09 July 2008

A trip to the land of blue sea & blue sky...

These days, I am in Okinawa island of Japan, attending an International conference.
Okinawa is the largest of the Ryukyu (Southwest) Islands and, is home to the Naha city, which is the capital of Okinawa prefecture of Japan. The population of Okinawa is around 1.3 million. Following the Japanese surrender after the world war II, Okinawa island remained under control of USA till June 17, 1972. US army personnel and Air base camps are still present in Okinawa; however, now due to the formal treaty between Japanese and US governments. Okinawa is the only prefecture in Japan with it's entire area belonging to a subtropical oceanic climate. The black current, starting from off the coast of the Philippines flows northward through the islands and contributes to warm winter. There is no snow fall in the Okinawa islands and, the average temperature is around 23 degree Celsius.

On 6th July, I had to catch the early morning flight to Okinawa from Hiroshima airport. I woke up early in the morning around 5 o' clock in order to get ready for the trip. I was accompanied by an Indonesian friend. We landed at the Naha airport (Japan's fifth largest airport) at 10 o' clock after a flight of around 2hours. After the necessary formalities (baggage claim etc.), we hired a taxi up to the hotel. The first thing we noticed peculiar, was the language spoken by the taxi driver. & It was not an one-off incident; actually, the sentence structure in the Okinawan dialects are same as the today's Japanese, but the words seemed to be quite different. It is said that Okinawan dialects are very close to old Japanese used around 7th-8th century as such, It is sometimes difficult to understand, even for the main-land Japanese people. After early struggles in conveying the hotel's name & address to the taxi-driver, we, finally, could reach to our destination.

Now, we confronted with a new problem there at the hotel. Though, our rooms were booked for 6th-10th of July; the check-in time was at 4 PM: still over 5hours to go! We had not checked with the details (regarding check-in & check-out times) before the trip. However, following our request, the hotel staff made the arrangement for an early check-in. The first real glimpse of the beautiful Okinawa was eminent once I opened the window of the hotel's room. Please take a look of the blue sea & blue sky...just awesome!

(A majestic view through window of the hotel's room)
After taking rest for around 3-4 hours, we decided to walk around the nearby places. Though, the conference was scheduled from the next day, we went to the convention center (the conference venue) which was less than 5 minutes walk from our hotel. I am uploading the architecturally designed beautiful structure of the Okinawa convention center (below) & hope that you all will like it.

(The Okinawa convention center, Japan)
The Okinawa convention center, with its multifunction complex including exhibition hall, theater, conference hall, and seminar room, meets the need of major conferences. Located within few meters of sub-tropical beach, a marina, a seaside park, and an open air coliseum, the venue offers the best of convention resort destinations.

After a brief visit to the convention center, we went for a walk of the nearby locations. The main purpose of this was to identify a "convenient" place for a dinner. In the process, we traveled a distance of around 5-6 km without success. Finally, we settled for a Japanese (Okinawa) "item" at the dinner.

I felt extremely tired once got back to the hotel and wanted to have early sleep. However, I had to check the materials (slides) for my next day's presentation.& it was quite late when I finally went to bed...

I am still in Okinawa and having new experiences everyday. However, I am not having enough time to update the blog. I will try to share rest of my experiences next time...

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Basanta Gautam on July 10, 2008 at 6:17 AM said...

Thank you foer sharing your trip to Okinawa.

I was there two years ago to attend the IEEJ-P&E conference. I could manage to go to a few places only but I liked Okinawa and its people.

I hope you are enjoying your stay there.

Nnepali on July 12, 2008 at 1:50 PM said...

Isn't Okinawa the place where Jap women were jumping to their deaths as the US army approached ???

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. It seems great. I wise I can manage to go.
Have nice trip to Nepal.
Your friend

Anonymous said...

Dear Basant ji & NMJ,
Thanks for your comment and wish. I really enjoyed the trip to Okinawa.

Dear friend nnepali,
There are several stories associated with US army in Okinawa... but it's a beautiful place to visit.

Madurai citizen on July 23, 2008 at 10:57 PM said...

nice trip
Jai Sai Ram

Lukmanul Hakim said...

Dear Deependra,
It was unfortunate that i could not make it to join you guys in Okinawa. Perhaps, on another occasion we could go together.

Anonymous said...

Dear 'Madurai citizen',
Welcome to this blog!

Dear Lokman,
I too, hope that we will make next time together.

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