Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Traffic Trap on an Otherwise Nice Day

by Pa Rock
Road Warrior

We were headed south this morning and I was looking for breakfast.  To my left was a bus lane which I knew not to drive on,  but suddenly there was a McDonald's to my left as well.  I pulled over into the bus lane to turn into Mickey D's - and a Japanese cop jumped into the road in front of me and directed me into the driveway just short of the fast food joint.  That driveway led to a vacant lot where the cop and several of his fellow cops spent the next half-hour writing a ticket and trying to explain in total Japanese how I had just committed nothing short of the crime of the century!  My fine is 6,000 yen - a little less than seventy dollars.  I was so embarrassed because Baby Olive and her parents were with me!

We managed to get on past Naha and to what was once the small fishing village of Itoman.  Itoman is no longer a village in any sense of the word.  Our first stop was at the Itoman Glass Factory where we watched glass being blown and did a little shopping.  From there we went to the southern tip of Okinawa and walked the grounds of Peace Prayer Park.  The park used to be much smaller, but it has grown considerably over the past forty years.  It now has many memorials to the war dead of World War II, both Japanese and Americans, along with a large war museum.   (Peace Prayer Park used to be called "Suicide Cliffs" because it is where many Japanese soldiers walked off of the cliffs in order to avoid capture by the victorious Americans.)

Leaving the park, we decided to drive north along the Pacific coast - something that I had not done before.  We saw a lot of very beautiful scenery, but failed to find the large islands that are connected to Okinawa by bridges.  I had been to those islands once before, but today had no luck in retracing the drive.

But it was all good.  Olive is a very pleasant traveler and slept much of the time that she was in the car.

Baby Olive will be six months old tomorrow!

1 comment:

Mimi's memories said...

How nice of you to take them on such great adventures! A once in life time chance to see Japan, it's great you are able to show them so much!