Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crazy Stuff Happens on Thursday Night in Kin Town

Ryukyu Mike and granddaughter in front of wall art

 Sweetheart of a Girl

It had been a terrible week, actually horrible, two weeks if, you really want to know.

It all started when a few banks notified me, my credit card was being used.

Suspicious activity, 5 dollars, 15 dollars then, 60 dollar purchases were being made.

One of my email accounts, got overtaken by someone else, too.

The crooks are smart. They just use a little bit of money at a time. Then, wait.

If, they're not stopped soon, then mega-bucks start getting stolen.

Fortunately, I got to the bank and, got everything stopped.

Had them chop-up my credit card and order me a new one. That, was the easy part.

Recovering a compromised email account, takes a bit more sweat out of you.

Once, I finally got access to my 30 year old, email account, I felt relieved.

The internet, is still a scary place, to me. If, WWIII breaks out tomorrow, I won't care.

Nobody will have access to the internet, credit cards or, emails.

Fine with me. I almost got used to it. I'm ready to go back to living in caves.

It Was Time to Celebrate

With my stolen identity recovered, it was time to celebrate and get UN-Stressed.

A message was sent to the wife, "All is well, I have to go do beers tonight."

The wife is very understanding. She didn't reply so, that meant, OK.

In a favorite, air-conditioned establishment, I slammed several ice-cold beers.

After 5 or 6 Orion Draft Beers in frozen mugs, I got thinking. "Time to move along."

It was around 9 PM and, I planned on grabbing some smokes, on the way home.

Thanking the barmaid, I said, "Goodnight" and started to walk towards the door.

She said something but, I couldn't hear so, she hollered a bit louder.

"Mike, there's Eisa drums playing down the street." 

Sure enough, as I walked out the door, I could hear them.

They were dancing and beating drums, right in front of the store I was headed to.

Sonavagun if, my granddaughter, Marin, wasn't out there, dancing in a pink kimono.

There is never a camera with me, when I'm on a drinking excursion.

But, I had the iPhone and, one of my friends happened to be there, to take this photo.

Pretty good composition and, it made me happy, to get this photo with my eldest grandchild.

Only, I wish someone, would have told me to fix that button, under my belly and belt.

The background images are painted on the front of an Irish Pub named, Bingo's.

So, after saying "Goodnight" to Marin, you can probably guess, where I went next.

The plan then, was to buy the photographer a beer and, have one myself.

After a few more beers, I discovered, why Eisa was being performed, that night.

A bar across the street was celebrating their one year anniversary.

They had hired the Eisa Dancers and drums, as part of their celebration.

The Irishman in the pub, told me I should visit the bar across the street, on my way home.

It's on top of a steep flight of stairs and, I was kind of wobbly but, made it.

Someday, I'll have to go back, with a real camera and, get the place on Google Maps.

Some of my friends were drinking in there and, I sat with them for awhile.

Then, asked the staff if, photography was permitted. Good to go.

None of those iPhone photos will be posted today. There are some unique ones, though.

Once, I wandered into a side room, I hadn't known existed. Pretty big establishment.

A bunch of young men and ladies, were in there, having a grand old time.

One of the gals asked me, "You're Marin's grandpa, aren't you?"

When, I told her she was correct, they all got excited and, wanted to pet my fur.

So, after awhile, I excused myself, finished my last beer and, was home shortly after midnight.

Last night, the wife was surprised. It was Friday and, I didn't feel like going out, drinking.

Too much partying, isn't a good idea so, I took a little break and, went to bed early.

Saturday nights, things can become a little lively, too.

Hey Marin, "Remember how grandpa used to drive you all over Okinawa and babysit you?"

You're old enough now, to return the favor !

Friday, August 18, 2017

Potty Training Tourists

Illustration showing how to use the toilet in Japan

How to Use the Toilet

Travel and tourism is a huge industry in this part of the world and, that's a good thing.

People from different countries, don't always have the same bathroom etiquette.

So, signs like this are posted in airports, hotels and convenience stores.

It's kind of nice, the way they make these instructional signs, in Japan.

Just in case, you aren't fluent at reading, they make simple symbols for you to look at.

