Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Standing Guard

This statue was standing guard at the entrance to the Shurijo Castle. I only saw the one, but apparently they always guard in pairs. One has his mouth open, and the second one has his mouth closed. There is a reason for this, we were told, but for now has slipped my memory. Appologies once again for the very green photo.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Castle Gate

Another very green photo, this time of the Shurijo Castle Gate. Thought to be built sometime between 1322 and 1429, this area was the Royal Court of the Ryuku Islands Kingdom for over 400 years, from 1429.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Stone Gate of the Sonohyan Shrine

A very green photo of the Stone Gate of the Sonohyan Shrine, that we passed on our way to the entrance of the Shurijo Castle. This gateway was built in 1519 by King Sho Shin, and behind it is a sacred place of prayer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Another of my lovely green pics now. This one is of a young lady making money from us tourists  as we headed into the Surijo Castle grounds. Obviously a cost to have our photograph taken with her dressed in a kimino with a dated sign.  I was more interested in her kimino and would have loved to have stopped to have a closer inspection, but we were on a time limit. What about that hat? Isn't that just fabulous? Something else I would have loved to take hold of, to touch, to turn upside down and really inspect how it was made. I found it fascinating. However, the restraints of touring left us with limited time and we still needed to see the castle.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Surijo Castle Gate

The Surijo Castle is in Okiniwa, Japan. This is a postcard of the gate that I purchased at the shop inside the castle grounds. It wasn't until later that day that I noticed that my camera settings had changed, and my photos of the gate (and other treasures inside the castle) were somewhat green. So please accept my apologies for the state of some of my future photos, they are not good, and no amount of photo shopping can fix them. Below is my photo of the gate. As you can see, quite green.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Tree

This was tree that I noticed out of the coach window on our way to the Shurijo Castle Park. I am not sure what type of tree is is, probably a fig of some kind by the look of those roots. It had also been severely pruned. I just thought the lines created by those roots would make an interesting base design for some stitching.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Street View

A street view now of some local shops,  taken through the window of the coach we were travelling in, We were on our way to the Shurijo Castle Park for some more Japanese history and culture.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Our Cruise Ship

This was a view of our cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, as she lay in port in Okinawa. This was taken from the bus window as we left for our tour. Our cabin was on the other side, up towards to front, so not visible from here. We were also up the top with our own personal balcony.

The Diamond Princess has room for 2,700 passengers, with 1,100 crew. She is 952 feet long, 205 feet high, and has 18 decks. There are five main dining rooms, a buffet, an Italian restaurant, a steakhouse, a burger grill, a pizzeria, a hamburger grill, an ice cream parlour, 6 theatres and lounges, 4 pools, a gym, and much more. Is it any wonder I like cruising?

Monday, June 22, 2015

The "A" Line

This was view now from the other side of our ship as we sailed into port in Okinawa. This was the cargo side of the harbour, with big cranes ready to lift containers off their transport. I am not sure what this "A" Line boat was, there were no containers on board, and no portholes as such or windows for passengers to look out of. Still, it was part of this busy port of Okinawa .

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Bridge at Sunrise

A view now of one of the bridges in Okinawa as we sailed into port.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


As we sailed further into port, the sun came out from behind the clouds to give this morning glow.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Okinawa Waterfont

Okinawa City is part of the  Okinawa prefecture, which  is actually a group of islands south west of Japan in the South China Sea. There are approximately 150 islands making up this long chain. some inhabited, some not. We were only in port for the day so were limited with what we saw.

These were views of Okinawa waterfront as we sailed into port. We were up early today to have a good breakfast ready for our tour this morning.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sunrise Over Okinawa

Up early enough to see the sunrise this morning over Okinawa. We had to be up early, we were on a tour today, and needed to fuel our bodies read for the day's adventures. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Day two of our cruise we were at sea all day. For us this was a relaxing day so we were ready for some entertainment after dinner.

Entertainment on board a cruise ship is usually included in the ticket price. On our last cruise we had made it a nightly exercise to check out the entertainment in the theatre after dinner, and we did the same on this particular cruise. On this particular night it was a tribute to Billy Joel, Elton John,, Barry Menalow and Peter Allen. It was music I had grown up with and could sing along with, although you will not find it in my personal music collection. It was pleasant to listen to, and filled in some time, before a final  drink with friends and a good night sleep, ready for a busy day tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


On the other side of the ship we could see the sun setting behind the cloud bank.

