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Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Page 4

Day 10 - Monday, 5 November 2018

I found a mountain in Nago

This morning I got up too early as always, went and waited for it to be late enough to buy a coffee, and made a last minute change of plans. I had plans to go places nearby, that will probably now be tomorrow, as today I found a mountain to go to on Okinawa! Yes more boring pictures of view and paths up mountains, who is excited?

To get to this mountain I had to get to the second biggest city on Okinawa, Nago. This was a 2 hour bus ride and quite expensive at about $20... each way! Later in the day I got my return journey for only $10 as the driver gave me money back and told me in English that he wished more people would visit his home town of Nago, so that was nice.
Anyway, finding my bus was needlessly difficult in Naha. Theres a big modern bus terminal, and signs to ticket counters, all shut, signs to information offices, all shut, signs to collection points, temporary signage showing the wrong location etc. This caused me to miss a bus and I noted that lots of other people were walking around in endless circles looking perplexed. One little old lady managed to awaken a whale sized man from inside an office who very reluctantly slithered out and barked orders at various people in Japanese. This was no help to me, I eventually just stood on the corner where I knew the bus was coming from, waited for the one with my number, and then ran along the road after it until it stopped!
I hate buses.

Anyway, Nago itself, as you shall see, is not much of a city. The mountain is apparently behind the city castle ruins, all I could find were kids playground equipment and a scout camp, and then I could not find the trail head. No problem, I followed a track around the back of the mountain and found an excellent challenging path up to the summit, and then followed the easy path down through the scout camping grounds. This made my day more rewarding, so rewarding I bought a chocolate covered croissant and got chocolate all over my white from sunscreen face.
Perhaps thats why the driver on the return journey gave me my money back? He felt bad for me and my various facial disfigurements?

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Near my hotel, a back hoe has climbed a pile of rubble. You dont really see this in Australia, but its very common all over Asia. They always look to

Near my hotel, a back hoe has climbed a pile of rubble. You dont really see this in Australia, but its very common all over Asia. They always look to me like they are about to topple over.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This sign is not where the bus left from, and its a crap photo, but its here because the bottom half is a giant e-ink screen. I had never seen such a

This sign is not where the bus left from, and its a crap photo, but its here because the bottom half is a giant e-ink screen. I had never seen such a thing before. Pressing the button to the right of it (hard to see here) caused it to refresh in a manner just like an Amazon Kindle, except its the size of an A2 piece of paper.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is where I got off the bus. A pig to greet the pig man!

This is where I got off the bus. A pig to greet the pig man!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Before heading up the hill I checked out the beach. The sand looked crap but the water with the mountains in the background looked nice. The journey w

Before heading up the hill I checked out the beach. The sand looked crap but the water with the mountains in the background looked nice. The journey was a mix of nice green areas and very industrial areas. Much more industrial than I was expecting.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - A view of the city of Nago, and my mountain behind it (I think). I notice my usage of brackets is back.

A view of the city of Nago, and my mountain behind it (I think). I notice my usage of brackets is back.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Its a covered street. But I would not call it a covered shopping street, since all the shops are shut. This was the case later in the day when I retur

Its a covered street. But I would not call it a covered shopping street, since all the shops are shut. This was the case later in the day when I returned also.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - These are photos of Japans version of the Danish style dolphin hunt! Just like in Denmark, boats surround pods of dolphins and force them into Nago ba

These are photos of Japans version of the Danish style dolphin hunt! Just like in Denmark, boats surround pods of dolphins and force them into Nago bay where hungry locals stab them with spears until the sea turns red. Its a great festival the whole family can enjoy!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is the nice path ascending to the castle ruins, somewhat ruined by the steel hand rail. Ruins ruined. I amuse myself.

This is the nice path ascending to the castle ruins, somewhat ruined by the steel hand rail. Ruins ruined. I amuse myself.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - From this angle, Nago looks like a sizeable metropolis, it is not.

From this angle, Nago looks like a sizeable metropolis, it is not.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The temple, as ever. There was no one around.

The temple, as ever. There was no one around.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This path was a false start, it went up to a grave of some importance, probably the actual ruins, I then had to follow it back down again.

This path was a false start, it went up to a grave of some importance, probably the actual ruins, I then had to follow it back down again.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Nice mid level view from where I suspect the castle ruins are. Probably the best view of the day.

