We wake up to a glorious final day in Miyako.
We can't believe that our honeymoon, which was just a little over 2 weeks, has come to an end. It has been the most fantastic 2 weeks of our lives and we will never ever forget the memories and adventures that Japan has given us.
Our flight back to Osaka airport is not until late afternoon, so we have the morning and early afternoon to enjoy. G's had more than enough of beaches and takes a morning nap in our room, whilst I hit the beach opposite our hotel after a quick breakfast. Man, I am sure going to miss a hearty Japanese breakfast.
There's a few families with their children splashing about in the water and I join them for a peaceful and relaxing swim. The salt content in the water is so high that I am literally floating, and swimming is completely effortless.
After an hour, I head back to our room for checkout and then we head into town for lunch. Unlike the evening when we ventured into town for dinner, all the shops are open this time and I'm in my element browsing the shops and buying some final souvenirs.
A whole shop dedicated to the very precious Okinawan salt.
Okinawan salt has the highest mineral content in the world and is believed to be the secret of long life. Okinawans are well known for their longevity and this special salt is proved to be the best salt in the world as recorded in the Guinness World Records. It's 100% natural, extracted directly from the Okinawan seas.
The texture of the salt is completely unique too, it's just like snow! The Japanese characters for this salt is literally Snow Salt. There are 2 varieties to choose from, a fine one which is exactly like snow - soft and melty, and a coarse one that is formed into tiny thin pellets.
There's even different flavoured salts. These ones were for sprinkling on top of the ice cream!
After lunch, it's a slow stroll in the sun back to the hotel. We grab our bags and head off to the airport with a final ride from our lovely taxi uncle who has been our personal chauffeur ever since we arrived in Miyako.
After checking in, we hit the food court for a final round of Okinawan eating.
I am going to miss Okinawa soba so much!
Okinawa black cane sugar ice cream. Black cane sugar is another Okinawan speciality that is just as special and unique as Okinawan snow salt.
Little did we know that we had a little surprise waiting for us in the departures lounge. One of the ladies who checked us in, came running over to us and presented us with a gift! She said they were so happy we came to Japan and especially to Miyako and that the 3 of them had bought us a little gift to wish us a happy married life together.
G and I were absolutely speechless. We were stunned and humbled by such a wonderful gesture. We couldn't believe that they had gone out of their way to buy us a present and my heart swelled with so much pride!
[This photo frame sits with pride on our bedroom fireplace]
Once we landed in Osaka and was about to disembark, one of the flight attendants stopped us and asked if we were the honeymoon couple. We were a little puzzled as to how she knew, but we confirmed and she handed us a postcard signed by the whole crew congratulating us and wishing us a happy marriage! We were truly gob smacked by the thoughtfulness of the everyone at ANA airlines, wow.
At Osaka airport, we pick up our suitcases that have been in storage for the past 4 days, and it's another quick scoot around the shops for more potential souvenir shopping. We missed our chance for a final feed pre-check in, thinking there would be lots of options once inside departures. Turns out there isn't much so if you're ever in Osaka airport, eat before you check in.
Miyako and Japan, you have been truly amazing. Our lives will never be the same again, and we will be back again one day.
And that's it. That's the end of my crazy long blog series about Japan, all the way from back in 2012. I'm feeling sad that I have no more stories of Japan to share, but also feel accomplished that it is now all on the blog to be remembered and reminisced forever.
At least, our Japanese goodies help ease the pain whilst we adjust into life back home in London.
Japan, we love you.