Okinawa – Tokyo, Japan – 2023 – Day 64-67

By rosannau / On


Taipei, Taiwan – Okinawa, Japan

We learned you can pre-book an Uber. We also learned there is a reservation fee for doing so. There was also a time surcharge, time and base fare. If possible, try to book an Uber at the time you need it to avoid those surcharges. We caught the 645AM flight out from Taipei to Okinawa, Japan with Eva Air (1hr30min flight). We put the remainder of our receipts in the donation box at airport before we left. Hopefully one of them wins & goes to help the community.

It was 24-27°C in Naha, Okinawa. It felt more of a hot heat and less humid but its a tropical place so humidity changes depending on time of year. It actually was slightly chilly at night.

We took the bus to our hotel for ¥240. We stayed at Hotel Cocktail Stay Naha. With only an hour of sleep, Bev crashed so I went on with the day’s plans.

Walked to Kokusai Dori main walking street. Grabbed lunch at Pork Tamago Onigiri. I got the Abura Miso ¥440. It’s been awhile since I’ve had Spam but it’s the one good thing USA has provided for fusion foods. Similar to Hawaii, it’s quite popular in Okinawa.

Drink vending machines are everywhere. I found one that had drinks for ¥100. All forms of electrolyte drinks are welcomed with the heat & dehydration that is me.

Not too hot & perfect amount of wind, so I walked to Shurijo Castle. The walk was structured until it wasn’t. Certain roads looked like San Francisco w/angled inclines.

Visiting the Castle grounds ¥400, it symbolizes the history & culture of Okinawa from the Ryukyu Kingdom. The main buildings were unfortunately destroyed by a fire in 2019 but you can still walk the castle grounds. They are hoping to have it rebuilt by 2026 but they are trying to source natural material as similar to the original build. Walked through the Cobblestones of Kinjo Town – 300 meters of the road remain with the limestone road remains of the Ryukyu kingdom

The observation deck there is lovely to see above Naha. A 10 minute walk from the castle, brings you to the remains of the Kinjo Cho Stone Pavement. This is where high ranked people use to reside.

Walked through the Tsuboya Pottery Street – local craft shops selling all forms of pottery & ceramics including versions of Shisa (guardian lion).

Made my way back to Makishi Market & surrounding shopping arcade. Had to grab the Sata Andagi (Okinawan Donuts) ¥200 from Matsuhara Confectionary 松原屋製菓. I got the brown sugar and purple sweet potato ¥100ea.

Another treat you must try is Chinsuko Shortbread cookies ¥260.

Bev met up with me for dinner. We went to Yunangi ゆうなんぎい where they open at 530PM and you know it’s good that there is a line that goes around the corner. Better to line up early before it opens to get first seating. We were at the cut off point for the first round of patrons as the place is small and cozy. Good thing the people eat at a good pace. We ordered the A Set (Okinawa fish, Rafute (Pork Belly), Fu Champlo (corn beef & veggie stir fry), Inamurachi (Okinawan pork miso soup), Mimija (pigs ear), Jimami, Jimami (peanut tofu), Karasu tofu, (salted fish) & Kubuirichi – simmered slice kombu. We also added on a plate of spare ribs all for ¥4010.

Okinawa has a different charm to it. It is the Hawaii of Japan. With the USA influence, it has created it’s own fusion of sorts.

Okinawa is known for:

-Island beaches, scuba diving, waterlife

-Taco Rice Bowls

-Blue seal ice cream

-Salted anything

-Bitter gourd

-Shikuwasa (Similar to a Lime – calamansi – sweet & sour tang)



-Purple sweet potato (beni imo)


-Awamori (Okinawan Moonshine)


Okinawa, Naha, Japan

We had lunch at Restaurant Mikasa Matsuyama お食事処 三笠 松山店 run by a bunch of sweet obachans (Aunties) – serving up amazing food for a great price. We ordered the Yakiniku pork meal set ¥750 & Champon Mikasa style ¥650. Oishi!

The day started with wind and rain so we were happy we didn’t end up booking a ferry ride to an island. We did however make our way to Naminoue & Naha beach. We dipped our legs into the East China sea. We also went to Naminoue Shrine that is built cliffside but the gates were locked so we couldn’t explore the inner courtyard past the main shrine.

Walked back to Kokusai Dori and explored the area in search of all things purple sweet potato for Bev.  I got a Mango Smoothie from Pop Place ¥600. Down the street I saw another drink stall and it featured 2 things Okinawa is known for – Bitter Gourd & Shikuwasa in juice form ¥400. It was a little too intense and that aftertaste lingers.

