Happy new year! I’ve just come back from a short getaway to Okinawa so get ready for a long wall of photos from my four days in the southernmost bit of Japan.

Okinawa in Winter

Most people have an image of Okinawa as a sunny resort island to go to for a summer vacation—so did I, which is why I didn’t know what to expect going there in the winter. But just like the rest of Japan it must be beautiful in all seasons because Okinawa in winter was amazing.

Okinawa in Winter

There definitely aren’t any cliffs like this in Tokyo.

Okinawa in Winter

It was my first time discovering Okinawa for myself; they have their own traditional Ryukyu culture and it gave the place a whole different vibe from Tokyo. Still bustling, still bright—but in a very Okinawan style. Plus I get what people mean now when they say it’s like the Hawaii of Japan (I wouldn’t say it’s that heavily influenced by American culture, but there were a lot of steakhouses).

Okinawa in Winter

In any case, the streets and shops were full of weird and bizarre things and I loved it. What’s Tweety Bird even doing in the jaws of a shark?

Okinawa in Winter

No doubt Okinawa is a fruit paradise. I felt oddly at home seeing all the tropical fruits that appear in Southeast Asia too, but I’ve never seen a mini pineapple. They were smaller than the palm of my hand! How do people grow those?

Okinawa in Winter

And of course we ate as much Okinawan food as we could (over multiple meals and snacks every day). I stayed in the capital city Naha, and it was easy to find a good breakfast anywhere. I had yushi doufu twice, which is basically soft fluffy tofu in hot broth with the essential bowl of rice on the side.

Okinawa in Winter

They also have their own special tofu which is made with peanuts. Peanuts! I’m not sure how it works but it tasted good (if a bit too chewy).

Okinawa Soba

Getting that Okinawa soba in our stomach early in the morning. It’s called soba, but it’s really made of wheat and more like flat udon.

Okinawa in Winter Acai Bowl

And if you’re looking for a more Hawaiian breakfast (it’s Okinawa, after all), C&C Breakfast is a highly popular cafe that serves a good acai bowlkirakira

Okinawa in Winter

On our first night we fell into a tourist trap at Kokusai-dori and had dinner at a restaurant that had traditional Okinawan performances. The place had a great set-up and it was nice getting to listen to old-fashioned music—except you have to pay an extra cover charge so watch out for that! (It was fine trying it once but it gets pretty expensive)

Okinawa in Winter Goya Chanpuru

We had delicious local cuisine anywaygirl tongueI really liked goya chanpuru—bitter melon, egg, meat and tofu all stir-fried together into one hot dish. I don’t even like bitter melon usually, but somehow they made it taste good.

Okinawa in Winter

And desserts. Of courselove girlThis was zenzai, sweet red bean soup with mochi, but surprisingly in Okinawa they used kidney beans instead of red beans. No wonder they looked bigger and redder than usual. I honestly still prefer the red beans, but I already love anything with mochi in it anyway.

Okinawa in Winter

Okinawa is also famous for their purple sweet potatoes! Beni imo is such a quintessential Okinawa food that I almost feel bad burying it in the middle of my post. There was so much sweet potato everywhere—in the streets, in the food, even in soaps.

Okinawa in Winter Ryukyumura

We did occasionally take a break to go sightseeinghurhurThe Ryukyu villages are heritage spots with lots to see if you’re interested in the old Okinawan culture, with all the preserved houses and artifacts right there in one place.

Okinawa in Winter

They have this lion-dog creature called Shisa, which appears in pretty much every corner of Okinawa as a traditional decoration. Except sometimes it also comes in slightly modern forms like this Doraemon one.

Okinawa in Winter

Okinawan snacks! Sata andagi (fried donuts) and chinbin (brown sugar pancakes).

Okinawa in Winter

And Okinawa soba again, just because.

Okinawa in Winter

We moved on from the villages to the natural wonders of OkinawakirakiraThe ocean was SO BLUE. Capitals can’t express my excitement enough over how blue it was.

Okinawa in Winter

We ate a seaside cafe called Cafe Curcuma in the south and sat there for a long time just looking out at the scenery over the cliff.


And then we drove up to Cape Manzamo, one of the most popular tourist spots with a view of the elephant trunk-shaped cliff hanging over the sea. How does the sea even have two tones of blues?! The wind was so strong it could’ve blown me right off but I would’ve stayed there as long as I could to look at this scenery straight out of a postcard. And since a still photo can’t do it justice I turned into a (very shaky) gif so you can see how strong the waves were.

