- - - 2/27/2007 - - -

Broken Collar Bone

Filed under: — Andy @ 5:21 am

It was getting dark. I was heading back home on my bicycle. The street was mostly downhill all the way back. I was going fast. A car pulled out right in front of me. I hit the brakes hard. A little too hard. I flew over the front of the bicycle and landed before reacing the car. The bike’s rear wheel was very bent. Ken picked me up and took me to the hospital. The following picture is of my left collar bone:

- - - 2/23/2007 - - -

Middle Castle

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:32 am

One fateful Friday with nothing do to, I decided to take a 10 kilometer bike ride to Okinawa’s most preserved castle ruins. Little did I know that it was completely an uphill ride. When I got to Middle Castle (Nakagusuku) there was a nice old lady who gave me a free tour of the site. The area was built in special ways to protect it against earthquakes, strong winds, rain, typhoons, and invasions. The lady told me a lot about the old times of Okinawa and about the castle ruins history. The area is atop a hill and has great views of the surroundings.

Looking out toward the east and the Pacific ocean.

That’s my guide on the right


- - - 2/19/2007 - - -

Ocean Ruins

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:51 am

Ken took me to what might be the ruins of a castle that was out in the ocean. It is now a great fishing spot overlooked by a WW2 machine gun nest. The guy in the picture was trying to get squid.

- - - 2/17/2007 - - -

Pineapple Factory

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:57 am

After looking at the flowers, Ken and I headed off to the Pineapple factory. Although it’s more of a tourist trap than is a factory. Once in you get on a pineapple-cart and take a tour around a small pineapple farm. Then its off to the sea shell exhibit, which really has nothing to do with pineapples. After that they hand a large bag for shopping as you enter the pineapple wine tasting area followed by the pineapple food and gift shop. The good part was that there were free samples of ALL the pineapple products. Without having to even try, I could completely fill up on all sorts of samples of cakes, cookies, pastries, juices, snacks, fresh pineapple, etc. I left with no useful pineapple knowledge, no pineapple products, but I did leave with a full stomach.

- - - 2/16/2007 - - -

Cherry Blossoms in Nago

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:46 am

Okinawan cherry trees are of a different variety than those In Tokyo. They are a much deeper and darker pink and kind of hand down from the branches. It’s much warmer here so the trees bloom in February instead of April. On a nice sunny day Ken and I went back up to Nago to see the trees in full bloom.

- - - 2/14/2007 - - -

My Town: Chatan

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:37 am

I live in the middle area of Okinawa in a town called Chatan. It’s a small but very trendy town where all the bands come out to play in the street, and young people come to hang out. It’s also right next to 3 American bases, so there are a lot of Americans everywhere as well.

One of the shopping areas, a ferris wheel, and a band seting up on the left.

My(Ken’s) apartment building!

- - - 2/13/2007 - - -

Kokusai St

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:33 am

One of the sights in Naha is ‘Kokusai St’. While job hunting I came across it and decided to walk up and down it to see what was there. There is lots of shopping and many restaurants all catered to tourists. There are at least 10 stores called ‘Okinawaya’ which sell any kind Okinawa related gifts. Off one of the side streets I found the fish market building. It’s not quite like Tsukiji in Tokyo but still nice.

The entrance to Kokusai St.

One of the many Okinawaya’s

Inside yet another Okinawaya

The fish market

Okinawian food uses a lot of pork, so a lot of pigs feet and other appendages were also for sale

On the other side of the street I found a nice park with something for me to climb!

- - - 2/10/2007 - - -

Churaumi Tropical Dream Center

Filed under: — Andy @ 2:18 am

Close to the Aquarium there is also a botanical gardens area nicly called the Tropical Dream Center. We also went to check that out as well. It was full of lots of cool tropical flowers, and lots of other kinds of plants and exhibitions too. When we went there was a special Orchid exhibition with over 2000 orchids.

On the way back we found a cheap and good unagi/eel place. Yay!

- - - 2/9/2007 - - -

Churaumi Aquarium

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:56 pm

One of the most famous tourist spots in Okinawa is the Churaumi Aquarium.
When Ken had a day off he drove me there. I bought the season pass!

At the entrance.

The touch tank.

Touching the starfish !

THIS is what makes this aquarium famous. The giant tank with 3 whale sharks inside! The giant window like a huge movie screen.

There is also a dolphin show, and up close dolphin tank.

Look I found a cave!

- - - 2/7/2007 - - -

Exploring Nago

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:45 pm

Okinawa is way south of mainland Japan which means that it is much warmer and therefore the cherry blossom season is much earlier. When I got here I was told that it was around that season, so after asking around about where to go to see cherry blossoms, I headed up north to Nago. The bus takes 1 hour and about 1000yen but it is a nice trip. I spent the whole day exploring, hiking, and walking around the city of Nago.

Big tree.

Climbing up to the old Nago Castle ruins, and looking down halfway.

Where the castle used to be.

Cherry blossoms. Its not the same kind as in Tokyo.


- - - 2/5/2007 - - -

Okinawa Cats

Filed under: — Andy @ 8:10 pm

- - - 2/4/2007 - - -

Chatan Coast

Filed under: — Andy @ 7:56 pm

I live in a town called Chatan, and it is a really nice place. One of the first things I did when I got here was to take a walk around the area, starting with the coast line.

The first of many cat pictures… there are lots of them in Okinawa.

It seems that ‘Gate Ball’ is really popular in Okinawa.

There is a popular surfing spot very close to where I live.

- - - 2/1/2007 - - -

I moved!

Filed under: — Andy @ 5:01 pm

Well, I moved… to Okinawa!

Unfortunatley, I am not able to post pictures yet because my computer crashed soon after I got here. :(
As soon as I fix it, I have lots of interesting things. :)