By Jenifer Tull-Gauger
Welcome to my first blog in which I invite you to look back with me at our trip to Okinawa in the summer of 2015. The way I see it, you get the best opportunity to live vicariously through me and see the sights without the jet lag or the stress of traveling or the unreal, oppressive, exhausting humidity and heat. (I do not recommend going there in June or July.)
We stopped overnight in Hawaii on our way to Japan. It helped us get used to the time change, and saved us some airfare. The beach was a short walk from our budget hotel, and did not disappoint. After a dinner of delicious Japanese soba noodles (handmade right there in front of us), we listened to the waves and enjoyed nature’s evening show of a rainbow and sunset, with the occasional drums of a hotel’s live dinner show playing an underlying beat.
I don’t know how many hours it took from Honolulu to Tokyo, but it took too many. You can see how tired I am here (left) in the first half of the trip.
Shortly after we landed in Tokyo, the TV show “Why Did You Come to Japan?” took an interest in our trip. Kaicho told them we were there on a pilgrimage to visit his teacher’s birthplace, and see the castles and historical places related to our martial arts. The interviewer Kaita-san, translator Shiho-san, and cameraman Yotaro-san followed us to Okinawa to spend a couple days filming our activities for their show. It all started with our group demonstrating the kata Naihanchi Shodan in the airport. The lesson here: always be ready.