Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Drive North

The Beach at Okuma
by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

My friend, Murphy, and I drove north today, as far north as a person can go on Okinawa without getting their tires wet!  We found a new port that has just been completed.  It offers a ferry service to Ie Shima, the island where war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed during World War II.  We had just missed the boat, literally, so after a quick exploration of the port's facilities, our drive continued.

Putt-Putt Golf at Okuma
Stop number two was at Okuma, a resort fun by the military on the East China Sea.  We lunched there at the Surfside Club, a surprisingly nice restaurant that was in the process of getting decked out for Christmas.  I had the best hamburger that I have encountered so far on Okinawa - and some fresh mango tea that was equally awesome.  I was scoping out the resort as someplace to take my youngest son and his wife when they visit here in April.  Nice beaches, quiet location, Internet connections - perfect!

Monument at Cape Hedo Signifying
the Northernmost Point
Our third diversion was Cape Hedo, the northern most point on Okinawa.  Hedo has some great views of surf crashing onto rocks, and several monuments whose inscriptions were all in host-country Japanese.  (I doubt that any of them said "Yankee Go Home!"  But one never knows!

We hugged the East China Sea while going north.  It has postcards views of the sea all along the route.  The government has also completed some expansive and expensive traffic tunnels that made the trip to Cape Hedo much quicker than it would have been back in the day when traffic had to traverse the hills that occasionally stop abruptly right at the ocean's edge.  (Okinawa is so much more modern and efficient than it was forty years ago!)

Our trip back south was on the Pacific side of the island.  We saw a few nice beaches, but basically the highway tended to be more inland than Highway 58 is heading north.   About halfway down the length of the island we cut across to the new Okinawan Expressway and finished our outing with a much appreciated burst of speed.
Surf at Cape Hedo

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