Last day in Okinawa spoiler: it didn't go entirely to plan. Oh and I got a haircut

Travel ?? Comments Mon 22 December 2014

Drive to Chatan, Round 1

We had grand plans for our last day; Melody Road, Goya Park, Chatan, Okinawa City, to name a few. First things things first though, I had to pick up the OIST electric car (I love driving the Mitsubishi i-MiEV) and go pick up Tania from church down in Yomitan. When I got in the car though, I immediately noticed the battery was only half full.

Oh crap.

The people who used it beforehand hadn't plugged it back in. Oh well, electric cars are meant to be economical, right? As the MiEV's GPS likes to tell us (in somewhat bizarre broken English for an English-based system), it has a 'Degree in Ecology'.

It was a nervous car ride down, though, as perhaps 75% of my attention was focused on the battery gauge.

I was willing it not to go down, almost to the point of threatening it. But it was no use; by the time I had arrived at Yomitan, there were only 5 bars remaining (out of a total of 16).

Torn between attempting a drive to Chatan or returning to OIST (such an anticlimactic option) we decided to postpone the decision altogether and go to Toguchi Beach Park. And, as far as distracting beaches go, it was a pretty good distraction.


I told you, picturesque


A picturesque hidden cove



Testing out filming logistics


Behind the scenes


I accidentally called this a pineapple tree, and after being reminded by Tania that pineapples, in fact, grow in the ground, we agreed I needed to return to Pineapple Park

Plus, I discovered that the 2000 Yen tripod I bought from Tabata, plus the 'smile self timer' option on my camera, basically gives me a makeshift selfie stick.


Don't judge me please


Eventually, after trying our luck at a service station (it didn't go exactly as we were hoping; the attendant was absolutely flummoxed by our car not having a gas tank), we decided it might be best to head back to OIST rather than risk driving to Chatan.

And good thing we did - it was by far one of the most stressful drives I did on Okinawa (I'm pretty sure I was just staring at the battery gauge 90% of the time).

4 bars left.

3 bars left.

2 bars left.

Oh god, it's started flashing

Tania grappled with turning the AV system and GPS off, but came to the conclusion that that is completely impossible.

1 bar left.

'How much further to go?'

'About 5km.'

Oh god oh god oh god

Finally, with about 3km left to go, and nothing but a strip of Highway 58 ahead of us and the massive OIST hill to climb, the battery meter was completely empty.


Oh shit!

Luckily we managed to make it off the highway, and over the hill - we even managed to make it to the car park entry before the next warning light went off; this one looking peculiarly like a turtle. (What does that even mean? We've entered turtle mode? We can still drive, but... ridiculously slowly?)

But we made it. Almost. I parked, let out a breath of relief, before realising I'd parked in a spot without a charging cable.

'Ugh. Crap. Do we have enough battery power to move one bay to the right?'


Drive to Chatan, Round 2

Leaving the car to charge for the afternoon, we formulated a new plan; we'd head to Chatan, try the ¥100 sushi train restaurant for dinner (we'd heard it was quite good), and maybe try getting haircuts. (After the American Village, the next English speaking city I'd be in would be London, and that might be a bit more pricey.)

After parking, we found a cool little hairdressers that was still open - Soho New York. We deftly negotiated for a English-speaking haircut for the price of a Japanese-speaking haircut (well, unintentionally - we may have been helped by Tania questioning at the counter what the point of the price difference was), and walked out of there with brand new hairstyles. Well, it was a bit shorter than I intended, but at least I got my moneys worth.




... and after

Next up, we walked over to the sushi restaurant; only to be greeted with a 100 minute wait, according to the ticket machine. At 8pm at night, as well!

Swamped with hunger, and doubting the veracity of all other restaurants we passed, we did the only sane thing we could thing of and returned to the same izakaya we had gone to two weeks ago (hey, we knew it would be good choice from prior experience).

Tania regretfully told me that this was the first time she has gone to the same restaurant twice whilst on holiday, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We pledged we would try all the things on the menu we never got around to trying last time, walked in with high hopes, and were promptly given the exact same table.

Then we were served by the same waiter.

Eventually I looked down and realised that I was wearing the exact same outfit I was the first time we went there. Ha. Let's just say it was fate.

In any case, the food was equally as delicious, and this time we were actually successful in ordering beef sashimi.


Same table ha


Due to our hunger, ordering only took 5 minutes this time, as opposed to 20


It was delicious, even if we did have to wait for it to defrost

Stuffed, we went for a short walk, and Tania had a serving of Blue Seal (Okinawan cheesecake, this time). And then off we went, back to OIST (for my last time). Unfortunately I didn't get to take in the scenery of the drive back - my eyes were firmly glued to the battery meter.

Tags: japan okinawa