Unless we are going out to a restaurant, we never fail to make a pit stop at the the supermarket to get some Japanese snacks and drinks whenever we go out to explore, and this weekend was no different. We visited the ruins of Katsuren Castle, an ancient castle from the 15th century. It was too hot to eat outside, so we had ourselves a little picnic from inside the car, AC on blast. Once I finished my last gyoza, we started our way to the top of the castle. I nearly fell off climbing up on the ledge to get a better view of the ocean and our surroundings, but it was totally worth it. Life was pretty sweet as I sipped on my carton of lychee tea, and enjoyed the view with my boyfriend and his family.
CALM BEFORE THE STORM: TAGUCHI BEACH - Okinawa, Japan
I am writing this while experiencing my first typhoon (Typhoon Neoguri) outside. It’s been nonstop downpour, thunder and lightning, and destructive winds, the kind that gusts up to 150 mph, and makes scary noises night and day. No one is allowed to go outside right now, but luckily, the day before this crazy storm, we visited this calming beach.
It’s a very tranquil place, hidden actually since we almost gave up on finding this place. There are caves, and multiple pathways that lead to a spectacular view of the ocean and for us, the sunset. This is the kind of place you want to visit if you want to peacefully walk around, day dream, and just relax. But the one thing I realized is that no matter where on earth you are, that lingering glow of the sun setting will always leave a warm sensation.
DATE NIGHT PART II: MIHAMA AMERICAN VILLAGE - Okinawa, Japan
This place has so many ethereal elements that make it feel like I’m on set of a fairytale movie. We walked alongside the river bed, which had tables setup with chalkboards, and when the sun started to set, the place came to life with it’s glimmering water fountains and lamp posts. We rode the ferris wheel, which gave a spectacular view of the village plus the rest of the city. Afterwards, we took my first set of Sticky Pics! One of the highlights of our night was winning an Attack on Titan Mikasa figurine in the claw machine at Sega World! (Fun fact about myself: ever since I was kid, I’ve loved watching anime.)
DATE NIGHT PART I: MIHAMA AMERICAN VILLAGE - Okinawa, Japan
This place was such a beauty. It’s the perfect spot for a date night complete with cafes, specialty shops, and cute, hipster elements from paintings on the walls to starry lights.I was super excited to get my vanilla/taro soft serve with royal milk tea ice cream from Blue Seal, and to spend time with my best friend!
AMERICAFEST 2014 - Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan
My boyfriend and I are staying with his family on the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and this weekend was the AmericaFest. When I was a little kid I dreamed of being a pilot, so this place was pretty amazing. I got to fly a plane- just kidding! -but I did go inside multiple ones and pretend. On base, they even have vintage ones that fought in WWII. There were games, rides, and food stands, where I bought a mango sorbet to beat the heat. Later that night, 3 Doors Down performed, and on the second night the fireworks signaled the end of the fun, two-day festival!
It was humid, pouring rain, and crazy windy when we went out for sushi, but despite the wild weather, there was a line of people waiting that lead to the outside when we got there. After trying this place, I’d be willing to wait in that line too.
The place is designed so that you don’t need a waitress. They have a faucet at the side of your booth that pours out water, plus matcha powder if you wanted to make hot tea. As for the sushi, you can either pick up food on the conveyer belt or order through the touch screen. They have so many choices of sushi, plus other items like ramen, side dishes, and desserts. Once you send out your order, it comes out on the belt in a couple of minutes, and the screen starts beeping to warn you that your food is nearby. Then just like that, voila, there is your sushi! I was honestly like the dog in Pavlov’s conditioning experiment. Every time I heard that beep I had a surge of anticipation (plus minor drooling) for my sushi to arrive. My first bite of sushi was the grilled salmon belly. I’ve had sushi before, but oh my goodness, it just melts in your mouth. It tasted fresh, authentic, and just perfectly flavored! I don’t know how many different plates of sushi I tried, but they were all so good. I made sure to get another grilled spicy salmon belly for my last bite, and I was already having withdrawals when they gave us the check.
I’m pretty sure I was seeing pieces of sushi the way people see stars when they’re knocked out. It was that good.
We went to AEON again, but this time to the one in White Beach. This center offers just as much food to grub on as the AEON I visited in my last post, but there are more stores for shopping to up your wardrobe game like a Japanese schoolgirl. Of course I also had to stop by the Uniqlo there before it hits the LA area. It was kind of like Gap meets H&M. I was there for about five minutes, before I went back to the first floor to spend the rest of my time admiring all the food. We loaded on the carbs, buying two bags full of pastries from the Bread Factory. We also bought a bunch of bento boxes, yakitori, and drinks, which weren’t pictured because I was too excited to try them all! I’m eating sushi tomorrow and hopefully I’ll be patient enough to take some pics for y’all!
Making boba is really simple when you have these easy-to-make boba packets. Just boil water, and once it’s boiling pour in the boba and stir. I experimented by adding honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar to the water, which made it suuhh-weet! Cover it and let it sit in the boiling water. Once the boba is soft and chewy, it’s ready to serve. Add it to any drink you like- I chose milk tea from the local Japanese convenience store- and voila!
We visited the AEON Shopping Center, and the first floor was basically a haven of all the Japanese foods I’ve been wanting to try. There were specialty shops selling taiyaki, takoyaki, and pastries, then the grocery area sold cooked foods from chicken katsu to kare-pan (curry balls) to sushi. Okinawa is known for their Blue Seal ice cream shop, and I tried their signature Okinawan Sea Salt Cookie flavor. It was creamy, and had bits of salt cookies- yum! The second floor had an epic arcade and shops selling fun goodies like Sailor Moon tissue boxes and Star Wars knick knacks.
Oh, and I bought my first drink from the vending machines. They have so many choices from lemon grass tea to milk tea to melon tea, plus they’re inexpensive. So far, I’ve gotten a drink every time I pass a vending machine. I just can’t resist the urge!