As some of you all know my wife and I live in different countries. It’s difficult at times but it makes seeing each other that much better! In just 5 days we jammed packed our schedule. We went to two waterfalls, the aquarium, Kokusai Dori Naha, Okinawa World, and to many great restaurants! We used Airbnb to rent a small studio apartment, it was perfect for us and close to all the fun.
Emily arrived on a Friday and the next day was her BIRTHDAY! We spent most of the time at Kokusai Dori trying to see sights before Typhoon Noru. Kokusai Dori is translated into “International Street” which means it has a little bit of everything. Lots of cool little shops selling Okinawa items and a huge fish/meat market. We stumbled upon the market just by walking into a random door. I will have to go back and buy some fish to try because it looked delicious and fresh! That night we found small Japanese karaoke bar and celebrated her birthday with some friends! Unfortunately we were having too much fun having tequila and singing to take pictures. But the next day was another windy cloudy day so we spent most of it recovering.
Monday we had to make a stop on base to get Emily her military dependent’s ID then it was off to the 2nd largest aquarium in the world, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. For being a monday it was crowded and jammed packed! We looked at some of the small exhibits but we were focus on seeing the 1.9 million gallon tank with TWO whale sharks swimming in it. That was truly an experience seeing creatures that large swimming at eye level with you. There were three outdoor exhibits that we looked at with dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees. What lives below us in the ocean is amazing, some of the most colorful and interesting living creatures.
That afternoon was very interesting going to Pineapple Park… A whole park dedicated to pineapples! You go in through the park entrance and get into a self driving jeep that takes you through a tour of the fields and gardens. Once that is over you are able to walk around the park and see everything up close, they have lots of beautiful plants and decorations. The trails lead you into the area where they make pineapple wine and you even get to try some! It’s good wine to pair with a desert that had some pineapple in it. Then we discovered a whole new world of pineapples… THEY HAD PINEAPPLE EVERYTHING! I am not even kidding if you can think of it they made it with pineapples. That evening we walked to sea wall and took some awesome pictures then had the famous CiCi’s chicken and waffles.
Okinawa has quite a few waterfalls that are a must see! They take a small hike to get to but the fresh cool water and views are worth it! We left early in the morning to have breakfast and get on with the two hour drive. Unfortunately we were delayed due to being rear ended on the highway, it’s not like the United States where you just swap information and move on. Here they have to bring out the Japanese Police and since I was involved I had to call the military police. Aha Falls have a big deep swimming area with two small cliffs to jump off of. There is a small waterfall that you will see first but the big waterfall at Aha Falls is extremely dangerous to be on top of but it’s cool to look at how the rock has formed. Fukugawa Falls are nice because they are shallow and offer better relaxing areas. The waterfall itself is true natural beauty in how it flows and the nature surrounding it. On our way home we witnessed a perfect sunset and stopped to take pictures at a seawall.
Last day here we saw that Okinawa World had good reviews to go see so we decided to check it out! It was very reasonably priced for all the activities and sights you get to see. They have a snake exhibit that has snakes of every kind to include the viper on Okinawa and the deadly sea snake. They’ll even put on a show where they bring out a cobra and smack it on the back of the head. Not sure the meaning behind it but the guy had some balls to smack a deadly snake. Emily and I had been through underground caves before but I think we both can agree that this one was the largest and most interesting. Going through it seems to be never ending and every new area brings new formations of rock. They have traditional Ryukyu Island song and dance with dragon costumes. I wish I was able to take pictures/video of it but they were strict on no cameras.
(Will update last day with pictures, didn’t realize I couldn’t upload Canon RAW images)