We currently live in Misawa, Japan courtesy of the Air Force. Jordan is an F-16 pilot and Jenifer is an RN. We don't speak Japanese. We have been happily married for 4 years and currently have a little son who made his appearance in the world Sept 18, 2008. For those who can't get enough photos of him on this website, please check out http://photobucket.com/benton. We hope to share our adventures with our family and friends as we navigate through our careers and upcoming trials of parenthood.
Our lives are pretty much rotating around our small child - but, we are still able to go out and experience the local culture. A couple of weekends ago, Jordan, Ben, and I went to Rokkasho for the annual salmon festival. The village of Rokkasho, a small community of about 12,000 residents, boasts two big attractions: a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant and the annual Salmon Festival along the Pacific Ocean. The festival was originally started about 25 years ago to promote tourism in the area and is now the longest running salmon festival in Aomori prefecture.
The main event is, of course, a salmon catch. We didn't get there early enough to get a ticket to participate, but we watched along the sidelines. Participants lined up around a large pool stocked with salmon and were given 3 minutes to catch one by hand. You get to keep what you catch. It's actually pretty funny watching people run around chasing salmon - it was pretty cold outside (as I'm sure the water was) and the salmon are pretty slippery. If you were one of the first 6 people to catch a salmon, you proceed to another pool to race your salmon against the others for some kind of prize.
(No, we don't know any of these people...)
After watching the festivities, we sat took a rest by the water.
Last weekend, the three of us went down the street to Rokunohe to pick some apples. Aomori is known for its apples. The day started with a tractor ride around the orchard, which put Ben right to sleep. Apparently, Ben likes tractors. We figure the next time Ben is fussy, we can just go off-roading in the CRV and the bumps will rock him right to sleep.
The apples are as big as Ben's head. (I tried many times to turn this picture, but for some reason this website wants to keep turning it on its side...sorry). We are giants amongst the Japanese people...but, that just allows us to get the biggest apples.
The weather here is turning pretty cold now...so, who knows where we will go next. Maybe Ben likes to ski??