Travelogue | Highlights - Ryukyu (Okinawa)
Hi...... Just a week of hiatus and I'm back for more updates! Well as you know, I went for my 5 days short pre-honeymoon trip with my guy aka hub-to-be to Ryukyu, also known as Okinawa. A tour organised by Commonwealth Travel (CTC) and I know I didn't regret signing up with them after I'm back. This package was a chartered flight and this is my first time, on my own, I ever took up a tour package + chartered flight (means direct flight). If you wanna go Okinawa after my updates on this trip here, do look out for it on their website or papers because the last time before my trip, my parents went with the same travel agency in October 2013. But the only thing I can say is the itinerary after them (which is mine) is way better! Yes... This is called continuously improving through customers' feedback. If not, who will want to take up right? The tour guides & leader from SG and Okinawa are just great. Very attentive. From SMS on the group details to meeting up at airport to flying off and etc, all are well-attended. I like. Let's see what tour packages I wanna sign up with them in near future.
133 New Bridge Road
10am to 8pm (Mon-Sat)
12pm to 6pm (Sun & Public Holidays)
Okay how should I start? I guess you be bored because I am still in the midst of converting my RAW photos to JPEG. So whatever it is showed here will be through my phone. Taken with my SS Galaxy Note 3. I see what I have. I don't wanna lose my readers!!!
Well I actually bought this for the trip so that I can update my Instagram back in hotel. But seriously, I get so fed up with connecting it with my DSLR. Why aren't others having problem using this except me? Damn it! I give up!!! So I just used it like any normal SD card. Defeat the purpose.
In total, I brought 3 SD cards with me. I'm so afraid that it ran out of space and I'm DEAD! And 3 batteries. Superb kiasu. Oh by the way I'm using Canon EOS 650D.
My dad flipped his travel book to show me this. Asked me to try find it and snap! It is really a picture perfect place. But then, the place is big with limited time. How to find? The tour guide and leader keep chasing us back to the coach so that we don't go missing. Haha...
Yup... Finally check in our luggage and got our boarding pass. So much time available before boarding. So walk around Terminal 3 and had supper at +BURGER KING (because I'm hungry)!!! And yes... I flying off on +Singapore Airlines this trip. And I like my passport holder. Nice! Wonder if I should have that for my wedding favour. Let me think about it.
My guy had a burger while me enjoying the fries, wedges and onion rings. Was told off by him because I'm not eating proper and with this, it can never fill my stomach. Excuse me. It actually can. Damn it!
Nothing better to do. So I snap a photo of our shoes. Yes that is my pink +adidas shoes that I bought at Novena Adidas outlet for $30! And his is from +Qoo10 Singapore and is a good buy too, at $40+. Superb value for money.
Supposed to be 2am flight but then before I know, it was delayed 20 minutes. Heard is because of low temperature and the cabin feels a bit warm. Ya... I seriously can't tolerate warmness in a confined space.
Arrival at Naha International Airport
Frankly speaking, we are not suppose to take photos of the custom. I think is because of security purpose. And I assume most of the airports are the same. But I just snap. Just one shot will do. Long queue as usual but surprisingly, it seems like the only arrival that hour is us. Naha International Airport is kind of small but seems very new. Probably new airport. My parents went to an old one which they have to be taken by bus to the custom from the airplane. For me, don't need. They have the passenger loading bridge. Well done! My mum said that they are sort of promoting tourism so a proper and new airport will do them good. Well done!!!! Ryukyu aka Okinawa, many years to come and hope your little island will prosperous in many ways.
Oh man... How I miss their vending machines? It is so big and lots of variety to choose from. I miss it so much since my trip to Tokyo 3 years back in 2011 before the tsunami hits them badly after I came back SG a week later. I am superb lucky to escape it.
Never ever miss trying their Yogurt drink. Lots of varieties and different flavours to choose from. Price from 100+Yen to 200+Yen. Still worth trying. To me, Singapore has quite a bit of flavours but here, they got even more. Previous trip to Tokyo, we had that too. Why? For your bowel movement lah. I don't know why but my butt is picky with toilet bowl that are foreign to it and I can constipate for that period of my trip till I'm back to Singapore!!!! Atrocious... No lah... Still got a bit come out lah. A bit lor. So if you have this problem like me during your vacation, please by all means find Yogurt drink to deal with it.
If you are following me on Instagram, you will see me posting this mascot. Was at Nanjo-shi on the 4th day for dinner. Raining heavily. So we stay inside the store and the view towards to ocean was blurred because of the rain and mist. So cute right? The moment I step in and saw this, I go crazy!
A selfie with it too. Oops... the filter I used a bit to out. I look so distorted. Wtf! But never mind. The mascot is cute will do.
Okay... The uncle who took for me this photo is so lousy. Blurred!!! OMG!!! Wasted one. Arrghh...
Dragged my guy for a snap with the mascot. Pardon my messy hair. That wind out there blows like nobody's business. So strong that my brolly almost fly off my hand. Good experience I had!
Kawaiii!!!! The van is so cute that I cannot deal with it even it is raining heavily. I just have to step out to snap a pic. Oh ya... My guy is like assistant to me while I snap scenery. This whole trip. He is sort of annoyed. Wahahahahh
Our dinner venue is opposite. Have to brave against the strong wind plus heavy rain to get to my dinner! What a right time to rain yo! Oh ya... for your info. A small car cost 900000Yen in Okinawa. What do you think?
Watching their traditional Ryukyu dance during dinner. It sort like a Welcome Dinner by the people from Nanjo-shi 南城市 because I saw media people there. Promoting tourism for Nanjo-Shi? The opening speech was by probably the official from the Police or is it the Mayor? Not sure. But confirmed somebody in charge of this city.
