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Japan Do #6 - Naha (Okinawa) - March 29-31 2018

Japan Do #6 - Naha (Okinawa) - March 29-31 2018

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Old Mar 27, 18, 2:22 am   -   Wikipost
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Handle --- Arrival ---- Departure ---- Hotel
  1. beckoa+1 - 3/29 7C 1802 TPE-OKA -- 4/3 JL2084 OKA-ITM -- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Naha
  2. krazykanuck - 3/28 NH479 HND-OKA -- 4/2 NH464 OKA-HND -- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Naha
  3. TravelKane - Mar 28 JL3 JFK>NRT * Mar 29 NH 2159 NRT>OKA * DoubleTree by Hilton Naha * Apr 3 CI121 OKA>TPE
  4. kirkwoodj ---- 3/29 NH475 HND-OKA ---- 4/1 NH460 OKA-HND ---- DoubleTree by Hilton Naha
  5. restlessinRNO - 3/29 IT230 TPE-OKA -- 4/1 BC552 OKA-NGO -- DoubleTree by Hilton Naha
  6. nomadic.relief - 3/30 BR112 TPE-OKA -- 4/2 MM925 OKA-TPE -- Almont Hotel
  7. ellyse - 3/29 HO1331 PVG-OKA ó 4/2 HO1332 OKA-PVG ó Guesthouse Umikaji
  8. ellyse+1 - 3/29 MU287 PVG-OKA ó 4/2 MU288 OKA-PVG ó Guesthouse Umikaji
  9. Sykes - 3/24 OZ172 ICN-OKA ó 4/2 OZ171 OKA-ICN ó Hyatt Regency Naha
  10. oliver2002 -Mar 29 CA831 PEK-OKA - April 1 NH994 OKA HND - Sheraton Sunmarina
  11. NewbieRunner - 3/28 NH473 HND-OKA - 4/1 NH994 OKA-HND - DoubleTree Shuri Castle 3/28-29 DoubleTree Naha 3/29-4/1
  12. nme7 - 3/29 GK305 NRT-OKA - 4/1 GK312 OKA-NRT -- DoubleTree by Hilton Naha
  13. Aeolus - 3/28 JL921 HND-OKA -- 4/1 JTA052 OKA-FUK -- DT by Hilton Naha (28-30), DT Shuri Castle (3/30-4/1)
  14. Lennart - 3/28 NH471 HND-OKA -- 3/31 NU617 OKA-ISG -- Sheraton Sunmarina
  15. Lennart+1 - 3/28 NH471 HND-OKA -- 3/31 NU617 OKA-ISG -- Sheraton Sunmarina
  16. armagebedar - 3/28 JL HND-OKA -- 4/1 JL OKA-HND -- Hyatt Regency Naha
  17. BigRedBears - 3/28 NH1213 FUK-OKA -- 4/1 NH1200 OKA-FUK -- DT Naha (3/28-3/31), Crowne Plaza Naha (3/32-4/1)
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Old Feb 22, 18, 9:24 pm
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by The_Wrath_of_Khan View Post
If we come up with a list of potential dinner places (I am open to any of them) I can go taste-test them and make a reservation. As for JEF, OMG their Nūyaru burger is the bomb.
I did post a list of restaurants (and one bar) above, do you want me to post them along with the Tabelog links so that you can look them up?
Also, any comments on the itineraries I posted earlier? I did watch Hacksaw Ridge but Iím not sure where it actually is. The WW2 sites I mentioned were the 3 that I posted on the Day B itinerary.
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Old Feb 22, 18, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by ellyse View Post


