Reflections (Part I): Okinawa is excessive!

I’m not kidding you. With conviction, Okinawa is excessive!

But before anything else, I’d like to announce a little something…

The Sophomore Slump is a candidate to a Best Photo Blog poll. You can find the link on the widget, or here-> I’m definitely included there as an underdog. The competition is fierce as the others are real legit photographers. With that being said, if you don’t vote for me it’s understandable. For those who already voted for me, thank you. For those who didn’t, I will hold you accountable. 😀

Done with your vote? Moving on …

This is not just for my summary post of Okinawa. From my observation I can seriously say that Okinawa is excessive. Ridiculously excessive, I should say. It has been my observation ever since and it proved continually the entire 6 months of my stay here. But it is over-the-top all in a good way.

All I mention here has its own post. If you see something you like and want to find more about it, go to search tab and type the necessary words. I’m tired of linking my posts. 😀

  • 277,000! people participated in pulling this giant rope that weighs over 40 tons and extends over 650 feet! It’s the largest tug of war in the world starting in 1997. 


The rope which is made from rice straw was recorded in Guinness Book of Records as the longest rope made from natural material.


  • Churaumi Aquarium is what once the largest aquarium in the world for quite a while until others caught up. It still raising the bar being the third largest, and its tank, Kuroshio, now ranks the second. It houses 3 of the largest fish in the world, the great whale shark.


Japan has ridiculously so many festivals and other observations, and Okinawans are real festival people. Okinawa hosts most matsuri during summer and the periods of Obon. Even the Tug of War event is considered “festival”.

  • I loved going to festivals myself as it really showcases a lot of their culture and tradition. Shishi-mai (Lion Dance) “Festival” is actually a cultural show more than a festival. This festival, though an impressive one to witness, took too long for their audience to sit on. A lot of people stood up before it finished.

shishimai4 shishimai  shishimai3shishimai2

Just like the mainland Japan, vending machine in Okinawa is ridiculously everywhere. You can see in places you wouldn’t think no one would use.

  • Shisa in Okinawa is everywhere as well. Shisa are displayed in the entrance of houses and establishments to ward off bad evil and keep good evil in.

shisa6 shisa shisa2 shisa3 shisa4 shisa5

To see more and find out what Shisa is all about, do so yourself and go to the Search tab. 😀

  • There are a little over a million (a million!) of staglamites/staglatites in Gyokusendo Cave in Okinawa World.


  • Cherry Blossoms (for lack of a better word) blossom here in Okinawa as early as the second week of January while the rests of Japan have to wait til March or April. Ridiculous, but oh so neat. 😀

cherry blossoms 18

  • Sorry folks, I didn’t get to the Sunflower “Festival”. The weather just didn’t cooperate. The sunflowers are incredibly tall and plenty. It would have been an awesome sight.
  • During Christmas time, there are plenty of places to witness light illuminations. Just one area usually equals the number of lights with the Okinawan population. How many? Only about 1.1 – 1.4 Million lights, that’s all.  I got to see the light illumination in Southeast Botanical Garden.



  • In most of the events and places I’ve been to while exploring Okinawa, they love showcasing parts of their culture. Sanshin and taiko drums are overly used, and I am not at all complaining. Eisa is my most favorite thing in Okinawa. They hosts the 10,000 Eisa Dancers Festival.


Rain or shine, the festival must go on.



See I told you. The numbers are there to prove it. For such a tiny island, Okinawa is ridiculously excessive! 



One of my most favorite bloggers who do photo journal  very very well is restlessjo. You know what you get from a blogger named restlessjo right? The blog does not disappoint. Restlessjo is a prolific yet still remains to be outstanding all the time.


Categories: events, Japan

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73 replies »

  1. Rommel, that is so sweet of you! I was just bouncing in to admire that incredible rope and tell you how much I love the dancing lions (I always wanted a mane like that to toss 🙂 ) but I got to the bottom of the post and was flabbergasted! (a good old English word???) Many thanks! Carry on the wonderful work. Munchow’s never wrong.

    • Those dancing lions are not tame when provoked. 😀 I’ve been meaning feature your blog. Sorry it took a bit while. Flabbergasted is a great word. Flabbergasted sounds like you have something in your stomach or mind ready to blow or explode. Ahihihi

    • Paula, can you stop being so awesome on your blog for just a bit so I can catch up with you on our round. 😆 Seriously, I wish you the best, best of luck. I think it’s iffy to think that I would win that round. I’m not selling my self short. I just really think there really are actual photoblogs than what mine is.

