08 September 2013 @ 11:30 pm
Dr. Koto - More than just a JDrama!  
As you probably know I haven't watched any jdrama in a long time.
People who have been following my LJ for many years know that I used to watch a LOT and also wrote reviews, shared screencaps and whatnot - even after moving to Japan.

However, in the past few years I have basically watched no dramas. I think the only one was "Rich Man, Poor Woman".

After coming back from my summer vacation in Okinawa where I've also visited Yonaguni - a drama location, I really couldn't resist.

Yonaguni is a very small, remote island. It is actually closer to Taiwan than to the rest of Japan.
It's location for many movies, but also for a popular jdrama called "Dr. Koto".

I've only heard about it shortly before my departure and had no time to watch it, so I visited all the shooting locations without knowing ANYTHING about the drama.
While on the island I had a chance to read the first volume of the manga. The islanders are very proud that their small island was chosen as a shooting location, so you'll find posters everywhere and my small hotel had all the manga volumes as well.

After coming back, I REALLY missed Okinawa and especially Yonaguni where I stayed the longest (4 days).

Luckily I was able to find the drama and started watching it.
And I fell in love with the island even more! Right from the start it was so great to see all the places that I've been to just a few days before!

At first I only watched because I felt nostalgic and wanted to see the island, but in no time I got TOTALLY addicted to this drama!

So far there are two seasons with 11 episodes each and two specials. They're all connected story-wise, so you need to watch it in the right order:
Season 1 (2003), Special 1 + 2 (2004), Season 2 (2006)

I could go on and write a book about the whole drama, but instead I try to make it as short as possible:

Dr. Koto (Dr.コトー診療所)

The drama (and also the manga) starts with a fishing boat in the ocean. On board are four people - all of them will play an important role throughout the entire drama series!
The most important one is Goto Kensuke (Yoshioka Hidetaka), a young doctor who came from a huge hospital in Tokyo, but is now heading to a small island.
In the manga it's a small island outside of Kyushu, in the drama it's a small island in Okinawa (just like Yonaguni is in reality).

It takes about 6 hours by boat to get from the small island to the "mainland" (in that case Naha).

The doctor gets seasick easily and the first thing we see is him throwing up several times after being told that it'll take another 4h to the island.

He doesn't make a trustworthy impression at first sight.
Once he arrives on the island the first thing he has to do is sign a death certificate. There's a dead elderly person and he needs to confirm the death before they can bury him.
Not a very good start, huh?

They bring the doctor to his "clinic" - which is right next to a beautiful beach and extremely small.

Read more... )

Those of you who have watched it, please tell me how you liked it!
Those of you who have read the manga AND watched the drama, please let me know if it's worth reading the manga.
Those of you who want to watch the drama now, go ahead!
[mood]: okay
24 August 2013 @ 11:34 pm
Dream vacation with minor obstacles  
Hey there!
How was (or is) your summer vacation?

I came back from mine less than a week ago and it was AWESOME!!
There were a lot of ups and downs, but compared to the majority of my previous HORROR trips, this one was actually quite good!

The downside(s) of my vacation. )

Apart from that I had a REALLY great vacation and here's why:

I finally got to see the beautiful turquoise color of the ocean in Okinawa! Something I wanted to see and experience so badly!
I went swimming in the crystal clear water (even at the beach where they shot the final of Hana Yori Dango - the second movie)!!!
I went snorkeling a few times, even saw a giant sea turtle (which is rather rare where we were snorkeling - at least that's what others told me). So lucky! ^^

Read more... )

I already mentioned that it was raining most of the time, so I decided to go diving because underwater the weather doesn't matter!
It was my first time ever and it was not planned at all! I spent a lot of extra money (I think this was my most expensive vacation ever), but it was totally worth it!

I'm the one on the very right in this photo, in the foreground!

I took a beginners' course and apart from me there was another young Japanese man (roughly 10 years younger than me) who had ZERO experience (as in: he has never even snorkeled before).
The air tank (or whatever it is called) was REALLY heavy, but as soon as you're in the water it doesn't matter anymore.
I was told that my breathing technique was already excellent (it's pretty much the same as for snorkeling), we just had to test if my ears can handle the depth of the ocean.
I can't remember exactly, but I think if your ears can survive 5m, you'll be fine.
My ears hurt, but I managed to "open" them again and again, so I was ready to go for the "real thing".

Read more... )

I already miss Okinawa.
The people there (especially on the small islands) are all so laid-back and the mix of things I know from back home (cows, goats, horses) with the beautiful ocean views is just beyond imagination!
I think I became a fan of snorkeling and diving as well.
I know that I will be back in Okinawa at some point. Can't wait to go again!
I won't forget the time where I rode my bicycle on one of the small islands with the greatest view of the ocean and fresh green all around me, accompanied by beautiful butterflies flying right next to me! ^____^
[mood]: lazy
16 January 2013 @ 06:18 pm
[Japan Travel]: I'm back from parad... hell!  

First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR
I hope you all had great holidays!

I'm sorry that I didn't write anything until now, but I just came back from winter vacation last week and then I also had to prepare for the wedding of a former co-worker which was this weekend.
I've been insanely busy!
Hopefully it's getting a bit more relaxed from now. I don't plan any trips until early March, I hope I can stick to it. I really need to relax for some time. It's been a crazy year!

So yeah, I'm back!
And first of all we need to celebrate because now I've officially been to

Unfortunately I was EXTREMELY unlucky with the weather (again).
Almost all 16 days were quite bad. My first days in Saga Prefecture I spent out in the cold snowstorm and from there it was strong winds and rain the whole time.

Remember how much I was hoping to get at least 1 or 2 sunny days on Okinawa?? :( ...
Well, I didn't.
Read more... )

I can't even imagine how beautiful this must be in good weather with actual sunshine!

Yet Okinawa was GREAT!!!!!!!
I really fell in love with Okinawa although I've only been to three islands. I definitely want to go again and explore some more (hopefully next time with better weather!).

more photos!! ^-^ )

Well, that's it for now!
Actually there's so much more to tell you, but I really have TONS of other things to do.
My blog is almost dying. I haven't had time to post anything in ages. I have millions and millions of photos to look through since last summer vacation. I need to renew my work visa this month.
I just bought a car navi, so hopefully I can explore the prefecture I'm living in now a bit more by car (after my "travel hiatus" until March).

It was really a crazy, busy year. Can't remember that I've ever been so busy before!
Especially since November when my family came to visit, I barely had any breaks at all. I need to make sure my body gets some good rest, but I also need to get back into blogging!

Hope you're all doing fine out there!
[mood]: blah