Back from Japan

So sorry that I didn't post again while I was there. Between staying with friends and getting thins done I didn't have much downtime.

Also, as bad as it is I didn't take very many more pictures.

I'm thinking about writing my blog in Japanese and English starting from my next entry. This way I can share my upcoming adventures with more people. These adventures will likely be on Maui ( possibly other islands) because I have to stay put for some time to work and save for my next bug step- a plan that hasn't become clear yet.

Just a few more pictures! Including: an apartment up in smoke ( something like the 22nd floor); a cute Italian place and the lunch I had; beautiful Kobe sunset; my favorite coffee chain when I'm in Japan: Tully's; and my last meal before my flight- kitsune udon:)

This trip so far

Sorry it's been awhile. I really meant to update while I've been here in Japan but I really didn't have too much downtime to do so.

Last weekend I attended a wedding in Tokyo and although it was Halloween weekend I didn't have the energy or ability really( I mean I went to bed before 11pm most nights at home so how could I stay up past 11pm?). It's probably the first Halloween I can remember that I haven't done anything but oh well.

The wedding was so lovely and fun. Japanese weddings really are different because guests have no plus one, give gifts of money instead of items, the reception is for close friends and family and then there are sometimes one, two even three parties the rest of the night for just the couple and their friends. Generally it includes lots of drinking and maybe karaoke. It was my fourth time attending a wedding (third for the actual ceremony) but they never cease to make me cry- for happy reasons of course.

I'll include a couple pictures but I haven't been taking many pictures as though I've been back in Kobe I've been hanging out with friends which hasn't led to much picture taking. I'll be sure to take more in the days I have left.

I'm still here

I cannot believe it's been practically three months since I've last written. I had previously mentioned that I was going to Europe on business. I was involved with a fashion show during Paris Fashion Week and then went to London for an exhibition. The weather in both cities was wonderful and it was all a great learning experience. I met some amazing people, got to see some friends, explore Paris a little and enjoy Europe overall.

However, on the my last full day in London I was awoken by a phone call from a friend telling me that there had a been an earthquake in Japan. I turned on the t.v. and called my loved ones. No one I knew was directly affected but the images on the t.v. didn't seem real. It was so shocking to see and it was a mix of feelings for wishing I was there to be with my loved ones and not wanting to return right away to see how things would be.

After returning to Paris my colleagues and I had to see if our flights would fly back to Tokyo. The first group of colleagues were delayed but the rest of us were fine. When I arrived in Tokyo on March 13th many of the trains weren't running so I was given a ride home. From then on it was almost non-stop with watching the news. My company and other companies had taken a couple days off to read the situation. At this point I had decided it would be safer to return for a short time to Kobe and see friends. I was definately still concerned but it was a relief to be farther south and not have to feel like I need to wear a mask- something that was a must in Tokyo for me.

I returned to Tokyo and continued working but the situation with the nuclear plant didn't seem to be improving at all I was busy trying to make my own opinion between the Japanese media downplaying the presence and the affect of radiation and foreign media which was more realistic and sometimes exaggerated at times. Anyway, after much thought and deliberation I decided that the best thing for me and my health was to move out of Tokyo.

So...I moved my things into a storage unit in Kobe and stayed there for a week or so before coming here to Hawaii. I had already planned to come for vacation in early May so I decided I'll just come, be at home and just see how things turn out.

There are some aspects of being away from a metropolitan city and many friends that I miss but it's been two years since I've been home and Hawaii is just so beautiful. I feel so fortunate to be here and to have had such a wonderful upbringing here.

I'll try my best to keep up with this blog. I'll have more time to dedicate to writing amongst other things so keep reading:)

Hope you're all happy and healthy.

Life in Tokyo After 3/11

After the devastating events of March 11, 2011 I was faced with decisions that were difficult and of course unexpected.

After returning from my business trip in europe I found my self very apprehensive and unsure about going outdoors and the general state of well-being in Tokyo and Japan. The Fukushima nuclear plant was melting down and tons of radiation and other toxic chemicals were affecting the air, water and land. Shortly after my return it was discovered that the water in Tokyo was contaminated with radiation. I had to order or have friends ship me bottled water because there was absolutely no bottled water to be found in the stores. The bottled water supply had been diverted to Northern Japan for the survivors. Except for bathing and washing dishes, everything I needed water for was from bottled water. Making coffee, tea, miso soup, rice etc... Everything required water. It really showed just how much we rely on water and/or take for granted.

