lying in the southernmost part of Japan, Okinawa, once a separate nation as the Ryukyu Kingdom, is a place that I advise you to visit. In 2014, after almost two years of my stay in Japan, my partner and I finally had the chance to visit Okinawa. We were lucky to get a cheap plane ticket back and forth from Peach airline, a low-cost airline that always have promo flights, and a promo hotel accommodation for five days, and four nights in Hotel Blion Naha.
Since Okinawa used to be a separate nation, they speak a slightly different language (especially the old-generation Okinawan) that even the mainland Japanese could not understand. Upon arriving at the airport, we were greeted with ‘Mensore’ instead of ‘Yokoso’ the usual Japanese word to welcome people in the mainland Japan.
Even the climate in Okinawa is different from the rest of Japan. It was incredibly hot that we sweat like crazy while walking (sightseeing) under the scorching sun. It felt like I was back in my country. Even the plants are the same as the ones we usually see back home. There were bananas, sugar cane, lemonsito, guavas, and flowers like santan, hibiscus, and yellow bell.
The tourist attractions in Okinawa are quite far from each other. Renting a car is a better way to save time than using public transportations. You can go anywhere you like using the very efficient navigator without having to worry about the train/bus schedule. We rented a car online from Nippon-Rent-A-Car website.
Okinawa cuisine is superb! We tried seafood, Okinawa soba and pork dishes and everything was really good. We also tried the snake wine. It was scary, but it was good!
There are so many nice places to go in Okinawa that even staying there for five days is not enough. We were able to go to some places and enjoyed our trip.
1. Kokusai-dori – the long, main street of Naha with lots of souvenir shops, restaurants and more.
2. Shurijo Castle – the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom
3. Churaumi Aquarium – one of the world’s largest aquarium
4. Beaches – so many I forgot, but one of them was Sunset beach
5. American Village – a recreational place with lots of American shops
6. Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum
7. Shikina-en Royal Gardens
8. Seifa-utaki – a historical sacred place
9. Tsushima Maru Memorial Museum – History Museum
The only museum that made me cry.
There’s a lot more, but our time was up. Next time we will try to go to the smaller Okinawa islands. Summer is approaching so don’t forget to put Okinawa in your list.