Sunday, September 9, 2012

Girl Gettaway to Okinawa

Way long overdue post, but a couple months ago two of my best girlfriends and I took a little vaca to the island of Okinawa, Japan.  

We stayed at the Zampamisaki Royal Hotel right on Zanpa Beach.  The weather was perfect and the beach was gorgeous!  It was a very short trip, but so much fun!

Just three days in Okinawa, we sought out to eat good food, get a little bit of beach time, and see a few sights in our short amount of time...

First stop - the Shuri Castle, a World Heritage Site.

 We paid 300 extra yen to have tea and traditional Okinawan cookies in the special quarters of the castle (definitely the best part!!!)  

 On the drive from the Castle to our hotel (about an hour) we stopped and got a snack...
I'd heard of this yummy dish they have in Oki called "taco rice" which is basically taco salad but instead of chips, on a bed of rice. I was really excited to try it and made it my first priority.  We found the famous taco rice, but instead of in a bowl, the local convenience store had them wrapped up in a sushi roll! It was super yummy! 
Seaweed wrapped around sticky rice with taco flavored ground beef, nacho cheese, lettuce and salsa inside!!!! (heated up) Two of my favorite things together in one! (Super bummed that the mainland hasn't caught on!)
The next day we got up and headed to the beach!  

We spent the entire day soaking up sun (too much actually) and enjoying the white sand and clear water!  Pure bliss!

 That night we had dinner at a fabulous little dive we stumbled upon - Hanahou - a Hawaiian restaurant, that served Okinawan dishes with a Hawaiian flare.

 More taco rice!!!  (this time the traditional way, over a bed of rice)

The next day we took a long drive along the coast to see the "much talked about" Okinawa Aquarium. On our way we stopped at a unique little "drive-thru" as it was called.  A quaint little restaurant sitting right over the water.
 We split an Okinawan burger, eel, tempura and another style of taco rice!  (I made it my mission to try every restaurant's version ;)

 At the aquarium we saw lots of interesting fish and sea creatures.  

It was a fabulous aquarium just as the guide books had boasted!

That evening we met up with a friend for drinks and dinner.
 Caralee (another military spouse whom Sarah and I have known since our time in Pensacola) and her husband were stationed in Okinawa and would only be there a few more weeks...we got to see her just in time!

 After parting with Caralee, the three of us headed back to our hotel, where we sat on the beach and enjoyed the evening breeze by the ocean on our last night!

Our last day in Okinawa we toured the lighthouse right by our hotel and got some of the best views of the beautiful!

 Then we stopped by another World Heritage Site, to see the ruins of the Zakimi Castle.
After the castle we were looking for somewhere good to eat our last meal in Okinawa....after driving around for half an hour and not finding ANYTHING, we somehow found a cute little cafe tucked away in a neighborhood!  It was super delicious and way to inexpensive for the amount of food we were served ;)

A little last minute shopping at one of the street markets by the airport before we flew back to the mainland...

Though way too short, we had a great time!  Three days is not enough, and if we could, we would've stayed longer....but after living in Japan for 2 years none of us had ever been to Oki and we seized the opportunity to go!

Girl trip to Okinawa...CHECK CHECK!

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