Today was a stressful day to say the least. It started off with me walking around for nearly an hour trying to find this restaurant after my cab dropped me off in the wrong location, followed by the possibility that I wouldn’t be able to shoot the Gonzaga v Pittsburg game (the entire reason why I am in Japan), but ended with me eating sushi.
Due to an unfortunate mix up with my media and base access credentials, I was not able to enter Camp Futenma this afternoon to take photos of the Gonzaga basketball team getting tours of various airplanes. I was informed a month ago that everything was clear with my media pass, but in fact, I didn’t have anything that I needed. While waiting to hear from my contact I decided to explore some more if the island since that was far better than sitting in my hotel room.
I had a cab driver drive me to a few locations on the island that interested me, one was a local fishing location, and the other a tourist trap. First stop: Cape Maeda. There was no information on this place and I only saw photos but I wanted to go anyways. I should have known it wasn’t a very well known place when the driver had to use a physical map to find it. However, after about 40 minutes driving we found it and it was absolutely stunning. Sharp rocky cliffs stood out over the crashing waves, and in the distance, a group of men fishing. I carefully walked along the most intense rocks I've come in contact with (I know this sounds dramatic, but these rocks were something else) and stood next to three men fishing. They didn’t speak English but they couldn’t wait to show me what they were doing. For about 30 minutes I interacted with them and took their photos. After this, I went to Cape Zampa, where a prominent white lighthouse stood on the edge of 40+ foot cliffs over the sea. This was unlike Cape Maeda and had plenty of people and information. There were multiple couples taking wedding photos at sunset, and food trucks lining the parking lot. Despite all of the people, this outcrop on the East China Sea was absolutely gorgeous. I was only set back about 6,000 Yen or 50.00 USD for about two and a half hours of driving around the island.
I came back to an email from my media contact telling me to meet someone at the Kitamae entrance to Camp Foster to pick up my media credentials. In celebration for finally having access to the base and the team I decided it was time for sushi. I walked to a small restaurant and picked out something that looked decent (I say this because I hate sushi). I tried it, and though it was good, I ordered food I would actually eat as well.
Another day in Okinawa was done, and the more I explore the island, the more time I want to spend here and truly immerse myself into the culture. Yesterday and today were polar opposites—the bright lights of the city yesterday, and the small rural life of the north central coast today. I have no idea what the rest of my time here holds, but at least I can say I tried Japanese sushi.