1. Please sit on the toilet seat, with your face pointing away from the lid.

A. Don't sit facing the lid.

B. Don't squat on top of the toilet seat, facing the lid.

C. Don't squat on the seat, facing away from the lid.

2. Flush used toilet paper in the toilet bowl.

A.  Don't throw used toilet paper in the trash can.

B.  Don't throw used toilet paper on the floor, either. ( I made that one up).

For Those Kids Who Can't Read

1.  Pull your  pants up, zipper or button them and, make sure nothing's hanging out.

2.  Then, go wash your hands with soap and water.

Those are some things, I wish they had symbols for, on these informative signs.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Okinawan Folktale: Origins of Okinawa Shisa

Two Original Stone Shisa Statues

There are hundreds of thousands of them if, you counted every Shisa on the island.

The Shisa (Lion-dog) seen today are kiln fired clay or, plastic figures used as good luck charms.

Throughout Okinawa they, guard gates, homes, bridges and offices, to ward off evil spirits.

Often, they are sold to tourists on key chains and as jewelry. Often, they are brightly colored.

To discover the origins of the Ryukyu Shisa, you'd have to go back a few centuries in history.

On the main island of Okinawa a few dozen of the original Shisa may be seen.

Remnants of the Ryukyu Dynasty, from the days Okinawa was an independent kingdom.

A traveler would have to leave pavement in order to find them. Here are two, unique ones.

Tomori Lion, Yaese, Okinawa, stone statue

Tomori Lion

Sculptured at some point during the 17th Century this statue sits on a hill in Yaese Town.

The district of Tomori, experienced fires burning homes and crops, frequently.

A master of the Chinese art, feng shui was consulted and a tour of the village was conducted.

What advice, to give the villagers, had to be determined by surveying the terrain.

Feng shui practitioners, are sort of spiritual persons, with divine connections.

Normal humans, can't sense, which direction evil spirits may be coming from.

When the village elders and the guru reached this knoll, something happened.

They were all sweating from, climbing the hill under a blazing hot sun.

But, the master felt a chill, stopped perspiring and, got goose bumps on his body.

Facing Mt. Yaese, the feng shui expert declared, “That's where the fires are coming from.”

Showing them an amulet, resembling a lion, he gave them instructions.

A life sized stone sculpture, would have to be placed on this hill, facing the mountain.

The evil fires, coming towards the hamlet, would cease and, the villagers would be safe.

In the exact spot and facing in the correct direction, the Tomori stone Shisa was placed.

It was the first Shisa, ever made on Okinawa island and, many more would follow.

Kogusuku Nise Ishi, Nise Stone of Kogusuku, stone statue

Kogusuku Nise Ishi

The fires in Tomori Village, never happened again. Stone Shisa became legendary.

They were used to ward off fires, plague, misfortunes and all sorts of evil, throughout Yaese.

Before long Shisa statues were being placed in villages throughout the Ryukyu Islands.

There are at least a dozen of these antique stones, to be seen in Yaese Town, alone.

Most of them are off the beaten path, hidden from the average traveler's eyesight.

Some are in habu (poisonous snake) and mosquito territory and, located where there are no

 parking areas for vehicles.

Many local residents, don't know these treasures exist, in the neighborhoods where they live.

The Nise Stone of Kogusuku is on the travel map and, has some unusual folklore.

It has been designated a Tangible Cultural Property of Yaese Town. It is different.

Shisa or, Chinese guardian lion dogs, usually protect hamlets from fires or evil spirits.

This Shisa, was placed in its location, to insure good fortune for young men.

After being erected at this location, it brought prosperity to the young men of the village.

To this date, on certain occasions, village officials and youth, come to worship here.

It is also said if, a woman desires a boy child, she should touch this stone Shisa.

NOTE: To find other original Shisa a local guide may be required.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Special T-shirt Arrived Overnight

T-shirt, memorial, sailing sabani, race, Sir Peter Blake

Late Night Message

Saturday night, sometimes finds me in a local watering hole and, it was one of those nights.

DING: A message came through on the iPhone, saying my T-shirt was delivered.

It was placed in the mailbox at the office. It would wait until morning.

It's a good thing the crime rate is low in this part of the world. Nobody, swiped my shirt.

Last month, I traveled to Zamami-jima for my fifth consecutive year to photograph this event.

The Maririn Cup, is a local race in the Kerama Islands.

The big event, is the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Cup Race, from Zamami to Okinawa Island.

A passing typhoon made this the longest of the sailing sabani races, I've ever witnessed.

Only three boats finished, within the six hour time limit. The rest struggled to get home.

Normally, there's a big celebration at the finish, with bands and free beer.

