Some things I really recommend if you are visiting Japan are:
- A two prong to three prong (two into the wall socket, allowing three prong plugs) adapter, and a multi outlet power strip
- Getting a data sim card in advance delivered to your hotel - depending upon your smartphone or tablet device - bMobile has a 14 day data sim card for visitors that allows stranglehold access to the internet, or a 1 Gig data sim card also good for 14 days
- The kik app from the Apple Store or elsewhere (have your family/friends download the free app, too) so you can text for free over data
- A sunbrella! It is a must! Sunscreen just melts the minute you exit your hotel
- A sun protective shirt
- Your inhaler if you have asthma - people smoke EVERYWHERE
- Using the bidet function of the Japanese toilets. I thought Annie was crazy when she blogged how wonderful Japanese toilets are, but they are!
- A travel coffee mug and your favorite instant brew or tea (I prefer 100% Hawaiian coffee, freeze dried, by Mulvadi)
- An aluminum water bottle (LARGE SIZE) because it gets hot - you can, of course, get water or other cool drinks at dispensers on the street, but that creates waste
- Making sure that on your reservations you insist on smoke free accommodations and car
- Have a basic understanding of the important Japanese phrases - I really wish I had taken the time to do a rudimentary course
- If you’re a diver, bring that C-card with
- A sense of humor, especially if you’re tall
This morning was a panic session at the beginning - the hearing to amend the Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law is being held tomorrow at 8:30 am. Our lawyer didn’t find out about it until today. I spent a good 3 hours finishing up my initial input into the findings of facts with which the Program has issues and sending them in to the program, our current lawyer and our previous lawyer. This is fast not becoming a vacation, especially when you figure in treatise editing for my research assistant position. I am not as far into that as I would like to be.
This morning’s walk took us through the pottery district of Naha, Tsuboya Odori. I could go broke in there. If Wayne is smart, he will only take me here when the shops are not open. There is beautiful pottery, shisa statues, and glassware, the price tags on which are a little shocking. But what do you expect? It’s a city. The sign below marks not just the entryway, but also the old water pump, which is still working. We were headed north though, to pick up Eliot and go to Kadena, so we decided to stop in on the gift shop.
We left the hotel at about 10:30, after I spent probably a little over 3 hours working on my second “assignment.” We plotted on Google maps, but it was questionable. When we realized that the app was trying to get us to drive through someone’s home, I took over from the iPhone (HA!) and re-routed us to the University, where we picked up Eliot.
First stop was the Seaside Ristorante at the Kadena harbor, where we had a very nice lunch, and then visited the dive shop. They have DIN tanks for rent! Yay! We plan on getting in at least two. The dive shop on Torii Station was closed today, but will be open tomorrow. They have a dive program where you can dive where there may be whale sharks. No snorkeling. Just diving. Just send me to heaven if it works. We will call them tomorrow and see if they are running the program in the next few days.
The view from the restaurant definitely didn’t suck
Then we visited the resort where we will stay our last two days to ensure that we had a non-smoking room, and just to feel it out. All in all, it looks like a nice, quiet diversion from the last several days in the noisy, crowded city.
Then it was back to Kadena, where we went to the Officer’s Wives gift shop (CLOSED!), and then a specialty store inside the Exchange - SCORE! Everyone gets Shisa dogs from this trip…even our soccer gnomes. We then went to the commissary, picking up two family packs of steaks for Eliot, as that is an expensive commodity, and the boy is seriously skinny now! The post office was open, so we were fortunate enough to be able to mail two boxes of souvenirs back home rather than try to buy and check a new suitcase.
We then proceeded back to the University, where Eliot showed us his dorm room, and took us around campus. All day today, we have been seeing signs about poisonous snakes, and the University is no exception.
Not the happiest sign in the world for me! During our tour around campus, we ran into one of Eliot’s brother students from UH, who is part of the transfer program as well. This program offers courses in various subjects conducted in English, as well as basic level Japanese courses. The credits given by the University of the Ryukyus can be transferred back to the student's home university. However, the student’s home university reserves the right to determine whether earned credits are valid and count towards the student’s graduation.
The University of the Ryukyus was established in 1950 with the support of the United States Military Government, on the site of the ancient Shuri Castle. At that time, it consisted of 6 faculties: English, Education, Social Sciences, Science, Agriculture, and Applied Liberal Arts. After its establishment, the university received guidance from Michigan State University, a land-grant university, with the aim of creating a university that contributed to the local community by extending academic results to the community. In 1966, administration of the University of the Ryukyus was transferred to the Government of the Ryukyu Islands. In 1972, when control of Okinawa reverted to Japan, the University of the Ryukyus fell under Japanese Government administration and became a national university. In 1979, the university became a comprehensive university with six faculties: Education, Law and Letters, Science, Engineering, Agriculture, and Medicine. In 2004, all national universities including the University of the Ryukyus were transformed into so-called National University Corporations. That same year, the Graduate School of Law was established, and the Faculty of Tourism Sciences and Industrial Management was established in 2008. Now the university consists of seven faculties and the Graduate School of Law.Under the auspices of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, the University of the Ryukyus was founded, as a territorial university, on the site of the historic Shuri Castle in Naha on May 22, 1950. It was placed under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Ryukyu Islands in 1966. Since 1988, Ryudai and the University of Hawaii have had a "sister-university" relationship, and have opened up centers for Okinawan studies at both universities.
Dinner was a treat from Eliot, from a place called King Taco. We had chicken taco rice, which I thought would be shredded chicken, seasoned, with lettuce, tomato and cheese. What we got was chunk chicken, ground beef seasoned with taco spices, and a metric buttload of cheese and rice. TOO MUCH FOOD! Eliot has a lot of leftovers thanks to me tonight. He was afraid I didn’t enjoy my food, but the truth is, it was just too much. :) We ate it at a park near the restaurant (take out only), and watched the little kids practice soccer as the sun set.
From there, we dropped Eliot back off at his dorm, and I took over the driving, Wayne the navigation. He finally learned how much of a pain it is to use the google map app in Okinawa to navigate, that is certain!
My asthma continues to act up, so when we got back home (fully a half hour later than initially predicted), we went to DQ to look for cough drops. I wound up with Vicks medicated drops and Precol time release capsule for coughs. Here’s hoping it kicks in by tomorrow morning.
Time to fade to never, never land.