In April, a few months before we were scheduled to leave our beautiful island home, Nate's Aunt, Uncle, and cousins came out to visit for their spring break! We love visitors and were excited to show them around the island!
Of course, the first full day they were here, Nate took them up north to visit the famous Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and lunch at Pizza in the sky. At the aquarium they were able to see the beautiful, impressive whale sharks and some of the other fascinating marine life surrounding Okinawa.
The next stop after the aquarium was Pizza in the sky - one of my favorite restaurants on the island! #whodoesntlovepizzaandaview I think this made the kids happy :) A little taste of home while getting to see gorgeous views around the island!
Promise and Rider were also thoroughly impressed with the selection of vending machine drinks (one of the many reasons to love Japan). This became a theme of the trip, with them wanting to check out the different options and try new flavors at vending machines we passed.
That night, even though Kara arrived sick after their long plane ride over, she was a trooper and manned up for a BBQ we had with our local Japanese friends. Our friends Hiro, Rikko, Hoshi and Kazu and his family were able to join. Kazu's wife and teenage daughters were also in town with him, which was awesome getting to watch Nate's cousins from America play corn hole and try to interact with them with the language barrier. They made it work (of course :) ) And everyone had a great time. I wish I had more pictures of the day but we had so much fun we forgot to take more (including a fashion walk off between Kazu, Hoshi, and me!)
On the Bonds second full day on the island, I took them to have a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, dressed in authentic kimonos and all. It was fun for me getting to watch this experience for them and learn more about the Japanese culture. (Read my past blog here with more details on the Japanese Tea Ceremony)
Kaori, brought her mom to help with dressing all of us before the ceremony so we could get started faster. Dressing in traditional kimonos is a long process with so much attention to detail on how the kimonos are wrapped and folded, and belts are tied. #worthit #lookingood Of course kimono dressing is no problem for Kaori, who has competed in kimono dressing competitions were you have to finish dressing in 3 minutes or less! She placed 1st in the Okinawa competition for casual kimonos. #rockedit
See some more pics below of everyone participating in the ceremony.
After our tea ceremony, we went to go visit our friend Hiro who works at the ANA Beach resort and runs their beach club. He was able to setup a fun afternoon for us complete with a boat ride, and ocean obstacle course! #hiroforthewin
We got to go on ANA's Submarine Jr.II which has a cabin below the water line with big windows so you can sit on benches below and watch the marine life under the water - lots of beautiful coral and tropical fish!
After our cool boat ride, we went to go play in the ocean on the huge, inflatable obstacle course. I'm not gonna lie, this was pretty tiring but oh so much fun! #burningcalories #lookatthatview #lovinglife
As if Hiro wasn't awesome enough for hooking up this fun afternoon, he also came with us to family mart to help us buy tickets for a Japanese baseball game for our trip to the main land. These tickets can only be purchased on Japanese machines inside convenience stores like Family Mart, and it's pretty complicated trying to figure these out while using Google translate. Hiro was there to help guide us and make sure we had good tickets for our trip. #ThanksHiro! #notallheroswearcapes
As if this day wasn't long enough, after Nate got off work we went out to eat at Yoshi Hachi, a tasty sushi joint in Chatan and one of the only sushi joints on the island that I know serves fugu (Japanese puffer fish/blowfish) #dangerous
Not only does this restaurant serve great food, but there are pictures all over the wall of Yoshi (the owner) with famous celebrities his met throughout his life (including Tiger Woods) and when he ran his sushi restaurant in Hollywood. #impressed
After dinner, we headed home to get a good nights rest - I was taking the Bond Family to the main island of Japan, while Nate had to stay home and keep bringing home the bacon! #sexy
Until next time!
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)
Japanese Culture Experience 茶・茶・茶 - CHA・CHA・CHA
2 Chome-3-28 Uechi, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa-ken 904-0031
Hours: 10am - 6pm
Fee: Tea Ceremony 3500 yen
ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort
Onna-Son 2260 Aza-Seragaki
Okinawa 904-0493, Japan
590-3番地 Kuwae, Chatan, Nakagami District
Okinawa 904-0103, Japan
Hours: 4:30pm - 10pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
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!