Friday, August 21, 2009

Meeting the marines, Iwakuni

F-18 Fighter Jets at Iwakuni

How often in your life do you get chance to visit a US marine base?

Well having met Chrystal in Tokyo for our Interac training I was soooo excited when she invited me down to stay with her and her friend Leah in Iwakuni, 20 mins south of Hiroshima. Leah is a US marine and Chrystal works at the recreation centre “on base”.

The big wig at Iwakuni

Let me just put “the base” in perspective. When Leah said she hadn’t left base for 3 months I thought bloody eck, I’d be going mad by now. I didn’t know at this point that base is 4/5 miles long by so many miles wide. Yes huge. They have their own golf course, bowling alley, cinema, Taco Bell, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Bath & Home depot, massive shopping mall, supermarkets, a church, the lot. No wonder she hasn’t left base. They use US dollars, not yen. You’d actually forget you were ever in Japan living on base, which I’m not sure is a great thing…!? Even the bloody steaks are imported! Unbelievable.

Me and the girls geting our imported food fix at the Marine Mart, Iwakuni

Anyway, it was a really refreshing change, I felt as though I’d flown to the US for a weekend holiday. WOW, to eat an oversized steak and cajun prawns on an supersized BBQ and drink oversized margaritas and Bud watching the beautiful sunset . Who can complain?

Me with the supersize BBQ

Waiting for din dins

I must admit I did get a bit overexcited too just seeing marines everywhere. I might have even let out a proper girly squeal at one point. (I was in the car so saved embarrassment)

Officers walking about Iwakuni

There really is something about a man in uniform. I kept to looking only, no touching. Beefy men with crew cuts aren’t my type. However I did insist on a piccie with Leah’s subordinates (they were petrified of her & obeyed her order when she said her English friend wanted a pic) so voila.

Me with some of Leah's reportees

In the evening we set off for the Officers Club (OC) and I got talking to a colonel who flew those huge fighter jets (known as F18’s) All very exciting except for when I was trying to describe where Kanazawa was he drew a crappy map and asked me if it was north of KIYOTEEE. I was like Kiyoteee? Ahh....after a few seconds I realised he meant “Kyoto”. Oh dear and isn’t this from someone who flies jets over Japan and studies flight maps? I couldn’t help correcting him. He said “Ahh Kyoto, yes that’s right” and pegged it sharpish.

Other than us all being propositioned by some seedy Filipino hookers in a bar in Iwakuni, no other news to report from my US Marines weekend. Great fun.


  1. Did you visit the awesome bridge in Iwakuni? I went to Iwakuni and saw the bridge (missed the fabulous base, though :(...guess you can probably only get in with an invite, eh?) I could show them my American passport, though...

    Suddenly I miss the U.S. ...

  2. Lol that park go up the bridge over the Benjo ditch townhouse on the right my old house back when the big wig was Sgt. Maj. St. Pierre