As always, I’ve put off posting for ages and now I have all kinds of stuff to post…. But for now, I am just here to introduce you to our new life in Okinawa, Japan! We arrived on island about three and half months ago as the heat and humidity of the summer was starting to let up (mind you, it was still almost 90 degrees and like walking through a cloud of mist anytime you walked outside). We ended up being able to live off base, which we are thrilled about, despite the fact that our house is even tinier than our house off base in England. With lots of yummy restaurants and several beaches within a 2 mile radius, I’m happy to report we are surviving 😉
B started work almost immediately, and before we left England, I had been picked up for a fourth grade teaching position at a school on base. I was not able to start working until the end of September, but since then, I have been beyond busy with lesson plans, teaching, and of course, exploring our new home. I know we have only scratched the surface of Okinawa, but here are a few of our favorite things to do so far….
- Beaches (DUH!): Okinawa is a subtropical/tropical island covered with amazing beaches! I was honestly a little nervous that our kiddos would not take to the beach and ocean well, as they were born in England, where beaches are not exactly tourist attractions. However, they both pretty much immediately fell in love with the beach, and we typically end up at one at least once a week.
*We live about a mile from one of our favorite beaches, Toguchi Beach. We end up here often, as it has an awesome little playground for the kiddos, a walkway by the beach that is great for bike-riding, and breath-taking sunsets!
*Another fantastic beach nearby is Torii Beach, located on one of the many military bases here. We ended up there during one of their summer days festivals and had a great time. There is a splash pad for the littles, water sport rentals, food, and again, a beautiful stretch of beach!
*We also enjoy strolling along the seawall in various parts of the island. The kiddos love the water, finding shells, and just hearing the waves on the beach. We truly live in paradise!
2. FOOD! Y’all. The food here is AH.MAAA.ZING. I personally love the ramen, but we have enjoyed everything from ramen to pancakes to burgers to pizza to ice cream. We have yet to be seriously disappointed by a meal.
3. American Village: this little area is such a fun place to wander. It is full of little shops, restaurants, and of course, my kids’ favorite, the ferris wheel! I love the colorful buildings, views along the seawall, and the fun, energetic vibes. Also, there is a store devoted entirely to Christmas…Oki knows the way to my heart!
4. Okinawa Aquarium Churaumi: this aquarium is about an hour and a half from our house, and is amazing (that’s saying a lot coming from me, as I lived in Georgia near the fantastic Georgia Aquarium!). We’ve only been once so far, but we were so happy with the experience we purchased a year pass so we can visit whenever we want!
5. Southeast Botanical Gardens: this cool little place is right around the corner, and currently has a dazzling display of Christmas lights. Again, we have only been once, to see the Christmas lights, but plan on visiting again, as I’ve heard there are lots of fun things to do during the day too!
Needless to say, we are certainly enjoying our new home, though there are definitely things we miss about England (can someone please just build a Sainsbury’s here?). I am definitely loving the mid-70 degree weather in December, though anything below 75 is beginning to feel chilly! We can’t wait to continue exploring our island, as well as the rest of Asia–we already are planning a trip to mainland Japan in the spring to see the cherry blossoms and experience some of the rich culture there! Hopefully I can be better at keeping up with this blog, but I am definitely not promising anything 😉 I still have quite a few European trips to catch up on…
Catch y’all on the flip side–and if you’re feeling a bit chilly wherever you are in the world, our door is open to visitors 🙂