My Life in Okinawa
"Okinawa City - Goya Area"
Our home base was Okinawa City. Our hotel was centrally located, in walking distance of many shops, resturants, and bus stations. It was easy getting around town on foot,and one can get to know a neighborhood very easily this way. This city was once known as Koza, but in the 50's it merged with another town and took the name of Okinawa City. Kadena AB is in close proximity, so many establishments cater to english speaking patrons. The best thing is there is an equivilent of the usa dollar store, known as the 100 Yen Store. I made many trips there to pick up things like toothpaste, hair spray, post cards, etc. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Another nice touch, is that there are flower planters everywhere!! It adds a nice touch to the city.
Ryukyu Mura is a re-creation of a time past. It shows typical life as it was 100 years ago in Okinawa. The buildings were relocated to this place. You can see how sugar cane was processed by water buffalo power, watch pottery being created, especially Shissa. Learn how Bingata was made. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings. There are live presentations at different hours of the day, including classical Ryukyu dancing, Eisa dancing, The Lion Dance, thses presentations are put on free of charge. there is a wonderful gift shop selling items made in okinawa, including bingata, shissa, amowari, and lots of trinkets. It is located off Hwy 58 N, north of okinawa city. it is well worth the short drive.
"SE Botanical Garden"
This botanical garden is close to Okinawa City, a mere 12 minutes by cab, and a light year away from the city. The gardens are set on 100 beautifully landscaped acres. The staff was able to communicate with english speaking patrons. You can walk around the grounds freely, taking in the beauty of nature. The flowers are more gorgeous than I can describe, especially the beaugonvilla, more colors than i knew exsisted.There are 2 parts to the gardens, one, the grounds where the fishing pond is located, children's park, picninc gounds, and covered children's play area filled with sand. The other side is the "forest" area, which includes a nature area with birds, replitles, and a few small animals. there is a 'poetry walk", picnic areas, large gift shop, and a hands on craft area, where you can make some souviners. there are food vendors, try the Yakatori, (grilled teriyaki chicken), fresh coconut and mango juices, more flowers than you can count. Each area is more beautiful that the last.. Don't miss this spot!