Articles by David

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...
DMM Kariyushi Aquarium may not be the largest aquarium in Okinawa, but it does provide a good time for couples, families, or aspiring marine biologists. Getting there is not a challenge either. It's a 10-minute drive from the airport if heading south on 58 or 10 minutes from the last exit (A4) after the airport junction on the expressway—no need to head hours out of your way for an aquatic underworld experience in Okinawa any longer! The aquarium is located on the second floor of Iias...
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Goya Day isn't necessarily a holiday in Okinawa. However, it's the recognition of a traditional fruit grown in Okinawa, goya. While being classified as such, most outside of Asian countries wouldn't believe so as it is bitter in taste; it's known more widely around the world as bitter melon. Goya is a staple of many Okinawan dishes as you can cook—or even order—a lot of traditional foods prepared with it. The most popular that you'll find on a menu is goya chanpuru. Though, it can be found...
When the last day of the year comes in Okinawa, many get ready to celebrate for the new year in various ways. Some may prepare to attend the Mabuni Fire and Bell Festival to wish for peace, others stay home and watch telecasts of countdowns in Tokyo or go out and celebrate with friends and family, and some may even go to bed early, to possibly attend the first sunrise in Okinawa at Nakagusuku Castle. However, there's one customary tradition that most Okinawans don't forget to do: It's to...
This article applies to those who work on base and are unable to see a doctor due to priority levels but is intended more for expats. So, either way, don't totally dismiss this important information about medical care off base as you may have a family member visit that needs medical treatment (medicine specifically). All doctors aren't created equal in Japan, this most likely applies to ones in the States as well as around the world too. That is most likely why you often hear the phrase...
Looking for something fun to do this morning before possibly going out to enjoy a wonderful Saturday afternoon in Okinawa? So are millions of other people around the world. Today is the 21st of December, which might not mean much to most, except it finally being one day closer to getting able to frantically rip those Christmas gifts that have been sitting under the tree since Black Friday open. However, December 21st marks the birth of the crossword puzzle. The invention of the crossword...
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...
After exploring Sugar Loaf Hill and getting a better peek of the RYU:X towers in Naha, the two tallest condominiums standing in at 30 stories and 99 meters tall each, I took a stroll around the area to see more. I usually stick to the hustle and bustle side of where Main Place and the shopping and restaurant district is. However, this time, I stayed on the opposite side of the road walking up and down streets. I couldn't help but notice this beautiful waterfall outside of a building with a...
Most people will recognize Sefa Utaki solely by one picture alone. Yet, there's much more to the most sacred site of the Ryukyu Kingdom than merely that rock formation. In fact, there's a significant history behind the place; so much so, that it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with 8 others in Okinawa, under "Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu." Getting there these days with GPS isn't a challenge, especially using the pin below. However...
Fortunately, with the hard work and efforts set forth by Okinawa Regional Customs, the drug, and even gun trafficking, is to a minimal. I want to hope at near-zero, but, I'm keen to believe some still slips through, as it does everywhere. There's a quint, quick and free exhibit Naha on the 3rd floor of the pinned location below. It has a display of not only guns and drugs confiscated, which of course are replicas, but counterfeit goods as well. By the time you enter the museum, you...
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