Destinations Japan

15 Things to Do in Okinawa, Japan: Part I

I’ve been in Okinawa for two weeks now, the weather has been incredible, especially considering June falls in the rainy season. On average it is 85-90 degrees with a “real feel” of 100-110 degrees (humidity). It took me full week to get over the jet lag and feel like myself again. Jenna has been an excellent tour guide and we have been keeping very busy with so much to do on this island.

1) The Sea Wall: A two mile boardwalk, a great viewpoint for sunsets and for those who like to exercise outside in this climate (not me). We stuck to walking/sitting or eating at one of the many restaurants on the sea wall.

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2) Pedicures at Cocok’s Nail Salon: Pronounced coco’s (silent ‘k’), this nail salon has a great view of the sea and the lady’s are extremely talented. You pick your nail design from dictionary sized booklet while they give you the best calf massage you’ve ever had. And not like the wimpy massage you get at the salon’s in the states, I would have paid the full price of the pedicure just for the massage.

3) Sunbathe at Araha, Baba, and Salt Factory Beach: It’s an island afterall, so of course it’s surrounded by beaches but these are a few of my favorites. Salt factory was private and we were the only ones there which was nice.

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4) Sushi-go-round at HamaZushi: Sushi-go-round isn’t that exciting of a concept anymore but what made this place unique (for me) was the ordering system. Each person has an ipad like touch screen to order from throughout your meal, and a little jingle goes off when your order is about to get to you on the train..fun! Also, really inexpensive for the quality.

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5) Fish Feet Treatment in American Village: This was a one time thing for me, I would recommend it just for the experience, but the actual sensation of fish gnawing on your feet is so uncomfortable for ticklish people. The longer you do it the more effective for getting smooth feet with no calluses, I did 5 minutes and that was enough for me!

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6) Try a new restaurant every day (if your wallet allows): The food on this island is so dang good and it’s not just the Japanese food, they do a lot of cuisines very well.

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7) Shopping & Hammock Cafe at Aeon Mall:  A brand new mall in Okinawa filled with a mix of Japanese and American brands. It’s definitely a fancier mall so it’s fun to just walk around. We found a cafe that was indoor/outdoor and all the seating was different types of hammocks, which was fun.

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8) Try traditional Okinawan foods: There are quite a few foods that are specific to Okinawa so going to a traditional restaurant to try them, even if you don’t end up liking them, is a unique experience. I loved the sea grapes (crunchy and salty), Beni-imo (purple sweet potato) but not the Goya (really bitter vegetable).

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9) Watch the Sunset at Cape Zanpa: A beautiful look-out with a lighthouse, cliffs, and a beach

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10) Try on a traditional Yukata or Kimono: We signed up for a class to learn how to wear one, because really, when will I ever do this again!?

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11) Eat Sushi at Yoshihachi: The BEST sushi I’ve ever had. Nuff said.

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12) Chula-U Resort and Spa: A bit pricy but a fun place to go if you have kids. There a multiple outdoor soaking tubs nestled in gardens and a pool with an ocean view.

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13) Visit Shuri Castle: Probably the most touristy thing I did, but I liked that it was somewhat interactive, you go through a few museums on your way to the castle.

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14) Shop on Kokusai Street: A big shopping street closed off to cars. Find the covered market that goes on for miles (probably). We didn’t see an end after a while and didn’t want to get lost!

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15) Snorkle/Dive at Maeda Point: Perfect place to see tropical fishies and swim around. Incredible views, and it’s free!

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