We dragged our exhausted, sunburned bodies to the closing ceremony and got a beer.

Suddenly, rain busted out and closed out the closing ceremonies. After, only one free beer !

Everybody ran for shelter and the bands, dancers and beer kegs, went home.

We were told, the T-shirts would get to us at a later date. It's a pretty busy shirt.

Sir Peter Blake

If, you were a Kiwi (New Zealander) and, didn't know this man, they'd lock you up.

He's the most famous yachting sailor, who ever went out to sea.

Broke every ocean sailing record in the world including sailing around the world.

Peter Blake was the only one, to take the America's Cup from the Americas. Twice !

After 2000 America's Cup win, he retired from yacht racing and, became an environmentalist.

On an expedition to the Amazon in Brazil, he was killed by pirates.

Going after the robbers with a gun, Blake was shot twice and died instantly.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Almost Full Moon Over Okinawa AUG 8 2017

Moon the 8th of August, Okinawa, Japan

Waning Gibbous 99.6 Percent

This is about as round as I've seen it get during the month of August this year.

The local moon phases calendar, says the moon was full at 03:10 this morning.

As I was walking the dog home, from buying my coffee, I saw the moon setting.

About 5 AM and the skies were hazy but, it looked like the moon was going to hit the highway.

Tonight, I climbed up on the roof and was waiting for moonrise at 7:30 PM.

It appeared shortly after I set the camera up, surrounded by fast moving black clouds.

There were 60 photos in the camera, when I stopped shooting and downloaded.

Tonight, I'll just post this one and, another on my Facebook Page, Ryukyu Life.

The remaining images, I may use to create a slideshow, showing the moving clouds.

All photos were taken, using a tripod and the camera timer at 2 or, 12 seconds.

Various exposure settings were used, depending on the brightness of the moon.

For this image, here's the camera specs:

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Sigma 50-500 with 1.4 converter Focal Length 700 MM

Exposure:  f/22   1/5 sec   ISO 100

Location: Kin Town Okinawa Japan

Date and Time: AUG 8 2017  8:06 PM

NOTE: AUG 22 2017 there will be a Black Moon over Okinawa at 03:30.

Do you think, I should climb up on the roof, to shoot it while it's in a black sky ?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Full Moon AUG 2017 Over Okinawa Japan

Some Tricky Weather

Depending on which source you use the full moon this month could be anywhere from the 6-8th.

It's best to get out and shoot it, any time it peeks through the clouds.

A passing typhoon has left the skies cloudy and hazy and, no moon was visible last night.

Earlier, I shot a few images around 8PM but, they were cloudy.

When the moon got higher in the sky, much sharper images were possible.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Sigma 50-500 with 1.4 converter Focal length 700MM

Exposure: f/16  1/60   ISO 100

Location: Kin Town Okinawa Japan

Date and Time: AUG 7 1017  8:37PM

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Seeing Hacksaw Ridge

Not the Movie - The Terrain

War movies aren't something you'll catch me watching very often. War kinda sucks.

We've heard about the film "Hacksaw Ridge" and, seen a few promotional clips.

Doc Graff and I, decided to take a hike, with cameras and, check the place out.

Japanese film poster advertising Hacksaw Ridge

It was a blazing hot August day and, we were sweating like a few hogs in a roaster.

There's a little museum-looking building we came across and, saw this poster.

The building is called Urasoe Youdore and, it's well worth paying 100 yen to visit.

The staff are friendly and gave us permission to take photos. Little English is spoken.

But, we get by with our pidgin Japanese and Okinawan Hogen.

Desmond Doss photo from 1995 visit to Okinawa

There are all sorts of treasures in this climate controlled building.

They have archaeological, historical and war-related artifacts on display and, I found this photo.

It shows Medal of Honor recipient, Desmond Doss, visiting Okinawa in 1995. 

Explanation of Hacksaw Ridge and Desmond Doss in English and Japanese

For those who never heard of Desmond Doss or Hacksaw Ridge, I shot this photo.

The stone marker, dedicated to him, has been moved over the years.

We had trekked the lower levels of the hill but, wanted to walk Hacksaw Ridge entirely.

That's because there's a spot named Desmond Doss Point, up there somewhere.

All along the walkways, going up and down those hills, there are caves.

The vegetation is too thick, to see many of them and, it's fairly rough terrain.

Not far from the Urasoe Castle walls, we located Desmond Doss Point and, this photo was taken.

