Friday, March 12, 2010

First Impressions of Okinawa

I'm on a tropical island!

This is the garden outside the Westpac where we're temporarily staying.

Friends really make a huge difference! (Ugh, look how Boots ruined a good picture. Bad!)

Habu sake (above) was originated in Okinawa and as you can see contains an actual habu snake. The snake is said to have strong medicinal properties, such as helping back problems, arthritis, and removing toxins from the body. Eww.

Shisa's are a pair of lion dogs, one with it's mouth open (like the one above) to ward off evil spirits and one with it's mouth closed keep good spirits in. They are a traditional Ryukyuan decoration from Okinawa mythology. Shisa are everywhere in Okinawa, typically on their rooftops or on either side of entryways.

Our sponsor took us out to downtown Naha, the capital of Okinawa . We went to Sushi-Go-Round for lunch, something I've read about and was looking forward to trying. The sushi was delish and it was fun trying something new.

Speaking of trying something new... how about Sakura, or cherry blossom, flavors on the Starbucks menu. Knuckles anyone? How about a Duck Fart? (The last one isn't even really Japanese, it was on the menu at a Canadian bar in downtown Naha).

I love love love my new iphone. We both got them the first day on the island. And, the Japanese have the most super, amazing vending machines eeeeevery where! You can get all kinds of cold drinks, even beer, as well as hot drinks in a can like coffee. In that picture I'm drinking a juice with chunks of aloe in it. Not bad, just not used to having chunks in my drink. They have snack vending machines, various convenience food machines and even hot dog vending machines.

We had our first experience at a Japanese grocery store and came away with these two local treats. We found cookies made from the purple Okinawan yam, which were delish. And we got some Okinawan Kokuto Sweets, candy that tastes like super concentrated molasses and brown sugar, I'm not a big fan. It will be fun to get something new and try it each time.

We love it! Boots was born here, so he's happy to be back (not that he remembers anything, he was too little). We're having a great time!


Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to live in Japan! Love the photos you have posted on your blog.

Eve said...

Thank you! Living in Japan has been awesome so far!