Okinawa Trip 2014 (Part I.)

For Thanksgiving 2014, my sister suggested that we take our mom on a short trip. Together with B&B, we made it an all girls trip for 5 days, and we picked Okinawa in Japan as the destination since it was just a short plane ride from Hong Kong and it promised of beautiful weather year-round.

Brianne and Bridgette loves traveling together, and always ask to sit by themselves on the plane. Watching them from just across the row, they seemed so grown up as they pick their own meals and figure out how to play their favorite movies on the screen.

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Okinawa is just a 2 hour plane ride from Hong Kong, so we arrived before the girls were even able to get one movie in.

It took some time to pick up our rental car as my sis, the primary driver, had to go through a safety course first. Renting a car in Japan requires that you have an international license, so don’t forget to have that ready if you are traveling there and plan to drive! We also rented a portable hotspot at the car rental company, for only USD $20 a week, which proved to be super convenient for us when we needed to look things up!

For our first night in Okinawa, we stayed in its capital, Naha, close to the airport. There are lots of small shops in Naha, and we had fun strolling through the streets that night. Our favorite part was sampling all the yummy goodies at the souvenir shops….mainly sweets made out of black sugar, what Okinawa is known for.

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We followed the recommendation of our guide book and had our first meal at a local joint with traditional Okinawa food.

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That night, we all slept really well at the Rihga Royal Gran hotel!

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The next morning, we checked out around 10am and continued our stroll through Naha’s cute shops. There was a big Calbee store, and we couldn’t resist stocking up on our favorite brand of chips for the car ride north later on!

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We ate a quick lunch and than began driving north, where we would stay for the remainder of our trip. En route, we stopped at a beach for an adventure that my cousin recommended….taking us high up into the sky for a different perspective of Okinawa.

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We didn’t quite know what to expect going into this adventure, and it all sort of happened in a whirlwind because we needed to make the most out of the wind direction at the time. So…without really understand the mechanics of how we were going to fly, we just went for it!

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Though the view was beautiful from up top, we really didn’t think the experience was that great. The fan that helped to bring us up was incredibly loud the entire time, and it wasn’t nearly as peaceful and relaxing as parasailing.

After that spontaneous adventure, we continued our way north until we got to Kafuu resort, our home away from home for the next few days.

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Our 1 bedroom suite was really spacious, with  4 double beds, a kitchenette, and a balcony overlooking the water. Definitely plenty of room for the girls to play!

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One of the reasons we keep going back to Japan is that it is so family-oriented. As proof of that, here’s a binder that we found in our room, listing all the additional amenities we can request from the hotel free of charge, from cribs to bottle warmers to baby tubs and more!

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Our second day there was Thanksgiving, so that night, we dined at a really delicious restaurant known for their beef. During our dinner, we went around the table to share what we were most grateful for. Good health and family time were high on our lists….and I think Bridgette may have threw in “legos” somewhere in there. 🙂

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On day 3, we woke up to cloudy skies which did not manage to dampen our spirits. Instead, we excitedly headed out to visit Cape Manza, known for dramatic views and iconic cliff that resembles that of an elephant’s trunk. When we arrived, it started sprinkling a bit, but we braved the rain and had a blast out there for over an hour just goofing around and taking lots of photos.

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We ate a late lunch at the ANA hotel nearby, and ended up staying there for a few hours since it was pouring outside. Fortunately, there was an art and craft station set up at the hotel which kept the girls preoccupied.

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When the rain died down a bit, we ventured off to a nearby glass blowing factory, where the girls got to take part in glass fusing for the first time.

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