Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Labor Day, Space A Adventure - Part 1

J. and I had no real plans for Labor Day Weekend until 11:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, when I decided that we should try to Space A to Kadena Air Base (located on the beautiful tropical island of Okinawa).  J. agreed to my crazy plan and that set things in motion.  

You might remember, that Space A is short for Space Available.  Most bases around Japan (and the world) have flights taking off from and landing on them every single day.  They aren't always full and one of the perks of being stationed overseas is that you can try to get a seat on one of these planes.  For free.

So J. and I headed over to the Atsugi Air Terminal at 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning to see if we could get a seat on one of the three flights going to Kadena that morning.  The first flight had room for one of us, the second flight could take both of us but was going to Osan (Korea) first, but luckily, the third flight could take us!  

So off we went ... to Kadena ... in a six passenger Cessna Citation!  It was like being flown in your own private jet.  The flight alone was a really amazing experience.  

Cessna Citation

Flying over Enoshima and the Japanese Coast

Our pilots!

We were in Kadena by 11:30 a.m.  We rented a car, had lunch at the Kadena Officer's Club, stopped by the Shoppette for a few things and headed north.  Okuma Recreational Facility (a military run "resort") had a cancellation for Friday night, so we decided to stay there our first night.

The beach at Okuma

Selfie at the beach!

Beautiful sunset at the beach

The facilities at Okuma were nothing to write home about, but it was a great base point for exploring the northern half of the island.  I thought the northern island was GORGEOUS.  It was largely undeveloped and had miles and miles of coastline roads!

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