Friday, May 15, 2015


Konnichi wa!
We are in Okinawa enjoying ourselves. Daughter #2 and her Marine husband are living here for another 1 1/2 years so we came to visit. The travel here was fairly uneventful. We made a mistake in terminals at LAX but had plenty of time for correction. I think that the US airports and airlines could take lessons from the Japanese on courtesy and helpfulness. Immigration and customs involved the a wait in line but it wasn't bad as it was only about 15 minutes. They were well staffed to move the crowd through. I remember waiting well over an hour in Santiago for the two rude men to process everyone.

We left the 11th and arrived the night of the 12th as Okinawa is 14 hours ahead of AZ. Our return is on the 25th, so we will arrive the same day. Our daughter wanted us to stay with them as they have an extra bedroom in their dwelling at Camp Foster. Mama and I we pretty tired from the travel but it quite nice to have someone pick you up.
We stopped at CoCo Ichibanya (Japanese curry house) in Chatan for some carry out on the way to the base. You can get your curry with a heat level rated 1 through 10. I was warned to try a lower number so I ordered #3 heat. The 24 hour temporary passes we needed were obtained on the way onto base. Once we unloaded every, we had a nice meal. Spicy! Glad I did not order a number 7 even though I like hot food.

The first day we went over to get our real visitor passes and stocked up the pantry by going to the Commissary and then offsite to a local grocery store (San-A). I spent time gawking around at the myriad of things I haven't seen before just like typical tourists then returned and just visited as we haven't seen out daughter in about a year and a half. I will have to find someone that can read Japanese to find out what this says.

It was in the section that looked like sake and tasted like sake. This department/grocery store had everything including a 100 yen section (think dollar store). I picked up a few veggies that I had no idea what they were along with recognizable stuff. I have a book on Japanese vegetables. Now I had to actually look at it!
The same goes for books on Japanese for Dummies and Japanese Phrases which I did not time have to look at prior to departure. The usual guesses at what the veggies were turned out to be pretty close. So we did not pick up something thinking that it was dragon fruit and find out it was some stinky ole thing.
This store had very little in English so you were on your own.

Day two was still pretty laid back as far as the tourist things went as Mama was petty tired, probably with a little jet lag. So she slept in while I set my alarm figuring that I will get on local time asap. A late lunch was procured at Sushi Go Round, a local restaurant where the food comes around on a conveyor. If you see something you want to try, just take it off the belt and go for it. Your bill is totaled up by the color of the plate.
Note the one plate sitting on top of a bowl. That is something that someone ordered special and you should not take it.

You use the touch screen to order drinks and special items. Drinks and soup are the only thing delivered by a waiter/waitress.

I started with a clam miso soup that was very good and had the best salmon and tuna ever. I tried a few other items and all was good except I have never developed a tasted for the bean past stuff (aside from miso) and probably won't. We spent two hours there and were pretty full by the time we left. Most items on the belt had a leading placard with English subtitles if you couldn't figure it out. The touch screen for special ordering had language choice. The screen would announce when your special order was nearing so that you could watch for the plate on top of the bowl. Slick! This concept is of delivery by conveyor is not unusual.

Yes, there are a few plates there and they aren't mine. We left with the equivalent of a $50 bill for four people. Very inexpensive compared to the US.
There are some higher end shushi joints that are substantially more expensive.

Day three was a trip to the Southeast Botanical Gardens. I will post that separately as there a lot of nice photos to review.

I will probably be head bowing for a week after I get back as I have already gotten used to it.
Ja mata.