Nice mid level view from where I suspect the castle ruins are. Probably the best view of the day.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I still wanted to get up that mountain. Its not much of a mountain, but its a mountain, and I will take any mountain if thats the only mountain on off

I still wanted to get up that mountain. Its not much of a mountain, but its a mountain, and I will take any mountain if thats the only mountain on offer.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - After following an access track around the bottom for a few kilometres, I found a sign posted path up, complete with ropes! This was a very good chall

After following an access track around the bottom for a few kilometres, I found a sign posted path up, complete with ropes! This was a very good challenging path, good to go up, probably not great to come down. The only issue was I had not brought my gloves with me, so my poor girly hands suffered on the rough ropes!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Behold, the view across Okinawa, you can see the ocean on the other side.

Behold, the view across Okinawa, you can see the ocean on the other side.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The abandoned city of Nago. Its easy to confuse the names Naha and Nago, at one point I started typing Naho.

The abandoned city of Nago. Its easy to confuse the names Naha and Nago, at one point I started typing Naho.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Another small city and a dolphin murdering bay.

Another small city and a dolphin murdering bay.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The best photo of me yet!!!!! The very humid weather is giving me an awesome afro hairstyle. I dont try to fight it.

The best photo of me yet!!!!! The very humid weather is giving me an awesome afro hairstyle. I dont try to fight it.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The path down (now that I found it from the top) was very easy, with stairs most of the way. I was glad I accidentally found my alternative path.

The path down (now that I found it from the top) was very easy, with stairs most of the way. I was glad I accidentally found my alternative path.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It looked nice in the afternoon sun.

It looked nice in the afternoon sun.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The final bit before emerging in the scout camp was a small ravine of moss covered rocks. At times I had to place one foot in front of the other to fi

The final bit before emerging in the scout camp was a small ravine of moss covered rocks. At times I had to place one foot in front of the other to fit.
Despite the long expensive (but then partially refunded) bus ride, I was very glad I found myself a mountain in Nago.


Night of the many cats

Tonight I saw a lot of cats. Japan is full of cats. If you are a cat you should probably move to Japan.
Actually I saw lots of cats on the mountain earlier today as well, every now and then one would come out of the woods and follow me for a while, but I never got a clear photo.

This evening I also explored some of the shopping streets and discovered they are a labyrinthine rabbit warren of shops, markets, boutiques and cafes. Probably the most interesting shopping area I ever saw in Japan. I dont really understand now how it went for so far and off in so many directions without crossing a road. I studied the map at a few points and found I was facing in the opposite direction to that which I expected.

At one point I came out for air and to get a bearing and found there was a bit of a park on a hill, so up the stairs I went. You can see the view below, but what you cant see is the guy who was up there on his own (before I arrived) who was attempting to balance a ping pong ball on his nose while filming himself. Perhaps he was training to be a seal at the circus.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - First I headed off into a side street, not a great photo but there were hundreds of little restaurants, often with people sitting on coke crates outsi

First I headed off into a side street, not a great photo but there were hundreds of little restaurants, often with people sitting on coke crates outside. This reminded me a lot of Taiwan.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Ivory is still available for purchase in Japan. The great Japanese elephant has been extinct for centuries.

Ivory is still available for purchase in Japan. The great Japanese elephant has been extinct for centuries.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here we have a shop cat. His focus never shifts from the horizon. He's seen things......

Here we have a shop cat. His focus never shifts from the horizon. He's seen things......


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I couldnt work out if this guy was selling stuff, or just proudly displaying his collection of empty bottles.

I couldnt work out if this guy was selling stuff, or just proudly displaying his collection of empty bottles.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Strangely, much of the actual market stays open until 9pm, including fish and meat areas. I am used to these shutting early. Some stalls are shut but

Strangely, much of the actual market stays open until 9pm, including fish and meat areas. I am used to these shutting early. Some stalls are shut but at least 50% are open.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I think I found the end of the market. There was every kind of street covering, bright and new down to dull and old as depicted here.

I think I found the end of the market. There was every kind of street covering, bright and new down to dull and old as depicted here.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - These are not fishing supplies, apparently its a store dedicated to trinkets to hang off jewelery. Weird.

These are not fishing supplies, apparently its a store dedicated to trinkets to hang off jewelery. Weird.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Heres the photo I took in the park where the guy was making a movie about balancing a ping pong ball on his nose.

Heres the photo I took in the park where the guy was making a movie about balancing a ping pong ball on his nose.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Park cat. He was also quite happy to pose for me, even the orange pre focus light thing didnt bother him.

Park cat. He was also quite happy to pose for me, even the orange pre focus light thing didnt bother him.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Some of the shops are nicer than the usual tourist fare. None of them have a NO PHOTO attitude that I picked up on.

