic trips and two trips to Japan. In January, I flew into Long Beach airport, a new venue for Hawaiian Air, to visit friends and family in LA and Orange County. In March to Seattle to visit friends and family. In April, Shari Tamashiro and I met in New York and did fun things there-mostly eating! and I also spent time with Yvette and her family and took a bus to MD to visit Shiomichi family to meet 2 new babies and Sharmaine and her family.                      May was a short trip to Kona with Roger’s ’58 Waipahu HS classmates, hosted by Buddy Barcelo at his home in Kona Palisades.

In June, I flew to Denver to visit my sister Christine and we both took a trip to Omaha to visit Kaitlin and her family. In July, Valerie Wabinga, Linda Burgher and Marcus Dowty went on a trip with me to Hokkaido. September was a Pahoa HS reunion in Vegas with my brother, Bruce. In October, I did a spiritual journey with 6 friends to Osaka, Koyasan, Kumano and Tenkawa. I learned about the Shingon Buddhist sect headquartered in Koyasan, a very spiritual place. After the week-long spiritual tour, Gloria Uyehara and I spent a week in small onsen villages, Kyoto and Kobe. We were lucky not to be affected by Typhoon Hagibis, which devastated other areas north of us.

For more in-depth information/photos of trips taken, please keep scrolling down to past trips for this year and many more previous trips.

This year, we are looking forward to having a white Christmas in Dillon Keystone area of Colorado. 24 family members (5 cousins with 11 grandchildren ranging in ages from 18 to 3 years old) will be housed in a huge lodge with 8 bedrooms, 5 baths, jacuzzi, pool table, and more. We will go on a sleigh ride on Christmas Eve, and skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.

I am so blessed with good friends and family whom I love, and they love me. My mission in life is to nurture those relationships as much as I can by spending quality time with the people in my life who mean so much to me. My life is full, and I am very thankful for my wonderful life and good health to enjoy it.
Love and aloha,
Lari

Opening day of Hawaii State Legislature with Wanda & Roy Takumi on the House floor

Shari Tamashiro is Uchinanchu of the Year for our Itoman Club

Wearing my traditional Korean dress at Halekulani banquet

Chinese New Year’s party

With Kathy & Derrick at Growlers USA

Ryan puts flowers for his grandparents

Oscars party sponsored by HIFF-Hawaii International Film Festival

Part of Guy Sibilla’s book club: David Jones, Marie Milks, and Judy Segawa w/Guy at my condo

We joined Kim Click at the Intrepid Museum in NYC

Shari gave me an edible birthday bouquet!l

Kiera gave me an edible bouquet for my birthday too!

Jensen graduates

Pohakea teacher luncheon

At Wahine Volleyball game

Pahoa HS reunion in Vegas

We enjoyed the food and beer in Victoria Ward

Wine event at Hawaii Convention Center rooftop

Moanalua HS cheerleaders win!

Posted November 30, 2019 by lariyasui in Christmas, Christmas news, family

October 2019 Trip to Koyasan & More   Leave a comment

I belong to a group of ladies who learn spiritual practices from Makiko, who comes to Hawaii from Tokyo yearly to teach us. Last year, we decided to go on a journey to Koyasan in Japan with Makiko, who offered to share some highly spiritual places in that area, which is southeast of Osaka. 6 of us from Hawaii met Makiko in Osaka and embarked on our journey to Koyasan, Tenkawa and Kumano in Nara-prefecture and Wakayama-prefecture on the Kii Peninsula of Japan. Linda Uehara, Mary Ann Kobayashi, Cynthia Chi-Coi, Laurie Ide, Gloria Uyehara & me w/Makiko took a train from Osaka to Koyasan, where we stayed at Fukuchiin, a temple ryokan. We slept on futons on the tatami floor and ate vegetarian (monk) food. We experienced going to an early morning (6 am) Buddhist monk service, and observed the sunrise in the zen garden immediately after. Koyasan is the center of Shingon Buddhism founded by Kobo Daishi aka Kukai. We participated in the annual Keshien Kanko ceremony which was very special. We walked through Okunoin, the largest cemetery in Japan with over 200,000 graves, some very ancient & covered with moss.

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All aboard! ready for our train to Koyasan!

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Makiko as we left our lunch restaurant in a drizzly rain. Isn’t she the cutest!

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Laurie, Linda, Gloria & Mary Ann. Notice there are no tables, our monk food was way down low on those trays!

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Right after our 6 am monk prayer ceremony, we turned around and saw the sunrise at the zen garden.

