Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hawaii Kokeshi Adventure 3 ハワイのこけし冒険3

It's true that this is a blog about kokeshis -- a Japanese handicraft-- but I cannot help recommending a trip to Hawaii's Big Island and the Volcanoes National Park. The whole island is alive and growing beneath one's feet, with recent lava flows visible wherever one goes. It is a truly wonderful place. None of this has anything to do with kokeshis of course, unless one happens to bring a kokeshi along for the adventure. I did, and I'm pretty sure our's was the first kokeshi to enter the National Park.
In front of Volcano House, the lodge within the Volcanoes National Park. It has a fantastic view and a great restaurant.
The back of Volcano House overlooks the main caldera at the park. It's venting right now, the result of a 500-foot deep magma lake that opened up recently. Humans and kokeshis alike are required to stay far away from the poisonous smoke.
On this day we hiked around the park's forest area, and then went for a drive on Chain of Craters Road which meanders down the side of the Kilauea volcano to the ocean, all on the National Park property. It's an amazing drive. Along the way we stopped to walk on a massive lava flow that formed a few decades ago.
A fairly recent lava flow open for exploration and adventure.
The first kokeshi to ever relax on a Big Island lava flow.

We picked up the kokeshi and continued down the side of the mountain on Chain of Craters Road where we saw more stunning vistas. Finally we passed through a cut made through an impressive lava flow, and were treated to a spectacular view of the island and the ocean.
This land is so new that there's almost no vegetation growing on it. However, it will be quite green and alive in a couple of decades.
The road cut through a line of lava.
The kokeshi enjoying the view. Those dark lines going down in the background is solidified lava.
This trail leads into the middle of nowhere for an all-day hike, requiring one to register with a park ranger before starting. Needless to say, this is as far as the kokeshi went.
While this was not a traditional kokeshi adventure, it was definitely an adventure for a kokeshi!

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