… and two hours later i did close my door behind me and left for Okinawa, without forgetting anything–or if i did forget something, i forgot forgetting it. I parked my bicycle in front of the post office nearest to the station, where i was sure it wouldn’t be towed away, bought the usual entry ticket for the train, and got on the first express train towards Himeji (that’s where pretty much all the express trains are going from here in the direction of the Kansai cities).
In Kobe i got off the train and changed for the airport transfer monorail. The check-in at the airport was quick and eventless, and when i got on the plane i had nothing but my ipod, Finnegans Wake and a load of coffee (checked my backpack in as it had stuff like deodorant and toothpaste they don’t like on planes). The airport folk waved us goodbye as we rolled on the runway.
It wasn’t yet two hours later when we landed at Naha airport of Okinawa, and i was sad to see that it was cloudy-rainy. First shock came when i picked up my baggage. Apparently my shower gel didn’t like it inside its flask so all of it escaped and made most of my stuff nice mint-smelling. I cleaned it up as much as i could, then got on the first bus that could take me to the citycenter.
I had no decided place to stay, nor a guidebook, nothing planned, i only picked up a rough tourist map of the city at the airport. I walked the shopping streets, then the not-so shopping streets, then totally dark and abandoned alleys and shining highways. I went to a bathhouse and had fun boiling myself in a sauna then freezing myself in a bath of cold water. Then i looked for a place to eat and found a nice restaurant where i had my first bowl of Okinawan soba.
Then i walked on, back to the city center. Where i found a group of hippies selling various accessories and stuff, and joined them until they packed their stuff and everyone went home. This was around midnight. Walking on, i heard someone singing, a guy with a guitar on the empty street, with his friend. Joined them too, sat there talking for hours, but sometime past two in the morning i decided it’s time to look for a place to sleep. Nice timing, isn’t it?
I walked down to the beach, checking out pretty much every hotel and anything reminiscent of a hotel, but there were no places where i could stay for a reasonable price (at a place, pretty much in the harbor, they told me it was seven thousand from 3am to 10am–i said goodbye). I then looked for an outdoor place to sleep, but the only good one was frickin’ full of mosquitos, so after an hour of “sleeping” i decided to walk on. I went to where i recalled the airport bus mentioning a youth hostel, but it was closed. I made a photo of the sunshine of dawn at the nearby avenue and that’s what i consider the end of my first (half) day in Okinawa.