About yokomassage

Massage therapist, Runner, Backpacker, Skier, Loves yoga, Loves animals, Loves nature, Loves travel, Loves music, Loves SMAP (esp. Shingo!)

Ski videos

Every winter, I come to Breckenridge, Colorado.
I really love this town and the mountains.

Since I have a epic pass, I can go to Keystone, Beaver Creek, and Vail while I am here, but Breckenridge has 5 mountains connected together, so even though I stay for 4 to 5 weeks, I never get tired of skiing here.

Steven made this video in 2014.

Evan made it in 2015.

And Dave made this video in 2015, too.

It’s so beautiful and fun! I love skiing and hanging out with them. ūüôā

What’s next? – Backpacking!!!

OK. I already wrote about my running and skiing before, so what is next?
Answer is Backpacking!!!I love backpacking especially in Grand Canyon.

I usually go to Grand Canyon at least once a year. The first time was in 2006. Since then, I have been backpacking in Grand Canyon 6 times.
Reisterstown-Massage-Therapy-Yoko-Magnolia-Grandcanyon3Here are my Grand Canyon backpack experiences;

April 2006
 Day 1- South Kaibab Trailhead to Bright Angel Campground
Day 2- Bright Angel Campground to Indian Garden  (via Bright Angel Trail)
Day 3- Indian Garden Campground to Bright Angel Trailhead

April 2007
Day 1- Hermit Trailhead to Hermit Creek Campsite
Day 2 -Hermit Creek Campsite to Monument Campsite (via Tonto Trail)
Day 3 –¬†Monument Campsite to Indian Garden Campground (via Tonto Trail)
Day 4¬†–¬†Indian Garden Campground¬†to Bright Angel Trailhead

April 2008
Day 1-  South Kaibab Trailhead to Bright Angel Campground
Day 2 -Day hike to Ribbon Falls (Stay at Bright Angel Campground)
Day 3- Bright Angel Campground to Indian Garden Campground
Day 4 –¬†Indian Garden Campground¬†to ¬†Bright Angel Trailhead

March 2009
Day 1- South Kaibab Trailhead to Bright Angel Campground
Day 2 РBright Angel Campground to Clear Creek Campsite (via Clear Creek trail)
Day 3 – Day hike around Clear Creek (Stay at Clear Creek Campsite)
Day 4 РClear Creek Campsite to Bright Angel Campground (via Clear Creek trail)
Day 5 РBright Angel Campground to Bright Angel Trailhead

September 2010
Day 1- South Kaibab Trailhead to Bright Angel Campground
Day 2- Bright Angel Campground to Cottonwood Campground (via North Kaibab Trail)
Day 3- Cottonwood C.G. to North Rim (via North Kaibab Trail)
Day 4 РNorth Rim to Cottonwood C.G. (via North Kaibab Trail)
Day 5 РCottonwood C.G to Bright Angel Campground (via Ribbon Falls)
Day 6 –¬†Bright Angel¬†Campground¬†to Bright Angel Trailhead

April 2012
Day 1- Grandview Trailhead to Cottonwood Creek
Day 2 –¬†Cottonwood Creek to Grapevine Canyon (via Tonto Trail)
Day 3 ‚Äď Grapevine Canyon to Lonetree Canyon (via Tonto Trail)
Day 4 ‚Äď Lonetree Canyon to Phantom Ranch (via Tonto and S. Kaibab)
Day 5 ‚Äď Layover Day at Phantom Ranch ‚Äď Hike up Utah Flats

Day 6 ‚Äď Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel Trailhead¬†

Reisterstown-Massage-Therapy-Yoko-Magnolia-Grandcanyon1I love backpacking because I always learn something very important from the beautiful nature.

When I backpack, I have to carry all the food, water, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, toiletry, and so on. If I have trash, I have to carry it out, too. I have to know how heavy I can carry, in other words, I have to know my capacity. If I carry too much, I cannot hike well. That would cause my entire backpack team to fail because there is no transportation in the canyon, so my legs are the only way to get out even if I don’t feel well.

Before I go on a backpacking trip, I have to train a lot with very heavy weight. Also, I have to choose what I really need in my backpack. I have to eliminate what I might not need before the backpack. This is very difficult but important. ¬†I guess I can relate this to my life as well. If I have too many things going on, I would feel stressed and wouldn’t be happy every day. If I know the capacity of my life, and what I can handle, I wouldn’t feel stressed, and every day would be happy. If I want to do more than I can, that is if I want more capacity in my life, I can train for it, just as if I want to carry more stuff for backpacking, I should train and make my body stronger so that I can carry more. It’s always good to challenge and push myself, but It’s very important to be aware of my body and life capacity.


Some campsites have a water faucet, but most don’t, so I have to pump and filter water wherever I can. I need water for cooking, drinking, washing my face, and brushing my teeth. I cannot get hot water while backpacking, so I carry a stove for that purpose.

Every day I have to set a tent up and find a comfortable place to sleep, even when it is raining /windy/ hot or cold outside. Since there are no communication tools, I have to cooperate with my team members. We need to stay together, otherwise there may be no way to catch up.

I always feel how special my daily life is after backpacking trips. I can take a hot bath anytime I want. I can sleep very comfortably in the puffy bed which is protected by a roof and walls. I can keep as much food in the refrigerator as I want. I can communicate with my friends and family with phone and computer. I can go on and on, but anyway I feel so special and very lucky to have this ordinary life. I was always thankful for my daily life before I started backpacking, but now I appreciate what I have every day even that much more.

Reisterstown-Massage-Therapy-Yoko-Magnolia-Grandcanyon2I have more that I have learned from mother earth, but I will write it next time!


I am in the music video!

