For Valentine's Day 2016, Nate surprised me with a hotel room at the Marriott #luckylady We decided to make the most of the weekend by exploring some of the spots we haven't been to on the island that were near the hotel: Nago Pineapple Park and Orion Brewery. #yolo
First stop: Nago Pineapple Park
Pineapples have been grown on the island of Okinawa for about 100 years now. This ridiculous little park is a fun little tourist trap on the island, so naturally we had to check it out at least once. Once we posed for a picture in front of the huge pineapple, we bought our tickets and headed inside. The first thing we did was take an automated ride, in a pineapple cart (#whoknewthiswasarealthing), around the grounds. The ride came with an automated guide in English (also Japanese, Korean, and Chinese). We learned about the park itself and how the pineapples were grown (so cute - little baby pineapples out of bushes in the ground). Throughout the ride, little souvenir photos are taken that you can purchase after.
Once we were done with our sweet ride, we watched a pineapple puppet show where they performed the song of the theme park. We also got to taste test all types of pineapple products from jams, curry mixes, chocolates, candies, cakes, condiments, pineapples, and wine. We ended up taking home some pineapple cookies, pineapple champagne (#yes!), and pineapple white wine. Kinda silly but something you should do at least once while living on the island :)
Watch the addicting song below!
Second stop: Orion Brewery - For Your Happy Time :)
Opened in 1957, it's the largest producer of beer in Okinawa and the 5th largest brewery in Japan, with 1% of the Japanese beer market and 60% in Okinawa. Originally they started brewing a traditional German style beer, but as they became more popular, the produced a more American style beer, producing 72 million liters of fresh beer every year now.
We were able to join a free tour of the brewery, although it was held in Japanese. Luckily my time at Pepsi and Coca Cola made the tour pretty self explanatory since the production and warehouse process was pretty similar. #whoknewallthatknowledgeofsodawouldcomeinhandy #toomuchsodaknowledge After the tour, we got to enjoy 2 free glasses of Orion beer before we headed to our hotel.
After our stops, we headed to the hotel. Nate got us a great room :) Definitely can't complain about the view!
We had some time before our dinner, so we went downstairs to the lobby and had tea and snacks. Once it hit 5 o'clock... well you know #drinks We also did an awamori tasting where we got to try tofuyo. What is tofuyo you ask? It's a fermented mixture of awamori, rice malt, and red yeast (consistency like a stinky cheese/tofu with sauce). It was....interesting.. not my fav but definitely unique and fun to try and Okinawan delicacy.
At 7 - we had reservations for their Valentine's Day Dinner which consisted of 5 courses and wine. It was delicious and we had pics of all the dishes... but unfortunately Nate took them on his phone and lost his phone a week or two after.. :/ Just know it was enjoyed! The courses consisted of local vegetables, soup, fish, steak, and dessert. Our last dish - the desert, had a magic act to it where it looked like a flat plate, but once they poured a strawberry sauce on it, the 'plate' part broke away and you found berries and chocolate hidden underneath - all enjoyed with yummy ice cream!
The next morning, we headed over to the American Village/seawall area and got some brunch at Hale Noa cafe. My surprise to Nate was booking us a couples massage on the seawall. Not that we could enjoy the view much during our massage, but it was on the fourth floor over looking the ocean :)
After our relaxing massages, we met some friends at a craft beer event at Pizzakaya in American Village and checked out the new brewery on the harbor - Chatan harbor brewery - for their soft opening.
All in all, we had an amazing Valentine's exploring new little spots on our little island, getting massages, and enjoying some craft beer :)
Til next time folks!
Follow in our Footsteps
1195 Biimata, Nago
Cost: 600 yen
2-2-1 Agarie, Nago-shi, Okinawa
Hours: 10:00-19:00 (tour sign-up time 9:20-16:40, free tours)
Marriott Resort and Spa
1490-1 Nago, Kise, Okinawa
2-208 Miyagi, Chatan, Nakagami District,
Okinawa Prefecture 904-0113
Pizzakaya (now Pizza Sun)
9-17 Mihama Chatan-chō,
Nakagami-gun, Okinawa-ken Japan
Hours: M-F 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-11pm
53-1 Mihama, Chatan,
Okinawa 904-0115 Japan
Hours: 5:30pm - 12am
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!