Living

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...
Eat
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...
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