Posted by: Darrell | November 7, 2008

Okinawa: Tropical Paradise

Naha Harbour

Naha Harbour

In two words: perfect day. Absolutely perfect. Everything you ever imagined or dreamed about Okinawa is indeed quite true. Although, if you have never heard of Okinawa, Hawaii would be a close example. Blue skies, clear blue, emerald waters and white sandy beaches.

Shuri Castle in Naha

Shuri Castle in Naha

A tropical paradise with a humid, hot weather to match. Even though we stayed in Naha, the capital city, for the first night, we did manage to go to the beaches south of Naha in Itoman. The city, actually the whole island, has a very distinct feel to it almost non-Japanese. The language, culture and customs are some quite different from Kansai and Kanto. Even the shrines and temples, something usually very Japanese, was quite different displaying influences from China and other Asian countries. Shuri Castle embodies that distinct feel with its brilliant red colors and architecture and art work that has the cues of Chinese splendour and grandiose.

The beach in Itoman, south of Naha

The beach in Itoman, south of Naha

Another interesting place is Kokusai dori, the main street with all the omiyage and tourist shops. On display is everything from Goya (Okinawa bitter melon) to Habu Snake Awamori Liquor. For dinner, we also decided to travel off the beaten path and explore a local fish market. We got an amazing meal sampling the local cuisine and seafood all well within budget. And to top of the evening, we found a nice little bar run by a Canadian and enjoyed the night sampling the local poison and eating free pizza. Perfect way to end a perfect day.

All I can say is that I am glad escape from cold rainy Osaka to the tropical beach paradise of Okinawa!


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