Sunday, June 3, 2012

Konnichiwa from Okinawa

I finally had the opportunity to visit a place I have wanted to see since middle school! Japan; Tokyo and Okinawa!!! My fascination with Japanese culture was sparked by my pen pal in the 7th grade. She used to send me origami, the paper was very colorful folded into intricate designs. I remember anticipating her letters eager to see the latest origami art. My sister studied Japanese in 6th grade and she taught me a couple words and to count to ten.  Konnichiwa means hello or good afternoon and arigato means thank you! These terms followed by a smile were what got me through most of my trip.
I flew from Charlotte to San Francisco almost five  hours and from there into Tokyo Narita airport for almost eighteen  hours. Lastly a three hour flight to my first stop, Okinawa. I stayed at the Best Western Inn Naha which was 18 minutes away from the Naha International Airport on the monorail. I didn't realize how convenient it was to catch the Yuki Rail (monorail) when I got there so I took a cab. I would suggest the Yuki Rail from the airport to Asato Station. When you come down the steps the hotel is there next to the Seven-Eleven convenience store.

The Best Western Naha was the best bang for my buck. It was affordable, the room was clean and the staff were friendly and helpful!
The hotel was located right at the entrance of the Yuki Rail which we took to go to Shuri Castle and the mall! It was also in walking distance to Kokusai Dori aka International Road, a mile long stretch of shops and restaurants. 

We also visited The American Village home of many shops, restaurants and the
iconic Ferris Wheel. The best part of the village for me was Fish Therapy. This is a process like a pedicure that you put your feet in a pool with tiny fresh water fish called Garra Rufa and they nibble away old skin cells, I don't know about the claim to reveal beautiful skin but my feet felt a little smother and more relaxed after a day full of walking. While in the American Village I also tried a Japanese treat made out of purple sweet potatoes called  Ben Imo.  I learned that Japanese sweets are not really all that sweet. They had ice cream flavors in Ginger, Green tea, red beans etc. I didn't find any of that appealing so I skipped deserts.

We had dinner at a place called Bikkuri Donkey: Hamburger Steak Restaurant that translates in English to The Confused Donkey! I loved this place the decor was awesome! It looked like a wooden shack and I assumed it was more of a hole in the wall type place at first. Upon entering we found this was a nice family restaurant with its own charm and delicious hamburger steaks!

I truly enjoyed Japan, I caught a glimpse of some cherry blossoms in bloom and the people were very friendly and polite! Check out My Youtube Channel for videos from my trip!
Until Later Toodles!!!

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