I did post a list of restaurants (and one bar) above, do you want me to post them along with the Tabelog links so that you can look them up?
Also, any comments on the itineraries I posted earlier? I did watch Hacksaw Ridge but Iím not sure where it actually is. The WW2 sites I mentioned were the 3 that I posted on the Day B itinerary.
I did see your list and it looks great. I would possibly lean away from the kaiseki place with a 10-20,000 yen per person charge. I was just hoping for some other people to chime in with what might sound good. I will look more closely at your list tonight when I get home. Your itineraries were spectacular and it wore me out just thinking about them. Hacksaw ridge is very close to Naha. The other WW2 sites are a bit spread out, but you hit all of the big ones in your Day B itinerary.
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Old Feb 23, 18, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by The_Wrath_of_Khan View Post
I did see your list and it looks great. I would possibly lean away from the kaiseki place with a 10-20,000 yen per person charge. I was just hoping for some other people to chime in with what might sound good. I will look more closely at your list tonight when I get home. Your itineraries were spectacular and it wore me out just thinking about them. Hacksaw ridge is very close to Naha. The other WW2 sites are a bit spread out, but you hit all of the big ones in your Day B itinerary.
You’ve got me there. The kaiseki place was the first place I put down (and it’s literally right next to where we are staying) but after discussion with my +1 we both agree that it’s the dinner place that we feel least interest in, relatively. How about maybe I or we could give a bit more info on the various dinner places on that list, and everyone could participate in a poll? There’s a reason why I also indicated which places take reservations, after all
P.S. If we do hire a bus to do my Day B itinerary, we could fit in JEF for a lunch stop after the Underground HQ, there’s one a bit to its southwest
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Old Feb 23, 18, 4:18 pm
  #124  
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Originally Posted by The_Wrath_of_Khan View Post
Best to try and book the Dragon Air or whatever it is called flight with BA Avios for 7,500 one way.

P.S. everyone sorry for the late replies, for some reason I haven't been receiving the notification emails for this post.
I've tried everything and am giving up on trying to get to HKG. Taking the same flight home using JL miles. Hopefully. SPG xfers to JL take a long time.
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Old Feb 23, 18, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by The_Wrath_of_Khan View Post

Sorry here is the long promised post. I think this DO is going to be great. I am still working on the final location for the Friday night, DO dinner.

Meet and greet drinks venue for Thursday evening:
Re bar for Thu drinks, I think Bar Waka looks to be closer both to the DT and the monorail than either of the other 2 choices. However of course Iím unaware if it may not suitable for a large group gathering. Personally I prefer to go to more ďlocalĒ places so a bar in a major international hotel chain doesnít sound as appealing, unless maybe it comes with a wonderful view?

Bar Waka 和香
https://tabelog.com/okinawa/A4701/A470101/47011343/
1830-late (closed Sun), Miebashi (294m)
Bar, good original awamori cocktails, all smoking, cash only

Activities/visits for Friday (usually half day):
  • I would suggest Tomari Fish Market and Naminoue Shrine - both are relatively close together and Naminoue has a significant amount to see and do within walking distance, the fish market could also be done early Saturday for anyone interested. The water should be fairly warm by April so we can hit the beach at Naminoue also.
Interested in the fish market (a bit of a walk from the nearest monorail, unless we are hiring a bus and making this the first stop of the day) but not the shrine nor the beach. From what I see, thereís a flyover bridge right across in front of the beach which kills any view you have (other than of itself).

  • An alternate would be to take a bus (tickets are readily available for 1-infinate PAX) from Naha to the famous Churaumi Aquarium which I believe also involves some stops in the northern part of the island.
The buses I found mostly (if not all) include tacky tourist stops such as the Nago Pineapple Park, Fruit Land etc. Since I doubt any of us are travelling with young children, these will be just a waste of time, theyíre glorified souvenir shopping stops. Which means you get less time to spend at the aquarium at your own leisure. The aquarium can easily take up to 4 hours, and it seems that a minimum of 2.5 hours is recommended.

Any post dinner/visit drinks excluding clear liquors:
Again, Iím not familiar with the lay of the ground, so Iím not sure. One of the restaurants Iíd like to eat at is located here and it only has 8 seats, no reservations taken. If the other places in this area are the same, it might be a problem if we go as a large group.

I have plenty of other suggestions as well. Is anyone interested in renting a bus to take us around to different locations? Again Okinawa does not have the public transportation system that the rest of Japan enjoys. I am looking forward to showing off the island I've made home for the last 15 years. Another day trip option for Saturday or Sunday is to visit one of the outer islands which may involve humpback whale watching as they are in the area from January-March and we might just be able to catch them in April.
Definitely interested in the bus rental idea if others are keen on it. Maybe an itinerary such as Tomari Iyumachi seafood market - Panza zip lining - Churaumi Aquarium? I found whale watching options on Zamami island which would be doable as a daytrip as I mentioned as my Day D itinerary. Oh and Tomari Iyumachi seafood market would fit in well with this idea, since itís just next to where you need to take the ferries to Zamami island.

