Tuesday 17 January – Thursday 19 January
After leaving Naha by bus we travelled to Moon Beach, the next part of our stay in Okinawa. The trip was long but there was a lot to see outside the window of the bus, before we reached Moon Beach we made a stop at Ryukyu village 「琉球村」(Ryūkyūmura) here there was a touristy place that allowed us to imagine what traditional Okinawan life was like before the war. There was dancing, traditional music and the habu snake shows. It was really fun in my opinion, we all walked around together and ate lunch, It was nice to get out and stretch the legs after being cramped in the bus for hours. Some of us also had little trinkets carved for us, I had one done for my sister.
After the village, we finally caught the bus to the hotel we’d be staying at, the Onna Marine view palace 「恩納マリンビューパレス」. Once we had got our rooms sorted we headed down to the beach for a swim in the China sea, I was excited for the water, it’s not every day you got to go swimming in Japan during winter. Before getting to the beach we had to pass through another hotel, I was overwhelmed with how crazy the lobby was, it was like something out of the video game ‘The Last of Us’ with the pond and the vines hanging from the roof.
The beach was a lot of fun even though it was a little cold to begin with, we were the only people in the water as I guess the Japanese don’t touch the ocean unless its summer.
After swimming, we walked around the hotel and found a nice little spot on the beach where we all relaxed and watched the sunset. It was warming to be with everyone on that beach, I really felt content with life at that moment. Watching that sun drop away was magical.
Dinner was Conbini food in mine and Tim’s room, I’ll never get sick of eating with these people, they’re a joy to be with always.
The next day we travelled to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium 「沖縄美ら海水族館」(OkinawaChuraumisuizokukan). The bus trip was fun however it began to rain early in the day, luckily I went prepared and brought an umbrella with me. At the Aquarium we did the group photo’s with the ‘Go Global’ T-shirts, I overheard a lot of the Japanese calling us cute with our little matching outfits. Inside the Aquarium was spectacular, with main tank holding 7500 tonnes of water housing the several Whale sharks that live inside. We saw all sorts of marine life such as, sharks, manta rays and turtles to mention a few. The dolphin show was fun to watch as well with all the tricks and music.
However, the Aquarium did highlight for me the differences in animal rights within other countries. The living conditions of some of the animals were quite awful, with small dirty over crowded tanks. That aside I did learn a lot about fish in the short time I was there. It rained during the taxi ride back to the hotel, we also had a nice long chat with the taxi driver. Once we arrived back at the hotel.. Tired and wet, we all settled for another conbini dinner and bed because the next day we fly to Osaka.
I really enjoyed my time and weather in Okinawa, I had a lot of fun with everyone… the days continue to fly by.