What I love about Hilo

Yesterday we spent the day driving from Waikoloa to Hilo and exploring a little. I am drawn to that area.

Our first stop was at Ira Ono’s gallery called Volcano Garden Arts. I love the wild things he does. It always looks like he’s having so much fun. There’s colorful stuff that he’s created everywhere: jewelry, collages, sculptures. They hold classes there and it’s just a neat place to visit.

We stopped at a warehouse selling huge concrete cast pieces from Thailand. The owner is also an organic farmer and has 45 acres. He consults with Asian farmers on organic farming.

The Hilo Farmer’s Market is one of the best in the state. It’s held on Wednesdays and Saturdays and we always try to go there if we’re on the island. I love checking out the different kinds of produce and flowers. I’ve picked up goat cheese, edible flowers for salads, and hard-to-find herbs. I really go there to people watch.

Dragon Mama’s is another regular stop for me. She’s now carrying organic tea from Japan and China. It’s a unique store carrying organic cotton futons, zabutons, cotton socks, incense. You get the picture.

My new favorite stop is Rain, the gallery of Clayton Amemiya. Clayton is not only a gifted ceramicist, but he’s just an amiable person and delightful to talk to. His shop had been closed on all of our previous visits. I was curious about the name of the store and the sign. The last time we were there his store was open. There are rows of teacups, bowls, vases, plates that are beautiful, each one so different. The snapshots I took would never do Clayton’s work justice.
Here’s his storefront:   

We love Restaurant Kaikodo which has the best fried oysters with lemon aioli and tobiko. There is a description of the restaurant on their site that beats anything I could say:  http://www.restaurantkaikodo.com /


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