7 Things I Learnt in Okinawa

1.  Yes, You Can Hitchhike

Long story short, we left our international driving permit in Taiwan, as a result we couldn’t rent a car at all in Okinawa, so we had to take public transport all the way. However, public transport still cost a bomb and on the final leg of our trip we barely had any money left. You know what they say, desperate times calls for desperate measures. Therefore our last resort… HITCH-HIKE. This was our first time hitch-hiking and thankfully, Japanese people are incredibly friendly or maybe they pitied these 2 girls with big bulky luggage sticking their thumbs out… Well, in the end we successfully made it to Naha from Nago through hitching rides.

1Yup, we did not pack to hitch-hike

2.  Eat Everything

To be really honest, I have no idea what I am actually eating 80{6cc99c052a2fcd17af1df3eea710f6d0fda444a06dce88abadd382d47e285100} of the time in Okinawa. Every meal was an adventure and I barely had anything that disappointed me so I would strongly recommend that you try anything and everything that catches your fancy. Yes, even the those small unassuming corner stalls, more often than not, turn out to be the best meal you’ve ever had.

2The only things I know here are probably those with fruit photos…

3Okinawa Soba with some really tender melt-in-your-mouth pork strips, yeah… just keep guessing

3.  Ask, ask, ask

Major lesson of the trip: You can never be too sure, especially without GPS. A short bicycle ride to the supermarket can’t possibly go wrong, right? Wrong. We were really confident that we could remember the way back (well it was only 15 mins away), a flat tire came out of nowhere and once again we were stuck in a situation. Asking for directions from a stranger led to a ride back with our bicycles in tow. Looking back I realised, we relied on the kindness of strangers too many times to count in the whole trip. Furthermore, many things/food/places in Okinawa do not have English translations, so you really got to put aside that fear of approaching strangers and ask.

4.  Stay in Airbnbs

Airbnbs are a great way to experience the local culture and make some new friends along the way. Bonus points when they are cheaper and bigger than an average hotel room in Japan! With that being said, Airbnbs do book-out pretty quick so do book in advance for more options, this is especially so for the suburban areas.

4The cosy Kia Ora House in Nago

5 Morning strolls with Hidea our host and the kawaii Coby~

6My favourite part of the trip, meeting little Heidi and his family through Airbnb

5.  Half-price off Food Items in Supermarkets after 9pm

One of the best activities in Japan is supermarket shopping. I mean, there’s literally everything you need there! Best of all, after 9pm, some of the hot food and raw food items goes on a massive 50{6cc99c052a2fcd17af1df3eea710f6d0fda444a06dce88abadd382d47e285100} discount!! Mentaiko and sashimi at $4 anyone???

7

Look out for this sign for half-price off after 9pm!

6.  Read the Fine Print

We walked past a huge sign advertising 100Yen ($1.30) beer, did a double-take and walked back right into the bar. Only to realise… there was minimum charge of a compulsory 500Yen ($6.50) appetizer each. It was in the fine print below but you know, who would read it after the 100Yen beer?! Indeed, there is no free lunch in this world……….

Note to self: always ask if there is a minimum spend especially in touristy areas.

7.  Chase the Sunset

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing like a breathtaking sunset to end the day. Okinawa definitely boasts of one of the most wonderful sunsets in the world, be sure not to miss it when you’re there!

8

Here are a few great (and free) spots to catch the sunset:

* Cape Zanpa (Okinawa Main Island)

* Cape Manzamo (Okinawa Main Island)

* Cape Maeda (Okinawa Main Island)

* Sunset Beach (Okinawa Main Island)

* Ishigaki Oganzaki Lighthouse (Ishigaki Island)

* Nishi-henna Cape (Miyako Island)

* Sunayama Beach (Miyako Island)

9

My Okinawa trip was definitely a whirlwind of adventure, especially so since it was my first time there. Nevertheless, I had an amazing time, ate many delicious local delicacies that can’t be found anywhere else, had plenty of encounters that are deeply engraved in my memories. Misadventure in itself is also an adventure, so just go with the flow, throw your itineraries out if you have to, and trust that all roads, will, lead to Rome.

0 comments on “7 Things I Learnt in Okinawa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.