Settling into life at Ginowan marina. Part 2.

A few things that we must know about Ginowan…. it is a CLOSED port. Ideally, we should get permission from the ministry of transport to enter any Japanese closed port… before actually showing up and asking for forgiveness that we are already here, or feigned innocence that we didnt know they regulations.. how many times can one get away with that right.

Bus sched for our favorite 32.

Bus sched for our favorite 32.

So here we are, 3 weeks into staying at Ginowan, and not having the permission to do.. on the bus to the Ministry of Transport… by this time, we have figured how to read the bus scheds and found a way to ask bus drivers if the bus goes that route without actually conversing in Jap at all… altho it might be scary as they say a lot of stuff about things, but I can read expressions and body language.

0935hrs, we are at the bus stop next to Doug’s favorite Taco stand in Japan, waiting for our favorite bus 32. Bus stops are marked by the 6ft high yellow color loop with a plate showing bus scheds and info (if you can read Japanese) or garbage (if you cant)… Anyway, I figured out that the bus arrival at this stop is 0938hrs… Can u see that too?

0945hrs, bus arrives.. yes it usually arrives later than sched, so dont panic at 0939hrs if theres no sight of the bus. Altho I know that the bus route goes on Highway 58 and would put us at where we would then walk 10 mins to the government office, I showed the page to the driver so that he could let us know when to get off…. and he goes blar blar blar…. opps? … I show the map again and pointed to highway 58 and said “bus stop”, he goes blar blar blar again… I made the fingers walking gesture and saying at the same time that we could walk from there, yep that was what he wanted to hear.. I guess he was wondering if we know it would be a long 10 mins walk? or something like that… Anyway, we discover, over many encounters, this initial negative answer is to be expected… and that to explain that we can walk 10 mins is all that is necessary in this case.

Walking guide map for getting to Ministry of Transportation.

Walking guide map for getting to Ministry of Transportation.

1010hrs, we got off the bus at Uenoya no. 1 stop… bus driver motioned that we should get off.. bus fare was 360y each. Then its time for the walk… Turn left immediately getting off the bus and turn right on the 1st opening that goes under some building, up on the street behind the building, turn left and follow the road as it curves slightly right. It was a 5 mins walk afterall… No too bad if you can figure the maze of little streets and seemingly walk thru the parking areas of buildings and stuff.

On our color coded map, we show our tracks(dark blue dots)  from the busstop, our tracks (light pink dots) from the gov office building (yellow) to the Main Place Mall (orange) where Doug got a 1000y QB house haircut, and a good sushi lunch(cyan) and back to the busstop heading towards Ginowan. On another day, we did the walk (bright pink dots) from the gov office building to the marine chandlery at Tomari. We got lost abit in the maze of intersecting streets, but keep to the general direction and you’ll find the way once you get onto highway 58. Its not too bad a walk, maybe 15mins. 

Back to our purpose of visiting the Ministry of Transport. In the yellow building, fill in your details in the form at the guard counter in the lobby, then a pass will be given to you. Use the pass to enter the gantry into the lifts, and press level 5. At level 5, look at the map of offices… or ask somebody for marine affairs department… They speak enuf English to get by, so it was not difficult. Tough luck, we have to come back in a few days to actually get the permission to stay and the permission for our next closed port stops at Honshu. Nope, we asked, they wont mail. So we have to come back! Thats another US$15 for the bus fares, US$15 for the excellent conveyor belt sushi lunch and 4hrs of our lives.


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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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