Wednesday, September 24, 2008

(Kahet )Tachibana Shinto Shrine Hike, August 2008

(Kahet )Tachibana Shinto Shrine Hike, August 2008

The weather has not been too bad these few days and so I decided to go on a hike to the Tachibana Shinto Shrine. It was not easy to walk in the jungle because it was a lot bushier compared to our last hikes. During the Japanese time the area was called “Kahet” which means orange in Chamorro. They called it Kahet because there were so many orange trees in that area during the Japanese time. The Japanese word “Tachibana” means wild orange.
The Tachibana Shrine is covered with growing Tagantagan and grass. The site is about 0.24 miles west from the Seabee Monument. The parking area for the shrine is surrounded by pine trees. The site is about 580 feet from the parking area. The flame tree was planted during the Japanese period and so it is thought that there could be sites of interest where ever those trees are found.
This is the jungle where we entered heading to Tachibana Shrine.

The photo above is of Lina and Erica hiking in the jungle.

There are an abundance of bamboo trees in the jungle where the site is. Weeds have difficulty growing in the bamboo tree forest.
The concrete foundations of the shrine remains and the fence is slowly breaking apart every year.

We are now on our way to the torii gate. If you walk to the left of the foundation you will be able to find it.

I drew this map so you can easily imagine how they build shrine and placed these structures.

This is the first lantern, the top part of the lantern has disappeared.

The second lantern still has its upper structure intact. I cleared off the lantern area because I could not get a good picture. The vines and weeds covered the entire lanterns

This is the right side of the leg.

The torii gate between the two lantern lay fallen on the ground. I cleaned the area too because I could not get a good picture of it. I wanted to take a picture of the entire gate but I didn’t have room to back up and so I decided to take a picture for each part of it.
This is the opposite side of the leg.

I put the two pictures together. (please click the picture to see lager image.)

There is a washing area for your hands and mouth to purify yourself before entering the shrine. This is a custom that is practiced in Japan.

There is a concrete foundation and its size is about 16 feet long. It seems to look like a water tank. I'm not sure but it's used to set the deity’s house on top of the stairs.

I am in the picture above. I am pulling up weeds around torii gate area.

We are returning back to the car and on the way back we found this mushroom.

On our next hike I plan to look for the missing part of the lantern.

By Mitch

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tinian beach old Leprosy sanitarium site

Tinian beach old Leprosy sanitarium site. July 2008

Erica Beach is also called Tinian Beach, Leprosarium Beach, or aka Nasarinu .
There was a sanitarium for leprosy patients near Erica beach. Other sanitariums were also built in Palau, Guam, Saipan, as well on Tinian at Erica Beach.
Erica(My dauter) and I walked on what was left of the sanitarium site.

You can get to Erica Beach by turning left of the Tinian Dump and there is a fork in the road. If you turn right you can see the graveyard for the leprosy patients who has passed away on Tinian. If you turn left you will be able to go to Erica Beach.

When driving into Erica Beach you can see the entrance to the sanitarium on the left side.
You can see the concrete walkways just right after the entrance area.
During the World War II, leprosy patients were sent to the sanitarium. It was said that the patients were strictly isolated in this area because they were afraid that the disease was easily transferable which is not true.

The surrounding areas is covered by fresh weeds. This is the second set of stairs.

There are long sidewalks that seem like they used to be used as hallways for the sanitarium.

There is a pile of cement bags that was used to create some kind of structure.

We were not sure what it was used for.

Because there are many snake plants in this area, there might have been a Japanese garden in this area. The Japanese used to use snake plants to build gardens.

It looks like a maze in the sanitarium.

Only the mark of the wall in a square building remains.

There is a square building structure where Erica is standing.

Erica is leaving the site.

There used to be a Guamanian who used to live on Tinian who was admitted to the sanitarium. He is still alive until this day.
After looking through the site we walked down to Erica Beach to pick some shells.

I asked Mr. Borja about some facts about the area from the Tinian Historical Preservation Office. I would like to express my thanks to him for telling me about the site.

