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Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto January 27th 2018

Saturday, 27th January 2018 I made a trip to the Manko Wetland Park this morning, about 15 minutes walk from the nearest monorail station. This is a peaceful oasis where mangroves thrives and certainly a perfect spot for bird watching. I liked that the Information Centre is directly linked to the boardwalk which brings visitors straight to nature. I probably spent about an hour at the Wetland Centre before proceeding to the Outlet Mall in the afternoon. I came home empty handed (which was okay) even though I was rewarded with a generous serving of Milk Tea Ice-cream from Blue Seal. On my final evening in Naha, I went for a hike up to Gajanbira Park, a hidden gem about 15 minutes from Oroku Monorail Station. Since this was perched on top of the hill, I ... read more
View from Gajanbira Park, Naha

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto January 26th 2018

Friday, 26th January 2018 Early morning, I headed to the top floor of the Okinawa Prefecture Government Building for a nice view of Naha city. Overlooking the Kenchomae Station area, the view stretches as far as my eyes could see. It was a rainy Friday when I visited and the interior provided a warm respite from the chilly temperatures as a result of the rain. Best of all, there was free admission and I could come and go at my convenience. After my visit at the observatory, I took a slow 20 minutes walk towards the direction of Naminoue Beach where I literally had the whole place to myself. By then, the rains had already stopped and it was nice to be outdoors when the weather was fine. I headed to the Max Valu supermarket nearby ... read more
The Prefecture Government Office
Naminoue Beach, Naha's only city beach
Strawberries in season

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto January 22nd 2018

Monday, 22nd January 2018 I woke up to a happy breakfast spread at the Centurion Vintage Resort. Service was great and food variety consisted mainly Japanese staples along with some Okinawan specialties plus some western selections. I found a nice breakfast spot that commanded an ocean view which started my day on a correct footing. By 8.30am, I was happily making my way towards the aquarium entrance. The strategy was to enter the aquarium when it was the least crowded. It paid off really well from there as the crowds were very thin at opening times. There was even an opportunity for me to pose for a free souvenir photo shoot at the main entrance. I made my way slowly across the various tanks and viewing galleries. Of course, the most awesome experience was the massive ... read more
Great breakfast at Centurion Vintage Resort
Emerald Beach
The Churaumi Cafe

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto January 21st 2018

Sunday, 21st January 2018 Bus Service # 117 took an insane 2.5 hours to complete the 100km journey from Naha Airport to the Ocean Expo Park (2,500 Yen). This was where I would be based for the next 2 nights. I was thankful that I had taken a full breakfast at the airport prior to boarding the bus. The ride was uneventful for the most part as I slept through half of the journey. Things only picked up towards the final leg as the bus made a loop around the Motobu Peninsula with the beautiful Nago Bay on my left. Bus-Tip: The "Yanbaru Express" Bus does the same trick from the airport at a cheaper rate of 2,000 Yen. The best perk - there is a bus stop directly within the hotel premises. I finally alighted ... read more
Emerald Beach Okinawa
The daily Dolphin shows
Centurion Vintage Resort

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto January 20th 2018

Saturday, 20th January 2018 My first trip in 2018 brought me to the island of Okinawa, about four times the size of Singapore, yet containing only about a quarter of Singapore's population. Thanks to Jetstar Asia direct service to Naha, the red-eyed journey took about 5 hours which was a real time-saver. Gone were the days when I needed to make a lengthy transit in Hong Kong (2013) or Taipei (2016). For some reason, I'm beginning to appreciate red-eyed journeys more and more since such timing is the most time-efficient. I could still spend my day-time hours in the office before heading to the airport in the evening. By the time my flight landed in Okinawa at 8 the next morning, I was ready to start my sight-seeing plans before checking into the hotel in the ... read more

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto February 12th 2016

Every day in Okinawa is another day in paradise. Eight weeks has passed so quickly. So many adventures, so many lessons learnt and the joy of making good memories. Enjoy the next adventure, Dylan.... read more
Captured
Best Japanese breakfast
Lonely Fish

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto January 24th 2016

One of the joys of living in some one else's country is learning how to cook the local food. One of the joys of working with an international staff is that the food can be from anywhere on the planet. So, on the coldest weekend in Okinawa for 100 years, what better to do than exchange cooking and language lessons in a cosy kitchen. Introducing Nadines' Oishi Chocolate Mousse...... read more
Ingredients
Break Chocolate
Separate eggs and yolks

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto January 22nd 2016

Open Days in Japanese schools are held to show case good practice, and hold the schools accountable to their clients. Each year, there are Open Days held specifically for the parents, open to the general public and for fellow teachers to attend. I had the privilege of attending the Open Day at Yamada Elementary School (a public school in Onna Village) where they showcased a six-year journey of whole school improvement in ICT. The afternoon began with the Kenkyu Shunin (Research Chief) outlining the school improvement journey. Demonstration classes from Grades 1 to 6, in Maths, Japanese, Social Studies, Science and PE were held. Teachers demonstrated routine classes where ICT supported good classroom practice. Next came workshops led by teachers from within the school and outside guests. The afternoon finished with a 3-part Keynote address by ... read more
Science Demonstration
Observing demonstration class
Working Tools

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto May 21st 2015

Okinawa is an island best explored by car. The remarkably local culture is on show at a top cruising speed of 40km / hour. View through the windscreen an island of small farmers, bull fighting, American military, Japanese culture and fast food. Always stop to photograph the flowers.... read more
Movin'
Coming of Age Day - 3
Tractor

Asia » Japan » Okinawa » Okinawa Honto November 4th 2014

The sounds of a stable are universal. Horses whinnying, chickens fussing, children coaxing ponies into obedience and impatient demands for food, especially carrots. Every night after school, and on weekends, Umabu (horse club) members spend two hours learning all aspects of horse care. From age six, they master everything from saddling stroppy ponies, to mucking out the stalls. After taking apart and then reassembling a bridle, students achieve one of many proficiency awards, with the most senior students being competent in many things equine. Club members host family fun days and give pony rides to their parents. Senior riders compete against Ryukyu University Agricultural students in the recently reestablished M'Maharashi (old Okinawan horse racing event). After a hectic day at work, a peaceful hour with the seven ponies, three horses, Umabu staff and assorted students, is ... read more
Good horsemanship
In leading a horse
Care, and not fine stables




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