(Japan Flag)


(Japan Map)


All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2009:

On Saturday we had a half day call on the island of Okinawa, Japan.
We docked in Naha City, the largest city on the island.
The first place we visited was Shikinaen Gardens.
Shikinaen was constructed in the end of the 17th century as the second residence of the Ryukyu kings.
It features beautiful, relatively simple, wooden palace buildings with Okinawan style,
red tile roofs and a spacious Japanese style landscape garden.
Shikinaen Gardens in Okinawa, Japan Shikinaen Gardens in Okinawa, Japan Me at Shikinaen Gardens in Okinawa, Japan

Our only other stop was at Ryukyu Mura, an authentic re-creation of an ancient Okinawan village.
Old Ryukyuan homes were brought from all over the islands and reassembled here in the village to
preserve the heritage of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Music and dancing are also showcased throughout the day.
The Sugar House still makes brown sugar with the help of a few water buffalo to turn the sugarcane press.
Ryukyu Mura in Okinawa, Japan Ryukyu Mura in Okinawa, Japan Ryukyu Mura in Okinawa, Japan

Eleven minute video begins as we are driving in Naha City on the island of Okinawa.
Next we visit Shikinaen Gardens. The video concludes at Ryukyu Mura.
During our visit to the village we are entertained by a parade of Japanease customs.

We sailed away from Okinawa at 2:00 in the afternoon bound for Tiawan.
Sailing Away from Okinawa, Japan Sailing Away from Okinawa, Japan Sailing Away from Okinawa, Japan

Eleven minute video of my sailaway from Okinawa, Japan aboard the Diamond Princess.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON OCTOBER 10, 2009
Greetings from Japan,

Yesterday was a sea day as we sailed mostly east across the China Sea to the island of Okinawa, Japan. It was a nice warm sunny day and great for relaxing by the pool. I also won $500 in the casino. I'm sure they will get it back before the cruise is over.

There were a lot of Japanese hoops to jump through before they let us off the boat. Yesterday we were finger printed and had our pictures taken and this morning we were thermal scanned to make sure we didn't have the H1N1 virus. I mistakenly said earlier that we were going to be here all day. Actually we had to be back on board by 1:30. This is our only stop in Japan.

We got here before sunrise this morning and I was off the ship by 7:00. Weather was mostly cloudy today but still have seen no rain the entire trip so far. We are in Naha City. The largest city on the island of Okinawa. We visited two places on our tour of the island. The first was Shikinaen Royal Garden.It was the second largest residence for the Ryukyu royal families. The picture below is of me at the gardens.

Me at Shikinaen Gardens in Okinawa, Japan

Probably the last time that I will be able to send a picture of myself. Eating way too much, I won't be able to fit in the lens soon. Next it was off to Ryukyu Mura, Old Okinawa Cultural Village. Here they put on a parade of sorts where the customs of the Japanese culture were demonstrated. The pictures below were from Ryukyu Mura.

Ryukyu Mura in Okinawa, Japan

Ryukyu Mura in Okinawa, Japan

I would send more pictures but the internet connection on the ship is very slow. It takes about ten minutes to send one email. I had a much better connection in Antarctica.

I am writing this as we are waiting to let go the lines here in Okinawa. It will be full speed ahead to tomorrow's port of Taiwan from here.

I tried to send this a couple hours ago. I can't get a connection at all today so don't know when you'll get this email. I'll update, we have now sailed away from Okinawa. It was a nice sail-away. 747s from the airport along the harbor were flying overhead as we left. The picture below was taken a few minutes ago as we sailed away from Okinawa.

Sailing Away from Okinawa, Japan

Tim


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