The Original Stone Marker

The day wouldn't be complete, without locating the stone dedicated to Pfc. Doss.

A gentleman, working at the museum, gave us directions to the Adventist Church.

It's located far from Hacksaw Ridge, in Kitanakagusuku.

The International Seventh-day Adventist Church, maintains the marker.

Stone marker dedicated to Pfc. Desmond Doss

The church was located and, a middle aged woman came out to show us the location of the stone.

We thanked her and, asked if photography would be allowed. She gave the OK.

Reverse side of Desmond Doss marker inscribed in Japanese

The back side of the stone is etched in Japanese. I can read Desmond T Doss.

When we were done, the lady at the church, invited us to go inside the buildings.

We're sweating like a couple of goats in heat by now and, I ain't crazy about churches.

So, we thanked her and, said it was time for us to get back on the highway.

Church people are alright and, I try to be respectful around them but, don't get too close.

They're religious and I'm sacrilegious so, don't want none of my stuff getting rubbed into them.

 If, you decide to visit Hacksaw Ridge, there's parking at the bottom of the trail. 

For a shorter hike, I recommend parking at Urasoe Youdore ; don't forget to visit the toilets.

There are no Men's or Women's facilities once you leave that parking lot !

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Plant Photo: Goya or Bitter Melon

Goya, Bitter Melon, Bitter Gourd, Bitter Squash

It's Actually a Fruit

This monster is hanging just outside my kitchen door, along with half a dozen others.

They look something like bumpy cucumbers but, these babies got some powerful kick.

This happens to be my first year, attempting to grow my own. Well, the wife's growing them.

I'm just the guy responsible for constructing the net, they hang from.

The Goya is plentiful on Okinawa and, I probably eat them 5 times a week.

Also known as Bitter Melon, Bitter Squash and Bitter Gourd, in Okinawa it's just Goya.

The scientific community, would call it, Momordica charantia. That's a sweet name.

Folks in China and Okinawa cook this in stir fry dishes and, it's healthy food.

Tofu, pork and even good old USA Spam or bacon are some of the ingredients in the recipe.

Not really a cook, I am a big fan of the meal called Goya Champuru.

The wife, knows the recipe and, all the secret ingredients added to the dish.

Lately, I've been getting Facebook messages, asking for the recipe. My wife's is the best.

For now, try some of Just Hungry's recipes and, see if you like the meal.

Someday if, you email me, I might show you another secret ingredient the woman adds.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Konan: Okinawa's Champions for 2017

Konan High School Baseball Champions 2017

Number One on this Island

Each prefecture in Japan gets to send a high school team to Osaka for the championships.

This year, Konan High School in Naha City, boasts Okinawa's best players.

Living in Japan, you soon learn, high school baseball is extremely important.

Over a million people, from around the country, attend these playoffs.

People, who wouldn't waste their time on professional baseball, go berserk over this event.

Talent scouts from Japan and the USA, watch these players closely, looking for recruits.

Taking photos of a Konan towel

Normally, I don't go around shooting sports towels in my office.

A grandson of a sister-in-law is on the team, headed to Osaka for the championship.

Excuse the mess but, I was in a hurry to photograph this special towel.

It's the cleaning lady's day off and, I ain't gonna straighten things up. I'm a regular guy.

Konan sports towel being photographed

The idea was, to create an image, I could post on the Facebook Page header.

All the distractions in the foreground and background could be wiped out later.

It kept me out of the hot sun in a comfortably cool office today.

With a little bit of wizardry all the junk in the scene could be removed.

Then, I can put the image on Facebook and, go someplace air-conditioned, where there's beer.

Go Konan Go

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tree of a Thousand Stars and Root Hormone Recipe

Free Stuff that Really Works

This experiment started when, I rescued one of these plants from somebody's garden.

The Tree of a Thousand Stars, I photographed for a previous blog post.

It's Latin name is Serissa japonica and some folks call it a Snow Rose.

For Japanese  ハクチョウゲ would be the termonology.

Once I got done photographing the plant, I didn't want to throw it away.

Taking it back to the spot where it was liberated from, didn't seem like a good idea.

Not sure what kind of jail term the Japanese have for tree rustlers, I didn't want to find out.

So,  I snipped the plant into little cuttings and, tried different methods of planting them.

Some, were placed in cups of water, to see if they'd grow roots.

Others, I planted in flower pots filled with ordinary dirt, which came from someone's garden.

