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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...
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...
The sport called geocaching started in 2000 and mushroomed to cover the entire world. Players hide caches, which can be anything from a large box with small knick-knacks and a logbook to a tiny casing with a paper inside for signatures. On land, families often carry trinkets to switch out for the small toys in a larger treasure box, or they might bring a "travel bug." A travel bug can be transported from one cache to another and logged so that owners can see how the bug has traveled...
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...
It doesn’t matter where you are from or how old you are, karaoke is the universal attraction that everyone can gather and enjoy together. However, it seems a bit different from how it is enjoyed depending on the country. I’ve noticed that in the states, karaoke is usually done publicly in bars and pubs in front of others, but that's not how it normally is here in Okinawa. If you are on the island and karaoke lover, you can't leave without experiencing what that karaoke really is as it was...
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