Recently students in Ohio contacted me through mixi which is a Japanese social media site and told me that they want to make a music video. They needed people from each of the 50 states in the US. They asked if I would represent Maryland.

The idea was that each of us would sing a little part and they would turn it into one music video. This song actually originated in Japan and is called “I Love You & I Need You, Fukushima.” It was released ¬†after the Eastern Japan earthquake and tsunami on 3/11/2011.

In the new version (released 3/11/2012 which is one year later) we are singing “I love you, Nippon ( =Japan)” and wanted to tell people that we love Japan and care about Japan from the US.

I was in Colorado when I recorded my part, but I tried to make it look like Maryland, so my family helped me. We are around 1:26.

The original music video has 1.5 million views and was created by 47 people from each prefecture (state) in Japan. Hopefully this one will go viral as well.

Please check it out! and please remember that Eastern Japan and especially the Fukushima area are still struggling.

My favorite season

The funky leaf

I love the fall. It’s so beautiful!
I actually like the four seasons. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Japan which has four seasons.¬†Each season has its own beauty and teaches me something.

In the fall, I really appreciate that I can see such beautiful colors which are created by nature.¬†Of course humans can create beautiful things, but it’s no comparison with natural beauty.

We are living on the planet earth. We have only one mother earth.
We have to treat her well and thank her everyday.
If we don’t, we all are going to get punished.

Dispose of trash properly. (Especially when I hike in the mountains and Grand Canyon)
Save energy. (Turn off and unplug when I don’t use something)

What are you doing for mother earth??

Finished my Third Marathon!

I have been pretty active for all of my life. When I was a kid, I joined the dodge ball club and played baseball with boys. When I was in junior high school, I played basketball for three years. After that, I played tennis, did jazz dance and so on.

Believe or not, I really truly didn’t like running entire my life. I didn’t see the point of just running. What’s the fun of just running?

But in June 2004, I started to run. The reason was;
1, I just moved from New Orleans to the Baltimore suburbs and didn’t have any friends in Baltimore = nothing to do!
2, My school started in September, so I  had nothing to do!
3, Around my house it was horse country and since it was so beautiful, why not exercise?

So, I started to run. However I couldn’t run even 1 mile at that time.
My husband was a very good coach for me and always encouraged me and had never been competitive. In other words, he always told me “You are doing great!,” “That’s wonderful!,” “Nothing wrong with slow running,” and more every time I exercised.

In August 2004, we ran the Annapolis 10 miler, and I finished. It took more than 2 hours.
After the run, I could hardly walk. Anyway, I was glad that I finished!

Since then, I started to run regulary little by little. I still didn’t love running but my husband always registered me in some races, so I kind of had to run ūüôā
Every year we ran the Annapolis 10 miler and some 5K races. In May 2009, I ran my first half marathon – The Maryland Half Marathon – because my stepdaughter organized the race.

Then I ran my first marathon in October 2009¬†in Chicago. ¬†I still remember when my husband asked me to run a marathon. My answer was “No! It’s way too long!” But then he said “How about if we dedicate running the marathon to Nan (who was his grandmother who had just passed away)?” Nan was always sweet and very nice to me, so I decided that I would attempt to run the marathon.

Training for the marathon took a lot of time and it was very difficult for me. We had to train in the summer, so it was very hot. We sometimes woke up at 4am and ran. The marathon was tough. In the beginning I felt good pretty good, but after 20 miles I had pain in my legs. I stopped and stretched, then ran again. But it didn’t work so after 21 miles I had to start walking again. After walking for a while, I felt pain in my legs even though I was walking. I was almost crying because of the pain and thought I couldn’t finish, but I kept walking with pain. After 24 miles my legs felt a little better, so I started to run slowly. I was very emotional at that time. “Maybe I can finish it!” I also thought “why I am doing this?” But I didn’t want to quit. I just wanted to finish. It took almost 6 hours to finish my first marathon but I finished it!

I learned many things from running a marathon. In my mind, running a marathon wasn’t the thing I wanted to do in my life. Another words, I really didn’t like just running and I never thought I ran marathon in my life. However, once I set the goal and worked hard, I could reach the goal I have never imagine. I could change myself as long as I change my mind. I can turn the things from impossible to possible. Also the feeling of achievement cannot be put in words. I felt great after I finished my first marathon. Since then I like running.

One year later, I returned to Chicago and completed the 2010 Chicago Marathon. It was a very hot day (in the 80’s), which made it difficult, but I set my mind on the finish line and I made it.

This year, I was sick for the Chicago Marathon, so I couldn’t run. It was very sad when I walked back to the hotel from the start line. I trained hard all summer long for this marathon. Sometimes I just wanted to stay with my cats in the bed, but I got up and ran. I thought I was managing my eating, sleeping and exercising well, but I had a cough and fever. I was very disappointed, sad and frustrated about the fact that I could not run that day. After the race, my stepson told me that the Baltimore Marathon was going to take place the next Saturday. I was still sick and disappointed, so I didn’t feel like I could run the Baltimore Marathon.

I was thinking everyday since I heard about the Baltimore Marathon. “I still have congestion. Should I run? Can I run? Do I want to run?” and so on. Then I remembered what Steve Jobs said at the Stanford University graduation speech “If you die tomorrow, is today good for me?” then I thought “If I didn’t run Baltimore Marathon, I would regret it, so I will try. If my condition isn’t good on marathon day, I can stop anytime I want to, so I should try!”

This year, I couldn’t get the goal of “finishing Chicago Marathon” but I did finish the Baltimore Marathon under 5 hours which is my personal record.

Reaching a goal is not necessarily simple nor easy, but I feel if I try and try, I could achieve anything I want. “Keep trying” and “Keep doing”are important. That is what I have learn from running marathons.

So what are your goals? Please tell me. I believe you can reach them!