The third part of out vacation with Mom and Dad took place in Okinawa, the Southern most of Japan’s major islands.
Let’s start out this memoir with a little story about our first night there. We stayed at place we now affectionately refer to as the “Roach Motel.” Yep, roaches.
But this story really begins upon landing in Okinawa. Our flight was a bit delayed and we didn’t eat dinner, so we grabbed A&W to-go in the Naha airport and caught a Taxi to where we were staying on White Beach. We arrived sometime between 8-9pm and were pretty hungry!
It was rainy and dark when the Taxi driver dropped us off… but it didn’t take us long to discover that we were staying in a camper! This was a surprise! Not a bad surprise per se…. but a surprise for sure!
This is a view of the campers from the next morning.
We sloshed over to our camper on the beach (amongst many other campers) and Josh was the first one in. Before I even got in the door I heard a loud “Bang! Bang! Bang!” and Josh said “It’s dead.” I replied, “What’s dead?”… to which he said “Do you really want to know?”
Well, I didn’t really want to know… but I found out soon after, when Josh and his Dad preceded to kill 8-10 cockroaches over the next 15 minutes while the girls pointed them out and tried to stay away from the walls!
AHHHHHHHHH!!!! We survived the ordeal by staying up as late as possible playing games (until we were too tired to care about the roaches), sleeping on top of the sheets with EVERY light on, and immediately booking other accommodations the following morning.
White Beach the following morning, we wish we could have stayed! It is beautiful in the day light, just not worth the roach infestation.
Anyways, here are some of the OTHER adventures we had after that madness (which we can all now laugh about)…
The next place we visited was Tsuboya Pottery Village (which I don’t have any pictures of, darn!) Where Josh’s parents found some great finds for hand made pottery! We found the recommendation for this from a travel magazine at the hotel. I have heard that Okinawa pottery tends to be more “earth tone” and I have found that to be true from what we saw. there were some really beautiful hand made items, a lot of browns, blues, rust color orange, and green. If you visit here, know that there will be a lot of walking around muddy streets (if it is raining) and that walking up to shops will feel like you are entering into someones home (which you may be in certain cases), but go on in – they want you to browse around!
The next day we hopped a ferry to Tokashiki Island …
It was raining when we first arrived, and totally abandoned. We decided to snorkel anyways! You get wet either way right?!
We did get to see a turtle while diving 🙂
Josh getting ready to go fishing with his Pops!
It stopped raining about 30 minutes after we arrived, and the sun came out for the last half hour or so. We met our driver around 3:30 and caught the ferry back to the main island. Things we learned: 1) leave for your ferry EARLY, we gave ourselves at least an extra 30 min to an hour more than google said we needed, but we still missed the first (express) ferry which gave us less time on the island. 2) There will be taxi guys at the dock who will take you anywhere you want to go on the island for a small fee (ours was about 300 yen each). They are friendly, but not very “official” looking (like natives with big vans)… so you might want to bring a buddy for peace of mind! 3) Okinawa is rainy in April. Supposedly it starts to get nice in May.
That night we had dinner at a Marshall’s Abroad recommended restaurant Ryukyuan Izakaya Amon, and it was very good, but small portions that took awhile to prepare. If you go here, order multiple dishes at once, and be prepared for a bit of a wait! (We were starving, so the wait may have seemed longer than it really was!)
On our last day, the guys had planned a deep sea fishing trip, so we split up, and the girls headed up to the Churaumi Aquarium… because I am infatuated with Whalesharks.
This is what the Churaumi Aquarium complex looks like, it is huge and beautiful, and is mostly and outdoor format where you walk from building to building to see the different displays. There is a beautiful beach (Emerald Beach) within this complex that would be an awesome place to spend an afternoon with a family! There are even food and ice cream venders all around Emerald Beach, I wish we had time to just sit and read a book there!
A different beach at the Aquarium
WHALESHARKS!!!!!! It is hard to get the magnitude of these beasts from this photo. They were MASSIVE! I stood in total awe of these guys for a good five minutes before coming out of my trance.
Before picking up the guys, we stopped by another Marshalls Abroad favorite, Cafe DoKa DoKa! Here is the Google Map for it! There coffee is awesome, but the real star to me was the pottery. They had my favorite pottery of all the shops and even offer classes if you have a longer stay in Okinawa. I made Josh promise that if he flies through here again he will go bak to DoKa DoKa and get us some more of that beautiful pottery!
This is the view from the outside deck…
We then headed down to pick up these two…
The guys came back grimy and happy, they ended up fishing with a deep sea fishing team from Hong Kong!
For our last dinner in Okinawa we chose….
Did you have a favorite place or cool experience on Okinawa? Leave a comment below so we can hear all about it!