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Archive for January, 2014

Being stuck in a hotel room with some supplies that we picked up only yesterday, does not usually constitute an eventful day in my holiday regimes. I tend to prefer jam-packed action holidays with several sites per day visited. Unfortunately for us, due to the torrential rain and Typhoon Komatsu overhead, pretty much the whole island shut down. We spent the better half of the day eating what we had bought and watching some TV before we decided to have a look outside to see what the weather was like. Surprisingly it was somewhat calm: the sun was not out; the ground was still damp, and the wind significantly lighter than before. Our potential horror of being stuck in the hotel room for a few days on our first every Okinawa vacation didn’t actually happen! Unfortunately for us because a typhoon had just passed through, this basically meant that even though the island was calmer, the attractions did not reopen.  So we did the best next thing, we went to a local Aeon mall via car, had a look around. Driving there it was still wet, and rain continued to fall intermittently, which always makes driving less fun, but nonetheless at least we had something to do. We picked up some manga from Aeon and were happy that tomorrow we could actually continue our plans with only one day wasted.

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After we finished at the aquarium and associated gardens we jumped back into our rent-a-car and headed off to Nakajin-jo (Jo meaning castle in Japanese). In English it is often called Nakajin Castle Ruins. The drive is about 10 Kilometers from Ocean Expo Park and it makes for a good site to visit if you finish early at the aquarium. At the time of visiting entry was 400¥ for the cultural museum and castle ruins. Upon arriving we were greeted with free parking which is always a plus when you’re already paying money to rent the car, potential tolls and the fuel to get you around. Parking just makes things worse. I have to say though that parking in Japan is relatively cheap compared to back home in Australia. Tangent aside, Nakajin Castle Ruins is a peaceful place that overlooks the ocean and has significant amount of wall structure that still intact. While it is no doubt ‘not-a-castle’ any more, it is still an impressive structure. Good photo spots would be sitting on the castle wall, in front of the castle information stone, and of course the enjoyable views from the top of the ruins. If you go on a clear day, the breeze hits you and you can sometimes hear military planes flying overhead. There is some picnic-ny spots that one could indulge yourself in a snack or two, such as the many stones that surround the upper areas, or under this one tree that overlooks the ocean and area. All in all a good hour or so can be spent up at the ruins, a bit more if you intend to eat something up there.

Continuing with our day we were headed to our final stop: Cape Hedo, which is the most northern point in Okinawa. It is situated about an hours drive north of Nago City and you pass through smaller towns as you escape the hustle and bustle of Nago. We arrived in one piece, and I have to say driving a car around Japan is much more interesting and enjoyable than the public transport network of Honshu. I’ll admit as amazing as that transport network is, the freedom of going where you want, went you want is unparalleled. Well lucky for Naha you don’t have much of a choice because the public transportation is most buses, so best bet is to rent a car.

Cape Hedo itself is a small cape, which you can drive up to the end of it and complete the final distance by walking. The views are absolutely stunning, crystal clear blue water, a rocky shore line that with a bit of imagination you can picture shipwrecked ancient vessels make this cape worth the 2 hour return journey. A large bird structure and sign make up the ‘memorable’ photo spots; there is a small shop area where you can pick yourself up something to eat if you get hungry. The Cape itself is completely free to go to if you take out the transportation costs, but if you have a car it’s worth the visit. Upon finishing up our photos that ended our day, the sun was starting to go down and we had a 95-kilometer journey back to our hotel at Chisun Resort on the other side of the island. Overall we had a good day with many a photo being taken.

Arriving back at the hotel we were informed that Typhoon Komatsu was coming and that it was recommended that we stay inside for the next few days. We hoped that this typhoon would pass quickly, but just in case we headed off to the local supermarket via car to pickup some supplies for potentially could be a couple days stuck in our hotel room. It wasn’t long before the winds seriously picked up and the leaves were basically being flung off all the trees, the wind was strong and one felt like they could potentially be swept away. Due to the gale force winds we hurried through the shop to get what we needed, forced our way back to the car and drove back to the hotel. The rain was heavy, the wind was strong and overall it was quite wet. Nevertheless we made it back to the hotel in one piece and prepared for ourselves for the potential dramatic holiday ruining typhoon.

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2014 Update

It has indeed been quite a while since I’ve posted something on this blog. I lost interest in it for quite a while and left my potential readers hanging without finishing off my Okinawa trip blogs. Well the good news is that I’ve decided to take this blog back up again, mainly because I will be doing a 100 day Europe trip starting this coming May and I have interest in keeping a record of my travels not only visually but also in writing. So that is definitely something to look forward to.

I intend to keep a similar writing style to my previous blogs (informative) as this style keeps my page hits consistent with those looking for information. On a side note I will be writing the blogs first in word as the spell checker is better to avoid the huge amount of grammatical errors that were through my work when I use to blog. So hopefully that keeps down the typing/grammatical mistakes.

I intend to finish off my Okinawa trip blogs, followed by another Japan Tour blog (mainly from Osaka) from when I was there in November. I hope my potential readers out there enjoy the new blogs. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014.

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