Okinawa, Japan (Kaichu Road/Miyagi Island/Snow Salt Factory) – Day 2(a)

okinawa double tree hilton
Breakfast provided by Doubletree Hilton Okinawa, bustling with life as many Japanese were traveling during the 1 week New Year holidays.

car rental
Picking up our car rental from OTS, found out about this car rental as many Taiwanese bloggers who travelled there used them as they have a Chinese site. I mainly used their Chinese site to read up on the information but booked through their Japanese site as it was cheaper to book it on the Japanese site. Choice of airport pick up or hotel pickup. I chose the hotel pick up as I rented the car only for Day 2 to Day 4, Chinese speaking staff can be found at both the airport branch or the Okinawa DFS Galleria branch. Since ours was a hotel pick up so we were asked to go to their DFS Galleria branch to pick up our rented car.

car rental
Picking up the car rental was a breeze since the staff spoke Chinese. International drivers like us just need to prepare our driving licence issued from our countries and the international driving permit issued by AA. After all the documentation check and payment (we also bought our discounted tickets for the Aquarium and Bunesa glass boat rides there too), we were asked to go to the car park to pick up our rented car. Once we reach the carpark counter, we proceed to check the condition of the car and busy marking on the sheet of paper to discharge us of any liability to the dents and scratches already marked on the car. The staff also put a magnetic arrow of yellow and green stripe to indicate that we are “new” drivers on the road.

car rental
GPS was already pre-installed in the car, choices of English/Japanese/Chinese/Korean can be made. I chose the Japanese language but with English audio since Sushi san can read the map and I can listen to the instructions when driving.

okinawa driving
It is not too difficult to drive on the roads in Okinawa, in fact driving is a breeze once our of the Naha city. Most of the roads were two lane and speed limited to 30-40km/h. 50-60km/h for national highway roads and 80km/h for the toll highways.

okinawa east
Our first drive was out to the less explored east side of Okinawa and there wasn’t too many cars along the road. Even though, Okinawa seems small but to drive to the East coast from Naha also took us about 1 hour.

okinawa east
Supposed to be a picturesque location but it was raining with gray clouds so the real beauty of driving across the 4.7km stretch of narrow road that runs across the sea can’t be expressed well with the photos I had taken.

okinawa east
The waters at this part were shallow and one can see through. If there was sun, it would have shown the clear waters much more.

okinawa east
Driving across Kaichu Road (海中道路), we would arrive at 3 small islands. We headed to the smaller Hamahiga Island but the cafe was closed for renovation and so we turned back and headed to Miyagi Island (宮城島)

okinawa snow salt
Lunch was at the cafe of the snow salt factory, Takanahari (たかはなり)

okinawa lunch
cute baby chair.

okinawa lunch
set lunch one, bbq pork

okinawa lunch
set lunch two, grilled fish

okinawa lunch
dessert was very unique with Okinawa snow salt ice cream with sponge cake. The snow salt ice cream was pretty unique with a tinge of saltiness with the sweetness and cream from the ice cream.

okinawa lunch
Would have been great if the weather was a little warmer to sit out to eat our ice cream and enjoy the sea view.

okinawa snow salt
Since we were at the Snow salt factory so we have a little factory tour. This is how snow salt would look like, they are really powdery and fine.

okinawa snow salt
Following the guide on the journey to snow salt production.

okinawa snow salt
Step 1: Drawing water from the East side of Okinawa from Miyagi Island where it is less populated and due to the current of the Pacific ocean so clean salt water could be drawn.

okinawa snow salt
Reason why the salt can be so fine is due to the fact they used the mist dried method which means that the seawater which is blown by huge mist generators and instantaneously crystallized to salt particle as the water evaporated immediately from the mist and the salt that deposited and collected are high in content of its actual mineral.

okinawa snow salt
Model of how the seawater is blown as mist.

okinawa snow salt
How the snow salt is accumulated in the salt room.

okinawa snow salt
The actual view as we could peek into the snow room.

okinawa snow salt
Using the salt to make a model wit penguins, don’t they look like snow?

okinawa snow salt
The salt collected would then be sent to the quality control room where the staff would pick up the particles or unwanted materials from the snow salt.

okinawa snow salt
Last step would be the packing room, and about 50tonnes of salt water would be used to make 1 huge bucket of snow salt.

okinawa east
There was a little hill which we could hike up and enjoy the view of the East coast and the waters where our snow salt came.

Address:
たかはなり 〒904-2423 うるま市与那城宮城2768

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