Additionally grocery shopping became a more arduous task because it took far more time to sort through vegetables, fruits, dairy products etc... to determine what was safe. Many products were from the local region which was too close from the nuclear plant so I tried to purchase those from places farther West. But how far was enough? That was always the question. Because the food situation was so dramatically affected by the radiation I started to make my own lunches before work in the morning. I chose to do this because otherwise I would have no way of knowing or being sure what was in the food at restaurants and where it was coming from.

As a woman I felt more responsible to really be safe. Though I have no plans for the near future I would eventually like to have children so the radiation would affect my fertility. Such responsibility requires more research and knowledge about our bodies and how they excrete toxins. I chose to eat a more Japanese diet of brown rice, miso soup, kelp, seaweed, pickled vegetables and such. Fish and seafood was difficult because of the sea water contaminated by the radioactive waste, but when I could I would buy mackerel and other cold water fish from farther areas of Japan. In my research I had found that these enzyme and mineral rich foods were naturally detoxifying. While water was limited I tried to drink as much as I could. Furthermore I looked into other, heavier types of detoxing and came across zeolite. Zeolite is a unique, negatively-charged rock mineral that has a porous cage-like structure which easily absorbs positively-charged heavy metals and toxins.

After trying several zeolite products and doing intensive research, I found out that Japanese manufactured zeolite products are not sold as zeolite supplement. Instead they can only be sold as a drink containing small amounts of zeolite (as a food additive) in which the amount of zeolite is regulated. I later found high potency zeolite products manufactured abroad that can be ordered in Japan online at LiquidZeolite.jp

I liked the liquid zeolite product because it was easily portable and simple to add to water and drink. And I liked the zeolite tablets containing iodine which is said to be necessary for preventing radiation poisoning. I used the powered zeolite for soaking and washing vegetables and baking.


These seemingly small, everyday decisions had a big impact and eventually I decided to leave Tokyo for good. Yes, Western japan was safer but I needed mental and emotional clarity so I decided to come back home to Hawaii. I still try to adhere to the detoxifyng principles that I learned through my experience. Though I'm not as intense about them nowadays as I was. Hawaii is clean and beautiful but not even this island in the Pacific can escape the constant damages to our environment. The car exhaust, pesticides, chem trails and many other toxins exist and destroy our air, water and soil. we must be careful to take care of our bodies so we can reach our best potential physically, mentally and emotionally.

Neglection

I'm failing miserably at keeping up, let alone writing in this blog. Since my move to Tokyo more than two weeks ago I haven't had the time to take pictures of my explorations and adventures as I've been adjusting to such as the new work hours (not really long but probably like many others) rush hour and having only a precious amount of time between making dinner and going to bed.

I'm not finally able to write as I needed to wake up really early this morning. It's raining outside and probably back down to cooler weather after a weekend of relatively beautiful weather. Yesterday was simply perfect with a walk though the Meiji Shrine and lunch in Shibuya.

I'm afraid will neglect this blog further as I leave for a business trip on Wednesday for 12 days. Will be off to Europe (where specifically I'll have to share later). Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to take pictures and update this when I get back-possibly even while I'm abroad.

Another month is almost done. I've celebrated a birthday and time is going by rapidly. I guess it's the big city life.

Hope everyone is enjoying life. Make sure to enjoy the free time you have because I've come to realize how precious it is :)

Kobe Collection

I'm really excited to be able to attend the Spring/Summmer 2010 Kobe Collection today. I've been wanting to go to this fashion show since last fall but at that time the tickets were sold out so I couldn't go. Luckily this season a friend of mine had tickets and wasn't going to go so she gave them to me:) I'll be taking a good friend of mine who I haven't been able to spend much time with so it'll be fun.

Japanese fashion shows seem to run a lot differently. The Kobe Collection is a fashion show that includes four stages-each stage having many brands(both domestic and international)-and also has music performances.

I'll make sure to upload pictures soon.