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Thread: Okinawa

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    Senior Member kalliea's Avatar
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    Default Okinawa

    A friend and I are going to hit Okinawa for a long weekend. We will be staying in Naha but we're thinking of renting a car and driving around the island a bit.

    Can anyone recommend what to see? We will only be there 3 days.
    Numbers and colors are my bread and butter

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    Code of Conduct Lego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Okinawa

    Quote Originally Posted by kalliea View Post
    Wow. Lego is extra bitchy today.
    Oops typo LOL!
    Last edited by Lego; March 3rd, 2011 at 10:32.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Okinawa

    So is Okinawa pretty much a no-go if no one drives?
    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    I will not miss the Keihin Tohoku when I jump in front of it.

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    Code of Conduct Lego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Okinawa

    Quote Originally Posted by kalliea View Post
    Wow. Lego is extra bitchy today.
    Oops typo LOL!
    Last edited by Lego; March 3rd, 2011 at 10:32.

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    Senior Member kalliea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Okinawa

    Huh. I thought the train was suppose to be pretty good in Naha. The hotel is only about 5 minutes from both the beach and maybe 10 minutes to the nearest station...

    What is Pineapple Park?
    Numbers and colors are my bread and butter

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    Code of Conduct Lego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Okinawa

    Quote Originally Posted by kalliea View Post
    Wow. Lego is extra bitchy today.
    Oops typo LOL!
    Last edited by Lego; March 3rd, 2011 at 10:31.

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    Senior Member kalliea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Okinawa

    ???
    Numbers and colors are my bread and butter

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    Default Re: Okinawa

    What's with the weird Lego replies?! o.O

    Anyways... I just got back from a weekend in Okinawa. There's a monorail in Naha, but it'll only get you around Naha. Other than that, there are some buses that'll get you to most places, but some places are only reachable by car. I did a bus tour of the northern part of the main island that stopped at Ryukyu Mura, Cape Manzamo, Okashi Goten, Ocean Expo Park, and Pineapple Park (Fruits Flower Park is on even tour days). It's a bit rushed, but really nice because you can do a bunch of stuff in one day that would be difficult to do on your own. Pineapple Park is AWESOME. There's a little pineapple car that goes round the park and plays a little jingle, but I wasn't able to ride it on the tour.

    One of my favorite places is the Ryukyu Glass shop: 琉球ガラス村 HUGE shop of beautiful glass, museum, workshop where you can make stuff.... It's on the same bus route as the Peace Park so if you want to go there, pretty simple to get to. Oddly most of this Okinawa craft is made in Vietnam, but they have some stuff made in Okinawa... and it's all so beautiful anyway so meh.

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    Senior Member kalliea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Okinawa

    Thank you!! I thought I was going crazy. Lego's replies were weird.

    Can you tell me more on how to get to the glass place?
    Numbers and colors are my bread and butter

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    Pony. Truthsauce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliea View Post
    Huh. I thought the train was suppose to be pretty good in Naha. The hotel is only about 5 minutes from both the beach and maybe 10 minutes to the nearest station...

    What is Pineapple Park?
    The pineapple park is awesome. Billions of free samples and free pineapple wine.

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    Pineapple Park is Awesome!!!!!! I spent about 45 mins in the shop eating and drinking all the pineapple tasters. Best day ever. You can do the Aquarium and Pineapple park in the same day.

    The War memorial is really nice too but that is in the south so will need a day seperate from the Aquarium.

    There are no good beaches in Naha proper but if you drive up just north of the city centre there's Tropical Beach where you can rent BBQ sets. If you are going in the long weekend in March there is a chance you wont be allowed to swin yet though.

    There are also tonnes of nice beaches up north towards the Aquarium.


    Meelynn- if you can't drive then I would recommend taking a ferry from the main ferry port in central Naha for a day trip or camping trip to one of the Islands which are a couple of hours away. They are really beautiful, great snorkelling and very chill.

    You can get buses places but they tend to be very expensive (at least 1,500 one way) so it works out cheaper to rent. The highway is free too!

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    Pony. Truthsauce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizbuff View Post
    Pineapple Park is Awesome!!!!!! I spent about 45 mins in the shop eating and drinking all the pineapple tasters. Best day ever. You can do the Aquarium and Pineapple park in the same day.

