Monday, 15 December 2014

Food, Travelling & Living: Food And Fun Of Okinawa -- Day 2



Time for resting
Image from Locky's English Playground
The day started with the sleep preparation, as we were both exhausted by the dangerous GPS-less night driving. We were lucky to have survived that drive in complete darkness tailing a car in front which had a tiny little braking light. I will remember my first 3 times speeding past red lights happened in Okinawa.

Maybe a nice bath first
Image from Locky's English Playground
The hotel bathtub has to be the best I have ever seen. It was clean and new and big enough for 2 adults and two babies! Its design is simply fantastically caring! With a lower step for adults to climb out or kids to sit on.

Complete set
Image from Locky's English Playground
The Japanese's level of attention to details can be seen everywhere from oral hygiene to hair tidiness...

Look at the sound button
Image from Locky's English Playground
... to psychological comfort. See that SOUND button in the photo on top? You can use that to play fake toilet flushing sound to cover the sound you make during urination and defecation. How cool is that?

Cheap tour tickets for sale at the hotel
Image from Locky's English Playground
They also know that you would be interested in visiting different theme parks and tourist hotspots, so they provided the best price for these familtainments. Turns out they are the same price as you buy from local convenient stores like Family Mart, Lawson and CoCo! So don't bother going to convenient stores, just purchase from the hotel.

Snacks for the night
Image from Locky's English Playground
And whenever one goes on holiday, they tend to get hungry much more easily, snacks are highly advisable.


Panoramic view from the hotel room
Image from Locky's English Playground
Light through the curtains and it was hello to the first sunrise in Okinawa. The view from the room balcony was amazing!

The hotel's beach
Image from Locky's English Playground
Too bad we were here in the wrong season, the strong cold sea breeze turned out to be a good opponent for my 90% down Uniqlo jacket.

Round 1 of the western breakfast at the hotel
Image from Locky's English Playground
Breakfast came in two choices, western and Japanese. Day 1 we had western and thought it was a safer choice, didn't think the food would be barely considered warm enough.

Round 2
Image from Locky's English Playground
Taste-wise, the food was a little towards the bland side, but the health-conscious will not mind.

Round 3
Image from Locky's English Playground
As for the yoghurt, well, can simply forget about it.

Panorama of the chapel of the hotel
Image from Locky's English Playground
Before my wife's best friend's wedding began, we took time to have a stroll.

Hotel from the chapel
Image from Locky's English Playground
It was a nice day but the wind was almost the speed of typhoon 8 in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Fallen cove by the beach
Image from Locky's English Playground
The strong wind explains why the trees are mostly growing sideways.

Panoramic view of the beach
Image from Locky's English Playground
Another panoramic shoot
Image from Locky's English Playground
The sand on the beach was so fine, felt really comfortable to walk, even with shoes on, I could feel the softness and fineness.

Porous eroded rocks by the beach
Image from Locky's English Playground
The porous eroded rocks by the beach must have got a high composition of sandstones, creating a very interesting shape for the shoreline.

Piece of dead coral
Image from Locky's English Playground
The night before must have been a very rough sea, many corals and sea creatures were washed up.

Some sort of sea cucumber-like creature with a very hard back
Image from Locky's English Playground
Including this sea cucumber-like creature with super hardback but a much softer belly,

An near-death drying up baby sea snake
Image from Locky's English Playground
and this poisonous baby banded sea krait sea snake, almost dried up on the sand.


It was still moving defensively when I first found it, but it had no hope of returning to the ocean on its own.


So, how can I not save it from near death?

Chapel front door
Image from Locky's English Playground

The chapel is beautiful from the outside,

Image from Locky's English Playground
and is even better from the inside. Too bad the priest was too much of an actor than a faithful father.

Graves by the Cape Manzamo
Image from Locky's English Playground
One of the most eye-catching things in Okinawa is the abundance of graves, surprisingly rather semi-Chinese and semi-Japanese style. They are almost everywhere, including two right beside the hotel.

Road safety reminder statue of a matchman and a cross above a stone stand
Image from Locky's English Playground
Another would be how common it is to see statues reminding drivers to drive safely on the road. They come in all sorts of appearance, mostly cute matchmen and cartoony devils in underpants.

Lawson outside the entrance of Cape Manzamo
Image from Locky's English Playground
And I just love to see convenient stores with free parking spaces, so convenient!

Huge rock with Kanji engraved on it at Cape Manzamo
Image from Locky's English Playground

Image from Locky's English Playground
The view at Cape Manzamo was stunning!  I have never seen anything like this, so majestic, yet looked so vulnerable before the crashing wave.

