Living

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...
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...
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...
Thanks to social media, the recent boom in plant-based meats and dairy alternatives are surely catching attention. Millions of people worldwide are making the switch to a vegan lifestyle. According to The Vegan Society, "The number of vegans in America grew by 600% from nearly 4 million in 2014 to 19.6 million in 2017." So, while finding vegan products in grocery stores across Europe and the Americas are commonplace, how about Okinawa? I had the unique opportunity to be both a meat-eater...
A trip to the beach can sometimes involve a lot of logistics. Food, parking, water sports equipment, researching if it is safe or not, etc. Sometimes the fun is in all the planning for a more remote getaway. Other times, I just want to go somewhere where all of that is taken care of for me. During those beach trip days where I am feeling a bit lazy, I head to Kadena Marina. Kadena Marina is a beach resort-like area located on a section of the ocean reserved for the US military. However...
We Okinawans are known to have quite a lot of events that require all the family members to gather at. We enjoy these functions as they allow us not only to get to know how each of the family members is doing but also to make the bond amongst them stronger. So today, I would like to introduce one of our unique cultural holiday that is called Obon. Obon is a Japanese event that welcomes ancestors' spirits visiting the home; however, how it is done in Okinawa is very unique and I must say...
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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