If you sign up using my airbnb link you’ll receive 37$ in travel credits!
I will be back to posting regularly in about a week! Taking on a new job ended up cutting into my time more then I anticipated, but fear not! I am back and ready to share many new experiences with you. I’ve also made the decision to expand my blog from just focusing on Okinawa to my travels overall. My first big adventure off island will take place May 26 so stay tuned!
Located on the north shore of Kouri-Jima island (accessible by bridge from Okinawa) is a small beach area with a natural formed rock shaped like a heart (hence the name). When pulling into the parking area their will be a small restroom area (very clean) along with a small snack bar. When we went it was 100¥ for the whole day of parking, but I’ve read from a few sources that that price increases. For those who didn’t pack proper beach shoe attire there is a rack of crocs and sandals. Their is also an area to rinse off that stubborn sand that got smoshed between your toes. Overall Kouri island was definitely an experience, it was super small and only had one “town”. The bridge leading to the island was an awesome walk so I would highly recommend that!
** bring Yen, most places do not accept card**
Located at the very north part of Okinawa, Cape Hedo offers amazing views and beaches. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of southern and central Okinawa, Cape Hedo and anything north of Nago is where you want to be. The northern part of the island is less populated and in my opinion the most scenic. There’s honestly not much to say on this part of the island, the pictures speak for themselves.
** Be sure to bring yen, most place up north do not take card**
GPS address for Cape Hedo : Hedo, Kunigami-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 905-1421
After what felt like an eternity (which in all reality was a week) of being stuck home minus the few grocery store runs and an awesome Christmas spent with friends I am finally back and ready to continue my adventuring! On December 20th I had to have my gallbladder removed so that has prevented me from hitting up my favorite spots and taking pictures to post reviews 😦 Thankfully due to the up and coming 96**** I will be checking out some new spots with my husband this weekend. In other exciting news I finally found a job out here! Starting January 10th I will be working at a youth center on one of the bases, I’m super stoked! I intend of saving a large portion of what I make for future trips (Tokyo trip in the works for April) and bonding adult stuff like student loans 🙄. So my blog will be taking a step out of beautiful Okinawa and covering greatness awaits in mainland Japan! Stay tuned for more updates, I’m hoping to have a few for you guys within the next couple days.
**** 96- a four day weekend ****
Until next time!
One thing I love about living in Okinawa is the incredible views and gorgeous plants it has to offer. I had seen many people posting on the multiple Facebook groups I joined (trust me, they’re you’re saving grace half the time) these gorgeous pictures of flowers, trees and even little monkeys that you could pet and feed! Naturally I had to figure out where this place was and check it out. After what felt like an eternity of my husband having a crazy work schedule we finally made time to check out the Southeast Botanical Gardens. Located close to camp shields and Kadena gate 3, the Botanical Gardens are nessled down a side road not even 2 miles from camp shields and about 3-4 miles off of exit 5 from the expressway. Due to it being December we paid 1,800 yen per person to enter the Gardens. This price includes both sides and the light show that began at 5pm. The first side we entered had a little gift shop/ cafe as you walked in. As you continue to walk down the paths (there are a few different routes to take) you’ll come across either a pond where you can feed these huge koi fish, a little pen where you can feed the two most friendly goats you’ll ever meet, a little petting zoo where you can feed guinea pigs (which you can also purchase a guinea pig to take home with you), chickens, rabbits, a huge turtle and a capybara. To feed all of these cute creatures you most have coin yen (100 yen pieces would be best) so I would recommend bringing some with you. They had an exhibit to feed monkeys and interact with them but unfortunately we missed the allotted time for that 😦 . As you continue your way around the garden you’ll stumble across a little area where you can fish. This also required a couple hundred yen but it included a bamboo old fashioned pole, a good amount of bait and a bucket to put your fishy friend in until you return it to the pond at the end. If was a really fun experience, if you have children they definitely would enjoy it.
Moving on to the other side of the gardens, this side I didn’t find as exciting. You could feed more goats, a few not so friendly pigs, a capybara and another huge tortoise. They also offered horseback riding but to me the horse looked sad and tired so that wasn’t something that appealed to me. If you ever see people advertising their photography services on any of the okinawa yard sale pages, 9/10 times many of their photos were taken here. There are a row of trees that line this one path that makes for a great photo op but other than that this side doesn’t offer much in terms of flowers or beautiful plants.
