Running late to the airport with my backpack, sandals and sense of excitement in tow, I was sure that I would not miss my flight …I COULD NOT miss my flight. This was my first travel experience outside of Fukuoka since moving to Japan five months ago. I was traveling to Naha, Okinawa with my friend for a long weekend full of beaches, sunshine and delicious ben-imo sweets.
We reached Okinawa late Friday night and quickly checked into our Airbnb. The sun filled my room on Saturday morning, waking me up at an early hour. My friend and I ate breakfast and then walked to Naminoue Beach. I was a little underwhelmed by the beach. It was small, crowded and had an overpass obstructing the view. Despite these small upsets, I enjoyed swimming in the ocean and soaking up the sunshine.
The next day my friend and I decided to go to Chura Sun Beach. We took the monorail and then a taxi to reach the beach. The monorail was really simple to navigate and provided a great view of the city. This beach was large, crowded with people and barbeque grills, and the water was very warm.
On our last night in Naha my friend and I walked up and down Kokusai Street, also known as International Street. We tried many ben-imo treats including cakes, tarts, chips and ice cream. I was happy to try traditional Okinawan food as well as eat fresh tropical fruits. My favorite part of the night was when we found a small bar on a side street. The bar was cozy and had many games to play including Nintendo. My friend played Nintendo while I sipped on a cold Orion beer.
We left Naha on Monday morning a little sunburned, but with great memories of the beaches, the people and best of all, the food!