After Taiwan I continue traveling by myself. I’ve chosen Japan as my next destionation already last year. I flew on the 02.06. to Naha. Yen brought me to Taoyuan airport and made sure my biycyle comes with me on the plane. She booked the extra luggage at the counter. It was very easy to travel with her around Taiwan because I didn’t need to be worried about the language, Yen translated for me always. Before Taiwan I spent two years in Australia and New Zealand and could talk English to everybody. Now I’m going without any Japanese skills to Japan and Japanese have the reputation to have bad English skills. But I didn’t need to worry so much Yen wrote me an letter in Japanese so that people can help me to find a place to camp, she draw some pictures to point as well. The short flight was very scenery I had luck and got a window seat and the seat next to me was empty so I could stretch my legs. At the arrival there was a long queue at the customs for foreign passport holder, they are all Taiwanese tourists. Fortunately I contacted a warmshower-host in Okinawa in advance. Because for the immigration I need to give a local address and I can’t just write down “camp by the beach”. So I put the address of my host. Out of the terminal I assembled my bicycle. It was midday and very hot. I went back into the terminal and took money from the ATM that was good because most of the Japanese Banks don’t accept foreign credit cards, only at post office and 7-11. I bought a prepaid simcard from a vending machine. The simcard is for internet use only, foreigner in Japan aren’t allowed to own a simcard with an own number to make calls.
It was afternoon when I was done with all the procedure. I went to the southern point of Okinawa. Here I found a spot to camp next to a castle ruin. At dusk two Blackhawk helicopters passed by in low altitude. Since my arrival in Okinawa I noticed a lot of air traffic on this Island. There are many US military bases here. I’m interested in aviation it was fascinating for me to see all the different aircrafts. I setup my inner tent only because it was so muggy. The next day I woke up at 5 am, there were surfers coming to the spot where I camped. When I saw those cliffs the night before I didn’t thought about people would come here for surfing. All the people I’ve met in the morning greeting to me. Later on the road again I saw something strange. I cycled along a park and saw some police man covering a dead body and a mortuary van was waiting. I don’t know what’s happened I couldn’t find something in the news.
It was another hot day and when I arrived at my warmshower host I had a sunstroke. My host, her name is Tomomi, never traveled by bicycle but she is looking forward that she can travel the world one day. As long she can’t go traveling she getting the travelers to her home. I got my first impression of an Japanese family life. The parents are working a lot, they have only a few days holiday, the children have to learn for school very long. Her youngest son came back from evening school at 9 pm, he is 12 years old. I thought about when do they have free time? When I was 12 years old school finished at 2 pm and I could do after school what I wanted and never had to go to school at the weekend. Tomomi told me the rain season come soon and then they might be no ferry to leave Okinawa. I was worried and decided to take the ferry from Motobu in the next following days and skip the most northern part of Okinawa. Cycling on Okinawa was good, the roads have always footpaths where you can cycle, backroads are very quiet. But the island didn’t fascinated me much. I think it caused because I rushed and didn’t visit any heritage sites. After 200 km I took on 07.06. the ferry to Kagoshima.