The plant cuttings in water, only had about a 50% chance of survival.

So far, every one planted in dirt, with homemade root hormone has been successful.

 I was going to visit the Japanese Agriculture (JA) store and see if, they sold root hormone.

My Google Translate thing gave me Rootsu-Hormonsu for the Japanese words.

Something told me, they'd think I was some kind of nut if, I asked the farm store for that.

So, I decided to search online and see if, I could make my own root hormones.

That's where I learned about spit.  Yup, spit works as a natural rooting hormone.

Ten of those Trees of a Thousand Stars are growing on in my territory now.

If each one gets a thousand stars on it, I'll have 10,000 flowers all because of spit !

Just in case y'all think, I make these things up, watch this guy's video:

LOL. He spits in his hand and rubs the cuttings around, I wouldn't do it like that.

Get yourself a paper cup or, just spit in the planter, you're going to use.

Some people, lick the cuttings with their tongue but, I wouldn't advise doing that either.

A friend of mine, licked a lamppost and his tongue got stuck because it was freezing outside.

Some Handy Links:

Bonsai Empire

Illinois Edu

 ハクチョウゲ Japanese Flowers Page

Missouri Botanical

Preparedness Mama

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Canoe to Divorce Rock

Commonly known as Divorce Rock in Okinawa

Nobody Was Home

The weather wizards were wrong. It turned out to be a nice sunny day.

A guy showed up at my office with a canoe on the roof of an air-conditioned truck.

We'll just call him C.D. because, that's easier than spelling Canoe Dude. OK ?

Off to Genka, a district of Nago, Okinawa we went, to checkout the legendary Divorce Rock.

With a 50% chance of rain, the plan was, find a place where a boat could be launched.

Canoe traveling to Divorce Rock

Tricky Logistics

There aren't many places along HWY 58, where parking or, boat launches are available.

We drove around the village, looking for spots along the river, leading to the sea.

Most of the waterway is fenced-off probably, to keep little kids from falling in and drowning.

Talking to a local guy it was determined, the best access would be, out on the highway.

By the time, we got everything figured out, the sun was shining brightly.

So, we decided to make a big splash and, row out to sea.

Closing in on the Divorce Rock

Had the weather been different, I would have gladly, tried this trip, some other day.

Ideally, a visit to this rock would be best, during low tide so, we could see the sandy beach.

We paddled the canoe at a leisurely pace. I never knew canoes could go out in the ocean.

And, I had a hangover from too many beers, they gave me last night.

So, I was paddling at a more leisurely pace than, C.D, the guy behind me, in the boat.

Close-up of Divorce Rock in Okinawa

There's no telling, what astronauts talk about out on an exploration but, I know what we did.

We were saying stuff like, "What if, we find some skeletons?"

"We should have brought along a flag, to plant on the rock, like the guys who went to the moon."

"Maybe, there are gold and silver wedding bands and engagement rings, people left there."

Canoes don't come equipped with radios so, we had to entertain ourselves.

We got there in about half an hour.  Astronauts probably, bring along some music.

Anyhow, there we were, banging into to rock with our 17 foot fiberglass canoe.

Soon, I learned to use my paddle, to keep the boat from crashing into the rocks.

That C.D. is an adventurous guy. He put on some goggles and dove into the water.

He'd pop up every once in awhile, to tell me about all the fishes he saw down there.

Then, he went swimming and diving all around the crazy rocks. And, I waited.

After a while I was thinking, "Goddamnit, what if, a shark come along?"

I got my paddle ready to swat big fish and, started humming the tune from the movie, Jaws.

I don't kill fish for fun but, I'd be pretty angry if, I had to paddle that boat by myself.

So, if one ate C.D. I'd probably spank it real bad !

Back side of Divorce Rock

All of a Sudden

Looking around, I find C.D. up on the rocks. The rascal climbed over from the other side.

Me, I never touched the rock at all. I've had some experience with divorces.

One thing I never learned is, which costs more getting into or, out of one.

Probably, a smarter person, would keep track of those expenses.

Well, I quit humming the Jaws tune.  We got the canoe turned around and headed home.

Canoe heading back to Genka, Okinawa

The return trip took about half an hour of some more serious paddling.

Wind and currents in the water, sort of kept trying to force the boat off course.

We discussed things like, it would have been smart, to carry an ice chest and cold drinks.

The sun, got fairly hot and, we were turning red before the shoreline came to meet us.

