Arriving in Okinawa! Kokusai Street!

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My flight landed almost an hour after the scheduled time because the visibility was bad due to the low clouds. Our plane had to circle Okinawa twice! But it was a treat to see the outer islands that surround Okinawa island. When we finally landed, my parents were already on their way to pick me up! I felt pure elation when I saw them drive up!

Right after being picked up from the airport, we went straight to Kokusai Street! This area is the equivalent of Waikiki and it was crowded with many tourists. The weather in Okinawa is sub-tropical and very humid. It brought back memories of being in Southeast Asia. I usually do not perspire, even while hiking in midday, but it is a different story here. It’s like walking in a thick invisible wall of muggy hot air. We have it good in Hawaii with the tradewinds 🙂 !!!

There were a lot of cute Okinawa souvenirs on this street but the only thing I purchased was a pack of hair ties or ‘goh-mu’ in Japanese. I learned a new word! As you guys know, I have long hair that is more than half my body, I had to go to the Don Quijote (they have A LOT here!) and buy me some rubber bands haha. We went inside the market and we were trying samples of all kinds of Okinawa dishes. There was sharks fin and I politely declined! We found a kumu fish! They called it ‘oji-san’ or old man. It was a pretty good size kumu! I was happy 🙂

After walking Kokusai Street, we went to my parents’ home. They live in a beautiful apartment that is above this canal that goes into the ocean. I can see the ocean from here as well.

(Everyday since I arrived, I go outside many times to see what is in the canal. I will take a picture when I get the chance. I’ve seen people of all ages hanging around this area where they walk their dogs, fish, explore, or just look into the canal. I am thankful that I have a beautiful view 🙂 )

After resting a little bit, we ventured to the Daiso! It is a 100 yen store ($1 USD). They have good quality things that range from beauty products to dog treats to household items. I am seriously going to miss having a store like this when I get back to Hawaii. We went to a clothing store, Uniquelo, and it’s the equivalent of Forever21 but much much better quality. They have weekend sales and Cathy & I got some really amazing deals.

Yes there’s more!

We also went to the new Aecon Mall they built and this mall blows Ala Moana out of the water. It’s a 5-story high mall with everything and anything you can think of. They even have a Billabong store and Forever21. We have a running joke between us and all these fancy and extravagant places are funded by the Yakuza hahaha (it’s probably true, but who knows?)

That was my first day in Okinawa and it was quite eventful. I need to brush up on my Japanese language skills (thanks Ms. Shiraki, my 8th grade Japanese language teacher!).

Kokusai Street!
Kokusai Street!
Cathy buying cute souvenirs in a store named Splash!
Cathy buying cute souvenirs in a store named Splash!
First meal in Okinawa!
First meal in Okinawa!
Really neat children play area on the roof where mist comes out of the ground.
Really neat children play area on the roof where mist comes out of the ground.
The mall from the 4th floor. They have a pretty good size aquarium with a sharks, eels, and a huge Wrasse!
The mall from the 2nd floor. They have a pretty good size aquarium with sharks, eels, and a huge Wrasse!
View from the top of Aecon Mall! There's a Yakuza house at the top of that hill with gold-trim and super expensive cars in the garage.
View from the top of Aecon Mall! There’s a Yakuza house at the top of that hill with gold-trim and super expensive cars in the garage.

I have to go guys! I’m going with my dad to run some errands. In Okinawa, they have a road tax (equivalent to our car registration) and there’s a certain time of the year where you need to pay it and it’s usually scheduled by county. This is different than Hawaii because we can just go to the DMV anytime during the year to pay for registration lol. I don’t know the penalty if you pay late but I don’t think my dad wants to find out haha

Bye guys! I miss and love you all!

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