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.
Fun fact: a habu snake is able to not eat for as long as a year and still have immense strength and the snakes are able to mate for as long as 26 hours so some believe that drinking this will increase your sexual libido and increase your strength. #watchoutnate;) #gettineducated #thankswikipedia
The next day Nate and I explored the Yomitan village area a little bit and found a health food store and another farmers market. We got some groceries and then saw a sign for the Zakimi Castle Ruins. So we said why not? #yolo
The castle is included as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites designated by the Castles of Ryukyu Kingdom. It was built between 1416 and 1422 by the renowned Ryūkyūan general Gosamaru and ruled over central Okinawa. The castle served as a safeguard against rebels in the north, after the Chuzan Kingdom defeated the Hokuzan Kingdom in the north and eventually united the island into the Ryukyu Kingdom. Before and during World War II, the castle was used as a gun emplacement by the Japanese, and after the war it was used as a radar station by the US forces. #thanksagainwikipedia #couldntreadthejapanesesigns
Random pictures below. One is one of the many vending machines they have all around the island. These usually have teas, soda, water, and coffees in them for around $1 or .80. Yen to dollar rate is 120 yen to $1 right now. The other is to show how narrow many of the streets are in Okinawa. They have those mirrors up in the top right of the photo on a lot of the streets so you can see if anyone is coming before you go around a turn or curve.
This picture is just of some yummy soup I made Saturday night with a lot of the local veggies and food we picked up from the markets. Soup with miso paste, local chicken, tofu, rice noodles, arugula, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and onion.
Sunday we went to the 10,000 Eisa Dance festival parade in Naha (the capital or big city on the island of Okinawa) on Kokusai Street (International Street, the main street in Naha). This is the main event of a week long Eisa festival and is held the first Sunday of every August. This dance style allows people to pay respect to their ancestors each summer by marching through the neighborhood playing taiko drums. There were many different groups of dancers in different costumes that would perform every 300 meters or so. The people with their faces painted white are supposed to be dressed up as their dead ancestors. Kind of cool getting to experience some of the local Okinawan culture so soon into our time over here! Check out facebook for some videos of the festival and the actual groups performing
We explored Kokusai Street during the festival. Below are some pictures of shops in an alley way we went down.
We also tried local treats. We went into a beni-imo (purple sweet potato) dessert shop. The beni-imo is very popular here. Also had some street food: chicken yakitori - which is like street chicken on a stick, and tempura seaweed balls. #sogood #iruinedmydinner #worthit
After a few hours at the festival, we attempted to leave. We got lost on the way back to the car and just our luck - it started POURING. The picture below does not do it justice. We were soaked and tried waiting it out under a little overhang. We finally ran to a local family mart (like 7-11) and bought some umbrellas so we could continue our adventure on finding our car. Only took us about 30 minutes #gotsomeexercise #andafreeshower
For dinner, we checked out this garlic restaurant, Arin Krin. We got deep fried garlic, garlic rice with bacon, shrimp rolls, garlic pasta with bacon, garlic beef, tomato salad, and garlic butter fish. #gonnabesmellinggreattomorrow
Zakimi Castle Ruins
〒904-0301 Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, 読谷村Zakimi, 708−6
(Open 24 hours, free)
10,000 Eisa Dance Festival
Held first weekend of August on Kokusai Street
(located on Kokusai street):
〒900-0013 Okinawa Prefecture, Naha, 牧志2-2-30)
Arin Krin (garlic restaurant)
1 Chome-9-11 Makiminato, Urasoe, Okinawa Prefecture 901-2131
Hours: 5pm - 1am
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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!