Natsuyona Tea House – Professional Development and World War II History

I’ve been to a lot of professional development workshops, classes, training, conferences over the course of my career as an educator.

Maybe it is part of the local culture in Hawaii, but we like to eat. Even when speakers get flown in from the mainland, whenever you get a gathering of Hawaii educators, all the munchies and snacks get thrown in the middle of the table for all to share. When I’ve attended conferences on the mainland, its always easy to spot a group of educators from Hawaii, just by the amount and type of snack on the table. I’m unsure if other educators across the nationwide do the same.

Today’s professional development was very productive, and I learned a lot regarding reorganization and planning for school wide reform for improvement on student instruction. I walked away learning about the need for consistency and planning across content areas and disciplines. The challenge (as always) will be buy-in from the rest of the staff, but that’s another matter.

I wanted to randomly share about this cute little place called Natsuyona Tea House atop Alewa Heights on Oahu. It’s got a great view of the Honolulu skyline and the waters, despite the construction and concrete jungle of the area. Not only does it have great Japanese food, but it’s got rich historical value from the World War II era.

From the outside, it looks like someone’s home. It was a tea house during World War II and one of it’s customers was a spy from the Japanese Consulate who used to send coded messages back to Tokyo about  the ship movements in Pearl Harbor.

It is a charming little tea house with culture, and I thought it was the cutest place. I admire places like this in Hawaii that really find the importance in holding on to heritage.

Learning about the past, where we came from, helps us to discover who we are now, and understanding that perspective betters ourselves so that we may find purpose in our identity. Of course, there is balance to how much heritage we need to hold on to, but all in all, I like finding gems like this place.

As family business go, I hope this hangs around for a while for future generations. Should you visit Oahu, doing the tourist stuff can be fun, but discovering a place like this is a nice bonus.