After a couple days in Naha, we moved to a hotel on the beach. Moon Ocean Ginowan is (obviously) in Ginowan, a city to the north of Naha. It was pretty relaxing. You can see the ocean from the bathtub! Also, the hotel rooms are HUGE (especially for the price). I definitely recommend checking out a beach resort or hotel if you’re ever in Okinawa.
The hotel is also across the street from “Convention City” in Ginowan, which is a brand new mall with a fancy grocery store, a Tokyu Hands, a Matsumoto Kiyoshi (drugstore) and lots of clothing stores. We actually thought it was the convention centre itself until we walked inside and realized that it’s a mall.
A lot of Ginowan is made up of Futenma, a US military air base. I know that Okinawans are very opposed to the air base (so am I!) but again, it made me feel kind of awkward to be an English-speaking tourist. Next time I’m bringing a tshirt that says NOT AMERICAN on it.
The room (more space than most of the Japanese apartments we’ve stayed in)
Bathtub with a view of the ocean
Me in the bathroom!
Separate living room/bedroom
Mike on the balcony
The nearby beach. The water is incredibly clear and blue. The only bad part is the noise from the US military aircraft overhead. We even saw Ospreys flying above the beach — which was cool on an airplane nerd level, but there have been large protests by Okinawans about the use of the Ospreys at Futenma.
I found a cute little sea snail of some sort. (Whoa, alliteration.)
Mike checks out the sea creatures on the beach. (It’s low tide.)
Mike writing postcards. If you got a postcard from us from Okinawa, it was written on the beach!
How Japanese people do the beach.
Just kidding — they do expose themselves to the sunlight occasionally.
I thought it was interesting that the sand wasn’t really sand — it was entirely made up of tiny bits of seashells and sea debris. (Mike pointed out that this is called coral sand and is an actual thing with its own Wikipedia entry and everything.)
I think I liked staying on the beach better than staying in Naha. Naha was fun but not very interesting for more than a few days (except where eating is concerned). I’m sad that I missed going to a baseball game though — Japanese baseball spring training was going on in Okinawa while we were there. The Rakuten Golden Eagles were even staying in our hotel. But I still have a couple months to go a real Japanese baseball game. (GO KYOJIN!)