So the week before last I visited the magical place that is Okinawa, I have to say it was kind of almost exactly as I imagined it would be, a big mix of a totally different kind of Japanese culture (yet not totally different) and vintage america - think 60`s and 70`s faded colours and signs everywhere (its total photography heaven I can`t wait for my film camera to get developed!!!)
But for now here`s a bit of a view of the vibe - palm trees on the main street wahhhh!
I stayed in Naha, where the main city of the island is, and although quite bustling it felt a world away from what I`ve been used to with my limited experience of cities in Honshu, everything felt so incredibly slow paced, even the buses didn't seem to have a schedule, and everyone I met had such an open heart and kind mind, which is so so refreshing due to the complex history of the island. It should be a good lesson to the rest of the world, compassion and a more laid back work to live attitude is so much more healthy. Anyway enough rambling..
Wonderful food court / sake area which had Awamori (Okinawa shochu) at around 3 for 1000 yen with a food dish - so cheap and yummy! The guys there really knew their stuff as well, and as a proper shochu lover I had some seriously delicious drinks (just so cheap its a bit dangerous haha!)
A cute Izakaya I passed where you can donate extra foods to the cats of Okinawa (who are everywhere), just one part of the islands kind nature, although, not very vegan friendly - but I can see developments happening!
A super super cute shop where the owner had a cat (Habu) - habu means snake in Japanese, and he had 'snakey paws' when she first got him although you couldn't tell it now! She had created a range of cute things with drawings of habu on she was selling - think he looks pretty happy about that!
Crazy cute hipstery coffee place where they had dutch brewed style (my first time) which had big like apparatus style coffee maker with huge jars - so cool
Vegan okinawan taco rice (one of the islands main dishes is mexican fusion), this was amazing!!!!
Another cute place that did veggie curries and had a super nostalgic cute chilled vibe with old toys everywhere...
America town beach (definitely worth the trip here), although it takes a super long bus or a drive - its quite far up the island - past the HUGE american military base - it kind of felt like how I`d imagine Hawaii, but as an English girl it was pretty interesting how the past had fusion-ed into this strange town of touristyness and bars which felt so far from anywhere else!
This was in a crazy kawaii psychedelic shop in Koze music town...
Then onto the beaches....Odawari beach in northern Okinawa felt like something far remote from the rest of what I saw (and I think theres a lot of nature in Okinawa), but it was deserted (few scary habu warning signs) but look at the colour of the sea!!!!) so pretty...
Next up and an hour and a half`s boat ride away from Naha main island was the absolutely stunning Tokashiki island, with nothing much on the island but a very small supermarket and a few ramen~y type cafes and a campsite, its definitely somewhere Ill go prepared next time! But despite that the views were absolutely stunning, I don`t think I`ve ever seen water this colour, it was so deep turquoise and clear, and I did (attempt rather badly) some snorkelling, and saw a few interesting fish!
& after a long day...back in Naha - the original Barachos restaurant (Okinawan mexican) at 3am after some major mingling with locals and lots of shochu!
Lots of love x x x x x