Okinawa in Winter

Basically anywhere in Okinawa is a photo-worthy location.

Okinawa in Winter

There’re beaches everywhere (I mean, the whole island is like a giant beach) but my favourite was Azama Sun Sun Beach just because they had this cute heart-shaped bell stand for me to use as a huge prop.

Okinawa in Winter

Umikaji Terrace is also another exquisite landmark that looks a little like a seaside town in Greece, thanks to the pure white terrace overlooking the blue sea. How very photogenic.

Okinawa in Winter

We went below the surface for a bit too, to see the caves. This was Gyokusendo Cave at Okinawa World, and we basically walked underground for half an hour looking at stalactites and deer fossils. It’s also apparently the second biggest cave in Japan (I actually read those pamphlets).

Okinawa in Winter

Is there anywhere else in the world that has a postbox in the cave?

Okinawa Cape Manzamo

It was just four days, but I left Okinawa incredibly satisfied and impressed (and a few kilos heavier too, probably). It’s not the typical destination in winter since people usually go in the summer, but it looks like I just have to go again. Go to Okinawa, everybody! Eat some fried donuts at the beach!

Okinawa in Winter


14 Responses to “Okinawa”

  1. 1 ggsdolls January 5, 2017 at 6:16 PM

    My husband has a cousin who lives there with her family. I must try to visit someday. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us^_~

  2. 3 fluffybunnydesu January 6, 2017 at 4:42 AM

    Wow, someone’s been having lots of fun recently; you look ecstatic leaping into the air taking in that vista.

    What a great way to welcome in the New Year; thanks for your kind reply, likewise wishing you a Happy New Year too!!

    I did enjoy the much needed Winter break, not as extravagantly though, just saved up to take advantage of the January Sales. ^^

    “Rope In The Open Sea” is certainly very distinct from mainland Japan featuring a richly unique and alluring culture encompassed by dramatic coastal views; an experience surely cherished.

    The Islands are renowned for their beautiful coral reefs and marine wildlife; so understandably ‘Hawaii of Japan’ seems quite befitting.

    It must have felt like paradise to explore a place so enchanting and savour such delicious foods; peanut tofu and purple sweet potato sound almost fanciful!

    An enchantment that seems truly exemplified whilst poised eloquently like a Ballerina; whom could only be awaiting Prince Charming in receipt of such a sizeable heart.

    Those mini pineapples are adorable too! I’ve only seen mini bananas before; just imagine taking one to School in a packed lunch box, so cute!!

    It’s always a charm to see you smiling; I hope you’re feeling recharged from vacation ready to venture ahead with 2017!!

    I’d love to hear about any New Year’s resolutions or goals you might care to share in a future Blog update.

    I personally vow to eat more healthy foods; said sheepishly whilst munching through the remains of Festive candy!

    Be sure to keep having fun Cheryl; can’t wait for the next update and good luck starting back at School!!

    Take care!

    • 4 Cheryl January 28, 2017 at 8:55 PM

      Thank you! Okinawa is an amazing place, and I think more people should know about it as a great place to travel to so I hope I can show some of that with my blog post too 🙂 Have a good new year!

  3. 5 All the ame January 15, 2017 at 6:55 AM

    Looks like you had an amazing trip, as always thanks for sharing! This is a random question, but what camera do you use? I am so in love with your photos and it makes me curious as to how you create them ^_^

    • 6 Cheryl January 28, 2017 at 8:56 PM

      Thank you for reading! I use an Olympus Pen, it’s a great and handy camera that’s good for just about any kind of photography 😀

  4. 7 Hales February 3, 2017 at 5:49 PM

    I am so excited about going in 2 days! I was nervous about going in winter because I was not sure what to expect but your blog helps!

    How do you get your graphics on your pictures?

  5. 9 JenStewie February 4, 2017 at 7:17 PM

    The picture of Umikaji Terrace is so pretty. I have another trip to Okinawa planned in March, so I want to try to make that happen. Thanks for introducing this place to me.

  6. 10 かむ(Calm) February 16, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    Thank you for introducing Okinawa♡
    I live in Okinawa now.
    Please come to Okinawa again!

  7. 12 Tofu September 10, 2017 at 6:36 AM

    So beautiful!!!!!! Can’t wait to go!!!!

  8. 14 sweets October 31, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a
    whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

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▷ . Cheryl

A university student in Tokyo who takes pictures and puts them on the Internet

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