Cape Manzamo
Image from Locky's English Playground
I took several soundifferent and shot photos but can only be listened to on Samsung phones. But here are the photos anyway.

Crashing blue
Image from Locky's English Playground
It is not a place you can stay for too long due to the gale force wind, but definitely a place one must visit.

Crystal and deep blue sea crushing on the cliff
Image from Locky's English Playground
There were times when I thought the whole cliff would collapse when the waves broke at the bottom of the hanging cliff. And I am pretty sure it will, just may not be any time soon.

The other side of the Cape Manzamo
Image from Locky's English Playground
Looking towards the other end of the coast stood Sun Marina Hotel. The bay is protected by rocks and corals. An unreal creation of Mother Nature.

Is that a light tower in red? Or a tsunami warning system?
Image from Locky's English Playground

Leaving Cape Manzamo
Image from Locky's English Playground
Driving in Okinawa was lovely, carless,  like the road was private.

Famous cake and pastry shop
Image from Locky's English Playground
Not so long of a drive after leaving Cape Manzamo we arrived at 御菓子御殿 (okashigoten) 恩納店 (tenpo onna), the biggest confectionery chain store in Okinawa.

Panorama of the shop and private car park
Image from Locky's English Playground
It was way past lunch time and we were desperate for food.

Lunch time
Image from Locky's English Playground
On the second floor, there was a cafe with a dream-like decor that commonly appears in Japanese comic but never in Hong Kong.

Triple layer pork with Okinawa noodles
Image from Locky's English Playground
Triple layer pork with Okinawa noodles stole the sight but it was the warm comforting dried bonito soup that stole the limelight in a cold afternoon. That aroma still tales up a huge part of my fondest memory in the entire trip.

Soft pork ribs udon
Image from Locky's English Playground
Even though the soft pork ribs tasted fabulous, the soup beat everything else.

Dinner
Image from Locky's English Playground
For dinner, everyone gathered at 農園炉端しまぶた屋 (nouenrobata shimabutaya). An all pork restaurant.

Wife's best friend prepared this table paper
Image from Locky's English Playground
The place mats were specially designed for the married couple. Pretty nice.

Interesting peanut tofu
Image from Locky's English Playground
Appetizers did their soury job well, which included a very chewy peanut tofu, umibudo seaweed, and seaweed in lime vinegar.

Pineapple juice on the rocks
Image from Locky's English Playground
Pineapples are very famous in Okinawa, so had to be my drink for the night.

Layered pork
Image from Locky's English Playground
Multilayered pork were alright, not exactly my type of meat for the health conscious me. I did not eat the fatty part.

Ham, intestine, liver and heart
Image from Locky's English Playground
People who like pig's internal organs would be happy, I am only a fan of the ham.

Raw pork in a bamboo rack
Image from Locky's English Playground
Raw pork in bamboo rack is this restaurant's signature dish...

Steaming in sake
Image from Locky's English Playground
Add saki to it and the hot pot below will immediately steam. Close the lid for about a minute,

Done!
Image from Locky's English Playground
and the pork slices are ready. Gimmick 100%, taste 100% bland.

Pork chop
Image from Locky's English Playground
I preferred the common type, pork chop /fillet. Simple and yummy.

Pork spring roll
Image from Locky's English Playground
But if you ask me to choose the best of the night, I will choose this pork spring rolls. I even devoured a whole tube even when I was 99% full! That pork juice all soaked into the rice, that charcoal aroma, that saltiness at optimal balance.... hm!!!!!

Ice cream
Image from Locky's English Playground
And the dinner was nicely summed up with an ice cream of some taste which I cannot remember.



Vocabulary:
familtainment -- (n)[C] family + entertainments
peanut tofu
umi budo seaweed -- (n)[U] "sea grapes"



Resources:

Food, Travelling & Living: Food And Fun Of Okinawa -- Day 1 @ Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2014/12/food-travelling-living-food-and-fun-of.html

Laticauda colubrina +Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laticauda_colubrina

Sea snake at the Hotel Monterey Okinawa Beach @YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV7ZlqHaEVA

Saving baby seasnake in Okinawa @YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYoj2iVpF1g

御菓子御殿
http://www.okashigoten.co.jp/

御菓子御殿 恩納店
http://www.okashigoten.co.jp/tenpo_onna.html

農園炉端 しまぶた屋 @gurunavi
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/f316202/lang/tw/


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