Monday, March 22, 2010
Okinawa recon mission
Recently took a quick trip down to our soon to be new home, the island of Okinawa. It was basically just a reconnaissance trip to look for a new apartment and to meet with various resorts and wedding companies about future work together. Just after arriving in the airport I saw about 4 F15 eagle fighter jets fly past me reminding me there is a big military presence on the island.
I was based in Naha city for the trip and was surprised to see it was quite a bustling little city. You'll have no problem finding yourself stuck in traffic at any time of day around here.
For my first night I headed out to the famous Kokusai dori (International street) for some dinner and a wander around. Its a really fun place to walk around with tons of great restaurants, street performers and lots of interesting characters to see. The streets were also lined with palm trees so even in the middle of the city it still has a strong tropical island feeling.
As there is pretty much no public transport to get around the island apart from the Naha's monorail and local buses so I decided the best way to get around would be to hire a rent a car for the trip.
Luckily my car was equipped with GPS navigation which made the tricky task of map reading much easier (although still all in Japanese).
I visited a few resorts around the place which all have resort style weddings and plenty of work for a wedding photographer. There is also a big market with the U.S military stationed on the island who get married here. With about 50,000 of them at any one time on the island there should be no shortage of weddings to photograph. Then there are the Japanese couples that come down from the main land to have their destination weddings down here.
So I ended up finding an apartment that I was happy with on the last day just before heading back to the airport. It is situated in a place called Nishiharamachi over to the East of Naha city by the ocean and a nice beach. It looks to be a pretty nice area for the kids plus I can work on my tan 8) and its not far to the express way for my travels around the island for my photography work.
So now back in Fukushima city in the snow and cold getting the old apartment packed up, organizing moving company, selling tons of stuff and getting a new GPS navigation system installed in the car right now.
Unfortunately this trip I didn't have any time for putting effort into any nice photos, just a few quick random snap shots around the place. Can always do that later once I get back down there and have more time to explore and meet up with some new photographer friends I've made thanks to Flickr and Facebook.
Finally before we set off for our long drive down to Kyushiyu then on a ship for a few days I still have one more photography job in Tochigi prefecture. Again for Outdoor Japan magazine, this time shooting a jungle/tree top adventure park for an upcoming story which should be interesting and will also give me a chance to test out the new GPS.
Ok well time to get back to more packing now.
An Australian photographer living on beautiful Okinawa island. I specialize in wedding photography, and shoot literally hundreds of weddings each year with my company Watabe Wedding. But I love to shoot a wide variety of subjects and also love teaching photography. I'm quite a gadget geek love to get the latest tech toys. When I'm not shooting weddings you'll find me practicing my craft in other ways, photographing my kids, Okinawa's amazing seascapes or listening to various photography podcasts.