Some of the shops are nicer than the usual tourist fare. None of them have a NO PHOTO attitude that I picked up on.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is another shop dedicated to jewelry, exclusively silver jewelry, which requires a Porsche.

Here is another shop dedicated to jewelry, exclusively silver jewelry, which requires a Porsche.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - An underground zoo. They have the usual things like owls and hedgehogs for you to torture, but they also claim to have an otter? Otters have terrifyin

An underground zoo. They have the usual things like owls and hedgehogs for you to torture, but they also claim to have an otter? Otters have terrifying sharp teeth!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - My dinner tonight was delicious. It is wholemeal soba, advertised as 'brown soba with germ', lots of vegetables and allegedly, some local Okinawa pork

My dinner tonight was delicious. It is wholemeal soba, advertised as 'brown soba with germ', lots of vegetables and allegedly, some local Okinawa pork. It was the best noodles I have had on this trip so far and very cheap.


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

adriana on 2018-11-05 said:

More shops please and more cats. You can never have two many of both.


jenny on 2018-11-05 said:

Glad you found a mountain. Any snakes in Okinawa?



Day 11 - Tuesday, 6 November 2018

I joined the imperial navy

As depicted in numerous computer games such as battlefront, Okinawa was the site of one of the bloodiest and longest battles of WW2. US forces needed to establish an air base on Okinawa to control the region. They were successful. One of the last places to be overrun was the navy headquarters tunnels in Naha, so thats where I went today.

I expected it to be on the ocean and have ships or submarine berths attached to it, but instead its built into a hill under some castle ruins. I suspect the old castle already had some tunnels under it, so they extended those.
Because I enjoy roasting in the humid sunshine, I walked a long round trip from my hotel to the headquarters and back again, just a 20km journey. It was interesting enough, I stopped at multiple supermarkets along the way to gawk at stuff and buy a banana, buy a bottle of water, use their bathrooms or use their rubbish bins.
In one particular shop a small guy in uniform decided to stalk me, following me around the entire store, so I played with him for a while by taking stuff off the shelves and pretending to read it upside down, pretending to drop it, putting back in the wrong place temporarily. I could see it was sending him insane, but then why was he following me so obviously?

Anyway, the navy tunnels were quite interesting, it is probably not a full day trip and it is hard to get to by public transport according to the internet (no bother to me though).

I planned only a small outing today because it is WASHING DAY! And washing day never goes smoothly, today has been no exception so far.
The washing machines or laundry as they call it are located inside the hotels public bath area, which is closed between 10am and 3pm for cleaning. The machines are not in the actual bath area but the change rooms. So I wander down with a suitcase full of dirty clothes and attempt to enter the change rooms. An army of cleaners stand between me and the entrance making a cross over their chest. I thought back to my recent military training but opted against rushing the enemy.
I tried explaining in English, then Chinese, no go, eventually as I stared them down, they called down to reception and asked me to speak on the phone, I just said... laundry? And the phone was snatched off of me before I could even here an answer. A long conversation ensued and finally I was escorted the final 3 metres of my journey to the washing machine.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I was amused that not only have the orange cones and barriers been erected around these road works, but some rope has been strung across the area as w

I was amused that not only have the orange cones and barriers been erected around these road works, but some rope has been strung across the area as well, just in case a helicopter planned to land on this spot.
Whoever makes the black and yellow rope in Okinawa is rich, its everywhere! On the mountain yesterday there were kilometres of it.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - On my journey I had to cross a number of bridges. Enjoy the view. Clear blue skies all morning.

On my journey I had to cross a number of bridges. Enjoy the view. Clear blue skies all morning.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Of course, there was a small shrine to hike up and enjoy the view. Below we have old people golf. Its like golf but you throw/roll a 'bowl' into a big

Of course, there was a small shrine to hike up and enjoy the view. Below we have old people golf. Its like golf but you throw/roll a 'bowl' into a big hoop placed on the 'green' that is actually 'brown'. 'Quotes'.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I always enjoy the colorful anime characters decorating graves in shrines.

I always enjoy the colorful anime characters decorating graves in shrines.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - What kind of day would it be without a red torii gate in Japan?

What kind of day would it be without a red torii gate in Japan?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The only 'train' in Okinawa (yes more quotes and brackets too) is the Naha monorail. I like impressive infrastructure.

The only 'train' in Okinawa (yes more quotes and brackets too) is the Naha monorail. I like impressive infrastructure.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Racist! If you have kept up with the news you will know that Japanese schools are expelling students who do not dye their hair Japanese black.