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7 spiritual sisters enjoying the quiet morning

When we left Koyasan, Makiko hired a driver-guide, Kenji, who also studies spiritual practices and who knew of special spiritual locations which were new to Makiko. Kenji shared with us several spiritual places in the area of Koyasan, Tenkawa and Kumano. He drove us to Tenkawa & Kumano where we visited temples, shrines and more and stayed in ryokans. The reason why this is Japan’s spiritual heartland, a sacred place where the gods of Shintoism and Buddhism reside, is because the Kii Peninsula sits on a huge rock very deep (6,000 miles) beneath our earth, creating a strong magnetic field and thus a strong energy field. The mountains in the Kii peninsula are covered in dense forests with 3 pilgrimage routes from one mountain to another.

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This was a special zero energy spot, where 2 families who fought for 60 years, made peace at this spot. Zero because downward and upward energy balanced.

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This is a big shrine that represents the Father of Japan.

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Nachi Waterfall Shrine represents the Mother of Japan. In back row see Kenji-San our tour guide/driver extraordinaire.

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After our last ryokan in Kumano, the rest of the group took the train back to Osaka, but Gloria and I embarked on our own journey along the shoreline of Kii Peninsula. First, we stopped in Kushimoto, a small village at the very southern tip of the Kii Peninsula. There, I lost my iPhone but recovered it at the police station where it was turned in, with the help of the station master, Mr. Miwa. The next day, we took the train to another small seaside village, Shirahama. At our small, old-fashioned ryokan, no one could speak English. But we managed to get around the village by bus, to see all the amazing sites there.

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We are ready for our bath at our Kushimoto hotel onsen in our yukata.

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Mr. Miwa, Kushimoto train master, helped me get my lost iPhone back at the police station! What a special man he is!

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Spectacular Sandanbeki Rock Cliffs, Shirahama.

Then we took a longer train ride back to Osaka, and changed trains to Kyoto, where we stayed for 4 nights in a ryokan with hot springs right near the train station! Typhoon Hagibis was scheduled to hit Japan while we were in Kyoto, but luckily, it did not affect us there. We stayed in Kobe our last 2 nights, visiting the Earthquake Museum and Chinatown, as well as the shopping arcades… so many of them, seemingly unending!

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In Kyoto

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1000 torii at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.

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Menbakaichidai, Fire Ramen in Kyoto!

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Sorakuen Garden in Kobe.

Lari’s Top Ten:

10. Onsens daisuki!

9. Kushimoto village, where my lost phone was found at the police station

8. Zero energy grassy spot where we lay down on the grass

7. Shirahama seaside village

6. Spending quality time with 6 sisters, in hotel room, on train, etc.

5. Kenji and Makiko guiding us to special spiritual places

4. Walking the ancient path of the Okunoin cemetery

3. Nachi Waterfall Shrine

2. My strong emotional reactions to high energies which touched my heart

1. Learning about the Shingon Buddhist sect founded by Kobo Daishi aka Kukai

By the way: I went to a friend’s memorial service and noted that the Buddhist service was very different from the usual Hongwanji type of service. Then I found out that it was from a Shingon Temple here in Honolulu. I spoke to the bonsan and told him that I was recently in Koyasan, and he said he was born and raised there.

Gloria’s Top Ten:

1.We walked partially on an old trail that ascetic monks walk for over 100 miles from one mountain to another and experienced spiritual connections while we were there. They were curious about us as we were about them.

2.Sorakuen garden in Kobe was very beautiful with lovely flowers, the chysanthimums were as tall as we, trickling streams, the color of the leaves were unique to the garden.

3.Fushimi Inari shrine with 1000 red torii in Kyoto

4.Arashiyama bamboo forest in Kyoto

5.Nachi waterfall shrine

6.the peaceful zen garden at Fukuchiin temple in Koyasan

7.Okunoin the huge cemetery with over 200,000 graves

8.Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine where the tree waved to us

9.We stopped at a rock and sweet spring water where Aukai stopped on his journey, and next to it is a small building where we walked up the narrow ladder upstairs to where the monks pray

10.Shirahama, where we saw Engetsu Island with a hole and did beach combing.

Makiko’s Top Ten:

1. Tenkawa Daibenzaiten Tensha (where we happened to be at the ceremony)

2. Kechien Kanjo (ceremony at Koyasan, Kongo-buji temple)

3. Kawayu Onsen (the night of Oct.5th, the water of the hot spring was extraordinary!! My skin became so fresh like a 20-something girl!)

