Thursday, May 12, 2011

Oahu, Hawaii: 41st Annual Ukulele Festival

Since 1971, Roy Sakuma and his sponsors have been keeping the ukulele alive and well by presenting the Annual Ukulele Festival every July at Kapiolani Park in the heart of Waikiki. The Ukulele Festival is a summer tradition attended and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. By far the largest of its kind in the world, the Ukulele Festival showcases ukulele artists from Hawaii and around the world and an ukulele band of over 800, mostly children. Feel the irresistible magic of the ukulele. Food booths, ukulele displays, ukulele giveaways and more - July 17, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Kapiolani Park Bandstand.

For more information, please visit the Ukulele Festival Hawaii website:

http://www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org/

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the cavaquinho or braguinha and the rajão, small guitar-like instruments brought to Hawaiʻi by Portuguese immigrants.

The name “ukulele” roughly translates as “jumping flea”, due to the action of one’s fingers playing the ukulele resembling a “jumping flea”. According to Queen Lili’uokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here”, from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Norwegian Epic Special Bonus through June 19 2011

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Celebrate summer in Europe!

Just book an applicable cruise to Europe aboard the award-winning Norwegian Epic and you’ll get up to $300* per stateroom to spend on board.

Norwegian Epic - Debuting in Europe this summer:

  • Blue Man Group - performs live at sea exclusively aboard Norwegian Epic
  • More than 20 dining options including churrascaria, sushi, teppanyaki and Chinese dim sum
  • More than a dozen places to celebrate the night like the SVEDKA Ice Bar, Spice H20 and Fat Cats
  • Unique accommodations like The Villas, Spa Suites, The Studios and more
  • Amazing amenities include the Aqua Park with three thrilling water slides, first-class spa and a two-story sports court

Onboard credit per stateroom:

  • Studio: $37.50
  • Inside: $75
  • Balcony: $150
  • Mini-Suite: $200
  • Suite: $300

Valid on the following 7 - Day Western Mediterranean Norwegian Epic sailings:

  • 5/22/2011 - 10/16/2011
  • 4/29/2012 - 10/14/2012

This exciting offer ends June 19 - for this or other cruises worldwide please see the Cruise with Naka’s page at:

http://www.nakastrav … eatured-cruises.html

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fukushima’s Hawaii girls go on tour

Hawaii in Japan? If you’ve seen the film Hula Girls then you already know why a remote mining town in Japan boasts a local troupe of hula dancers and a Hawaiian resort , but if you haven’t then you might find this article from the Telegraph interesting.

Spa Resort Hawaiians (スパリゾートハワイアンズ), located in the city of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, opened on January 15, 1966 as the Joban Hawaiian Center, becoming the first theme park in the country.

The resort was a response to the decline of the mining industry in Japan and its impact on the small mining town of Iwaki. The Joban Mine had become the Japan’s largest mine in 1944, but as Japan’s economy shifted from being powered by coal to oil in the 1960s, the mining company president hit upon the idea of using the area’s hot springs to open a Hawaiian themed resort. Instead of hiring outside dancers, the company decided to create its own, and initially trained 18 daughters of the mining company employees. In the very close-knit mining community, entire families would work at the Resort.

The 2006 film Hula Girls was based on the story of the founding of the resort.

The resort has been closed since the Japan earthquake and tsunami of March 11th 2011, but the Hula Girls have gone on tour to campaign for the safety of the resort and attract tourist back to the Fukushima area.

Read the full text of the Telegraph article here.