Hereís a list of possible dinner places from what I posted earlier, now with links to Tabelog (the Japanese version, if you want them in English instead I can adjust the links).

Ryukyu Mie 美栄
https://tabelog.com/okinawa/A4701/A470101/47002034/
??????? ???????
1200-1400/1800-2200 (closed Sun), Kencho-mae (136m)
Okinawa palace cuisine, reservation only, all smoking, cash only

Matsumoto Agu Shabu-shabu Honten まつもと 本店
https://tabelog.com/okinawa/A4701/A470101/47017093/
1700-2300, Kencho-mae (260m)
Agu pork shabu-shabu, reservation recommended, all smoking

Urizun うりずん
https://tabelog.com/okinawa/A4701/A470101/47000019/
???????????Web???
1700-0000, Asato (80m)
Okinawa cuisine, reservation recommended, non-smoking section

Roins 沖縄 焼肉 ロインズ
https://tabelog.com/okinawa/A4701/A470101/47012281/
https://roins-okinawa.com
1700-0000 (till 0500 on Fri/Sat), Kencho-mae (254m)
Ishigaki beef yakiniku, reservation recommended, all smoking, 5% service charge
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Old Feb 24, 18, 3:31 am
  #126  
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So it looks like I need to book a flight TPE-OKA.

Would you fly IT or MM? Yes both are LCC's but a third the price of "the big guys". Starting in HKG, but have a tag to TPE as it seems most HKG-TPE are either sold out, or ridiculously expensive. This would be on Thursday the 29th.

Seems this trip should be a go.
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Old Feb 24, 18, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
So it looks like I need to book a flight TPE-OKA.

Would you fly IT or MM? Yes both are LCC's but a third the price of "the big guys". Starting in HKG, but have a tag to TPE as it seems most HKG-TPE are either sold out, or ridiculously expensive. This would be on Thursday the 29th.

Seems this trip should be a go.


I was wondering if IT was Irtysh Airlines or Kingfisher Airlines, since neither of these two sound like a possibility on this route... then I simply did a search on Ctrip and found that IT is Tigerair Taiwan!
MM is in the LCC terminal at OKA so you’ll have to take an extra shuttle bus, and MM is also stricter (very strict, in fact) on luggage weight and size, both carry-on and check-in. Based on these 2, I would pick IT over MM, assuming schedule and price are comparable. MM also seems to have extremely thin seats.
Just to clarify, I haven’t taken either airline, but these are observations from reasonably extensive reading of Taiwanese travel blogs and forum posts.

P.S. The cheapest HKG-OKA on 29/3 is actually on CI going through TPE. Still roughly 3 times the price of MM or IT though.

Last edited by ellyse; Feb 24, 18 at 6:07 am
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Old Feb 25, 18, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
So it looks like I need to book a flight TPE-OKA.

Would you fly IT or MM? Yes both are LCC's but a third the price of "the big guys". Starting in HKG, but have a tag to TPE as it seems most HKG-TPE are either sold out, or ridiculously expensive. This would be on Thursday the 29th.

Seems this trip should be a go.
I fly MM a few times a year and they're just fine. If tiger air I doesn't fly into the LCC terminal then definitely fly tiger air if the price is comparable because Naha's LCC terminal is the pits.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 4:13 am
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by The_Wrath_of_Khan View Post

I fly MM a few times a year and they're just fine. If tiger air I doesn't fly into the LCC terminal then definitely fly tiger air if the price is comparable because Naha's LCC terminal is the pits.
Haha that echoes what I read on the Taiwanese sites, OKAís LCC Terminal is a ďtinhouse shedĒ. Itís used only by MM and JW. IT flies into the main international terminal.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 12:27 pm
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Oh dear, guess I'll get to report back on the "tinhouse shed" on the return, as I have the OKA-TPE leg with MM! Seems beckoa will be arriving, so less disappointment for him ... and if at the start, the Costco shopping might not yet have decimated the baggage allowances.

