Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Overlooking the beautiful bay from the entrance of the nature preserve

Undoubtedly one of the most visited sites on Oahu, the nature preserve of Hanauma Bay provides one of the easiest accesses to a coral reef teeming with fish. Upwards of one million people visit the bay each year. While many of these visitors are tourists, locals still make it out to enjoy the waters, snorkeling, and the beach. Since we live nearby, it was easy enough for us to get up early to beat the crowds and enjoy a morning of snorkeling and sun.

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Niu Valley Middle School Cleanup Day

The Rotary Club of Kahala Sunrise turned out to help clear up yard debris (photo credit: Ryan Kawamoto)

I really enjoyed our last half-day community service project, helping to clear invasive mangrove trees at a fish pond in Kaneohe Bay. For this month’s project we stayed in the East Oahu area and helped Niu Valley Middle School with a campus cleanup project. About a dozen of my fellow rotarians turned up early this past Saturday to pitch in and help!

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New Eats: Vintage Cave Cafe

The unique entrance is just a preview to the design aesthetic of this new restaurant

Occupying the space of the high-end tasting menu restaurant, costing $300+ per person, the original Vintage Cave Honolulu in the former basement area of Shirokiya was inaccessible to many. The high price point and club membership format meant that most Hawaii diners would never get the opportunity to experience the unique design of the restaurant. That was until Vintage Cave Cafe, the originals sister-restaurant, opened its doors this week.

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New Eats: Gen Korean BBQ House

The long awaited all-you-can-eat yakiniku restaurant opened to big crowds this weekend

One of the culinary downsides to living in Minnesota was the utter lack of yakiniku restaurants. Right at the tail end of our five years there one place did open up, but for 5 years we went without being able to satisfy our craving to go to a restaurant and cook Korean-style bbq over a hot grill. Since we’ve moved back I’ve been to a fair number of yakiniku places around town, but I’m not really one for the “all you can eat” scene. I made an exception this past weekend to visit Gen Korean BBQ House, which opened its first Hawaii location in Ala Moana.

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Parasailing

Floating on a parasail 700 feet over the ocean is our idea of a good time!

During out trip to Cancun last year, we wanted to try parasailing with a vendor who set up every day right out on the beach in front of our hotel. On the day that we finally decided to give it a try, the winds started to come in too strongly and the vendor unfortunately had to close up shop for the day due to safety concerns. This was a disappointment, as the azure blue waters off the Cancun coast would have been beautiful thing to enjoy.

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New Eats: Tonkatsu Tamafuji

Tonkatsu Tamafuji features an open kitchen with the copper frying pots right up front

Seems like Hawaii has been getting a recent influx of restaurant “chains” from Japan – Yakitori Hachibei, Katsumidori Sushi, and of course all the vendors at both the Shirokiya Village Walk and Waikiki Yokocho. Now you can add Tonkatsu Tamafuji, a chain of restaurants from Sapporo, to the list. The restaurant had only been open for 6 days during our visit, but word has seemingly spread quickly as it was a full house even for an early lunch.

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