We stopped for little purple sweet potato snacks and sat on a bench trying them all out. Walked through Heiwadori.

We ended up having dinner at Makishi Public Market. The original building is under renovations as it was getting too old so they have a second location up and running. The first floor have all the vendors that sell fresh fish, sea grapes and meats. The second floor features restaurants right beside one another. You can order from their menu or purchase ingredients from the first floor and have them prepare on the second.

We ate at Dotonbori まちぐゎー食堂 道頓堀 on the second floor. I ordered the Sashimi set meal ¥1350 and while I’m in Okinawa, I had to try their Awamori (15%) ¥400 – it went down smooth but packs a punch.


Okinawa, Japan

Our plans for the day didn’t start off smoothly & well, it kind of continued that way. We detoured but in the end found Avis/Budget Car rentals to grab our car for the day.

We drove a cozy Nissan & made our way to our first stop – Cape Maeda (1hr15min drive away). The drive was incredibly slow. All the way through with Route 58 – it is a 50-60KM/H speed limit but it’s the only one to get you anywhere up the coast.

Once we arrived to Cape Maeda, the clouds turned & crazy downfall of rain started & just wouldn’t let up. ¥100 for parking. 92% humidity which made us sticky but also it was cool out. There were still loads of snorkelling and scuba diving happening. We weren’t able to get any clear views so we moved on.

Our second stop was not a flop. Onna no Eki Nakayukui Market おんなの駅 なかゆくい市場 – great stop for local Okinawan food. It is food court style with a grocery store inside as well. I ordered Squid tempura ¥100, Fried chicken ¥350, Okinawa pancake ¥250 & dark Brown sugar pancake ¥180. Bev order a Soba noodle soup.

Since the weather took a turn for the worst and majority of the places we had originally wanted to go were outdoor activities, we had to cut them out (Cape Manzamo, Kishimoto soba-ya, Bise Fukugi Trees, Emerald Beach & King Tacos). We drove straight North up to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ¥2180. The biggest attraction there is the whale shark. There is the Ocean Expo Park outside which on a sunny day would have made the trip there much more worthwhile.

It was still cool to see some unique sea-life but I guess it was underwhelming for us considering we had scuba & snorkelled with some of these sea creatures earlier on this trip in the Philippines in their natural habitat.

We were hoping the weather would change for the better after our visit to the Aquarium but unfortunately it didn’t. It was a straight drive back to Naha (2hr).

Once back, we grabbed little complimentary snacks via our hotel in the lounge at the restaurant next store. For dinner, we went to Mikado お食事処みかど also run by more sweet Obachans. We ordered the curry katsudon ¥750 & fried corned beef & veggies ¥650.

Back to Kokusai-dori for last minute purchases & for Bev to get her last scoop of Blue Seal Ice cream.

All in all, this had been the only day which our original plans detoured due to weather out of the 65 days thus far of the trip. We were really blessed and grateful.


Okinawa – Tokyo, Japan

Remember to keep your gas receipt to show when returning the car rental.

Dropped off the car near the airport (free shuttle included to airport) and had breakfast at the Naha Airport. There are loads of restaurants and shops before you go through security as it’s more limited once you are through. There are no sit down eating areas past security. So if you want to get last minute gifts before leaving Okinawa, do it before you go through security.

Airport meal at Royal Snack Court. I got Taco rice ¥1078. It sounds as it seems. Taco ingredients on rice – not worth airport prices to try it. It’s a thing in Okinawa courtesy of USA. King Tacos is apparently the place to try it in Naha.

We flew with Jetstar to Tokyo (2hr). At the airport, I also grabbed my first gachapon (vending machine-dispensed capsule toys that are “blind” random) of the trip. We waited at the airport because Bev’s boyfriend Eric was flying in to join us for the Japan leg of the trip. I love Narita Airport’s design. The interior is themed as an inside running track that goes throughout the airport which is both useful and fun.

So many options to get out of the airport and into the city. Timing wise and for efficiency sake, we ended up taking the JO blue line run by JR (1.5hr) direct ¥1340. We had ordered JR Passes but we didn’t want to activate them yet but also activating at the Airport is a hassle and usually long lines.

Checked into our hotels (I stayed at Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo-Kinshicho) and went for dinner at Shinjidai Izakaya known for their Chicken Skin skewers – salt, pepper & hot – delicious. We ordered karaage, Pickled cucumbers, 2 types of veggies, egg yolk on rice, gizzard skewers, garlic skewers and fried gyōzas. Including 2 beers, it all cost about ¥5400 for 3 people.

Leave a Reply