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Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Solo Okinawa Day 3

Day 1 click HERE
Day 2 click HERE


Destination:  Okinawa (Japan)
Duration:  5D4N  31 Mar to 4 Apr 2019
Mode of travel: Solo free & easy, with 2 KLOOKs
Flight: Jetstar - $360 with 15kg baggage to and fro (good deal right!)
Accommodation:  Naha West Inn $306  https://78west-inn.jp/en/
Weather:  Sunny and extremely windy around 16 to 22 degrees
Currency: approx SGD1 = ¥80
Time difference:  1 hour ahead of Singapore



9.00am    Good morning
9.55am    Asahibashi Station
10.20am  Shuri Station 
10.40am  Banshoin Buddist Temple 万松园 and Tennoji Gaa 天王寺井戸跡
11.10am  Ryutan Pond龙潭
11.30am  Shuri Ryusen Coral Dye
2.00pm    Kinjo Stone Road
3.00pm    Sui Dunchi 首里殿内
4.15pm    Shurijo Castle
7.30pm    Naha Main Place Shopping Mall
10.00pm  Back to hotel

I didn't set any alarm, woke up naturally, here's my morning table.

The natural lighting was good for makeup, wished for a bigger mirror though, I have got a big face here.

This day I cleared the bin on the way out.

Bought Green Tea Latte for ¥108 at Lawson on the way to Yui Rail, my breakfast.

To Shuri Station which was the last station.

The station's lockers, not sure if all stations had this facility.

I took a pink booklet which introduce places of interest at each station.  I found new places I could explore.

Tiny train.

The ride was approximately 27mins.

Pic taken on the train overlooking Naha neighbourhood.

All alighted and most of us walked together towards Shurijo Castle lolxx..

There were a few restaurants even a bicycle rental shop along the way.

All went into this path to Shurijo Castle while I walked on towards 龍潭 Ryutan Pond.

Got distracted along way....

万松园 Banshoin Buddist Temple
3 Chome-4-1 Shuritonokuracho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0812, Japan
I didn't know it was a buddhist temple, kinda wasted that I didn't walked in.

Unlike most temples in red, I think this was really cool in black and white.

Back to the main road was
Tennoji Gaa


3 Chome-4-1 Shuritonokuracho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0812, Japan

This was a well Tounokura Village depended on for daily water supply.  That's all I could see from the information board, didn't manage to find any more information on the history online.

I walked forever, thankfully the weather was pleasant with light breeze, no more undying strong wind.

Even the rubbish dump truck looked cute.

Adorable post box.

Ryutan Pond龙潭
1 Chome Shurimawashicho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0816, Japan

Could see Shurijo Castle clearly after zoomed in.

There chicks at the pond.

Ducks swimming in the pond.

I reached the pond at 11am.  The initial plan was to walked into the garden along the pond to Shuri Castle to get better photos.  But my dye craft workshop was at 12pm.  Should had woke up earlier.
So I had to go to the Shuri Ryusen for my craft workshop followed by lunch at Kinjo Stone Road.  I walked until I die lolxx..

It wasn't far from the pond to Shuri Ryusen, but it was exhausting enough as I started from Shuri Rail Station.
School children not in uniform.

Thank god I didn't miss it.

Shuri Ryusen
1-chōme-54 Shuriyamagawachō, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 903-0825, Japan

I was ushered to the second floor.

There were quite a few groups of people at play/work but there were still plenty of work space available.

Before getting started, I was given a introduction of all the tools and how to get the coral dye onto the fabric.  That I wouldn't go into details, all could say it was easy and really fun.

There were plenty of coral stones and we could walk around the studio and chose any piece preferred.

There were choices of t-shirt, tote bag and furoshiki, I decided to work on t-shirt!

I took 2hrs (damn slow) to get it done.

Shuri Ryusen Coral Dye Workshop was booked through KLOOK at $39.35.  I had a lot of fun and would recommend this activity along with Shuri Castle.

Walking up the gently slop, I found myself up hill.

The stone wall caught my eyes and that leaded to the stone pave.

Kinjo Stone Road
2 Chome-84−3 Shurikinjocho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0815, Japan

Down slop, kinda worried of rolling down.

Historical site surrounded with residential houses.
The path was build during Ryukyu Kingdom era (between 15th to 19th century).

The above photos were taken by a young Australian boy who worked in Okinawa and he spoke Japanese.

Walked into here to look for 200 years old tree.

Only saw information boards and I didn't see any significant tree -___-|||
I probably have to come again and comb through a bigger area.

After which, played out by google map, I walked back to the main road, wasted my energy on some distant looking for the traditional restaurant.  Then decided to follow my female instinct walked through the stone road again towards the direction of the restaurant.

I ruined a series of photos over here.

Where I was, was the filming site of local movie "Jimami Tofu".
I watched the movie after I came back, when I saw this place on the screen, I was quite emotional.

Made a left turn the restaurant was nearer than expected.
Sui Dunchi 首里殿内
2-chōme-81 Shurikinjōchō, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 903-0815, Japan
It's located at the end or beginning of Kinjo Stone Road, depending on which direction you came from.

The Ryukyu style restaurant.

Shoe racks at the entrance.

The dinning area with a nice relaxing garden view.  My pic is not doing it justice.
It's not that kind of luxurious extravagant of place, it's a cozy place with traditional interior and cultural ambiance which I was looking.

Goya Champuru Set ¥1058
Stir fry bitter gourd with bean sprouts (I picked them away), eggs, tofu and thin slices of pork belly.  I quite like this savory dish and I managed to replicate it at home.  The style was very chinese, perhaps towards Taiwanese.

