Let sea ...Okinawa ...

This time I've set my alarm clock to 8am...

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And ... I woke up at 12am, hearing the cleaning team working outside my capsule. "Housekeeping, housekeeping ...."  A cleaner is singing.

It's seem that here in Okinawa everything is related to music.

Every morning there is a very organise team cleaning and changing the sheets of every cabins/capsules. We are suppose to be out by 10am to let them work peacefully... Well, I'll try again tomorrow...

The jetlag is there and it was really difficult to sleep last night. I've forgot that sometime it can be noisy, people going in and out all night despite the tiny thin curtain you can hear everything...it remembered me to buy some earplugs...   

Today, I went to see the Ocean ... That's what I thought... 

On my way to the Ocean I cross a fabulous small garden with some really nice intricate trees... Some old peoples were playing tennis, some cats were taking a break... A cat break ... 

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Then I arrived to what I thought was the Ocean, the blue part on google map I was aiming for! You know... Well that was more a highway to the Ocean... A lot of highways indeed...

But from far I could see a rock, a big rock and on this big rock, something looking like a shrine! 

When I arrived there I found a small beach, under the highway bridge, few peoples having fun swimming in the water and playing volleyball.

I finally made it to the shrine after taking few staircases. When I enter it, not much tourists.

A couple was waiting on the side. After few minutes a priest came with some encens and start to pray with them. 

He's holding a bell and sometime he's ringing it. 

And again, and again, faster and faster, like a crescendo.

He started to sing and pray and ring the bell again...

Time is suspended, I'm thinking for whom is this prayer ? A son, a daughter ? A father, a mother...

After maybe 10 minutes the bell is not ringing anymore, the priest is quiet... 

Time is back to normal. 

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A day like that, under the sun, walking around, there is always something to look at. I really enjoy looking at people daily life and taking pictures.

It's been almost a year that I'm not taking that much pictures of peoples. I did some nice polaroid experiments but my Fuji XE-2 was on the shelf lonely. 

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Today I took few shots, slowly trying to tame my 35mm and my eyes again. I really like this focale because you need to be in the action and you need to be close to your subject, to interact and take some risk in a way. Taming the wild animal. This year was a year of reading and I red some interviews about photography with Cartier-Bresson, he was saying something like :

"It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart and head."

 Yes that is true, for me there is always a story I can remember behind a photography I take. This is the moment and the now. Im not saying it's always a good story. But this moment is one shot, one clic, one story.

I ended up my day walking around in the center of the town, this is alway a special time when the sun start to go to sleep, the sky is becoming pink, the road is crowded of people looking for a place to eat.

You're wondering what this man is doing on this video.... No kidding, me too! I'll find out soon by testing these yummy cookies.

On my way back to my hotel, I found this nice and friendly restaurant. I have to say indeed that they found me haha! Most of the restaurant have a Japenese menu so it's always hard to know what will be serve, but walking by this one a friendly waiter invite me to have a look to an English menu version. A beer, some chicken and this very nice rice/eggs/pork/tofu, that was a delicious diner, eating in front of the cook at the bar doing giants flames while grilling some chicken!

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 Tell me what's your favorite Japenese food?

And yes I bought some professionals earplugs! 

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Good morning Okinawa ...

Good morning Okinawa! It's 2pm.

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After a comfortable long night in my capsule and postponing ten time my alarm clock initially set to 8am, time to wake up and explore Naha Okinawa. 

Shower, put some adequate clothes and go! 

Wait ... 

It's raining!

Damned!  Hopefully everything is ready in Japan and I could buy an umbrella at the hotel lobby. A nice transparent umbrella! 

 Ok where to go? I'm right in the middle of the city. Maybe let's have a look to the Ocean. 

A step outside... Wooow that's hot and humide, it remember Hong-kong in a way... it's around 3pm and there is no one in the city, where are the people... Certainly inside enjoying the aircon, ha wait... Working maybe !

While walking under the rain in small streets, I always choose to walk the smalls streets and I always got lost...haha... So I got lost... But while walking in the street I realize that a lot of cars were behind waiting patiently walking at my pace, so I put myself to the side to let them keep going. That's might sound nothing but for me that what I like in Japan, call that as you like, I call that Japenese courtesy. No horn, no sad face... Just wait... There is so many countries where even one car would have used his horn to warn me that I was on his way. Not here! 

That make me smile. Welcome to Japan I thought.

 After few minutes chasing for a coffee place I found a Starbucks. I know, not really typic Japenese but they have coffee and I needed my daily americano !

Originally while planning my time in Okinawa, no I'm kidding, I didn't plan a thing! Haha ...

I've finally choosed to stay around and to have a long walk in the city center. I've discover a very nice cover market which remember be a lot one I visited in kyoto, but this one seem to be way bigger with more small corner and dead ends, you can find a lot of variety of food and a lot of shop for everything. I've crossed the road of an old lady who was selling some complex origamis Tupi.

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I really like the mix of colors of the building under a shiny sun on a rainy day . From every shop you cross on the main street and under the market you can here some music wich are quite different along the walk, that give you this really funny feeling.

From afar, I see a man, salary man dancing in front of a small LCD Tv, trying to mimic the dance of a Japenese Boys band. Thay look to be a quite serious business and he's doing well haha!!!

back in the Starbucks to write this articles while looking at thr windows, the main street is crowded now, it's around 6pm and the sun is on his way to go to sleep. Through few clouds i can see the end of the light day.

This is time to find a place to eat diner. Along the street waiters are waiting to show you some menu but today I've choose to go back to eat at the hotel and enjoy a nice onsen bath.  

 Good night Okinawa...

  

The day I left ...

Time to put the hat back on.

Good bye London !!!

Good bye London !!!

After a year living in this beautiful flat in London, I'm waking up in the couch. The flat is empty, next to the fire place my 38L backpack and my scuba gear... Ready to go... 

The last few days were weird, I don't know how to explain that. I guess this is always like that when you live somewhere for a year. You want to go but you got this nostalgic feeling, maybe you don't want to stay, maybe you're only scare to go somewhere else. 

After handling the keys of my flat to the inventory clerck, last good by to Belsize park by having a nice breakfast at Gail and I jumped in the tube direction airport! I'm sitting now next to the duty free enjoying a glass of champagne to celebrate my first day of traveling :)

Not bad especially after I realize that by mistake my family name and name were inverted on my flight booking :) Finally it wasn't an issue.

After 11 hours sitting in between the airplane windows and a chatty grandma going for the first time in Korea to meet his grandson, I made it to Seoul airport. One hour after I was in a plane direction Okinawa and arrived there around 6pm, grabbed a pocket wifi(a bit expensive to hire but honestly worth it), asked for direction, jumped in the monorail while realizing that I didn't really know where I was going... finally made it to my capsule hotel, shower, something to eat ... Meditation .... Good night!  

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First night in my capsule.

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Let's grab some food.