Racist! If you have kept up with the news you will know that Japanese schools are expelling students who do not dye their hair Japanese black.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This is a very impressive playground on the side of a hill. I can think of 10 ways to die here. I got half way down before I got stuck.

This is a very impressive playground on the side of a hill. I can think of 10 ways to die here. I got half way down before I got stuck.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is the view of the far side of Naha, which is a large city.

Here is the view of the far side of Naha, which is a large city.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is a view of a small rubbish dump on the grounds of the old castle with the main part of the city behind it. That rubbish is visible from the vie

Here is a view of a small rubbish dump on the grounds of the old castle with the main part of the city behind it. That rubbish is visible from the viewing platform on the navy headquarters grounds, quite surprising!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Now I am inside the museum. The main claim here that I am suspicious of is that the Japanese naval offices were finally defeated when they were gassed

Now I am inside the museum. The main claim here that I am suspicious of is that the Japanese naval offices were finally defeated when they were gassed by US marines. Internet says -
'However, despite the intense anti-Japanese feelings and the steady increase in budget and personnel for the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) during the war, the United States never used lethal gases in the Pacific.'.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It is a very small museum but there is quite a bit of English. The people selling the tickets told me to spend time reading everything in the musuem i

It is a very small museum but there is quite a bit of English. The people selling the tickets told me to spend time reading everything in the musuem in detail.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Now I shall descend into the tunnels.

Now I shall descend into the tunnels.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Like all war related things in Japan, first I must pass the paper cranes.

Like all war related things in Japan, first I must pass the paper cranes.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It seems a long way down, I guess its not really, but it is solid rock.

It seems a long way down, I guess its not really, but it is solid rock.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Darkest photo of the day. I find it weird that apparently they had to dig it by pick and shovel in a hurry, yet they have carved fake tree logs / root

Darkest photo of the day. I find it weird that apparently they had to dig it by pick and shovel in a hurry, yet they have carved fake tree logs / roots into the walls?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The tunnels go for a few hundred metres. There are a few areas still off limits according to a map.

The tunnels go for a few hundred metres. There are a few areas still off limits according to a map.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This salt covered room is where the lower ranks slept standing up.

This salt covered room is where the lower ranks slept standing up.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Some of the tunnels are very narrow and low. There were not a lot of emergency exits, I was checking!

Some of the tunnels are very narrow and low. There were not a lot of emergency exits, I was checking!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The main tunnel.

The main tunnel.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Despite a hundred guys sleeping standing up, this is the commanding officers banquet hall.

Despite a hundred guys sleeping standing up, this is the commanding officers banquet hall.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - On my return journey I passed through some mangrove swamps. I did not see any crocodiles.

On my return journey I passed through some mangrove swamps. I did not see any crocodiles.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Heres me in the near future. Staring at birds in mangroves through multiple telescopes.

Heres me in the near future. Staring at birds in mangroves through multiple telescopes.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Enjoy one more view of Naha for the day.

Enjoy one more view of Naha for the day.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I cut through the backstreets to get back to my hotel and its off limits washing machine. Naha is not all bright and colorful tourist friendly areas a

I cut through the backstreets to get back to my hotel and its off limits washing machine. Naha is not all bright and colorful tourist friendly areas after all.


Okinawa does not understand beaches

Tonight I went the other way from my hotel, to the beach. The beach was very strange. There are a couple of beaches, they both face multiple freeway overpasses as you shall see.
I believe they are fenced in as well, so there must be sharks or something that will kill you in the area.
This reminds me, there are snakes in Okinawa, for whatever reason the navy headquarters museum had big signs explaining all the different snakes, some had cartoon characters in great pain suggesting they are poisonous. I did not see any snakes on my hike yesterday.

After the beach, I walked past the beach side juvenile detention centre, and then past a combination bowling alley, golf driving range and learner driving school. I really do think the owners of that place realised they had a car park far too big for the number of customers they still had at their other attractions, so they turned the car park into a driving school.

My journey back to the neon zones and food took me through some very boring looking red light districts, where the lights were still off. I suspect I am too early to pay 3000 yen per hour to have toast fed to me.

In good news, I know what my dinner is tomorrow night. Generally what always happens is, I spend an hour wandering around deciding what to eat, without ever really finding the perfect choice. As soon as I walk out of my semi reluctant choice, I immediately spot 20 better places. I think there is some kind of term for this behavior, so to defeat that, I know exactly where I am going tomorrow night, and its really cheap and in a basement. Exciting times indeed.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Its an Osprey! Have I ever seen one before? I think I did. Here in Okinawa they are despised, and cited as the main reason they want the US air force

Its an Osprey! Have I ever seen one before? I think I did. Here in Okinawa they are despised, and cited as the main reason they want the US air force bases gone. The Osprey you see, also known as a tilt rotor plane, has a bad habit of firing off one of its rotors and then spinning to the ground and killing school children.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - As I walked down narrow streets to the beach, I wondered what that enormous building was. It was not a building at all but a Chinese cruise ship.