I picked Peach largely because it was a later flight, allowing me to possibly see a bit more of Naha on Monday. Extra shuttle bus cuts into that. Oh well. Definitely thankful I "opted up" to guarantee a window seat (also allowing one checked bag, giving more wiggle room if weight above their limit).

For dinner/meal options, I am open to pretty much any food, but if it is all smoking, I am 100% okay with seeking out my own dinner and possibly catching up later.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by nomadic.relief View Post
For dinner/meal options, I am open to pretty much any food, but if it is all smoking, I am 100% okay with seeking out my own dinner and possibly catching up later.
I hate smoking with a vengeance too! ďAll smokingĒ in these cases, if itís anything like my experiences with restaurants in other parts of Japan, simply means that they arenít non-smoking and probably donít have a separate non-smoking area. TBH if itís a yakiniku (or other kind of BBQ) place you probably wonít smell any or much smoke over the smell of grilling food. Other kinds of restaurants, probably not much worse than sitting in the outdoor smoking section of a cafe or bistro in Western countries. So far Iíve never really encountered somewhere where it was so smoky I didnít even want to patronise it, luckily.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by nomadic.relief View Post
I picked Peach largely because it was a later flight, allowing me to possibly see a bit more of Naha on Monday.
What time are you leaving on Monday? I haven't yet booked my HND-OKA flights but will do that when I get back to the states in a couple days. Going to try to book NH464 which departs OKA at 12:10pm. Unfortunately I don't see much after that in award space.

Last edited by krazykanuck; Feb 25, 18 at 6:43 pm
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Old Feb 25, 18, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by ellyse View Post
Re bar for Thu drinks, I think Bar Waka looks to be closer both to the DT and the monorail than either of the other 2 choices. However of course Iím unaware if it may not suitable for a large group gathering. Personally I prefer to go to more ďlocalĒ places so a bar in a major international hotel chain doesnít sound as appealing, unless maybe it comes with a wonderful view?
Bar Waka 和香
https://tabelog.com/okinawa/A4701/A470101/47011343/
1830-late (closed Sun), Miebashi (294m)
Bar, good original awamori cocktails, all smoking, cash only

Not everyone is staying at the DT and in the past we have always met at boring international hotel bars, some with good views, and then diversified the night from there. We need somewhere fairly central, DT is a bit out of central, and unintimidating for people to meet at. I'd also suggest skipping places with otoshi, but I will try and check out Waka. There are a million good places to drink and local places tend to be mixed with tourist traps all over. As mentioned up thread several people would like to avoid smoking, so we need to find a non-smoking place to start the night.

Originally Posted by ellyse View Post
Interested in the fish market (a bit of a walk from the nearest monorail, unless we are hiring a bus and making this the first stop of the day) but not the shrine nor the beach. From what I see, thereís a flyover bridge right across in front of the beach which kills any view you have (other than of itself).
There are frankly no good beaches near Naha, but Naminoue (despite the bridge that was built in the last 10 years) is a beach area with more than 100 years history and a very significant shrine for Okinawa. For me the bridge doesn't get in the way of the good looking tourists, homeless drunk men and cats, but to each their own...
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Old Feb 25, 18, 9:21 pm
  #134  
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I am in agreement with "no smoking" for dining. Unless they are smoking meats
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Old Feb 25, 18, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by nomadic.relief View Post
Oh dear, guess I'll get to report back on the "tinhouse shed" on the return, as I have the OKA-TPE leg with MM! Seems beckoa will be arriving, so less disappointment for him ... and if at the start, the Costco shopping might not yet have decimated the baggage allowances.

I picked Peach largely because it was a later flight, allowing me to possibly see a bit more of Naha on Monday. Extra shuttle bus cuts into that. Oh well. Definitely thankful I "opted up" to guarantee a window seat (also allowing one checked bag, giving more wiggle room if weight above their limit).
Yes indeed, this is the case- bringing over empty suitcases/luggage to fill on the return

So does IT or MM have a better departure terminal ex-TPE? IE one with access to a PP lounge?
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