(Pronounced "Hi Sigh". This is how you say hello in Okinawa - similar to konnichiwa, but is only said in Okinawa and not mainland Japan) Sidenote: some locals have been impressed that I learned this #thankyouwaxandnaillady so come visit us and impress the locals with your knowledge ;)
Since Nate was headed back to the states for a conference last week, we decided to spend our last day together exploring Okinawa a bit more, so we headed to their famous aquarium - Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ('chura' means beautiful) - located on the north side of the island, near Nago. It's located about 60 km away from us.
Along the drive up the coast we had to stop and take some pictures. #butfirstletmetakeaselfie
The aquarium had lots of awesome exhibits and is one of the few (or maybe only) that has whale sharks. These things were huge and gorgeous to look at. Lots coral and other sea creatures as well - check out facebook to see more pics of the fun creatures.
The picture above does not probably do this justice but this tank was HUGE and the whale sharks were enormous - awesome to see them swimming around with the big manta rays.
They also had a shark tank with bull sharks, tiger sharks, and lemon sharks swimming around. Reminded me of our times swimming with sharks in Bora Bora (Lemon, reef, and black tip) and our north shore Hawaiian shark cage diving adventure with Galapagos Sharks. #nojellyfishstingsthistime Definitely did not want to be in this tank though with those bull and tiger sharks.
After waking around the aquarium we took a stroll to look at more of the grounds of Ocean Expo park. They had a sea turtle area, which was a bit depressing (small concrete pool they were cramped in), and we watched the dolphin and false killer whale show. Saw a family that I met in the hotel before we moved into our house #smallisland
After walking around and working up an appetite we stopped at a pizza place I had read about on the way home. It was up in the hills and after almost crashing a few times (narrow small windy roads and two cars on it, don't mix) we arrived safe and sound! We were hangry but the views tided us over until we sat down. It was a nice traditional style Japanese restaurant where we had to take off our shoes before walking inside and sat on the ground at our table. The pizza was delicious (or oishe desu as the Japanese say it (it's delicious! - pronounced o-she des)) #pizzamyfavoritefoodgroup
I dropped Nate and his partner off at the airport on Sunday morning so they could attend a work conference in China Lake. (Nate also stopped by San Diego Sunday to visit our crew - so jealous!! MIss you guys!!!) I tried to stay busy during the week and met some friends at the gym on base. On Wednesday I went shopping with one of the girls I met, Alex, for Shisas in the American Village.
What are shisas you might ask? Shisas, are a traditional Ryukyuan decoration which is a cross between a lion and a dog (A guardian dog). They usually come in pairs and are put on roofs or outside doors of buildings. They are believed to protect from evil spirits. Traditionally, the left shisa has their mouth closed to keep good spirits in and the right shisa has their mouth open to ward off/scare/let out evil spirits. #gettineducated
Alex and I got some Thai for lunch and then headed off to find good deals on shisas for our houses. At the store we ended up buying the shisas at, we discovered they also had pets, specifically baby turtles, fish, and PUPPIES! I could have stayed there for a few hours watching the little puppies. Nate said I wasn't allowed to get one though... #partypooper #RickyBobbywouldhavebeenPISSED
Our trip was successful, see pics of our shisas, シーサー, below. #guardiandogs
Also spoiled myself and treated myself to a pedicure at the famous Cocok's on the island (silent k.... otherwise #inapprop?) They are located right by the Sunabe seawall with views of the ocean from their second story location. So many options for detailed, beautiful nail art. They definitely know what they're doing and I'm willing to bet they wouldn't give me a confused look if I asked for Palm Trees #Oceansidenailsalonsthatsforyou Now I know what all the fuss is about - anyone who comes to visit us on the island - we'll def have to make a pit stop here
In other news, I got myself a job! I will officially be working part time at Navy Federal while working on my MBA. I start August 24th....maybe.... may not start until Wednesday. We may be getting hit by Typhoon Goni this weekend - Sun-Mon. We've been tricked two times so far, so we'll see if this actually hits.
Also, Nate and I are attending a wine night at the Officers club on Saturday (as long as the Typhoon doesn't hit early) and will hopefully meet other friends (#alcoholics) like us #winehowclassypeoplegetdrunk
I'll leave you with another fun word I learned from my wax and nail lady - sugoi - which means awesome, pronounced sue-goy
Until next time folks!
Follow in our Footsteps:
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
424 Ishikawa, Motobu, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture 905-0206
Hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm (Oct - Feb), 8:30am - 7:00pm (Mar - Sep)
Price: 1,850 yen, 610 yen
Pizza in the Sky
〒905-0219 Okinawa Prefecture, Kunigami District, 本部町Yamazato, １１５３−２
Hours: 11:30am - 7pm (closed Tues and Wed)
Thai Restaurant in American Village
〒904-0115 Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, 北谷町Mihama, 15−69−207 カーニバルパークミハマ カーニバルパーク・ミハマ
Hours: 11:30 - 11pm (Sat, Sun), 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-11pm (Mon-Fri)
Makeman (multiple locations - this one is in American Village)
〒904-0115 Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, 北谷町Mihama, 9
Hours: 9:30am - 8pm
Cocok's Nail Salon (multiple locations - this one on the seawall)
〒904-0113 沖縄県北谷町宮城 2−99 (2F)
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Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!