Pig's ear ¥518
Braised in light soya sauce, chewy in texture.

Sea grapes ¥540.
I ate it like a dessert cos it's cold, the little green balls burst out sea water in the mouth.  This would make a great salad.

I wished I could stay longer but I was running out of time, Shurijo Castle gonna close on me...

I asked the restaurant to call a cab for me, my legs couldn't carry my fat self anymore...

I waited at the main road, it came shortly.

Checked the weather, it's wonderful, if only Singapore could be like this.

Not much damage on wallet, reached Shurijo Castle in 5 mins.  If you never been to Shurijo Castle, it's as good as you never been to Okinawa, many said.

Shurijo Castle
1 Chome-2 Shurikinjocho, Naha, Okinawa 903-0815, Japan

Shuri Castle (首里城, Shurijō) belonged to the Ryukyu kings for several centuries until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879, consider a near history.  So strictly speaking, Okinawans are not Japanese which justified why I found some locals looked different.

The castle is included as one of the UNESCO World Heritage designated Castles of the Ryukyu Kingdom sites.
Shuri Castle was originally built in the late 1300s. The current buildings reconstructed since 1992, in another words replica, but at least the stone walls were real.

There were a few areas and gates to explore, it's difficult to remember their names.

Withered Akagi tree trunk attached by Akou tree.

Wall of  Kyukeimon Gate, like a mini Great Wall.

Standing in front of Kyukeimon Gate, I looked as broad as the gate door, holy gawd...

Ticket booth.

¥870 ticket for visiting the interior of Seiden, the main castle.  The outdoor area was free.
If I were to bring my family here, exploring the free area would be enjoyable enough.

From the tourist map I got on hand, this was called Shicha-nu-una.  The aged look was a big contrast with the main castle.
Looked like a store-room to me but turned out to be a culture shock to me that it's a site for praying.
Photo credit: Naha Navi

At each gate, there was this stamping station where we could stamp on the map given.  Upon collection of all stamps, a souvenir would be awarded.
So sad that I lost my map half way :(

Seiden Castle somehow reminded me China's Forbidden City.

Tourists including myself trying our ultimate best to capture a perfect centralized pic of the castle, just like what's printed on the entry ticket.

The castle is very chinese.  It's very beautiful, just a bit too new to me.

The entry tix leaded, firstly to this model, ratio 1:25 of the castle.

Personally I felt that there's nothing much to see, as in nothing's memorable except for the glass panel on the floor show case of the pillars underground.
The rooms were literally empty, photo taking was restricted if it's not empty.

By default, souvenir shop at the end of the tour.
I bought a few handkerchiefs and this dragon towel, heehee....

And this didn't look like it, but it's a well.

This is the cross-section illustration.

Following the arrow, moving on climbing up.

Was rewarded with the overall view of ancient Shurijo Castle against modern Naha city.

This was another view.

Leaving, on the way out, admiring the ancient wall under the sun.

I happily walked to Tamauden, it's not far, less than 5mins, reached at 6.15pm, it closed one me :(
Apparently closes at 6pm, so all the more I have to make a second visit.

Done with "Shuri area", so at this point I had to decide where to go next.... I decided to walk back to the Shuri Station to travel Omoromachi Station.

Walked pass Ryutan Pond again, saw children feeding the ducks.  So much so that the ducks became fearless and aggressive.
They started to chase after this boy peaking his legs, the boy screamed until upside down, his parents scolded him upside down also lolxx...

I stopped by this ran down looking hut for Blue Seal ice cream.

¥500  Some milk vanilla or something, I tried to rest my poor legs as much as possible.

Upon reaching Omoromachi Station, the nearest mall was DFS which I wasn't too keen with.   I aimed at the next nearest mall.

The google map gave a long route along main road of 20mins walk which I exhausted myself for 10mins.  Then I found out that cutting through DFS, it's like less than 5mins walk, sigh....

Naha Main Place Shopping Mall
4-chōme-4-9 Omoromachi, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 900-0006, Japan

I was very tired, kena regretted, should had just went back to sleep.
The locker helped to relieve a little, I dumped everything in, carrying only my wallet and phone.

I walked a bit in Tokyu Hands, nothing in particular.  Lot's of summer clothes around but I was looking for autumn clothes.

Had I ever mentioned that I love going to foreign supermarkets?  So I walked into one and got stuck there.

They had so much sashimi, so many types of miso and a thousand types of curry paste.

Out of curiosity I bought a pack of this.  Looked like bread for cooking and till today I couldn't really figure out how to cook it.
There's no english name to it, nothing in google, no luck in youtube either.

I bought SPAM also without knowing it's available in Singapore >.<

I saw one auntie grabbing one whole basket of those mini biscuits, so I followed, heehee...
It's about S$0.80 only, should had gotten more sia.

I bought fruits ¥298, bento ¥340 for dinner cum supper and that melon bun, don't know how much for next day's breakfast.

Also bought garlic, shallot and more food from a small shop.  So basically, I bought food only and nothing else lolxx... Could had splurged a little more if there was a Uniqlo.

I took cab back to hotel lah sia, ended the most exhausting day ever.  I walked so much 冤枉路 sia, but it's part and parcel of free and easy isn't it?  Or I too stupid?  Walked and climbed so much but never slim down also de, heehee.....

Next day was another stamina cum speed challenge but not as bad.  Do I really miss Okinawa or do I just miss being alone?