Living

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...
If you have tried to plan out your trip to Okinawa, Japan around any May, you have probably heard of this largest Japanese holiday called Golden Week. Golden Week consists of a series of four national holidays which are Showa Day (Apri 29), Constitution Day (May 3), Green Day (May 4), and Children's Day (May 5). Amongst those, the Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) is very well known so today I would like to tell you what it's about. Children's Day was originally called Tango no Sekku, which...
As you go into a supermarket from the end of February to the beginning of March, you see a lot of pretty pink colored snacks being sold. They often come in a bag with a drawing of two people. These are called ‘hina-ningyo’ or ‘hina dolls’ which are observed for the doll festival that is for girls, celebrated in Japan every March 3rd. In Japan, families with a daughter(s) display a set of beautiful hina dolls on a tier of five or seven shelves to celebrate and pray for their healthy...
It doesn't matter which side of the world that you came from to get to Okinawa, loving to watch movies is something that most of us have in common. I know some people love to watch TV in their homes in a totally comfortable atmosphere. However, I believe a lot would still rather go to the theater where they can watch it on a huge screen, emersed in the action. "But the movies are so expensive!" That's the first thing that comes to my mind, especially when our kids nag us to take them to...
If you have one or more children that constantly need your attention, and especially if their ages are apart, you might have been exhausted every single day trying to figure out what could tire them out. But that was till yesterday! I always wished that there had been a place that could satisfy both of my kids, having two children whose ages are 8 years apart myself. So today, I am introducing you to this amazing park located very south. It's in Itoman, Okinawa, but worth the drive: Peace...
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Here's a quick question for you to answer: Have you ever heard of or tried monjayaki before? If the answer to that was no, then this is a must-read for you! While sushi is known to be the most famous Japanese food, monjayaki—often called monja—has become very popular amongst tourists recently. Once you try it, you'll find out how flavorful and fun it is as it can be cooked at your own table! Monjayaki is often compared to okonomiyaki. However, there is a distinct difference between the...
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...
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...
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