Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Walk in the Park

I guess a more appropriate title for this week's blog would be "A Ride in the Park", because we did much more bike riding than actual walking the other weekend at the park. However, let me start at the beginning of our day - pancakes! Jakkepoes, which is apparently Dutch for I have no idea what, is an amazingly adorable little (and I DO mean little!) pancake house in Yomitan, which is a town just north of us. It is owned and operated by two Japanese women who make you feel right at home - this may be in part due to the building and decor as well, but I definitely felt as if I was going over to a friend's house to have breakfast. You feel like you are in their dining room, and they are in the kitchen, which is visible through a pass-through sort of counter. I had heard about this restaurant's amazing pancakes, which they serve all-day long by the way, and Matt and I ventured out once again to find this tiny restaurant with vague directions (all directions to anything in Okinawa are incredibly vague!). We drove north, turned onto Rte. 6, turned left at the 4th light past the Torii Station gate, turned right when we saw little brown and white signs low to the ground that said "pancakes" on them, and ended up at Jakkepoes. The "parking spaces" were so tiny, we barely fit our Pajero in one of them. Hahahaa... I'm not kidding:)

Our Pajero in front of the tiny restaurant

You don't have to tell us your spaces are small - we know!

I think it had some sort of underlying cat theme

Gum Syrup

Me and my DELICIOUS mango juice!

Matt and his boring orange juice

They have Tic-Tac-Toe games for you to play at the table

My Berry Pancakes - SO GOOD!

Matt's Banana Nut Pancakes - awesome as well, and I don't even really like bananas!

As you've probably guessed based on earlier comments, we followed up our pancakes with a bike ride through a new park (well, new to us) called Comprehensive Park. The name is strange, but we think it may be a literal Japanese translation - the park IS very "comprehensive" in that it includes many different things. Inside, you can find multiple parks, beautifully lanscaped ponds, bridges, boat rentals, a waterpark, biking trails that come out along the ocean, running tracks, baseball, soccer and other sports fields, a banked bicycle track, and we even got to watch a rugby game in progress!

A map of the park - it was huge

Me on my bike

Matt and his bike

The CRAZY aggressive fish in all the ponds

Check out this video clip of Matt feeding these fish:

A random Japanese girl blowing bubbles

"Please do not feed stray dogs and cats. If you feed them, their population will increase which will lead to dog and cat bites." - We didn't see one stray dog or cat the whole time! But I do love the illustration of the crazy cat lady:)

Matt feeding more fish

One of the playgrounds within Comprehensive Park is awesome (maybe it was meant for children, but there's no way they were keeping us off!) Beside the fact that I have a strange obsession with zip-lines and they just so happened to have one, they also had an enormous rope jungle-gym thing that you can climb up! I don't think its "safe" enough to be in an American park, but the Japanese seem to be slightly less safety-conscious when it comes to playgrounds. I know my description of this thing isn't the best, so continue on for some visuals...

Me getting ready to "zip-line"

Check out this video clip of Matt riding the "zip-line":

The crazy awesome jungle-gym thing!

Me at the top of it

Me looking down from the top

Matt on the jungle-gym - kids actually requested that he stop jumping!

So, we ended up braving the raininess (I know its not a real word!) to have a fun bike ride. I also may have slipped, fallen off my bike and scraped up my hands while surrounded by onlooking Japanese people pointing at me (okay, maybe I imagined that last part), but that's beside the point. Despite the rain here and there, the park was really fun to explore and ride through. Combined with some yummy pancakes, this was an awesome day!

Thank you to all of our friends and family for following! We love you and wish everyone a happy and meaningful Easter!



  1. Sounds like a great day! Those pancakes made me super hungry!!! Miss you. Glad to hear you're doing well. :)


  2. Hey guys!

    Looks like you are really making the most of your time in Japan, whether it be jet skiing (which I am so jealous of!!) or taking a walk/ride in the park. Your videos crack me up (I especially like when Matt tries to give the kid a cracker and he walks away haha) and makes me miss you both! Keep the pics and blogs coming, your adventures are giving me inspiration! :)