As I walked down narrow streets to the beach, I wondered what that enormous building was. It was not a building at all but a Chinese cruise ship.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - And here we have the beach. So beautiful. So natural. So freeway. The so (x) joke is worn out. I dont care.

And here we have the beach. So beautiful. So natural. So freeway. The so (x) joke is worn out. I dont care.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is cat island. Except its not. Its Okinawa island, with cats. Lots of cats.

Here is cat island. Except its not. Its Okinawa island, with cats. Lots of cats.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Every Japan trip I have to do a vending machine photo, so here it is. These ones were in a weird spot in the lawn.

Every Japan trip I have to do a vending machine photo, so here it is. These ones were in a weird spot in the lawn.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is the temple begging for forgiveness for the crappy beach of Naha.

Here is the temple begging for forgiveness for the crappy beach of Naha.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Around the corner a bit is another crappy beach, with a nightclub barbecue area at the end of the concrete. There was no one there but the music was p

Around the corner a bit is another crappy beach, with a nightclub barbecue area at the end of the concrete. There was no one there but the music was pumping. Drop it like its hot.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I decided to take another shot of the cruise ship.

I decided to take another shot of the cruise ship.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is a particularly bright area of town. It is the new bus terminal I ranted about yesterday. Its also a department store and restaurants. I found

Here is a particularly bright area of town. It is the new bus terminal I ranted about yesterday. Its also a department store and restaurants. I found out it only opened just over a week ago. No wonder the bus area is disorganised.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Its a Max Brenner bald headed man chocolate shop. Only interesting because they went out of business in Australia a week or so ago. I hear they buy sn

Its a Max Brenner bald headed man chocolate shop. Only interesting because they went out of business in Australia a week or so ago. I hear they buy sniper rifles for Israeli soldiers! From wikipedia -
The Strauss Group states on their website that they provide care packages to soldiers in the IDF's Golani Brigade, leading to activists targeting Max Brenner stores for boycotts Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. In 2011, pro-Palestinian activist group Students for Palestine organized a series of protests outside Max Brenner outlets in Australia. The protest in Melbourne led to 19 arrests.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - For dinner tonight, Japanese pasta. It is soy sauce flavoured, with an almost raw egg on top. Also Chinese sausage. I think I have now had all the mai

For dinner tonight, Japanese pasta. It is soy sauce flavoured, with an almost raw egg on top. Also Chinese sausage. I think I have now had all the main food groups of Japan. Now I can do repeats.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Oh yeah, its election day. I was in Japan when Trump won. Will anything blow up?

Oh yeah, its election day. I was in Japan when Trump won. Will anything blow up?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Tonights photo of the main street of Naha.

Tonights photo of the main street of Naha.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Mecha robot things, attack! This is the best of the junk shops because of all the weird things like this they have. They are at least 5 times busier t

Mecha robot things, attack! This is the best of the junk shops because of all the weird things like this they have. They are at least 5 times busier than all the competing stores.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Okinawa seems to be particularly interested in selling small trinkets like this. Generally of the cat / dragon hybrid thing but also turtles, whales,

Okinawa seems to be particularly interested in selling small trinkets like this. Generally of the cat / dragon hybrid thing but also turtles, whales, dolphins, all of which are delicious.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

adriana on 2018-11-06 said:

I dont think I mind a beach with a freeway. Gives you something to look at other than endless sea.


David on 2018-11-06 said:

No, I dont suffer from claustrophobia, just a fear of no mountains.


mother on 2018-11-06 said:

not gas, but flame throwers did the job. Did you feel claustrophobic?



Day 12 - Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Castles and shopping centres

Todays post is largely for my mother. I did things my mother will enjoy. My mother is just about the only reader of whats written here, so now I am pandering to my audience. Today I went to a castle (the only castle) and then a shopping centre (which was an accident spotted from the monorail).

The castle is at the end of the monorail at Shurijo. Actually the monorail is being extended, I saw construction of it very far from Naha, but for now, the castle is the end of the line. And its not really at the castle.
At first you will think you are at the castle, but Japan has gone to great efforts to make you walk around the castle park to the front entrance. On my return journey I further questioned the logic of this, as there is a really nice park to walk through all the way from the gate to the monorail, but instead they have people directing you up a road with no footpath.

