We arrive pretty late at Okinawa Airport. Except for a temperature check because of the coronavirus and a light search by customs, everything goes relatively quick. We find ourselves soon taking the monorail and I dive right back in Japan, the small tickets and the super clean transportation (though that isn't much different than Taiwan except for the price scale upwards!)
The hotel in Naha is entirely open with self-registration as there is no one at this time of the night. It is all open, this is Japan! We go out on the main street which is very touristy, we get a bit ripped off in an Izakaya because we don't understand well the menu and that my Japanese is thoroughly rusty.
The next day we go back to the main street to stroll along. It is nice but mostly full of shops really. However, we spend a really nice time at the Makishi Fish Market, looking at the fish and sea food stalls first and then enjoying some fresh produce we picked at a stall and that are cooked upstairs. Half of it raw and the other half cooked for maximum enjoyment. We try a parrot fish and an abalone, delicious!
Next is the Naha bus terminal to reach Nago where Nobuyo will meet us to bring us back to Kouri Island. Do you remember Eigensinn Farm? With Michael Stadtlander and his wife Nobuyo and their Farm/Gastronomic restaurant, that we met in Canada in Ontario? Well they are in Okinawa, at Nobuyo's and they have a neighbour with a tiny house that is renting it to us with very reasonable price. Awesome!
Thomas forgets his phone while charging it in the bus terminal of Naha. At Nago, I try to explain the situation with my broken Japanese. They manage to find the phone in Naha and on this note, Nobuyo swoops in and saves me to finalize the conversation.
The few days passed in Kouri with Michael and Nobuyo are absolutelu wonderful. The weather is not the best but we spend reallys nice moments, invited every evening for diner at Nobuyo's small and cozy contener-house. Nobuyo cooks divine fresh products from the garden and Okinawa specialties and Michael adapts marvelously some western recipes to local products, for sure they are chefs! Height of luxury, they brought cheese and wine with them, Thomas is litterally in paradise! We meet friends and family of Nobuyo"s and it makes for delicious diners full of smiles and a strong desire to create such a heart warming environment in our future farm in order to invite them all there one day!
The little tiny house comes equipped with bicycles and a basketball hoop of which we make good use. The bicycles take us outside the island and when we are back, the wind is so strong that is hard to push the bikes on the bridge that links to Kouri. On this bridge, we get to see two enormous turtles, very close, beautiful, one almost entirely of beige colour and the other very green as well as several other ones further away. It seems they enjoy a high wind day!
Little by little, i get my bearings with my Japanese and try to let Thomas discover various small specialties which are very common in Japan but original for a first timer. Since Taiwan, Tom is an absolute fan of mochi and the traditional mochi (we only find one in a farmer's market, doesn't seem to be an Okinawa specialty) steals his heart and tastebuds.
When Michael leaves for Canada, it is also time for us to go back on the road and explore other places in Okinawa. We say goodbye to Nobuyo and Michael with the promise to meet again soon.