I'm Alex Kearney, a PhD student studying Computer Science at the University of Alberta. I focus on Artificial Intelligence and Epistemology.
The Okinawa airport has orchids all over the airport, even in all the jetways leading to the plane. It’s a nice way to be greeted when you land 🌸
Last day of diving in Okinawa. I’m glad I decided to pack my dive computer last-minute. Exploring the reef in Okinawa has been an absolute treat—so much life!
On to Kyoto!
I found this little friend yesterday! A cute little Nudibranch. I love how varied the colours and shapes and sizes of sea-slugs are! They’re so delicate and beautiful. I could sit and watch these guys inch along all day 🐛
I’m really fortunate my trip aligned with the right season to see them. They only come out when the water is cooler; when it warms up, they head inside the coral to avoid the heat.
It’s my first day diving in Okinawa! Plenty of fish hiding away in sea anemone 🐟 This is my first time diving in Asia, and I’m really enjoying taking in all the surprising differences to what we see in the Americas.
When Tetsu dropped me off at the hotel, I washed off the salt and found a cab to the Naha Hare. Lined up at the harbour were dragonboat races, board-walk amusement park rides, and a coast-guard ship.
There was something heart-warming about the fair: it was clearly a family event. Seeing parents, children, and grandparents sharing picnics on the tarmac and watching the races was refreshing. I was the only tourist that I could spy. Not even military families made their way down the island; however, I find a lone gaggle of white women in kimonos.
That's it for Tokyo! On to Okinawa for a little bit a scuba-diving and some beach time.
I made my way to Meji-Jinju for Haru-no-Taisui: the spring festival. It's the largest shinto ceremony of the year at the shrine. Rituals include a sacred dance based on a poem for uninterrupted world peace.
Large tori gates lined unmistakably marked the trailhead. The only thing you could smell was lush forest decay. Large trees formed a dense, long walk to the outer courtyard of the shrine.
When I arrived, the service had started. There were many people seated facing inwards. Through the rows of those seated above at the dais, I could barely see the priests.
In the outer courtyard, it was an ordinary day. Devotees arrived at the shrine, making a steady chatter of coins being dropped into offering boxes. So much noise outside while such a somber service inside.
I waited and watched, hoping for a glimpse of the ceremony. A drum sounded. Someone let out a call. A procession made their way down the stairs, walking single file and in unison.
Haneda Airport → Naha Airport