The castle was constructed in 1992 yet is somehow a UNESCO world heritage site, which to me makes the very concept of world heritage worthless. I guess it is nice, theres huge new bits of wooden tea house corridors to walk through while they yell no photo. Of course you have to take your shoes off, because the glue is still drying as its so new.

The main castle is red, which apparently is the Ryukyuan style, but right now as you shall see, you get to see some painters drop cloths that have an image of the red castle printed on them.

History time, The Ryukyuan kingdom was ethnically Chinese, at least at the government official level. It only officially became part of Japan in 1879. I had no idea.

Entrance to the castle compound and the 'follow the route' path tour is about $10. It is very very popular with school groups and tour groups. I think its probably worth it. Now brace yourself for a whole lot of photos of not very much today.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I like the early morning light reflecting off the open sewer. I took a similar shot here in the afternoon on another night I think.

I like the early morning light reflecting off the open sewer. I took a similar shot here in the afternoon on another night I think.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Due to Japans ongoing labour shortage, there was a call for volunteers to drive the monorail. I knocked 3 other people out cold to claim my rightful p

Due to Japans ongoing labour shortage, there was a call for volunteers to drive the monorail. I knocked 3 other people out cold to claim my rightful place as monorail driver for the day.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - If you come to Naha, ride the monorail, the views are awesome. Towards the castle it goes up a long steep hill that gives a very cool perspective of t

If you come to Naha, ride the monorail, the views are awesome. Towards the castle it goes up a long steep hill that gives a very cool perspective of the place which I failed to capture in a photograph.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here I was shooting DIRECTLY INTO THE HEART OF THE SUN to capture the castle moat. There was a strange singing group performing nearby that featured e

Here I was shooting DIRECTLY INTO THE HEART OF THE SUN to capture the castle moat. There was a strange singing group performing nearby that featured everyone trying to sing a different song simultaneously. Bonus points if you clapped out of time.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I dont even know if these walls are original. There were some other parts of the wall that looked very old and just like a pile of rubble. So are they

I dont even know if these walls are original. There were some other parts of the wall that looked very old and just like a pile of rubble. So are they 1992 walls or slightly older re creation walls?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It was a very busy place.

It was a very busy place.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Before entering, I climbed up through the garden for a view of greater Naha. I am glad I did, because as you will see, they do not like you getting a

Before entering, I climbed up through the garden for a view of greater Naha. I am glad I did, because as you will see, they do not like you getting a view from anywhere else!


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I am pretty sure these are 1992 walls.

I am pretty sure these are 1992 walls.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - OK, here is the castle and the strange forecourt, and a lot of people. It looks nice from a distance.

OK, here is the castle and the strange forecourt, and a lot of people. It looks nice from a distance.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - But get up close and you can see its just a plastic sheet.

But get up close and you can see its just a plastic sheet.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Inside you follow the preferred route for about 30 minutes, through long wooden rooms of pictures and lots of NO PHOTO imperial guards. One of the pla

Inside you follow the preferred route for about 30 minutes, through long wooden rooms of pictures and lots of NO PHOTO imperial guards. One of the places you can photo is the throne. To me that text says, earth world mountain central.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is a wooden model of the modern concrete and steel castle.

Here is a wooden model of the modern concrete and steel castle.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I like the models.

I like the models.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - NO VIEW FOR YOU! I have no idea why not? Those stairs look brand new.

NO VIEW FOR YOU! I have no idea why not? Those stairs look brand new.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is another dead end from where I thought I might enjoy a view.

Here is another dead end from where I thought I might enjoy a view.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Instead all you can do is exit, without getting a good view of the compound. Maybe they are hiding the fact the whole thing is just a facade with a sh

Instead all you can do is exit, without getting a good view of the compound. Maybe they are hiding the fact the whole thing is just a facade with a shed on the back of it?


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - My return journey featured many snakes.

My return journey featured many snakes.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I spotted a heap of shops from the viewpoint of the monorail, which affords an excellent view, so I got off and at first was horrified at this large a

I spotted a heap of shops from the viewpoint of the monorail, which affords an excellent view, so I got off and at first was horrified at this large abandoned high end luxury goods duty free store, Hilton hotel and car rental collection zone.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Fortunately over the road was a better larger poorer person shopping centre with numerous food courts and cafes.

Fortunately over the road was a better larger poorer person shopping centre with numerous food courts and cafes.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - It had all the Japan favorites, including Tokyu Hands. It extends a long way around the corner.

