Our hotel sits right off of Kokusai Street. I didn’t realize how great of a location it was when I booked it. Plenty of shopping and food, plus the Naha Bus Terminal and Asahibashi monorail stop are a five minutes walk. I think we will end up here for dinner every night. Our first night we were tired and hungry but found plenty of cool things to see. I got some Christmas shopping done and Tim and Clarissa found some really fun things as well.
We read that Blue Seal was really good ice cream specific to Okinawa. There are shops everywhere so I think we will try a few flavors over the course of the week. I tried pineapple sorbet and Tim had a royal milk tea ice cream with vanilla soft serve on top. We both really enjoyed it.
We also went to our favorite Japanese grocery store, Don Quiote to buy some drinks and water for the week. So we splurged on fun things I would never buy at home like a cardboard sword full of m&ms and carmel apple cups (think reeses with carmel inside).
One night, headed back to Kokusai Street for dinner and ate at Hokkaido. The food was wonderful. There was a seat fee of 300 yen per person, but it was so worth it. They kept bringing out appetizers. Our main dishes were also delicious.
On Monday, we headed to Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom. We took express bus 152 from Naha Bus Terminal until it ends at the mall. Our Okica subway card works on busses too. Clarissa’s favorite part was the large aquarium in the lobby.
I forget that the rest of the world doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving so they start decorating for Christmas after Halloween. Well, Japan and Korea do anyway.
It was a nice mall. As usual, Tim had a specific list of stores to visit and things he wanted to find but he didn’t find anything he wanted and Clarissa and I found plenty of fun things. They had a toys r us as well as a Pokémon store, Studio Ghibli store, and Sanrio store. Plus several stores that I had never heard of but I found some cute silicone cups to make muffins in a different shape and some stationary type things. I bought the rest of our stocking suffers today.
They have a nice food court and several sit down restaurants. We had lunch in the food court. Tim always likes to try Subway in Japan because they have different sandwiches then on post. I had been reading that taco rice was a thing here so I ordered that. It was pretty good. I actually used to make something similar often for dinner.
They had some stores next to the mall as well so we checked out a bookstore (no English books though) and a Daiso (think five below). There was also a sign claiming an ocean view. Technically, you could see the ocean. But it was a couple of miles away and there was a construction site and random other things in front of it. Needless to say, I didn’t take any pictures.
We headed to the outlets in Ashibinaa on Tuesday evening. We discovered a Yamada across the street (electronics store) and Tim was thrilled to find something on his list. He said the store was great, reminded him of Sofmap in Tokyo. Clarissa and I headed to Daiso. Then we crossed the street and ate dinner at Bikkuri Donkey. The food was wonderful! They had the hot plate where you cook the rest of your steak that is fairly common in Japan. Also, the fresh squeezed juices are lovely. It is reasonably priced as well. (Please note that they only accept yen, not credit card)
Then we headed to the actual outlet. I really liked the Christmas lights outside.
We only had about 45 minutes before the outlets closed (8pm), but I was impressed. It reminded me of the outlet mall in Williamsburg, VA. There were several fancy stores like Gucci and Prada, but they also had an Adidas outlet, gap, and Columbia. We found a few things at great prices.
Wednesday morning, we decided to head to Mihama American Village. You can take either bus 20, 28, 29, or 120 to Kuwame stop (directly after US Naval Hospital). Honestly, we were not very impressed. There were little shops for American things and a 100 yen shop (dollar store). There was also a bowling alley, a giant ferris wheel, and several restaurants.
Our favorite part was the beach. I had read that we were out of season and the water would be too cold for swimming so I didn’t pack bathing suits for this trip. But I thought we could just put our feet in since it was so pretty. Clarissa had other plans but I always pack an extra pair of clothes for her so it was fine that she went swimming.
We had lunch at Jai Thai. The food was really good. But the prices were high for the portion sizes. The kids meal was great though. Clarissa actually ate the fried rice (rice with scrambled egg and no sauce), French fries, and jello. I got the pineapple fried rice and Tim ordered red Curry.