Okinawa Japan October / November 2015
Right now i am travelling through Japan. I am staying on the island of Okinawa. We have traveled right to the top northern point of the island and right to bottom southern point of the island. It is incredibly beautiful with many sacred and spiritual places. I am sure to return refreshed, rejuvenated and overflowing with spirituality.The jungles and rainforests have an energy that makes my hair stand on end and sends tingles up and down my spine. The ocean that surrounds the island is an incredible blue. I am staying with my friend Yumi who I connected with while we were doing our yoga teacher training at Byron Bay. She has a beach with a cave and coral reef, I went snorkeling today with beautiful tiny fish, some bright dark blue, some painted clown fish, transparent sword fish, some really big fish. They swam all around me! It was amazing!
The first few days we spent at the vibrant and exciting Okinawa Yoga Festival, it had fabulous music and great yoga classes. i met some wonderful people with amazing energy and the same ideas of connecting with the spiritual oneness of the universe through yoga, meditation and kindness. And I experienced yoga classes with international yoga teachers that I have not had the opportunity to do before.
The performances at night were amazing! I can't describe the incredible skill of the tap dancer who was like a rubber man and the Indian drummer who kept up a rhythmical beat with each other for it seemed like for ever, the tapping was like an instrument, I didn't think he was going to stop, the salt from his sweat must have stinging him like crazy. There was a fire eater and wild dancers and harmonious gongs. A feast for the eyes and ears.
And the food! I never met anyone who eats as much as me until I came to stay with Yumi. I am going to be positively fat by the time I get home. The food is so delicious, and there is an Italian restaurant right next door where Yumi works sometimes, between her house and the sandy stairs down to the beach grotto. but not ordinary pizza, Japanese pizza with sea weed and figs and Okinawan fruits. I had soft shelled crab curry for evening meal, looking out over an endless ocean. I never ate curry before. It was an experience for me.
I have done yoga by the sea, under waterfalls, on mountains, in primordial forests, with talking rocks.
I've also been learning Tahitian dancing. And tomorrow i am going to train in a karate dojo with a famous karate master!
The lessons in the Dojo were the pinnacle of my karate experience. People were there from all over the world to practice with Sensei Hokama, who is 73 and a great master. It felt like the world was united through the passion for karate, they were Dutch, German, Argentinian, Spanish, Australian (me) and of course Japanese. I never dreamed in my life I would be on Okinawa, the island Karate came from, practicing in the best dojo in the world. I was awarded a certificate, written in Sensei Hokama's beautiful calligraphy, I felt very proud and honored. They kept asking if I was coming back the next day, I went for three days. we practiced in the old style, using training methods I hadn't done before and using weapons, nun-chucks (my first attempts were pretty funny) and the long bamboo bow which was exciting. Yumi and her son Moana came to try it out too.
Some more great food and swims in the sea and then it was time to fly to Osaka. It wasn't so easy getting around without Yumi's help. The language barrier was a problem, they speak a strange sort of English in Japan (if they speak any at all) and is is difficult to understand the Australian accent. Also Google maps kept telling me to go in the wrong direction, but as my son told me, I was probably seeing more interesting things by going in the wrong direction than if I was going in the right direction. But it was very frustrating and I dislike being late, but anyway, I always got there in the end!
Japanese Halloween is unbelievable, thousands and thousands of people dressed up in costumes for a huge street party. I had huge expectations for this night, and I was not disappointed. Yumi - being one of the beautiful people has VIP access to the clubs. We were invited to the owner's birthday party at Runway, a famous night club then the party went on to be escorted to the VIP section of the next night club with private dance floor and free drinks, then Yumi and I and another lovely friend of hers went onto the next VIP, escorted to a red room upstairs, waited on by a colonial dressed Japanese waiter, it felt as if wehad stepped through a time warp into my Grandfather's era. We could look down through a window at the thronging crowd below, lit up by the green disco lights.
After that we went to eat food, they were showing the world cup, Australia vs NZ. I had a great time, even though we got beat, at least there were people there who could understand my accent.