It had all the Japan favorites, including Tokyu Hands. It extends a long way around the corner.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The weather was really nice today, I sat outside in this area and had my 2nd coffee. There was also a big cinema complex in this facility, showing the

The weather was really nice today, I sat outside in this area and had my 2nd coffee. There was also a big cinema complex in this facility, showing the Freddie Mercury film.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This looks like it could be the new Imperial Navy Headquarters, but it is actually the Okinawan prefectural art gallery.

This looks like it could be the new Imperial Navy Headquarters, but it is actually the Okinawan prefectural art gallery.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I decided that wherever I was, must be the non tourist centre of town. There were a lot of useful shops but none selling Hawaiian shirts.

I decided that wherever I was, must be the non tourist centre of town. There were a lot of useful shops but none selling Hawaiian shirts.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Wherever there are government buildings in Japan I have noticed these little bento box selling food trucks lined up at lunch time. Presumably office w

Wherever there are government buildings in Japan I have noticed these little bento box selling food trucks lined up at lunch time. Presumably office workers are not allowed to cross the road to the shopping centre at lunch time.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - My longer return journey to the hotel went past a different sewer system. Okinawa is a traditional water village. The water appears to have bleach in

My longer return journey to the hotel went past a different sewer system. Okinawa is a traditional water village. The water appears to have bleach in it.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Tsunami's are very real here. There are signs everywhere about how far above sea level you are.

Tsunami's are very real here. There are signs everywhere about how far above sea level you are.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I went to the supermarket for lunch. The good thing about Japanese supermarkets is they all have little seating areas with a microwave if you want it

I went to the supermarket for lunch. The good thing about Japanese supermarkets is they all have little seating areas with a microwave if you want it to eat the food you just purchased. I always microwave my sushi to improve the flavour. Generally these places also have free water (bleached), and a bathroom. Very convenient.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - What is going on here? We have pole dancing whores combined with children with cat whiskers painted on their faces?

What is going on here? We have pole dancing whores combined with children with cat whiskers painted on their faces?


I have developed a taste for tarts now

It is my last night in / on Okinawa / Naha. I like slashes. I decided I had better eat some of the Okinawan delicacies. I already had a blue seal ice cream at 10am yesterday, the one thing remaining then, a purple sweet potato tart / tartlet. And I liked it a lot. As you will see it was delicious and purple.

After a fairly lazy day I set off a bit earlier than other nights and took a tour around the perimeter of the local Japanese Defence Force base. I identified at least 3 weaknesses in their security, they are lucky I was hungry and had no time to launch an assault.

Before I am allowed to eat though, I have to make sure I have 30,000 steps. So I marched up a hill alongside the awesome monorail passing various stadiums until I reached another shopping centre and its many attractions within.
It was then time to march back down the hill and have the dinner I had decided on last night. I made a plan, I stick to it. Even though I saw a better option on my journey.

Tomorrow I fly back to Fukuoka. I have been there before but not for a few years. I remember the last time I was there they were gripped in star wars fever! Will they have moved onto the next big thing? Will I find mountains? Do they have their own special tart? Only time will tell.

Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Here is the sun setting over the East China Sea.

Here is the sun setting over the East China Sea.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - And here is a Japanese coast guard ship that patrols the East China Sea, they are not allowed to have an actual navy still I dont think. Actually I ju

And here is a Japanese coast guard ship that patrols the East China Sea, they are not allowed to have an actual navy still I dont think. Actually I just checked, the coast guard is different, and their main task is to repel North Korean fishermen.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Over the road from the military base is this theater shaped like a samurai helmet. I believe every Japanese city has one the same. Inside they mainly

Over the road from the military base is this theater shaped like a samurai helmet. I believe every Japanese city has one the same. Inside they mainly do karate demonstrations.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The local baseball stadium appears to be under construction. I was surprised that its all open at the back like this. I threw a few pitches.

The local baseball stadium appears to be under construction. I was surprised that its all open at the back like this. I threw a few pitches.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I cant get enough monorail.

I cant get enough monorail.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Inside the shopping centre the 'Frozen Fair' was on, because everything is better frozen.

Inside the shopping centre the 'Frozen Fair' was on, because everything is better frozen.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - The food court in this place was promising, but no, I must resist, I selected my dinner last night.

The food court in this place was promising, but no, I must resist, I selected my dinner last night.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - This photo is for my mother. I fell Okinawa has a higher penetration of mister donut than any other Japanese city. It is having a lasting effect.

