In Okinawa

shirtGetting an early start this morning (by early, I mean obscenely early, like 03:30), I made it to Okinawa unscathed, and have had a full day driving around, sightseeing, walking around trinket stores, and otherwise just acting like a tourist. Fortunately, the weather's been great, so it's been a pleasant, if tiring, day.

Given my sleep-deprived state, my priority now is to stay awake to a decent hour, then crash and get some rest, so I'm ready for a full day at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium tomorrow. This is the first aquarium in the world to keep whale sharks and manta rays successfully in captivity. The first and second manta births in captivity also took place here.

ticketsIn case anyone else is heading this way, I thought I'd mention that I found a place where you can purchase entrance tickets to the aquarium for Yen 250 off the normal price of Yen 1,800.

There's a rest area of sorts called 道の駅 (michi no eki) at 許田 (kyoda) on route 58 which runs along the western coast of the main island of Okinawa.

If you drive from the airport at Naha toward the aquarium, it's on the way. There are other places that offer discounted tickets too, but Yen 1,550 is the best deal available. There are food and tourist knick-knacks available at the kyoda venue too.

Ok, that's as coherent as I can be right now. I leave you with a photo from the exterior of a restaurant (called Donanchi どなんち食堂) I just visited to get some traditional Okinawan food, like ゴーヤーチャンプルー、スクガラス豆腐、紅芋コロッケ and other stuff, all of which was delicious (I have no clue how to translate those dish names). I washed it all back with a mug of Okinawan draught called Orion beer.

Orion beer's corporate slogan is "For Your Happy Time", which in true Japanese-English form, means nothing and a lot at the same time.