    The War memorial is really nice too but that is in the south so will need a day seperate from the Aquarium.

    There are no good beaches in Naha proper but if you drive up just north of the city centre there's Tropical Beach where you can rent BBQ sets. If you are going in the long weekend in March there is a chance you wont be allowed to swin yet though.

    There are also tonnes of nice beaches up north towards the Aquarium.


    Meelynn- if you can't drive then I would recommend taking a ferry from the main ferry port in central Naha for a day trip or camping trip to one of the Islands which are a couple of hours away. They are really beautiful, great snorkelling and very chill.

    You can get buses places but they tend to be very expensive (at least 1,500 one way) so it works out cheaper to rent. The highway is free too!

    The aquarium is okay. The beaches in that area do suck big ol' dick. It's all sharp shells. The park around the beach and aquarium has some pretty cool topiaries... (see facebook picture where I am being fed into an octopus)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Okinawa

    Quote Originally Posted by kalliea View Post
    Thank you!! I thought I was going crazy. Lego's replies were weird.

    Can you tell me more on how to get to the glass place?
    Ha, saved my notes!! Bus 89 from Naha Bus Terminal to Itoman Bus Terminal (lots of departing buses, takes an hour). Then you can take bus 82 (one an hour) or bus 108 (think there's a few more of these). I forget the name of the stop... the bus driver can tell you, but it's only about 15 minutes away and then the big blue glass shop is *right there*. The Peace Park is about another 15 minutes further down by bus 82.

    There's absolutely nothing around the Itoman Bus Terminal so if you miss a bus and have to wait, you really have nowhere to go except for the little bench at the bus stop.

    Oh! The glass shop also offers 1000 yen shipping to anywhere in Japan and it only takes 3 days to get your box.

    Edit: Bus to the glass shop is not that expensive at all. 560 yen to the bus terminal and only a couple hundred yen more from there. I'm not sure how much the buses were for the other stuff I did up north, but I remember researching and they seemed kinda expensive. I don't drive, which is why I did the bus tour, and it was 5900 yen including lunch.
    Last edited by JackAttack; March 3rd, 2011 at 13:23.

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    Senior Member kalliea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Okinawa

    Jack, you are awesome.
    Numbers and colors are my bread and butter

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    Senior Member Kegger's Avatar
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    Hmm a thread on Okinawa, and it took me this long to notice.

    Here's some useful bits of information you may want to know.

    1. Its difficult to get around without a car. When I say difficult... I mean pain in the arse to get anywhere if you don't drive. Did it for 6 months, about to do it again for a month. I wouldn't recommend coming all this way if you can't rent a car. Renting a car for a week (no idea what it would be for three days), is about 3-4man for a yellow plate, and 5-6man for a white plate. The monorain (It's not a train, do not think it's a train if you do you'll be sorely sorely disapointed) only runs in Naha.

    2. There's one road that you can drive at 80km/h at which is the Okinawian Expressway. All other roads are 40km/h. No idea if such speed restrictions exist on mainland, but they do here. Ticketing seems to be fierce, but they seem to target more american Y plates and rental cars than anyone else, so be warned

    3. Also if you have a rental car, 50% of accidents in Okinawa are caused by rental car drivers, so people should hopefully (hopefully) give you a wide birth because they'll see it on your plate. On the other hand, attempt to avoid other rental car owners if you can. Note: Taxis, buses, and all other drivers are terrible. TERRIBLE. Beware of scooters. Driving in Okinawa is having a death wish, but necessary.

    4. Okinawa is tiny and you may think its possible to cover the island tip to tip in about 2 hours...Its not. Try 7 or 8. Road speed + traffic is mental. Everywhere. Allow plenty of time.

