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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Okinawa, Japan by pauli on 13 January 2004 4:54pm
I am going here in 2 weeks, for 3 days, does anyone of the gang know the unmissable/ main sites to see/ local delicacies ?


Re: Okinawa, Japan by rick694uk on 17 January 2004 1:44am

Is that you of the great 2002 travel website? And of the brother who's work I continue to enjoy on UK national TV? Is he still swimming with sharks in Miami?

I won't be going back to Japan until March, but would enjoy hearing what you're up to in Okinawa, and anywhere else.

Re: Okinawa, Japan by pauli on 6 February 2004 8:25pm
Okinawa is a most interesting place. It was tough to find much info on it, even Lonely Planet was vague.

The flight was clear over several active volcanoes, amazing, the Palin Kamkatcha stuff is high on my to do list!

The island itself is 20% still owned by the US military and is highly different to the rest of Japan. OK still lots of concrete and steel, but it is a sub-tropical island and has great beaches unknown elsewhere in Japan, and it had an element of space that is rare there.

We went inside the bunkers from the end of the Second World War (Okinawa was the only part of Japan invaded by the USA). 13,000 US troops died in the fiercest fighting. Over 150,000 Japanese died mostly civilians, so many of the stories seem impossible today. Many of those who died committed suicide as they were falsely told the Americans would rape them. Nearby is a memorial to 200 nurse students who jumped off a cliff in suicide.

Civilians were also told to kill themselves so the Japanese army would have more food and not have to look after them, as well as many murdered by the Japanese army as they were ethnic Okinawans.

In the bunker many of the high command killed themselves rather than surrender and the hand grenade fragments in the wall are a chilling reminder of this brainwashed culture of suicide. I was still baffled they were described by the guidebooks as men of honour for doing this today.

I managed to majorly bang my head on the low bunker ceiling (Japanese revenge we joked - I am a half american). I have found in Japan much to frighten me in their denial and hiding of the darkest time in their history. It is understandable they are ashamed, but so much so as to be silent and not pass on information, thus allowing their history to be falsely cleansed.

There are many charming ruined castles there as well as restored ones (like across Japan), and this time of year has both a nice temperature and few tourists. It is also green and clearly has a sub-tropical feel. The tropical fish we saw from the glass bottomed boat on the reef were amazing.

With one big road of bars, restaurants and tourist shops its major city, Naha is easy to navigate.

There are many other amazing islands in the Okinawan chain and not enough time for me this trip. Anyone else who has seen this area I would be interested in their thoughts.

Rick thanks for your mail, Stephen is still making films - in LA! ( I was at the Sundance/ Slamdance film festival in support just now - this is a great place for a vacation - how are your movie plans ?
Re: Okinawa, Japan by rick694uk on 7 February 2004 7:16am

Thanks for an interesting and moving report. (Yeah, I'm 6'2", those low ceilings in Japan are a bugger, aren't they!!) Are you posting any pictures anywhere? Also, I can't find your last site link on these threads. Can you post it again? Your friend did an awesome job.

I'm back over in Japan in March, but no further south than Hiroshima this time. But I am taking a sack full of mini-DV's and shooting hell outta the place with my new vidcam! I have some basic editing software, so I'm excited.

Is Stephen still involved in CSI? I guess you were supporting Open House in Sundance? I'll look out for that. And the cast certainly look interesting, especially Jimmy Sagitarius! Any more info than imdb?

I'm still scribbling, but nothing I'll be pushing Stephen's way anytime soon!


Re: Okinawa, Japan by Medibbs on 20 June 2004 11:52pm
Okinawa I found to be an an intresting place I spent about 10 days on the main and surrounding islands (note to to any thinking of take the ferry from osaka-naha its 31hr the ferry is beds and a deck)but apart from that I would not of missed it for the world.
I was there in oct 2002 it the time that the big typhoon hit Tokyo.
As rick694uk saids yes the low ceiling are low im 6'4"

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