This photo is for my mother. I fell Okinawa has a higher penetration of mister donut than any other Japanese city. It is having a lasting effect.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I went here and bought an entire new wardrobe! In all seriousness, theres a lot of huge people here. Island life combined with mister donut.

I went here and bought an entire new wardrobe! In all seriousness, theres a lot of huge people here. Island life combined with mister donut.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - I wanted to go here for dinner! The Chinese character for chilli is there. Oh well.

I wanted to go here for dinner! The Chinese character for chilli is there. Oh well.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - Instead, I went and had my vegetarian curry thing, for only 650 yen! I was very satisfied because it was cheap. This was in the basement of a departme

Instead, I went and had my vegetarian curry thing, for only 650 yen! I was very satisfied because it was cheap. This was in the basement of a department store where I could sit at the counter and glare at everybody as they went past.


Of course I am back in Japan yet again - Oct and Nov 2018 - After my cheap dinner, I treated myself to the Okinawan specialty, purple sweet potato tartlet. It was tiny. Now I want ten more. Maybe for breakfast

After my cheap dinner, I treated myself to the Okinawan specialty, purple sweet potato tartlet. It was tiny. Now I want ten more. Maybe for breakfast tomorrow before I go to the airport?


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

David on 2018-11-08 said:

@MoShengRen - welcome back! And of course. I should have known that. Thanks.


MoShengRen on 2018-11-08 said:

You need to read the sign on top of the throne from right-to-left.


mother on 2018-11-07 said:

you can read katakana now? Yum mister donut or mizdo is that like abbreviating to KFC?


mother on 2018-11-07 said:

Im not the only one who reads your blog, just the only one who comments. Like the art gallery facade as much as the castle.



Contents

Day 0 - Monday, 11 March 2019
  Retrospective
Day 1 - Saturday, 27 October 2018
  Posting from the future
  Posting from the present from the airport
  Singapore airport has no butterflies
Day 2 - Sunday, 28 October 2018
  Narita airport DNA test
  Nakano not Nagano
  I should be more tired
Day 3 - Monday, 29 October 2018
  Far beyond Takao
  Asakusa without the shrine
Day 4 - Tuesday, 30 October 2018
  A tale of two fish markets
  The overrated Shinagawa
Day 5 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018
  My short hike became very long
  The great Shibuya Halloween crush
Day 6 - Thursday, 1 November 2018
  Rocks and clouds on Izu Peninsula
  The unknown metropolis of Kitasenju
Day 7 - Friday, 2 November 2018
  Forced into danger on Mount Myogi
  Omu-Mapo-Tofu in Shinjuku
Day 8 - Saturday, 3 November 2018
  No train day
  I left Japan and went to Roppongi
Day 9 - Sunday, 4 November 2018
  Japan Airlines domestic experience
  Taco rice everywhere
Day 10 - Monday, 5 November 2018
  I found a mountain in Nago
  Night of the many cats
Day 11 - Tuesday, 6 November 2018
  I joined the imperial navy
  Okinawa does not understand beaches
Day 12 - Wednesday, 7 November 2018
  Castles and shopping centres
  I have developed a taste for tarts now
Day 13 - Thursday, 8 November 2018
  Island hopper
  Christmas light hysteria in Hakata
Day 14 - Friday, 9 November 2018
  Repeat mountain and beyond
  Surprisingly quiet Tenjin
Day 15 - Saturday, 10 November 2018
  Pollution day in Karatsu
  Reflecting on sumos in ramen stadium
Day 16 - Sunday, 11 November 2018
  Oops I did it again
  The healthy option
Day 17 - Monday, 12 November 2018
  Greyasaki
  I can see in the dark
Day 18 - Monday, 13 November 2018
  The over sharing of the view
  Leaving port
Day 19 - Wednesday, 14 November 2018
  The never ending hills of Nagasaki
  Crappy photos in Urakami
Day 20 - Thursday, 15 November 2018
  All about the bridge
  Lard night
Day 21 - Friday, 16 November 2018
  Deja Vu
  From Kanda to Harajuku
Day 22 - Saturday, 17 November 2018
  Hiking with others
  Brief trip to Ginza for curry
Day 23 - Sunday, 18 November 2018
  Greasers
  Quiet night in Shimbashi
Day 24 - Monday, 19 November 2018
  Kawagoe by train to see trains
  Roller coasters in the rain
Day 25 - Tuesday, 20 November 2018
  Magnificent Lake Okutama
  The long way back
Day 26 - Wednesday, 21 November 2018
  Long train to large Buddha at Nokogiri
  I warned you all
Day 27 - Thursday, 22 November 2018
  The grey and the train
  The end