Category Archives: Hawaii

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Diary Hawaii

A Night with Entomologist

“So you are going to Hawaii? You got to meet my friend there.”

So, I was sitting with my brother’s entomologist friend in Hawaii, at some Tiki bar off the beaten path.


La Mariana, original Tiki restaurant. This sign is the only picture I took…


Place was gorgeous. Supposedly, that was one of the last traditional Tiki bar left, with real Tiki stuff. I wasn’t quite sure what “Tiki” really was, but it has to mean something local and traditional. So we liked it.

Earlier that day, we visited his museum, and he showed us around his research areas. Museum itself was fun to look around, but his research area was way better.

I learned that there are ALL kinds of bugs on this planet, which I hope I will never see in real life.


Central garden area of Bishop Museum


When I complemented him about his creative works (turned out, he does some beautifully weird artistic stuff), he uttered,

This is all I got. Nothing else…

He said like it was a bad thing, which I thought not right.

It’s so much better than doing everything OK!

My reply seemed satisfied him, so I was happy.

But later that night, this line was stuck in my mind, and worked as reminder of my weakness. My last job was being jack-of-all-trades. I wasn’t real salesman. Nor marketer. Nor trader. I did everything just fine, but did not exceed in anything.

He is good at one thing, and he does it wonderfully, yet he thinks his option is limited. I can do several things above average, but feel inferior about being a master of none.

Isn’t it funny how we are good at seeing things negatively?

Oh, yes, I got a great advise from him.

Keep your mind OPEN.

He was talking about my travel. Traveling is fun, but if my view is in the same closed state, what I am doing now is just an extended version of package tour. Look around with “naked eye,” without any stereotypes.

And, that, nicely concluded my month-long Hawaiian vacation.

Food Hawaii

Pork Chop Everybody on Big Island knows

“Where are you staying?” was the most popular questions we had. When we reply, many of them exclaimed,

“Oh, I love their Pork Chop!!!”

Our hotel was very famous for food!


Famous Pork Chop


This was another great dish, recommended by lady at rent-a-car office. 🙂





Japanese/Hawaiian hybrid side dishes



Restaurant at Manago Hotel. Visit them early enough because they will be so crowded at busy hour!

Diary Hawaii

Volcanoes National Park

One of the most popular English course in Japan is this radio program called ”基礎英語” (Basic English). Every weekday, they broadcast 15 minutes radio class on basic English conversation, and that was my first English class I took.

They had monthly textbook, which I loved.

Their textbook follows the same characters and story throughout a season. The year I was listening was about a story based on Hawaii. I remember they talked about another side of Hawaiian life, that most tourists neglect to see.

What I remember most is volcanoes. I remember being surprised how people could walk to volcano and watch molten lava! I swore to myself that I would visit there someday……

After 20 some years later, I made it.


Halemaumau Crater



Seismic Intensity Meter in Hawaii, detected 311 Tohoku Earthquake



Walking inside Lava Tube



Land of lava. Everything is black.. It will get beautifully boring if you stay long enough…



A piece of dried up lava



Into Blue.. Nice change after hours in black land.



You shall not pass… Lava blocking the road.



Trail to Puu Huluhulu. Good hiking.



Black Sand Beach. it does live up to its name.

Accomodation Hawaii

A Room Without TV

We were planning to stay first half in Kona area, and the rest in Hilo area so that we can see both sides easily. We ended up staying all nights in our hotel in Kona. It was so good and cheap that we didn’t want to leave.

Our hotel was Manago Hotel, which most people in Kona area seems to know.


Manago Hotel


Our room, the cheapest one they offer, was private room with double bed, with shared bath. This room was $36 (plus tax) for two of us. That is cheaper than dorm-type hostel.


Double Room with shared bath at Manago Hotel


What we especially liked about this room was the fact that it didn’t have any TV. I like American TV too much, so it’s good that we can learn how to enjoy each other without TV… 😛


Room that provides nothing more than you need.


Another plus was the room got free wifi. So, you REALLY don’t need TV. 🙂


Cheap accommodation in digital age


Shared bath wasn’t bad at all. Especially for lady’s, each bathroom has toilet and shower for one person, so once you locked, you got all room for yourself. (For guys, who don’t care much, it’s shared bath like everywhere else, but highly maintained.)


“Shared” bath for Ladies


Shower booth in Ladies room


Not everything was great of course. You are going to see some bugs, and perhaps small cockroaches. But it’s Hawaii. Even in more decent hotel, you will see them anyway.

I don’t know if we are ever coming back to Big Island (which we really hope), but if we do, we know where we are staying!


Front desk at Manago Hotel

Food Hawaii

Pioneer Saloon

Pioneer Saloon is our number 1 pick for best-food category. They have great selection of great bento-style foods. This was recommended by one of my tweeps. Thanks!

Pioneer Saloon1

Casual style restaurants, mainly for take-outs, but there are several tables for eat-ins.


Pioneer Saloon Garlic Ahi

Garlic Ahi with 十六穀米(16 grains rice)


Pioneer Saloon hilibut

Halibut with 玄米 (brown rice)