Overall I would rate the Gardens an 8/10, it’s definitely worth checking out but the price was a little steep for what was offered (especially since feeding the animals wasn’t included in general admission.) I would recommend this to anyone with children, it’s a safe environment and between the excitement from the animals and the amount of walking you’ll do your children will definitely be tired out 😉
** Yen only **
I was introduced to the Hermit House last weekend and I can definitely see myself making it the new weekend hang out spot. Located in Kin town right outside of Camp Hansen the Hermit House is a laid back bar/ hookah lounge that offers a wide variety of drinks (including tea) and hookah flavors. If you’re into classic video games they even have a Nintendo 64 that you can play Mario cart with your friends on. The decor inside the Hermit house reminds me of that one friend who’s house was the designated chill spots basement (in a good way). The mix matched furniture and slightly dim lighting set the mood for a relaxing yet fun environment. Two recommendations I have are the Rosehip tea (pictured below) and if you life shots,the alien brain hemorrhage (also picture below). Food wise they had a small selection of typical bar food, the corn dogs weren’t half bad. 10/10 would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a place that’s a little more relaxed out in crazy Kin town. (Exact pin for location will be available soon.) *** Takes yen, card and USD***
So my husband was introduced to this amazing jerk chicken place called bamboo cafe. Not only is the chicken super tender but the flavors are out of this world. The cafe has such a mellow vibe and the man who runs it (that’s right, only one person runs the whole restaurant!) is so kind and takes pride in his cooking, which trust me it really shows! I’ve also tried their jerk burger and it is so well seasoned. 10/10 would recommend this place. Location information soon to come!
*** Takes Yen or Card only, no USD***
I moved to this beautiful island about three months ago. I would be lying if I said adjusting to being on my own for the first time, let alone 7,000 miles away from my home in New York, wasn’t hard for me. Living in a place where English isn’t the first language and you know very few people is rough. I found myself disliking a place I didn’t even give a fair try. A few weeks passed, we finally found a house that was located perfectly near my husbands base and we were able to move in rather quickly. I was finally able to begin creating a new life for myself here. Now, being that I was fresh out of my parent’s house I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what having your own house was like. I’d find myself going to look for the simplest things like tape or q-tips and not being able to find them. Why you may ask? Because I never bought them. I was so used to being able to walk downstairs and find everything I needed, that I never realized how those things actually accumulated there. I never realized the conviences I was lucky enough to have back home. After a few months being here I still occasionally find myself doing that, but lucky for me I have a convience store a five minute walk from my door step.
A lot of people thought I was crazy for moving so far away. My husband had been here for a year and a half already and we were managing the long distance thing for a large majority of that time. He had a year left when we made the decision to move me out here and for him to extend another 3 years. I received a lot of “why don’t you guys just tough it out, what’s another year?” and “I couldn’t do what you’re doing. I give you so much props for that”. To me I viewed it as being with the person I chose to spend my life with, being apart was hard and I felt like I was wasting days I knew I’d never get back. I never thought of myself doing anything crazy, I viewed this as an adventure I’d get to share with my best friend and an opportunity not many people are lucky enough to receive. I put on a brave face coming here (although I did find myself crying and hugging my dad a few days prior to moving here) and I faced it head on when in all reality I was so nervous to be so far away from home. I kept thinking about the “What if’s” , what if something happened at home and I couldn’t get there? What if all my friends forgot about me? The list goes on and on, I look back at how I first felt when I got out here verses how I feel now and I feel so silly for feeling that way. My husband dealt with a lot of stress because of me when I first got out here and I am so grateful for him being how he is and for him helping me adjust to this.
Since being here I have visited a handful of delicious restaurants (pictures and reviews to come), a few nice beaches, a couple car meets and a nice amount of really unique bars. With in the next few post I intend on posting reviews and pictures of some of these awesome locations. Also in the future I intend on checking out a bunch of pet friendly places on island with my pup Lily, so hopefully they’ll be worth sharing about too.
(Picture is the ocean view from the sea wall in Sunabe)