I love watching sunsets, they are all so very different, and change from one minute to the next.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Osaka By Night

This was the view of Osaka as we sailed out of the harbour. Possibly taken from the Outrigger Bar, situated outside, at the rear of  Diamond Princess. As a group we had decided that this would be our meeting place for pre-dinner drinks. From here it was off to dinner in the Vivaldi Restraunt, including a starter of fresh pineapple infused with mint, chilli, and tequila, and a cold soup of apple, cinnamon and cider. Mm.......mm.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Goodbye Osaka

We were only in Osaka for a few hours and already we were preparing to leave. The cruise orgainisers had to make up for lost time caused by the typhoon. We already had had a day cut, now it was hours at port. This was the band that played for us as we left port.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Boat

Just a pic of a boat that we saw from the other side of the ship. Not sure of the purpose of this boat. At first I thought it may have been a fishing boat, but I think maybe it may have been some tourist attraction.  Either way it is a type of boat we don't see very often

Friday, June 12, 2015

Yumemai Bridge

The Yumemai Bridge in Osaka is apparently the world's first floating turntable bride. Interesting.... I didn't know such things existed! I was just taking pics of a bridge!

Apparently designed to take waves, wind and earthquakes, it connects two re-claimed islands, and works on a pivot action with the help of tugboats. I wonder how many times they pivot this bridge?

Thursday, June 11, 2015


A view of Osaka now from the other side of the ship. We did go for a walk, but it was a walk of discovery around the beautiful Diamond Princess. There were still people on board, but a lot had gone on shore so it was a good time to explore.

It was in this walk that we found the ice- cream parlour!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Konohana Bridge

The Konohana Bridge in Osaka, Japan.

Opened in 1990, the bridge has a main span of over 300 meters.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Garden Artwork

Another pic taken from our cabin balcony. This one is the artwork that was at the entrance to the green space of yesterday. If we look close there are signs at the sides of each artwork that would tell us what they were. In hindsight maybe we should have gone for a walk on shore. At least then I might have known what this garden was all about. Though we did have a very restful day, something that we both needed.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Green Space

This green space was within walking distance of the dock, as this pic was taken from the balcony of our cabin. I am not sure what the significance is, but the is some, as there are little signs dotted through the park. I nice little green space hidden at the edge of the water at Osaka pier. The autumn colours were beginning to show in the trees.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is located at the pier where we docked. This was the view as we came into dock.

A closer view now as we got closer to docking. Check out the height of this Ferris wheel! That's a twelve story building behind it. 

Standing at a height of 112.5 meters, with a diameter of 100 meters, in this view we can see the rainbow colours of the riding cars.

This view was taken as we left the port of Osaka a few hours later. It was dusk, and all the lights were coming on. Apparently the colour of the lights on the Ferris wheel  predict the weather for the next day. This time it was green, the sign of a cloudy day tomorrow.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Osaka Aquarium

As we slipped into dock in Osaka, we passed this  colourful building which I found out later was the Osaka Aquaruim. We had booked a tour today, before we left home, but the tour had been cancelled. This gave us a day free but we decided that we would have a rest today after all the sight seeing we had done over the last few days. We were only in port for a few hours. As it turned out, this aquarium was within walking distance of the ship, and we could have easily had a look. Though I was quite happy to put my feet up and just look from our  cabin balcony.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Minato Bridge

The Minato Bridge links Osaka with Amagasaki. Built in 1974, it is 502 meters long.

In this closer view we can see it is double decker and there is traffic on two different levels. How cool is that?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sailing Into The Port of Osaka

The Port of Osaka is one of the main ports in Japan, situated within Osaka Bay. It has become  one of the major ports in Asia.

This was the view from our cabin balcony as we slipped into the Port of Osaka.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sailing To Osaka

We sailed over night, down the coast of Japan, and were due into Osaka at 1pm. The schedule of our cruise had changed because of the typhoon, so we were still sailing down the coast in daylight hours the next morning.

This suited us fine, and made for great photo opportunities from our cabin balcony. 

We were not far from land at all.

Osaka was in view, but we were still a fair way away. There was time for a quick bight to eat before we docked. By this time we had found the buffet upstairs, and the choice of salad items and cold meats was endless. There was plenty of hot food as well but I was hungry for salad.

Ahhhhh......... food and relaxation watching the world slip by. What more could I need!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Atrium - Diamond Princess

We were finally on board the beautiful Diamond Princess and could breath a sigh of relaxation.

We had booked shore tours before we left home, and as we unpacked in our cabin we found a note saying our shore tour for the next day had been cancelled. We did discuss what we would do & decided to have a quiet day relaxing on board. The last five days had been very full on and we both needed a rest. We did go and have a look at all the other shore tours that were still on offer, and to do this we went via the Atrium.

The Atrium is the center section of the Diamond Princess and is three levels high. If you find yourself in the Atrium, you can find your way to anything on board. Dining rooms, the main desk, shopping, bars, lounges, theater,  the list goes on.

I personally was more interested in the artwork that went three levels in height.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Yokohama Bay Bridge

As we sailed away from Yokohama we passed under the Yokohama Bay Bridge. 

Built in 1989, it crosses Tokyo Bay with a span of  460 meters, and is one of the largest suspension briges in the world. it certainly made a nice view as we sailed under it with the sun going down.