Ahh, nothing beats the island life.
And I have to say – Okinawa may just be my favorite island in the world.
I planned the trip with my friend Nico, who lives in Tokyo. We stayed the first couple nights in the city (where no tourists go) to get a real sense of the lifestyle there. It was really nice – Okinawa has a very unique and different culture than the rest of Japan – they have their own culture, traditions, and language. I’d say it’s similar to how Hawaii differentiates itself from the rest of America, and the locals loved how we didn’t just come for the beach. The day markets and street performers were definitely worth checking out.
So after those couple of days, we took a day trip to Tokashiki before settling in our home base for the rest of the trip. Tokishiki was absolutely STUNNING – the bluest water I’ve ever seen! We were worried at first because it was overcast on the ferry ride over, but then we saw a rainbow! The clouds disappeared pretty soon after that. Yay!
We stayed the rest of our time in “American Village”. It’s called that because of the US military presence, and there were pros and cons to this. On one hand, we got to eat real American food (and even Tex-Mex!), which you do start to miss after a while. Also, there were a lot of fighter jets flying over doing training exercises, which was so cool! But on the other hand, I sometimes felt uncomfortable because the locals on this beautiful island clearly do not want us there, and I don’t blame them one bit! :/
Our first night started off with something “interesting.” We walked into a bar, and we see some interesting jars. We soon realize there are snakes in them!! Apparently, this is a famous drink in Okinawa, called Habushu. It’s made by drowning a deadly viper in a rice-based liquor, and storing it for at least forty days, so the alcohol can dissolve the venom. The drink passes strength and courage to those who drink it. So you may be asking, did I drink it or not? Of course!! And, it actually tasted kind of good!
“Life is not the number of days you live; it’s the number of days you remember.” -Pasha
A big part of Okinawa for me personally was a girl I met there. Well, I actually met her in Tokyo, and she happened to live in Okinawa and agreed to be tour guide! We spent a lot of the days together, exploring the island since she had a car and seeing parts of the island I wouldn’t have had a chance to otherwise. One night we fell asleep on the beach and woke up to the sunrise. Pretty damn romantic if you ask me.
What’s your favorite island? Let me know in the comments below!