The flight touched down at budget flight kind of timing, 8am. Fortunately, the driving in Okinawa is quite well mannered, and the general speed limit of 50-60km/h is safe enough for driving under lack of sleep. By the way, I did not make use of the ETC card and i avoided the toll highway completely.
I did not plan beforehand where to have breakfast, and while driving about looking for a place, we stumbled across an A&W restaurant.
The Ashibinaa Outlet was just across the road from the car rental office, near the airport. Save the traveling later on and just visit there first. There is a tax-free drug store (藥妝) here.
We visited the nearby Aeon shopping mall before heading for the famed Hamabe-no-chaya Teahouse. The generally raving reviews of this place turned out to be quite accurate.
Our favourite type of eatery in Japan are Izakayas. Urizun is a one serving Okinawan cuisine.
Ashibiuna – Shuri Castle – Naha Main Place – Kokusai Dori
We got up late and headed for lunch directly. Turned out to be a good idea. Arriving before 1130, we were seated immediately when we got to Ashibiuna.
As suggested by many, there is free parking at San-A Naha Main Place. It’s a 15-20 minutes downhill walk to Kokusai dori. The return journey can be made easier by taking the Yui rail.
Dinner was at Roinzu. We make it a point to go for a grilled beef meal at least twice on any Japan trip. Prices reasonable – under 2000 Yen per portion for the more expensive cuts.
American Village – Bios Hill – Cape Maeda – Zanpa lighthouse
Next stop, Bios Hill.
The wind was quite strong at this time, and it made our visit to Zanpa lighthouse quite interesting. I have not seen waves spray so high up.
I originally planned to have dinner at Kuromasa, but they were closed for the day, so we went to 島の季節料理 うみぞら instead. The food was good, carefully prepared.
Cape Manzamo – Kouri Island – Bise Fukugi Tree Road – Churaumi Aquarium
Here’s a tip if you plan to visit Churaumi Aquarium (probably everyone does). Get the 4pm tickets and save $$. It’s an indoor aquarium afterall, there’s no need to visit it before 4pm. Instead, go to Kouri Island first, and don’t miss the Bise Fukugi Tree Road (which is only 3 minutes away from the aquarium).
Cape Hedo – Dai Sekirinzan Park – Hiji Waterfall – Okuma private beach
Had a cheap and good meal at 国頭港食堂. Portions were big.
When it comes to food, we love old-school, and 味いちもんめ is exactly that. It’s a one man show place.
As is our usual practice, we had a second round of dinner/supper, at 居酒屋21 (the previous night, we went to Yukino, which was very good as well). This place was packed to the brim on a Friday night.
Hachiren – Kariyushi Gettou
Flight to Taipei at 6pm. We decided the night before we had to grab a pair of Kariyushi wear before leaving Okinawa, because we will likely never come back again. Kariyushi don’t come cheap. A shirt typically cost 6000 Yen and above, and the most well known boutique selling them is Mango House, along Kakusai Dori. Well, i did a bit of research and found out that Gettou sells them at Outlet prices. They are also located on Kakusai Dori.
Anyway, we did lunch at Hachiren, said to serve the best Ramen in Okinawa. It did not disappoint. We arrived right when they opened. There was a queue shortly after.
It was a Saturday, so we had no problem finding a parking lot at one of the small car parks near Gettou. If you didn’t do prior research, you may not notice the shop, located on the second floor of the building.