It was close to sunset when my flight from Korea touched down at Naha Airport in Okinawa. As the plane was taxing towards the gate I took the above photo of the sun dropping below the clouds. This photo kind of reminds me of Japan’s old sunburst flag, or alternatively the flag of the state of Arizona. A sunset seemed like a fitting sight since one part of my journey had just ended and another part was about to begin.
The Okinawa immigration and customs cops were not messing around that day and absolutely everyone from my flight got their luggage thoroughly inspected and were subjected to questioning and pat-downs from the security officials. I don’t know if it was because my flight was from Korea or if they were doing this to everyone who arrived in Naha but it was easily the most scrutinized I’ve ever been during an international arrival. In the quarantine area I saw signs that the airport staff were particularly on the lookout for anyone arriving from the Middle East or Africa, or that showed any signs of sickness.
I managed to clear the secured area of the airport and after withdrawing some money from an ATM I took the monorail from the airport to the region of Naha were my hostel was located. The next day I’d be sightseeing around the city and after that I’d be taking a rental car up to the northern part of the island.