Miyajima Tori Gate
After Hawaii our next stop was in Majuro, Marshal Islands.  If we did this run again we would fuel and provision and go to the outer islands as quickly as possible.


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The folks came out from a small island near Jaluit Atoll to have a welcome celebration for us.
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Pacific Route to and from Japan
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Chichijima

After departing Guam our first stop in Japan was Chichijima.  Chichijima was notorious for the handling of WWII downed US pilots as written about in Flyboys: A True Story of Courage, by James Bradley wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichijima
Tanabe, Wakayama After making the 600nm run from Chichijima to Honshu and we pulled into Tanabe. As usual for us, we didn't call ahead for moorage. No big deal. We were immediatly beckoned to raft to these fish boats and their crews gave us warm welcome.
  Great Siberian Sushi Run (GSSR) cruising buddies Nordhavn trawlers.. 
Ken & Roberta Williams on Sans Souci, Nordhavn68.   Steve & Carol Argosy on Seabird,Nordhavn62.  Braun & Tina Jones on Grey Pearl, Nordhavn 62
Ashia,our homeport for the next year Great Siberian Sushi Run (GSSR) cruising buddies Nordhavn trawlers.. Ken & Roberta Williams on Sans Souci, Nordhavn68. Steve & Carol Argosy on Seabird,Nordhavn62. Braun & Tina Jones on Grey Pearl, Nordhavn 62
We imported Starr as a Japanese Vessel for the year.  It took all 8 of the guys to do the job right.
Eight pairs of Customs official's shoes We imported Starr as a Japanese Vessel for the year. It took all 8 of the guys to do the job right.
A substantial amount of paperwork
Customs Officials A substantial amount of paperwork
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Our route from Ashiya which is between Kobe and Osaka down thru the Seto Naikai to Nagasaki
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Hiroshima during a commemoration of the WWII Atomic bomb.
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Praying for Peace
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Yobuko, Saga Pref., Kyushu
Yobuko is a small town on Kyushu, the third largest island in Japan. Squid fishing is a major industry here and we enjoyed learning about the village lifestyle.
The squid fishing fleet in Yobuko
Fresh squid (alive and still moving)! When you're finished eating the body (raw!), you send the tentacles back to the kitchen where they are tempura'ed!
Squid are pumped into these truck tanks
We happened to arrive during the Otsunahiki Festival. The whole town turned out and participated in a massive tug-of-war of the mountain people versus the sea people. From the festival website:

The festival traditionally began when Toyotomi Hideyoshi who conquered Japan made his army men pull the marine boats with ropes to boost soldiers' morale. 

The festival is held spanning two days; kids' tug-of-war on the first Saturday of July, and the adults' on the following Sunday.
The town's residents split into hill-team and the beach-team, pulling at a 15cm thick and 20m long rope at the cue given by a gong and a flaming arrow. It is said that if the hill-team wins there will be good harvest, and if the beach-team wins there will be a good catch of fish.

The 2000# burlap bag with 500ft long and 8 inch diameter rope


Shinto priest blessing the event
The kids have their day at the tug of war



Cheerleaders stand on top of bag cheering their individual teams






Sharry ready for pulling for the sea people






Don pulling for the sea side. We believe that we were the only gaigan to attend the event!
































We made many stops on our way down to Nagasake. including Fukuoka and Hagi.  After exploring Nagasaki we headed back north and stopped at almost every village we came across.  In the town of Yobuko we fell into an annual traditional competition between the sea people and the mountain farming people.  The sea people catch primarily squid and ship live squid all over Japan.


We made many stops on our way down to Nagasake. including Fukuoka and Hagi.  After exploring Nagasaki we headed back north and stopped at almost every village we came across.  In the town of Yobuko we fell into an annual traditional competition between the sea people and the mountain farming people.  The sea people catch primarily squid and ship live squid all over Japan.

Great Siberian Sushi Run (GSSR) cruising buddies Nordhavn trawlers.. Ken & Roberta Williams on Sans Souci, Nordhavn68. Steve & Carol Argosy on Seabird,Nordhavn62. Braun & Tina Jones on Grey Pearl, Nordhavn 62