Oh... This is the ticket to watch movies in hotel room. Frankly speaking when you on the tv, is all Japanese shows and only a few international channels. They just have a way to make us spend. A 1000 Yen for one pin code to key in before watching. Last you 24 hours. OMG! I remember in Tokyo is like much cheap but in a form of card. You can watch foreign movies, Japanese movies and...... ADULT VIDEOS! Crap! Quite common in Japan. Please don't tell me you all never watch before. Don't act innocent. Esp guys! However most of the time, we watch movies.
Saw this in my Instagram post right? My lunch on the last day before flying back. Okinawa Soba is AWESOME! I bought a pre-packed back home. And I want to tell you that I seriously having noodles most of the time that 5 days. I'm a noodles lover. So beware shop owners! I'm quite particular with noodles and prawns. I can easily pick out some flaws you made on your food. Oh and yes... you will see pork most of the time in Okinawa restaurants (if I'm not wrong) because Ryukyu people eat pork mostly.
Okinawa soba is some thick wheat noodles that somehow resemble udon (but I thought udon is white in colour) and the soup is near similar to those in ramen. Their standard toppings will be Kamaboko which is known as fishcake, sliced scallion, pork belly or pork ribs (the above is of course pork belly) and beni shoga which better known as pickled ginger (the one in red).
See the fats on the meat or not? They slice it quite thin and so chewy plus soft. And their fishcake like so different taste from those we find in Singapore. And most importantly is their noodles. It doesn't stick together and it definitely taste better than our yellow mee which is oily. This one isn't oily at all. Top left is a Mini Tempura I ordered and bottom left is Okinawa rice. Like our Glutinous rice but healthier version.
Also on the last day, we found a mall, Naha Main Place. Walking around the mall, so similar to any other but eventually bought a Nike jacket there. And we rest our feet at Starbucks.
It seems like the price for a Tall size is much cheaper than in Singapore. OMG! I don't mind patronising Starbucks in future when I'm in Japan. But also depending on which part of Japan.
Ordered Latte, Hot Chocolate and Hibiscus Tea. About 1000+ Yen only which is SGD12+ for 3. Isn't that great?
Don't you ever be stupid enough to miss good food upon seeing such vans! So colourful and it really attracts your attention to find out what they sell.
Buying some chicken chunks from this van on a superb cold afternoon. They sell chicken wings too.
Ta-daaa... Nice! It is crispy, juicy and not oily. Superb satisfied. But then I head for another van for food. Guess what it sells?
Yes. Tako balls. I ordered straight 10 pieces for 450 Yen which is about SGD5. Chatting with this stall owner and so friendly one.
Ya... This Japanese uncle friendly till give me generous amount of takoyaki sauce, mayo and all. Plus gave me 2 extra balls. That means I have 12 tako balls for a price of 10. OMG! That is why I superb love Japan (and Taiwan too)! And I seldom have tako balls back home but then to me, anything that I can find in Singapore for Japanese food, I must try it locally in their origin country. That's more like it. This is my principle when it comes to food.
So this is the friendly Japanese that I have met, selling tako balls. Although we have language barriers but then still able to figure out what he is trying to say. He asked where I'm from so I told him Singapore. And he was like 'oh... welcome to Okinawa'. I said thanks... So friendly one right? Let me snap pic of him too. OMG!!! Send me to Japan again please...
So this is the one day train pass at 700 Yen for unlimited rides 24 hours. Great! We travel quite a bit so is worth! Get it at their ticket machine. So convenient.
Oh ya... I have this thing about bottle drinks and during trips, I will look for special ones, buy, snap and drink. Because some not available in Singapore. More of this in my later posts.
Here is the waiting area for departure. If I remember correctly, there is 2 kiosks, 1 DFS and 1 restaurant. Nothing more. OMG!!! I'm someone who likes to roam around the airport while waiting for my flight. End up, I surf the net. Luckily they have free wi-fi access. How I miss the airports of Hong Kong, Taoyuan and Narita!!!! I roam around like a kid.
That's my flight back to Singapore. Same flight everything same. The flight was slightly delayed. I forgot what was the reason. But then this flight back make you wanna puke at some point. Turbulence. But then still, we are safely back.
|Dinner on board|
The dessert looks so pretty. It taste good too. Looks like a seashell or coral. Strawberry puree that kind of taste. Wahahahaha...
Hands down! I confirmed a smoked salmon lover. Superb love and wanting more. But too bad. Just a small portion as an appetizer.
The end. So let me just convert my photos before the next post up! Damn it! I will never ever do a RAW again.
About Okinawa (Ryukyu)
Basically, I heard many sides of the story about this island. I duno which is true. But as you can see from the above Japan map, Okinawa is away from them on its own. The US troops are there (I really saw their military base, Kadena and real life US army). The island is under Japan Administration. If not, it is a kingdom on its own. They have their own Ryukyu language (native language) and mostly influence under the Japanese culture now. Our tour guide is a Taiwanese who lives there for 28 years. Yes... Taiwan is just so near Okinawa. So you can see much Taiwanese there. And also Japanese from other parts of Japan flying over there for holidays. And some locals are mixed blood. Filipino + Japanese. Wow... Well mixed. But spoke Japanese superb fluently, probably lived there since young. But this island, from what I know links to various countries like US, Japan and China. I mean from the stories I heard and read. I don't know true or not. But mostly I see the relationship between US & Japan.
Want to read more? Read this link here.
Stay tune for more my readers! Be back.