      • There are no winners or losers, Rommel. The idea in itself is not bad, but it is a kind of a popularity contest (which I have no doubt you should win :D) rather than quality 😀

          • Munchow did not pick anything as I see; he only included the blogs recommended by chance bloggers coming to his blog :). There are so many photoblogs out there that would kiss ass of both yours and mine 😛

            • True. That’s why I said, I’d be hesitant if I did win. But I really think Munchow included the great names of photoblogs, and that I got really flattered to be included. Afterall, he’s just one person hence the suggestions and filtering those recommendations into polls which is a pretty neat idea. And it does look like his readers are attentive on checking out the blogs that are shortlisted.

              • I think that people are suckers for polls, competition, and voting. I wish they would be more eager to vote in my country when it is time to decide some really important stuff such as who will govern the country, or who will ravage it. Sorry for digressing…. As I said before. May the best (WO)man win 😆
                P.S. I don’t know if I got it right, but Munchow has about 500 blogs or more to include in these polls – which I think will take around three or more years.. Do you think that most of the blogs will still be around by that time?

  2. Reposting the comment here to make it more visible:
    I am under impression, or it is something I read that he is including all 500 or more of them, so it will take eternity – there goes my bubble bursting : “I don’t do patience”. The other thing, why is he including same blogs two or three times in rounds. I know they have been proposed by different bloggers several times, but that makes the number even bigger. Does that make sense?

    • I’m trying to have an open mind. He only said that there were 500 that got recommended. How many he is going to put as candidates, I don’t know. In my opinion so far so good. I do believe he’s picking the right recommendations. I don’t know how the whole process is. I can only hope he doesn’t include blogs there that are out of pressure from pleasing everyone. Even then, to think about it, everyone has different opinions and choices so I he can’t just please everybody so the narrowing down process and the suggestions are great way to filter these great blogs. If anything, I really do think he has included some of the greatest photography out there like The Mode of Flight, Leann Cole, Edith Levy, Dmitrii Lezine, NickExposed, Hiking Photography, The Wanderlust Gene, Lost in Translation :D, … so again, I can only hope he continues to include the ones that really are deserved.

      • You are starting to make me take this whole thing seriously :D. Maybe in a year or two, when Otto closes his contest I will organise a new one – just to see people sweat over it 😆 – I am in a naughty mood today 😀

          • First of all: STOP QUESTIONING YOUR INCLUSION – your blog is fine, and in some aspects more than fine and people like hanging around you – :). I did see some crappy ones there in the rounds, and I am very surprised – and under crappy I don’t refer to your blog or mine – mine is not crappy but it is not selection worthy 😛

            • 😀 Ow, by the way, I didn’t know munchow but he still included me. That’s a good thing, and he skipped some of the suggestions that were listed before I got suggested.

              • I see that you have studied it carefully. I did not know muchow either. He used to like me a lot, but I ignored him as I don’t like likers just nice commenters 😀

    • Thanks. Do you know when’s the announcement on your nomination for Best Italy Blog Post gonna be? I’m excited for three blogs there in other categories as well.

  3. I made a comment on munchow’s post, I think you have achieved it with your outstanding photos. That is the difference of the Best Photo Blog verses an impeccable photo. I’ve learned from you and your blog, Rommel!

      • I’m not sure it’s a good idea to put different categories in one contest. It’s sort like asking people to choose the best between a documentary film and a single shot of a building… I think people should express their thoughts if they know the stuff or if they have passion for what they do.

  4. I disagree with you. I think the largest tug of war began many centuries ago when nations attempted to achieve peace against gigantic obstacles. This fierce tug of war has never stopped, and, in the foreseeable future, it won’t. By the way, I voted for you, because your photos are truly special.

  5. Yes, I voted for you and Paula at “Lost in Translation”. I had to vote for you both. Nothing less would suffice.

    Hey! 277,000! people? What’s the population of the town? Who was left to run things?

    • Population of Okinawa is about 1.3 mil. 😀 That’s the festival where I saw a lot of different race of people. I bet there were people from other countries who visited Okinawa just to take part of that GIANT event.

  6. Congrats on the nomination! And you aren’t doing too bad in the polls; you are in third place! As usual, your photos are beautiful in this blog and the post is so very interesting and informative! I would love to visit, but seeing how I will never get out of Oklahoma, I will travel through your eye and camera! Thanks!

  7. Excessive indeed! You make Okinawa seem more and more appealing.
    Just voted for you Rommel. You (and Paula!) seem to be holding your own quite well amidst those biggies!!! Good luck 🙂

  8. i always love when you recap your adventures, Rommel. i can never remember much after i post something. ha-ha. and of course, i nominated and voted for you…so of course you’ll reach the top of the Best Photo Blog 😛 cheers!

  9. Hi, Rommel! I just voted for you. Fabulous photo essay! And thanks so much for dropping by and liking my post. 🙂 I’m now following you, of course.

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