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Okinawa Blog

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There have been a lot of new places built for tourists in Okinawa lately. However, I believe Kokusai Street (Kokusai Dori; International Street) is the first thing that most tourists tend to visit while here. So, I thought I would give some useful information on the exciting tourist destinations today. Kokusai Street is located within a 10-minute drive from Naha Airport and stretches roughly 2 kilometers. If you are driving, paid parking lots are plentiful and located around the area but...
Kokusai Street Norengai, a newly renovated building that opened in the previous "Goodwill Town" building doesn't officially open all restaurants and shops until December 16, 2019 and until some time in February 2019. Though, if you happen to be on Kokusai Street on the night of December 15, 2019, there will be 7 stores open that serve anything from drinks, fried chicken, with a quinte yakiniku, and traditional Okinawan foods to bottled awamori, Japanese sake, and even whiskey. Their...
We're giving away a good portion of our earnings here at Okinawa.Org this week to two lucky winners, early enough to enjoy spending it on Black Friday fighting over that new toaster that you really didn't need in the first place with a random stranger at the PX. Both parties will receive a $20 Amazon eGift Card, a Navy Federal Credit Union transfer, or $20 through PayPal—whichever is the preferred method. The commenter will be selected on November 28, 2019, at 2000 and both will be...
Have you ever experienced having a hard time finding a supermarket while traveling in Okinawa as you're not quite sure what to look for? Maybe that's when you're driving from Naha airport to north for places such as Churaumi Aquarium, and you want to make a stop for a light snack. Although there are numerous buildings and all the signs look the same, if you already know what local stores look like and what they sell, you won't have to waste your time trying to find one. So, here are five...
You’ve gotten to Okinawa and so much is new, including many large and sometimes loud creatures. From giant, flying beasts to things that hide in the closet, here’s a little breakdown: I remember my first nights in Okinawa. Of course, my husband was immediately sent on deployment. So, young and alone, I slept in a tiny off-base, Okinawa-style apartment. In the middle of the night, a croaking noise brought me to a fully woken state. What was in the room with me, and where???? I fitfully spent...
The long-awaited (for us) Okinawa Events calendar—which completes the core of our site, Okinawa.Org—has been released! This calendar will feature events aggregated by staff from various local sources such as towns and cities, newspapers and other various places to bring you the best of things to do in Okinawa. There are several views that this calendar has to offer. While on a computer, it might be best to view the events calendar in the monthly view. This is because it is reduced in size...
The 49th Naha Tug-of-War Festival will be held on October 12 through October 14, 2019. This festival is broken into three parts with all three days having games, food vendors, and a firework displays at Oonoyama Sports Park. On Saturday, October 12, there will be a parade on Kokusai Street taking place from approximately 1130 to 1400 with various starting locations along the street. Sunday, October 13, will host the famous giant Naha tug-of-war, with two 100-meter long ropes attached to...
Traveling to a foreign country can be very exciting. However, learning about the culture before heading out on a journey is highly recommended. That way, you won't offend anyone by doing something you would consider the norm. So, today I thought I would give some examples of what you should know when traveling and dining out in restaurants while on your stay in Okinawa. When you go to a restaurant, don't grab a seat unless the server allows you. Usually, the server takes you to a table...
Eat
When we very first got to Okinawa, we were eager to try all the new foodstuffs. Many items looked strange and exciting. But we found one item that looked comfortable and familiar. Six doughnut holes topped with creamy icing and what looked like a garnish of chocolate. We popped one in and, "What in tarnation?" This was NOT a doughnut hole. While not horrible tasting, my mouth, expecting the sweetness of a dessert, wigged out at the octopus ball with a horseradish and soy sauce topping. Yes...
There wasn't much to do to have fun growing up in the small town that I did. However, we did have wetlands that we could explore to see various types of birds and animals as we walked the boardwalk and trails. Much like my old home, Okinawa has a wetland center too. The Manko Waterbird and Wetland Center in Tomigusuku City, just on the border of Naha, which is about 116 acres of mudflat. Though, the boardwalks make the area seem much more prominent. If you end up at Manko Wetlands, be...
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