Sunday, March 31, 2024

March 2024 recap - Miura Marathon, Nagasaki work trip, Boso biking, Shiga Kogen, Shimanami Kaido trip

After the whirlwind of activities in February, we kept right back at it in March. I didn't realize this month would feel so rushed as well, but we've been constantly on the go and I can barely keep up as our time in Japan is coming up so quickly!

EATME Lumine EST opening
I coincidentally had a free day for the opening of the EATME store in Shinjuku Lumine EST, so after I went for a quick morning run, I got ready and headed over to Tokyo. I didn't want to be part of initial opening madness, so I happy to arrive after lunch without too much of a crowd. There was a 3 item limit for the dressing room but I had a few things I wanted to see on, so I ended up waiting for 2 try on sessions.
I walked out with the dress set above which is a pre-order item for May and the black Misa Kurosaki skirt and the store novelty item which is a small black crossbody bag. The store is small-ish (especially compared to the Harajuku honten) but may be a bit more convenient for me to get to since it's right next to the station. I've really been enjoying buying online lately, but if I do LUMINE EST has a lot of stores I'm interested in, so I'm happy to have this as an option. 

Miura International Marathon
The official name for this race is 第39回三浦国際市民マラソン 39th Miura International Citizen Marathon but it doesn't include a full marathon distance. There's a 5k run and a half marathon (21.09km) and a kids run. We signed up for the half marathon after somewhat chilling during the Yokosuka Seaside Marathon (another half) back in November and I've been really looking forward to it! I had caught the train down towards this area multiple times over the last few months to get a better idea of the course and just generally feel more confident about it since I anticipated a lot of hills. It's a beautiful area. 
The morning of, we caught the train down and made our way to the starting corrals and ended up in the 2:00 - 2:09 area. There's a lot of people ready to race! 
Posted some getting ready and race recap reels on my IG with better visuals/video. I was happy to have a small PR, finishing at 1:54:23. I had some trouble finding my pace for nearly the whole first half but was much more comfortable after coming out of Jogashima and felt like I had a strong finish. 
My mom paid for these race photos from the official photographer so they're going here too even though I look like I have a mullet lmao.
My husband finished just a little bit behind me and I was able to find him for the finish to meet up and collect our race goodies on the beach - banana, DAIKON and a serving of takuan. 
My husband lost his SUICA and HI drivers license during the race -__- but luckily someone must have picked it up and turned it in at the information. We waited until the end of the race and asked the staff about it who gently scolded him and then returned it lol. 
A little bit of lingering kawazuzakura near the station as we accomplished what we came for and were happy to head home!

Work trip to Nagasaki 
I wasn't initially going to split this into a separate post, but this month recap is getting a little long, and I loved some portions of this trip, so separate it is! Post up here :)

My parents 7th visit
Another unexpected separate post, but our Boso Adventure Tour deserves its own highlight!
I also took them to Hakone for the first time (for them) and I went to the Open Air Museum for the third time lol. Check out more about the two day trips we took in the post here.

Last time snowboarding!
This was a bit more spontaneous than our previous snowboarding trips in that it wasn't finalized until week of. We actually thought we were done for the season when we missed a good weekend for boarding while we were in Nagasaki, but late spring season came through in Shiga Kogen. 
We've never been to this area of Nagano before and it's a bit farther than Hakuba and what we're used to, but I think it was worth the 5 hour drive, leaving at 3:30 in the morning lol. First day had falling snow for most of the day and great conditions aside from being a bit low visibility.
The resort is pretty expansive with lots of the lifts and runs joined together and we hardly waited in a line all day and didn't have to fight for position on the slopes. 

We stayed overnight at Chalet Shiga which is right across from one of the lifts and super convenient. 
Day 2 was a clear, sunny day which made for some slightly icey spots. I had a hard fall on my face on one of the first few runs of the day which shook me up a bit but thankfully my googles and helmet helped protect me. I just have a small bruise below my eye now. 
It was slightly more crowded this day but not by much and it depended on the area of the mountain. We were still able to get on lifts very quickly and navigate around ski schools reasonably easily. I ended at lunch by doing a shorter, wide run 3 times in a row with absolutely no wait at all. 
Since we likely won't be traveling for snowboarding any time soon after returning to Hawaii, this will probably be the last time we snowboard for a while, if not completely. Maybe my husband will take his own trips with friends, but I don't see myself committing to the cost. This was a good last experience and I'm happy we were able to enjoy this sport during our time in Japan :)

Shimanami Kaido trip 
We closed out the last weekend of the month with a quick trip to the Shikoku/Chugoku area to bike Shimanami Kaido! We were joined for part of the trip by friends and did the cycling with one of them.
We also took the opportunity to visit Naoshima on day 2 and then ended with a full day 3 in Okayama. Lots of moving parts (as usual for our weekends lately), but happy to finally visit this region! I combined all 3.5 days of the trip into one post for simplicity here

What we ate

Mama Bhanja (pre-half marathon)

Premium KARUBI (post half-marathon reward)

beef soraben at Haneda Airport

Thonburi Kitchen

Hyakusai Shun Restaurant


Iwasaki Honpo

Steak Salon

Futatsuboshi 4047 bento and Special 2 Stars bento

champon and sara udon from Horaiken



Katsutei かつ亭


Tsubaki at Nagasaki Airport

Tanzo (I ask for miso ramen without vegetables and I LOVE it lol)


Jiroemu 百姓屋敷じろえむ


Chukoku no Mori dining at the Hakone Open Air Museum

Hakone Open Air Museum Cafe 

Mendokoro Shinya

Itari-an いたり庵

Piccolo Bruco ピッコロブルーコ

One of the restaurants at Shiga Kogen lol

Beer Bar Teppa Room at Chalet Shiga

レストラン Hi HAPPY

Curry Smile (Haneda Airport)

コラッジオ CORAGGIO (Onomichi, Hiroshima)

Dolce Ice Creamドルチェ 瀬戸田本店 (Shimanami Kaido/Ikuchi Island)

Roadside station Hakata S-C park (Shimanami Kaido/Hakata Island)

Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan (Shimnami Kaido/Oshima Island)

Onomichi Wharf

Luke's Pizza & Grill (Naoshima)

Ico Nico Ramen Park (Okayama)

festival food stalls near Korakuen (Okayama)

Acerra Pizza アチェッラ (Okayama)

Tonkatsu Shinjukusaboten

Personal life/miscellaneous
Outfits for the month can be found here
It stayed oddly chilly for the most part which seems to have delayed the sakura a bit. Since winter was a bit warm in some areas, I had expected an early bloom, but of course it was just the opposite. In any case, I still needed a long coat for most of the month!

I'm honestly starting to feel a little overwhelmed with how much I feel like there is left is to do and how little time we have left here! Looking back at our March calendar, I realized that we did end up having something to do every single weekend and even some during the week as well (apart from work obviously) that kept me feeling like I couldn't relax. It feels like both a blessing and a curse - I'm enjoying the plans we made but also the typical housework and organization is struggling a bit. Plus the logistics are a lot to stay on top of. 
I'm so behind on my blogging but want to stay committed to posting about these things to help cement in the memories! Let's see how much I can catch up in April 😅