Here’s a bunch of photos from Okinawa that are all unrelated to food. I mean, the best part of Okinawa is the food (isn’t food the best part of everything?) but there’s other interesting stuff there too. These photos are all from Naha.
The above photo is of the Naha monorail (called Yui Rail ゆいレール). The day passes are good deals — if you’re going to make more than one trip in a day, it’s worthwhile to get the day pass.
Kokusai Dori in downtown Naha. Very touristy but fun to wander down. It’s mostly a million souvenir shops.
Mike and his cool new friend hang out on a a giant goya couch.
Mike is in this photo for scale. The tiniest food truck ever?
I’m sure that these are very good hot dogs.
Why you would eat at Red Lobster in Okinawa (an island!), I have no idea. Someone gave me an Okinawa guide book that was geared towards the US military and this Red Lobster was advertised as being “just like in the US!” so I had to take a photo. I’m not going to get into my anti-American military in Okinawa rant on my blog (here’s the short version: I’m very much against the US military presence in Okinawa), but I just felt really annoyed. The whole US military thing made me feel a bit weird the entire time. I was conscious of the fact that most English-speaking tourists were military and I hoped no one though I was one of them.
Shuri Castle was completely destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa but has since been rebuilt.
The view from the castle grounds.
Mike + Shuri Castle
Maybe I just have Asia fatigue, but Shuri Castle was pretty boring. I’ve seen a lot of Asian temples/shrines/etc. and they’re all starting to look the same. It’s kind of like churches in Europe. (Sorry, Rick Steves.)
It’s pretty but I feel like since it’s a reconstruction, it loses a lot of the cool history factor.
Mike feigns enthusiasm for castles.
Leaving Shuri Castle. The area around the castle was more interesting than the castle itself.
Like this. What IS this? I still don’t know, but it’s creepy and it looks like something from Lost.
Hanging out in the middle of a pond.
You’ll see shisa everywhere in Okinawa, but I liked this one because it’s painted. (They’re usually just one colour.) They come in male/female pairs and they’re supposed to protect you from evil. Pretty much every house and business has a pair outside.
Random taiko performance on Kokusai Dori.
On Sundays, Kokusai Dori is closed to cars and becomes pedestrian-only.
Naminoue Shrine in Naha. Also destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa and since rebuilt.
This way to the beach.
The beach below the shrine. The water is so blue!
And lastly: Mike tries a new look at an anime/manga store. I think it works for him.