Friday, January 28, 2005

Okinawa

I took today off as Brendon and I were heading to Okinawa!

Okinawa is a small island south of Japan. It use to be it's own country with it's own royal family and had a lot of Chinese influence. After a great battle, it became part of Japan and it was badly hit during the war.

The island is quite beautiful with more of a tropical climate. There is also an US military base on the island so we saw many Americans and there was even english TV. The hotel we stayed at was part of our package and conveniently located on the main city drag.

We went shopping, sightseeing and lots of eating! I think the food is very influenced by chinese cooking and Goya (bitter gourd) is very popular on the island. You can get goya in everything! Stir fry, soups and juice - you name it! We also had really good tacos at Tacos-ya.

We stumbled across a club one night. It was quite small and well hidden but the music was really good. Hadn't been out dancing for ages so it was good, especially now with Brendon. Unfortunately there wasn't many people there but nevertheless we had a great time.

We also heard of a Sakura-matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) being held up in Nago. We were staying south of the Island in the capital Naha. We got up early and took a bus to Nago. It took us 2 and half hours but we slept most of the way. The festival was pretty interesting. There was a street parade, long stretch of food stalls, arcade alley games, petting zoo and heaps more. Lots of families and kids running around. We watched a drum performance and b-boys on the main stage. Those Japanese boys really know how to dance! Very impressive. The event had a very community, family feel to it. We even got to see some sakura which was lucky for Brendon because he won't be here to see them in Spring.

We did heaps of souvenir shopping, buying Okinawan biscuits, 'seesas'- Okinawan guardians which come in pairs (one has it's mouth closed to stop iniquity coming in, and one with it's mouth open to let virtue pass) and 'habu' sake. Habu snakes are found on the island and are poisonous. However when you pickle them in sake, the venom and the alcohol seem to work together to taste really good and it isn't poisonous anymore. Not sure how that works but we tried some and it was ok. I'm not much of a sake fan. They look pretty cool though. Just think of tequila bottles with the worm in them. But these bottles have big black snakes coiled in them with their fangs showing, but you can't eat the snake.

We also went to this massive aquarium in Nago which is in the Guiness Book of Records for having the biggest aquarium window. It was massive! So cool! They have huge rays and even whale sharks in it! They also had a touch pool where you could play with the starfish. If only we more time to have check out the Ocean Expo Park.

It was so nice to have a bit of a holiday and just relax. Though I think Okinawa would be a lot better in Summer so you could actually go swimming at the beaches. The food is good, the locals friendly (except the crazy old lady we came across) and there's plenty to do and see.

Two thumbs up!




5 Comments:

At 6:54 pm, Blogger GG said...

yay Mizz Class is bakc on the blog wagon :)
Miss ya heaps babe. Thinking of you everyday. Will email ya real soon!

Your lovely self and Mr elephanti take care aiight :)
much love
bonbon

 
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