What a tourist attraction, that rock could become. Just imagine.

A few paddle boats, advertise Divorce Rock and, sell trinkets to tourists.

We could make a fortune, selling divorce donuts and, phony certificates to people.

People who actually get divorces, could stash their wedding rings out there.

Divorce cakes and cookies, candies, hot dogs with sauerkraut. We'd become millionaires !

Time for some beer replacement therapy.  I'm outta here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

An Ocean Breeze and Some Shade Is All You Need

Tree, ocean,sky,clouds

When Okinawa Gets Too Hot

Temperatures and humidity have been going off the charts recently on this island.

An early riser, I'm usually up and about before the sun rises.

It's cool enough outside, to take the dog for a walk, while buying my morning iced coffee.

Once the sun rises above the surrounding buildings, it gets too hot for outdoor activity.

So, I've been hanging around at home, enjoying the air-conditioning and, going to work late.

Late afternoons, some buildings provide shade, along one side of the street.

Even when there's no wind blowing, shadows provide some relief from the blazing hot sun.

On the hottest, most humid day, a tree, shade and an ocean breeze, are gifts from heaven.

This photo reminded me of one of those days, I was thanking the heavens for shade.

Camera: Pentax K1

Lens: Pentax 15-30 at 23MM

Exposure: f/11   1/1250   ISO 400

Location: Horizon Curry Works, Chatan, Okinawa

Date and Time: JUN 28 2017  12:44 PM

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday Travel Tale -- It's True

Travel timeline a day in northern Okinawa

Cameras Take a Back Seat

The car got loaded up with camera bags, lenses and a tripod this morning and, north we went.

Research on future photo projects always has to be done in advance, to insure success.

Every imaginable type of lens would be handy if, a worthy photographic subject appeared.

Birds, rainbows, twisters, beach bunnies, whatever could show up and, we'd get them captured.

But, the priority today would be, gathering information for future assignments.

Both Doc Graff and I know, sometimes you go south on this island, to get to a northern point.

Part of my research today concerns the southern islands so, we headed north.

If, that confuses you then, you haven't been on the islands long enough. Stick around.

Yanbaru Wildlife Center

A trip I'm planning, will take me to the southern island of Iriomote, sometime next month.

There happens to be a critically endangered wildcat down there and, I want to catch one.

Not, to put in a cage, it's something I'd like to photograph in the wild if, possible.

We could have headed south and found information at a travel office in the city of Naha.

But, I'm not wild about cities and, travel folks down there probably, aren't wild about wildlife.

brochures from wildlife and conservation center, nature

Up in Kunigami, the Wildlife Conservation Center has unbelievable resources.

The brochures above are a sample of materials, gathered today. All are in English.

We stood there for about 15 minutes, sucking down air-conditioning and gathering freebies.

Finally, a middle aged gal, interrupted smiling and said, "Santasan, Please sign-in."

It's a little tricky if, you don't read or speak Japanese but, we know enough to get by.

Before long, the woman was convinced, we don't speak much Japanese.

Try a bit of Okinawan (Uchinaguchi) and, the young lady started cackling. New friends !

Next thing you know, she gave me a photocopied page of contacts for Iriomote Wildlife Center.

The day would have been complete, having gotten this far.  We could have called it quits.

Another bit I've learned on these islands. Keep on having a good day, whenever one shows up.

Talk to Locals

A drive to the village of Oku was next on the agenda, to gather some information.

The only gas station, in town, a small mom and pop store and, a cold drink were in order.

There's a festival that takes place in the near future, we needed to confirm dates for this year.

This event, isn't something the average tourist would probably, want to attend.

It's not widely advertised and, being the heathen I am, they welcome me.

Black and white image of a museum photo, festival, Okinawa

The gal, in the country store, knew this matsuri would happen during September.

But, wasn't sure of the dates the event would take place, this year.

Inside a building, across the highway, I remembered this photo, was hanging on a museum wall.

It's sort of a wet and wild, traditional festival, which only happens, every other year.

The photo above, was snapped with the iPhone camera and, we waited a few minutes.

Along came a young lady, who works in the office by the museum and, I asked about the event.

She had to make a phone call, to get the specific dates for the matsuri.

The action depicted above (Bin-kui-kui) will take place September 10 2017.

We thanked the girl for her assistance, bowing deeply and headed back down south.

It wasn't until I arrived in Kin Town that a real camera was used to shoot brochures !