1 hour ago
The best part of our Japan trip was this moment! Can you imagine that on the other side of the world, are these extraordinary people that we get to call Family?!?
I present to you the best family story ever:
We booked the Japan cruise because it docked for the first time at a tiny island south of Okinawa called Miyakojima. Never had a ship this size been there. Before we left for our trip, we attempted to contact cousins and relatives in Japan but never made contact. So when we arrived to Miyako, it was like finding a needle in a haystack, looking for these people. But with my broken Japanese, a much-loved memory of a family owned and operated bakery from 45 years ago, and massive persistence, we scoured the island, asking every bakery if they knew our family. How funny that the whole island have the family name Shimoji, how would we ever find them?!? But we kept walked, kept asking questions, kept telling locals of our mission. Just when Mom & Dad we’re ready to give up, we stepped into a little dress shop with air conditioning. A conversation with the shopkeeper and a thought to call cousin Koji, and by the grace of the shopkeeper speaking to Koji, we had Hiroko’s phone number. The shop keeper asked us to wait a moment, “chotto matte” and poured us a cup of tea. Then suddenly, my mom’s cousin and her daughter burst through the door! It was a beautifully tearful moment! Two women embraced, my mom and her cousin, reunited after 45 years, with memories of my mom growing up in Miyako, still fresh in their hearts. We drove just around the corner to their home- turned out we had wandered right around their home all morning. There stood the old bakery, still in business. My mom’s grandmother’s picture hung on
There’s just no way to share all the magical moments of this trip, but here’s a few from our first days at sea and at Okinawa... more to come for sure 🇯🇵❤️
Scroll to end to see some of my fave moments with my dad. So great to see him happy and goofing around
#LoveTheLifeYouLive at Miyako-jima