Sunset Beach and Okinawa World

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The busses from Naha Bus Terminal to Okinawa World only happen once per hour and we missed the the first one Wednesday. We decided to head to Mihama American Village instead. 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.

I always carry a change of clothes for Clarissa anyway so I wasn’t upset that she got very wet. It took a while for her to realize that I didn’t have extra clothes for myself though. The water wasn’t that cold so we should have brought our suits anyway. Lesson learned.

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.

We headed back to the hotel to change clothes and recharge the transportation card before catching the bus to Okinawa World (you can take 54 or 83).

Our first stop was the Habu Museum. Habu is a species of snake indigenous to Okinawa. There was a lizard that you could pet on the way in, several exhibits of snakes, and some crabs and other amphibians in small tanks.

We saw the indoor part of the museum in about 15 minutes and then headed to the live show. They offered headsets for translation but we declined thinking we would just be able to watch. It was a lot of talking so if I went again, I would take the headset.

There was a race between the mongoose and the snake. Spoiler alert. Mongoose won. Then we headed outside to see turtles, big snakes, and some bats.

Then we went to the Eisa Plaza to see the show there. I read about a dance show but it was really a drama that ended with drums. The drum part was really cool but it was loud so it scared Clarissa a little. They had big signs for no pictures so I didn’t take any.

Then, Clarissa and I headed to the cave. I have never been inside a cave before so I thought it was cool. Clarissa had a ton of questions. Looks like we need to find library books about caves next week!

The path was not at all strenuous and was about a half mile. The funniest part was Clarissa. There were some parts with a low ceiling. I never had a problem but some of my taller friends would. When we got to those parts Clarissa would say, “Mommy, you’re getting tall!”

It wasn’t really stroller friendly, but they tell you about the 130 total steps before you start. Tim grabbed some food and the stroller and met us at the cave exit. During his meal, they actually gave him some of the Habu sake that they brew there. He thought it tasted fine.

After the cave, we headed to the traditional village area. There was a small garden for growing tropical fruit. The village itself was very small and commercial, full of shopping and traditional crafts you could make.

My favorite part was dressing up in a kimono. I have wanted to do this each trip to Japan and have never gotten around to it. This time, I had to do it when I saw it. It cost 500 yen ($5) to dress up and have your pictures taken. They took 3 pictures on their camera and 3 with my phone.

After this experience, Okinawa World was closing. We ended up taking a taxi home because the next bus wasn’t scheduled to arrive for 45 minutes and it started raining. Plus it was now 6pm and we needed dinner. Our taxi driver was very kind.

We 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.