4. The grassy place near Tenkawa Daibenzaiten Tensha

5. Greeting Kobodaishi at inside of the Okunoin (maosuleum)

6. Eating soft cream ice (you were eating shaved ice) near Kumano Hongu Taisha.

7. The first restaurant we went for a lunch in Koyasan

http://www.gomatohu.com/kadohamagomatofu.html

8. Waterfall in Kumano

9. The mountain top at Kumano, near the waterfall

10. That I could share a room with everybody♥️

 

Laurie’s Top Ten:

1. Kumano tunnel 

2. Toto toilets

3. Kukai Mausoleum – ceremony blindfolded

4. Kukai Mausoleum – when you and Gloria felt his love

5. Kukai back of Mausoleum – at shrine where you and Gloria felt his love again

6. Kumano Hongo Shrine – where the trees waved to us

7. Onsens – mainly the last one at the Midoriya Hotel, the sulfur turned all my of Tiffany bracelets black LOL

8. Awesome vegetarian monk food

9. Roykan hard floor futons – hard and painful but happy to have experienced it

10. Zero gravity grass area – lying on the grass like happy children

 

Cynthia’s Top Ten

1.  Makiko and Kenji-san’s earnest collaboration which resulted in an extra special journey for everyone. 

2.  Walking the same paths, visiting the same centuries-old structures/forests,  witnessing or participating in the same services as generations of pilgrims before us. 

3.  Visiting sacred Okunoin cemetery and the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi; experiencing his energetic presence.

4.  The synchronicities which led us to special experiences—notably visiting former living quarters of Kobo Daishi and purchasing rare and powerful “protection poster.”

5.  Witnessing our varied, sometimes profound,  emotional and physical reactions to places, situations, or energies—notably Lari, after she had kneeled and bowed before all of the altars in the Okunoin temple. 

6.  Participating in Scarnionne/group energy work to divert Super Typhoon Hagibis away from Japan. 

7.  Shojin ryori at Kadohama Goma Tofu Restaurant and Fujuchiin. 

8.  Enjoying the high quality of service, products, work ethic and artisanal skills of people and businesses in Japan.  

9.   Onsens. 

10.  Opportunity to experience and compare vibes of monastic Koya-san, countrysides, and Osaka.  

Posted November 29, 2019 by lariyasui in Asia

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Trip to Portland   Leave a comment

Every other year, TCA (Taiko Community Alliance) holds a North American Taiko Conference. I went to UNLV in 2015, to UCSD in 2017 and this year to Portland State University in downtown Portland. The workshops and performances are amazing. Mary and I were roommates at a nearby hotel and we just walked over to the workshops at PSU. We’d walk by food trucks with amazing food and had deliciousness at the Saturday Farmer’s Market right next to the campus during our break. We took a trip to The famous International Rose Test Garden, where we enjoyed thousands of varieties of lovely scented roses! 

Mary at the International Rose Test Garden

We loved the fresh, juicy peaches and delicious lunch here!

Taiko legend from Sado Island, Chieko Kojima.

Our Odaiko sensei, Isamu Kageyama doing a demo on the Odaiko (large standing drum)

Before the conference, I went a couple days early and spent time with old friends from Hawaii now living in Beaverton, Pam Ferreira and her sister Debby Higa. They took me to Willamette Falls and to lunch.

After the conference, I drove over the state line to Vancouver, WA, to stay with cousins, Jonathan & Heather Steinmann. Actually Jon is the son of my Kimura cousin, Kathy Steinmann, who also lives nearby with her other daughter, Tiffany. I got to meet 3 of cousin Kathy’s children and their families. One son live in Michigan. One night we went to dinner at Kathy’s daughter, Sarah Sherland’s lovely home, with a river and pond in their yard, that Sarah’s hubby, Will designed. I had so much fun meeting all my relatives in the southern WA area.

Jon & Heather have a menagerie at home!

Heather has 4 chickens and a trained cat.

Family dinner at Sarah & Wills home.

Yummy lunch with Kathy & Ron

Faith slept over with me at Heather’s and her sisters visited one day. They are Tiffany’s kids.

We visited the Columbia River, separating WA from OR.

I taught Kathy & Jon Hanafuda

Osso Buco for lunch at Swiss Hibiscus with Kathy and Tiffany.

Martin Wyss was in the kitchen helping Jennie at her Swiss Hibiscus restaurant.

 

Posted November 29, 2019 by lariyasui in Uncategorized, USA

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