    5. Things to see:
    Pineapple park: Not worth going to see it on its own unless you are going up to the Aquarium which is real nice. By the way, the aquarium is huge, but a large proportion of it is free, such as seeing turtles, dolphins show etc.
    Aquarium: Well worth a visit up north for (It's on the Nago express way exit and very clearly marked)
    Okinawian memorial park: Sobering, but down south
    Shuri castle: Its our only proper castle if you want to visit it. It's fairly good but I wouldn't pay to go in, you can see most of it for free. The ruins are more exciting, such as Katsuren and Agena. I recommend a trip up to Katsuren, it really is immense.
    Onna Beach + Moon Beach: Fairly awesome beaches up north
    Yomitan Village: A resort with glass blowing, shisa making (gotta love shisa dogs), a salt factory, and near cape Zampa which is quite nice
    Okinawa Zoo: Heh, depends if you like animals.
    Uken beach: Really nice beach in Uruma City, which is in the middle of the island
    Cape Hedo (I think): is the other end of Okinawa and is actually stunning, though it is just nature, but worth it never the less. You can just park up and watch the waves, and on windy days it takes your breath away
    Hiji falls: A pretty good waterfall though they do charge you to go visit, which is somewhat annoying.
    The British Wine and Tea Shop: A favourite place of mine, its in Nago near the Pineapple park and Aquarium. The guy is a nut, and has had 4 bypasses and is clearly over 70 and has just become a father. Absolutely wonderous scones, fantastic with CLOTTED CREAM *salvates*

    6.Okinawa is a wonderful place for geocaching. If you're around for 3 days, you might not have time, but it's really cool to visit new places via geocaching.

    7. If you're around for 3 days, I strongly recommend getting out of Naha. Naha is great...but its just another city. Granted, its our biggest and most popular city, but if you're wanting to experience different things, try spending some time away from it. There's great things to do all over the island.

    8. There are a bunch of islands connected to Okinawa mainland which you can drive to via bridges off the east pensula. I highly recommend these islands, Ikei and Hamihaga (I think). Just driving along the sea bridge gives you amazing views of the sunset, plus the Okinawians there are really traditional and you can see some of the first mud houses. There are also absolutely fantastic beaches, mostly abandoned and a great place to escape to.

    9. For more information check out okinawa hai!. Although it is run and tailored for military people, there's a lot of information on the various things you can do and see and where to go out etc.

    Whew, hopefully haven't overwhelmed you.

    EDIT: 10. Forgot to mention Pizza in the Sky. This pizza place is up north somewhere, (can dig out the details if you want specifics), and only serves one pizza. But I hear it is the best pizza in the whole of Okinawa and the view where you eat it is absolutely amazing. They're closed Tuesday and Wednesday and are open 11am-7pm the rest of the time.

    11. Oh and there's a butterfly park.
    Last edited by Kegger; March 3rd, 2011 at 14:26.

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    Code of Conduct Lego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Okinawa

    Kegger, don't be such a bitch.
    minor rant: abe vigoda

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    Senior Member Kegger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lego View Post
    Kegger, don't be such a bitch.
    My greatest apologies.
    Have:

    EDIT: I forgot the obligitory screaming.

    *shrills in a most disturbing, fake-japanese voice* GOMEN GOMEN GOMEN GOMEN
    Last edited by Kegger; March 3rd, 2011 at 15:10.

  18. #18
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
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    Just out of interest, and sorry it's not travel advice, but what's the score down there with getting a job? Are there jobs going?

    I've always wondered, because it would be a pretty awesome place to live.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    they said your uk blood has extremely high levels of tea and crumpets in it.
    http://osharejunks.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Senior Member Kegger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_igirisu View Post
    I've always wondered, because it would be a pretty awesome place to live.
    ... I honestly can't think of a non-offensive response.

    Moving on, jobs are hard. Really hard. There's nowhere that will sponsor you for a work visa (my boyfriend looked for 7 months). Even with a dependent visa, its hard, and he's only just got 6 hours teaching a week, which is ironically more than I teach.

    Oh oh, I thought of one:

    If we minus all high schools and JET out of the equation, then yea, it's not the worst place in Japan to be. There are a multitude of different placements even here though, with some people being the only JET in 4 neighbouring islands of about 100 people each, and others in the middle of Naha bustle.

    Just discounting the racism, the military bases, the insanity of local people.. and so on and so forth.

  20. #20
    Smashes through the wa Miss_igirisu's Avatar
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    Why would you be offensive to me about a simple question? I'm sorry I don't know everything about every part of japan.. I assumed the racism
    Was just towards the American base and that normal life would be similar to what we get here.

    Guess I was wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    they said your uk blood has extremely high levels of tea and crumpets in it.
    http://osharejunks.blogspot.com/

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