Living in Japan made me love flower festivals. I learned to stop and see the beauty in nature. One of the many flower festivals / blooms in Okinawa is the Lily Festival on Ie Island, which happens every April.
An excuse to go explore another island around Okinawa AND see beautiful flowers? I'm in!
It's that time of year again - Sakura in Okinawa! Sakura (cherry blossoms) blooms in Okinawa first before the rest of Japan, usually around end of January / beginning of February. Read all about the meaning of Sakura in Japan in my blog from last year here.
We started our Saturday Sakura viewing in north Okinawa at Mount Yaedake. From the foot of the winding road to the top, more than 7,000 Ryukyu Kanhi Zakura or Hikan Zakura ("Taiwan Cherry"), the Okinawan cherry variety originating in Taiwan and southern China, colors the mountain bright pink. We were a little early in the season but still got to see a decent amount of cherry blossoms :)
This year we got to attend the Naha Tug of War which is the biggest tug of war event and straw made rope in the world. I was excited to attend since I had read about this before we came here. Other cities around the island have their own Tug of War festivals in the months leading up to this but Naha holds the main event in early October.
A couple weekends ago (I know I'm behind!) we had a fun filled weekend exploring Okinawa more. We started our weekend picking up Nate's work partner Joe, and his family from Naha airport. Since we were down in Naha we decided to check out a new restaurant called Watami. It was kind of like a Japanese tapas place with lots of small dishes that we shared. It was pretty tasty and we had all types of dishes like steak & onion, chicken, steamed dumpling, gyoza, and pudding for dessert.
Busy weekend so I thought I'd share! Friday night we decided to hit the town and see what it had to offer. We went on a bar crawl near the Air Force base Kadena, gate 2, which is only about 3 km from our house. We made it to about 6 bars before calling it a night but we had fun and I got to finally try some habu sake, also known as Habushu (ハブ酒) , as well as a tarantula tequila shot. What is habu you ask? Habu is a venomous snake in Okinawa and the habu is put into okinawa sake, which is an awamori (Thailand rice) based liquor. Actually not bad, kind of tasted like a less intense fireball shot without the antifreeze #thatshitwillkillya.
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!