Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Newcomer's Tour

So today, roughly 6 months after getting to the island, I finally took the Newcomer's Tour offered for free on base. It was fantastic! They provided the bus and all the information and all you had to bring was some yen for lunch and souvenirs. We started at the Zukimi Castle (which I've already blogged about), then went to the Yomitan Pottery Village, the Onna Glass Factory, the Onna Station for lunch, and then to Ryuku Mura to watch some traditional Japanese dancing. Here are some pictures and video clips of today's events:

The 3 images on the left are funeral urns. The picture near left is a wall at Zukimi Castle - the oldest castle on Okinawa.

The far left are Shisa Dogs from the Pottery Village. The near left is the climbing kiln. There are multiple fires along the slope of the kiln, the hottest being the one closest to the bottom. They only light the kilns 4 times/year, but when they do the temperatures reach between 700 and 1200 degrees F.

Here I am with the owner of the Onna Glass Factory and some of his company's products. Look how hot the glass is when he's working with it. This factory uses all recycled glass and the hardest colors to do are pink and red so they're the most expensive.

The above left is a bento box. Japanese Moms will spend hours making their kids a healthy, compact, fun lunch. Whenever I see school groups out on field trips I always see them with their cute hats - usually yellow or red. The above right picture is the workers and wood oven used to make incredible desserts at Onna Station. I had soba noodles (Okinawan soba is different from anywhere else because of the way they make the noodles) and a stuffed steamed dumpling. I know it looks a little gross, but the stuffing was made with mashed sweet potatoes and sweet beans and then sprinkled with bran flakes for good measure. It was yummy!

Here are some of the traditional dancers at Ryuku Mura. The dances were very entertaining. I have some good video, but the website isn't letting me upload right now so make sure to check back to see them in motion!

Here are some friends I made while on the tour! But seriously, I did hang out with a lady named Hannah who seems nice and has no kids. We exchanged numbers so hopefully we'll get together and do something!


Charity said...

Um, hello. I seem nice and have no kids. I mean AM. I AM nice and have no kids...

Mandy said...

I am nice too but live too far away and of course have two children but they are older!

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