Learning new things every day. The cruise terminal is new & shiny. Okinawa is actually the name of the Island (not the city). I, of course, have always thought of it in terms of there being a US base still here. One that has had various serious challenges due to the extremely awful behavior of some who were stationed there.
What I also learned this morning is that the US did not turn this area back to Japan till 1972. That is an incredibly long number of years considering that the war ended in 1945. I am thinking that it might be more due to proximity to Korea and China than a particular need to control Japan. But I really have never studied this area of the world. Probably comes of spending most of my “outside the US’ time in Europe & the Middle East (plus the Balkans & Afghanistan).
Anyway – rather than a tour, we elected to take the shuttle bus into town and just hike around. There is a Main Street (more than a couple of km long) that is considered the “Main Street” according to the guide type woman who chatted over the tannoy the whole way into town. Not all that far from the port, but it really seems to be one of those “you can’t get there from here” kind of locations. Anyway – we started strolling along. I found the Starbucks and added another thermos to my collection
(photo obviously taken after I got back on the ship since taking it out of the box while underway seemed even dumber than attempting to take a picture in the shop). My Japan collection is now up to three….
While I am thinking about it – George found dark chocolate and some kind of gummi candy –
We found the entrance to the Public Market –
and wandered through –
seeing everything from made/grown/harvested locally to stores crammed with items clearly plastic from China. At 1000 it was easy to wander through. At 1200 the corridors were so packed that it was a challenge to walk much less see anything. There is one street that is know as the “Pottery Street” along with having a related Museum. We looked in a lot of the shops – saw a number of characters that looked like this –
The lovely woman at the reception desk directed me toward their admin office where I comfortably enjoyed sitting in a chair (instead of on stone steps) and using the city free WiFi while George toured the Pottery/Ceramic Museum. From there it was through a number of the smaller stores before heading back again through the Public Market. By this time the streets were swarming with secondary school aged children along with (it seems) every young person on the island. I know that the population is aging, but you couldn’t tell it from what we could see.
Along the street –
along with music, screens displaying ads, screens with anime, and just general music.
Our last stop of the day was a major department store. No fiber related department, so I was more than fine boarding the bus and heading back past the dragons to the ship.