By Mitch

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Westside of Calorinas cliff line and two caves May 17, 2008 

On Saturday May 17th , Five of us set off to hike under the west side of the Calorinas lime stone forest trail to explore two caves and to hike along the cliff line.We are at the grassy parking area near the first cave and we’re going to enter jungle behind it. The picture above is of Rose, Kaori, Erica, and Lina from the left to right. I took this picture.

Rose started heading to first cave. This area is great hiking spot for a lime stone forest.It took 5 minutes to get to the first cave from where we parked our car.

Rose is standing in the entrance of the cave which is only about 3x3 feet.

Rose going down into cave 1.

After we went down into cave we found a lot of fragments of Japanese ceramic plates and cups. The Japanese used to live in the cave as a shelter during the World War II.

We had to go down into second layer of the cave, so we had to use a rope which was provided by Rose. It was really steep and hard to get down.
The picture above is Kaori kneeling down as she began her descent into the second level. Rose was telling Kaori where she should put her foot to step down safely.

At the Bottom is cave where limestone cave was very beautiful.

The cave’s ceiling was high enough to for us to stand up without bumping our heads.

Since the entrance was so small, we never thought that the cave was this big. You can see Rose in the background with a flashlight from a distance.

This land club lives in bottom of the cave 1.    

A lot of cutlery, plates, and tools have been left behind.

These look like fuel containers; however they may have been used to store drinking water.

There was big container filled with water that has been collected from the dripping water coming from the ceiling of the cave.

Another world not imaginable is in here separated from the outside. White spots appeared on picture above, due to moisture collected on our camera lenses. It looks like a world of fantasy.

It was really wide at the bottom of cave 1.

It is time to go out from cave 1 because we are going to see the next cave.

We climbed out through the entrance of the cave. It was easier to climb out than to climb in.

Everyone enjoyed cave 1 and now we are going to follow the cliff line to the south. Rose is standing in front of the cliff line.

Before we start hiking Rose showed us the concrete tank near the cliff line.

There were two kinds of shapes; one is round the other one was square. I am not sure what they were used for.

There was a deep well near the concrete tank. I think that well was full of water from underground in the past because there were collections of water from the drops of water coming from the cave. So I think these tanks were used to collect water from the well.

We entered cliff line because Rose wanted to show us the Okinawan Monument. Both sides are cliffs of sheer Lime Stone. The Japanese call this area the folding screen rock because the walls are wavy.

I’m standing under big Banyans, in Chamorro they’re called Nunu.

In the picture above Rose and Erica stand in front of the Monument. This monument was built for the Mr. Ginoza’s family.

Kaori offers water to the monument in a traditional Japanese style.

A little after the monument we must return to search for the second cave.

On the way we found baby coconuts crab under the rock.There is a lot of nature around this area.

Rose turned to the left on the way back and she said there is a very interesting cave a short way down south.

This is the entrance of cave 2. Rose has already made it in the cave on her own, and is now waiting for us to follow. Erica trying to enter but it’s really small and hard to get in.

She changed her mind and decide to enter legs first.

The picture above is Kaori entering cave 2. There is 90 degree steep slope just right after she got into cave.

Lina took this picture from middle of the cave. It looks like a thick rope but it is a root from plant outside. It was a life line to hold to getting into the cave.

Lina took this picture, too. At last I got into the entrance and trying to reach to the bottom.

Rose was already on the bottom and leading us deeper into the cave.

It’s looks quite narrow at the bottom of the cave but this is just a part of the it and there is a more wide area ahead.

It was not big as the first cave but there is pool on the bottom of this cave.

The water was cool and little salty. It’s really clear and beautiful place.

The water is dropping from the ceiling. If the flashlights were turned off you were unable to see anything. It’s absolutely dark world here in the cave.

It’s time to go back to outside because our flashlight has been used for a long period time… and we worry about being stuck in the caves while it’s pitch black.

Everyone was out of the cave safely with Rose’s lead and we were happy to see this cave 2. In the picture from left to right, Kaori, Lina, me, Erica and Rose.

We would like to say big thanks to Rose who led us this great hike.

Everyone is welcome to join these hikes
or to suggest hikes they can lead.