Okinawa on film

An Instant Photo Journal

5 Jan 2014 1:40 PM
Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters

This was the first stop of my Southern Okinawa bus day trip, which was in overall quite an emotionally heavy one. As an 18 year old female backpacker who was on her very first solo adventure, I could never imagine the life as a navy soldier in the Okinawa War in 1945. After a tour by my guide, Yuriko-san, I took a photo of the entrance under the sad and sarcastically amazing sunny weather.

5 Jan 平和

5 Jan 2014 3:20 PM
Okinawa Peace Memorial Park

Inside the hall, peaceful Okinawan music was played, surrounding a giant Buddha statue. While the Buddha could not be captured with my film camera (because the lighting was too dark), I decided to take a photo of the young man statue outside.

5 Jan Okinawa world

5 Jan 2014 5:40 PM
Okinawa World

One could have taken photos of the bright red architecture of the retro/vintage Cultural Kingdom Park, but I think the skyline looks great on film too. At that point it was almost sunset and I am sure it would be more beautiful.
6 Jan Makishi Eki

6 Jan 2014
Tsuboya Kindergarten 

One of my strange hobbies of travelling is visiting “Everyday Places” of local people. Of course I didn’t get to look inside the Kindergarten but I instantly wanted to take a photo of this stone plaque (and Shisa, and tree trunk, and flowers…) because it reminds me of my childhood times. Somehow.
7 Jan bus terminal

7 Jan 2015 2:30 PM
Naha Bus Terminal 

Another everyday life object I encountered. Fortunately, this was a broken one. This just looks so vintage to me and I couldn’t help picturing the times when it was working perfectly fine and people (couples and elderly) were waiting buses under the clock.
(Me, being single, had a sudden sense of belonging to this broken clock.)
7 Jan Manza Beach 2

7 Jan 2014 5:00 PM
Manza Beach 

It would be just too lame to say you didn’t visit a single beach if you were ever in Okinawa. For me I just visited a beach on a non-beach season with no one (absolutely NO ONE, I was not even there) on the beach. Another strange hobby of mine.

7 Jan Manza Beach 1

7 Jan 2014 5:00 PM
Manza Beach

I guess I was trying to create a panorama with the above photo, but obviously I missed the central part and forgot about the difference in lighting. This is one of my favourite film photo so far. I was sitting on a stone alone enjoying triangular Ume Onigiris and a small box of Meji milk (and some cheese rod snack), waiting for the appointment with a chapel/wedding hall nearby. It was just so much memories looking at this photo and all my thoughts at that time come out like strong waves now.

7 Jan coralvita chapel 1

7 Jan 2014 6:00 PM
Coralvita Chapel 

I was not driving, so it took me quite a while to get here. This was one of the most popular wedding chapels in Okinawa and I have to say I did a little trick to get to see the inside of it. Extremely luxurious, joyful and modern which would be too romantic to be true if any couple ever weds here right before the evening and kiss when sun sets. I probably wouldn’t get married though.

7 Jan coralvita chapel 2

7 Jan 2014 6:00 PM
Coralvita Chapel (Car Park)

Now this is what I am talking about… Picture the whole thing yourself.
(When I posted photos of the chapel visit on Facebook, almost all likers were girls…)

8 Jan Shuri Castle

8 Jan 2014 10:30 AM
Shuri Castle Seiten (“Main Palace”)

A little story – While I was positioning my desired angle and waiting for all visitors to leave my lens, I heard some other visitors at my back surprising how large and bulky my film camera was in my own language. It’d just be great if you could lower down your voice while on foreign soil, Hong Kong mothers. In anyway, I loved the bright colours of the architecture and I appreciated it just as much as the Forbidden City. I saw the similarities of RyuKyu culture and ancient Chinese culture here.

8 Jan Shuri Gate

8 Jan 2014 11:40 AM
Shuri Castle Shurei Mon

On the plaque it reads “Nation of Politeness/ Ceremonial Respect”. China used to be one too.

8 Jan Shuri Dragon Lake

8 Jan 2014 11:50 AM
Shuri Castle Ryubi (“Dragon Lake”)

Beautiful duck couple. Took me a few minutes to merge into the natural background so they are not astonished by a human with a bulky camera. I was so afraid they will be angry with the sound when the film came out from the camera. I was so surprised they were so polite and calm that they don’t give a sh*t at all…

8 Jan Shuri Public Office

8 Jan 2014 1:16 PM
Shuri Community Hall and Public Library

Would love to go inside but I was too afraid to “break in” because nothing was going on in there.
(And yes I told you I have this weird strange travelling hobby to visit non-tourist spots.)

8 Jan Makishi Park

8 Jan 2014 5:07 PM
Inside Makishi Park, Naha 

This is a stone carved with names of winners of the Makishi Hōnō Ōzumou Taikai since 1993. I can see that Makishi fathers are serious about making their son inherit the championship…

8 Jan Makishi Park 2

8 Jan 2014 5:10 PM
Inside Makishi Park, Naha

Just a giant tree.

If you are reading this, thank you for keep scrolling down the long post (sorry there are no potatoes for 9GAGers).

This is not a travel report because there are sooooooooo much more to tell if anyone ever asks. And of course these were not all the photos I took (actually not even all the instant photos) but I think they were the best ones on film I have took in this trip. I have thought of photoshopping or editing them before posting, but this is just insane because if I do that, there is no meaning to capture them with an instant camera. I don’t take instant photos to show off or please anyone (but myself), I do so because the concept of “saving the moment” somehow fascinates me. Therefore, despite the relatively darker lighting and blurry image formed, I did nothing after scanning them onto my computer, and they still look perfect to me.

And of course, as long as the sun is bright, photos will look fine. 🙂

Camera : Fuji Instax Wide 210

Music played while typing this post :
沖縄の歌 – 決定版 &


2 thoughts on “Okinawa on film

  1. Hi keito !! I really enjoyed reading your journey blog in Okinawa 😀 And i like your hobby ”visit non-tourists spot” Haha That’s great ! I have never visited Syuri community hall and public library, even though it has been more than 17 years since i live in Okinawa !! I’m so glad that you spent a wonderful time there ❤


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