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Parks are a great place to relax with friends and family on a warm day and Okinawa has tons of them to enjoy. There's only one problem. The popular ones like Zanpa Park and Comprehensive Park are always crowded! If you're looking for quiet parks with room for you, the kids, or your friends to run around in, this list contains lesser-known locations you'll want to add to your next weekend 'to visit' list. Here are the top 5 unknown parks in Yomitan. Kaneku Seaside Park This park is...
Round 1 Stadium is one of those places in Okinawa that everyone should experience at least once. It's so large in scope and its offerings that it can be difficult to describe. But, I'll try anyway. Take an empty dish add a healthy helping of Dave and Busters, mix in some Chuck E' Cheese and Bally's Las Vegas, then top it off with a dash of YMCA and some Japanese seasoning, you'd get this tower of fun that literally has something for everyone. I recently visited and traversed all 7 floors...
I was on a mission. My objective: To find the best beaches within a reasonable driving distance from Kadena Air Base (no more than 30 minutes). The result? Some locations held no surprises, while others offered unexpected experiences. If you want to be an informed beach bum this summer, you gotta know before you go. Here are the 5 best beaches near Kadena Air Base. Araha Beach About a 25-minute drive from Kadena Gate 1. Araha is the "official" beach of Chatan Town and arguably the most...
Are you looking for the best place to buy groceries in Kadena town here in Okinawa? Then Navel Kadena is your next destination! I shop there regularly to find some of the best deals on-island and to take in its captivating vibe. Let’s explore what makes it so charming, and how you can enjoy the good vibes while saving money. The Farmer’s Market You’ve probably heard of the farmer’s market at Navel Kadena. But hearing about it is different from experiencing it. The selection of vegetables is...
Miyako Island Miyako Island is a hidden gem in the southern Ryuku island chain. It is only about 60 square miles and has a population of around 46,000. It is easy to get to (a short 50-minute flight from Naha Airport in Okinawa) and is a very affordable vacation spot with inexpensive rental cars (reserve ahead of time especially if you’re going during a Japanese holiday) and lots of places to stay along the coastline from 5-star luxury resorts to low-cost condos. Yonaha Beach Once...
My arms and back burned as I kept a tight grip on the rod, fighting the fish in the water below. While I labored to hold on, the deckhand slashed toward the water with a hook attached to a long pole called a gaff. The fish he pulled up was about a foot and half long, silver and yellow with vacant eyes. In a swift motion, the soon-to-be separated Marine reached a hand into its gills and bled it (to make the fish taste better), then flung its flopping body into a giant cooler filled with icy...
I took a week-long vacation to Ishigaki Island in April. My experience was restorative and allowed me to explore the entire island from upscale restaurants to its verdant mountain peaks and tranquil bays. Here are some of the highlights from that wonderful trip you can use to inform your own travels. Fly to Ishigaki Island Ishigaki has a Hawaiian vibe, minus the traffic and insane prices. After a brief 55-minute flight from Naha, my wife and I landed at the New Ishigaki Airport. Opened...
Coronavirus in Okinawa It's been one year since the first Covid infection was confirmed in Okinawa. The virus was first seen in a taxi driver that had contact with Diamond Princess passengers when it disembarked in Naha. From then, it spread to thousands of locals Japanese nationals and nearly one-thousand U.S. military personnel. Okinawa has 8042 cases of coronavirus infections by local citizens and 940 by U.S. military-related personnel. There have also been 101 deaths associated with...
December 15, 2020, was the coldest in Okinawa this winter with the lowest temperature of the season recorded at 19 of the 25 observation points in the prefecture. Kunigami Village, the most northern area of the main island that makes up Okinawa, incurred the coldest temperature of 11.6 °C (52.9°F) at 0655. Tokashiki Village, located on an island approximately 26 kilometers (16 miles) due west of Naha Airport, recorded a temperature of 12.9°C (55.2°F) which is 2.5°C lower than normal. Naha...
Eat
This is a Japanese curry rice chain restaurant very popular with Americans. Back in my Navy days, it was very common to overhear sailors talking about starting off a night on the town by eating CoCo Ichibanya curry. Everybody seemed to love it. Thinking upon that now, I can understand why. CoCo Ichibanya gives western customers just about everything they want in a restaurant experience. High levels of convenience, great taste (and a great smell too, according to their motto), as well as the...
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