Okinawa: Laid Back Japan

I have a goal.  That goal is to visit all four of the main islands of Japan.  Therefore, with less than a year left in Japan I’ve decided that I can’t keep putting things off on my bucket list, so to Okinawa I went.  Obviously, most of you know that Japan is an island, made up of many islands, but the four main ones are Hokkaido, Honshu (where we live or otherwise known as mainland Japan), Kyshu, and Okinawa.

The origin of this trip was planned after a wine approved Hanemi party with a few of Real Housewives of Nagoya and seemed like the perfect girls getaway, as John didn’t seem to have much interest in traveling down there.

Okinawa was not exactly what I excepted it to be.  I knew that much of the main island is home to many U.S. military bases, but I didn’t expect it to be completely dominated by our military.  Unlike mainland Japan I found that a lot of the main island of Naha, to be a bit run down and not as well maintained as other parts I’ve traveled to.  Also, this could just be me, but you could kind of feel the resistance that the Japanese in Okinawa have towards Americans and to be honest I don’t really blame them.

Japan is a very safe country and the crime and assault rates are very low.  There have been a lot of issues in Okinawa with military being involved with crime and assault.  I’m not planning to get controversial in the post, but I have to say that is a reality for people in Okinawa.  I have a lot of respect for our military and the men and women in it, but I do understand the Japanese side and why they would be frustrated with us.  No matter where you stand with this issue I thought it was important to add that little tid bit, only because I heavily noticed it.

Any-who, moving on to our vacay!  We booked a swanky hotel up the coast of Naha so we had easy access to the beach, beach bar, and some pretty nice pools.  I have to say that just spending a beach day with the girls was a nice way to relax and just get away from it all.  Unlike, the other beaches I’ve been to in Japan Okinawa beaches were just lovely, the sand was soft and the water was blue.

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We also managed to find a famous Blue Seal near the beach.  Apparently Okinawa is known for this ice cream and the flavor Beni Imo, which is a purple sweet potato only found on the island.  It was straight up oishii!!!!

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Our last day we spent taking a drive around the island.  Our flight left relatively early in the afternoon so it didn’t leave us with much time.  However, we managed to stop by an indoor market, where they had all kinds of American goodies (bonus to finding deodorant as our supplies were running low).  We even found some habushu, which is snake wine made with Okinawa sake called Awamori.

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Needless to say 48 hours wasn’t exactly enough time on this beautiful little island, but I’m glad that I got to experience it.  There are a few neighboring islands that I’d like to check out before we officially leave Japan, so hopefully I’ll have more to add-on that in the future!

In the mean time here are my final thoughts on our trip to Okinawa:

  1. From mainland Japan a trip to the tropics is super cheap.  I believe my round trip ticket was less than a 100 bucks.  Also, everything on the island itself is very reasonably priced.
  2. If you are an American living in Japan and are missing the tastes of the homeland, Okinawa does have quite a bit of the familiar things from home.
  3. The beaches are pretty amazing.  They’re quiet, clean, and just gorgeous.
  4. Beni Imo.  A flavor only found in Okinawa.  I highly recommend the soft serve from Blue Seal.  It seriously delicious.
  5. Lastly, if you’re looking for a different flavor of Japan than Okinawa is your spot.  They truly march to the beat of their own drum down there and is so different then other parts of Japan I’ve visited.  It’s highly recommended if you have the time.
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Cheers to an awesome girls weekend!! 乾杯!!

Until next time friends! じゃまた!Ja Mata!

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