Usually, I am the kind of person who is very much attached to his/her personalized room and don't feel comfortable in any other setup. And that is the reason why I avoid trips which requires me to stay in hotels or Airbnb. But, recently I discovered something new about me. In fact, just two weeks back, I, with my friends decided to visit Okinawa (a prefecture in Japan). Okinawa is considered as one of the blue zones in the world. We booked our flights, reserved resorts, packed some of our vegetarian food (some times it's difficult to get vegetarian food in Japan especially if you are not in Tokyo) and started our journey.
As per the government norms, Wednesday is considered as no overtime day in Japan so that day, you get the privilege of leaving the office early. So we started our journey on Wednesday evening. Our itinerary was such that we could get enough time to relax instead of just touching every single tourist places.
Generally, it is recommended to have a driving license and rent a car to roam around in Okinawa. But since none of us was having an international driving license so we prepared an itinerary to visit those places which can be reached by bus or ship. The best part of traveling in Japan is that you can rely on Google Maps. Okinawa is surrounded by ocean and located in the south, so the place is a bit humid and hot compared to Tokyo (you don't need to wear shrugs or jackets during the spring season).
And the very first day itself weather wanted us to roam in blue and yellow raincoats as it was a kind of rainy day with a thunderstorm (very common in Japan). After getting ready and wearing the nice dress we had to put on raincoats...it was nature's order we can't help it.
Okinawa world (Theme park)
The moment I stepped into the cave, I was wonderstruck by the beauty of nature and effort of Japanese sculptors who would have carved down that cave. It recalled me of class 6th geography when we had studied about calcium deposits referred to as stalactites and stalagmites. At that time, I used to think that whether in my life will I be able to see these in real or not? And see, it happened!
The cave was quite long and it was conveniently designed with proper lightings and pathways so that people can roam around and enjoy the beautiful formations. You can watch some hot springs also running on one side of the cave. I felt like I am in a palace which has been specially designed for tourism but no, all these structures were formed naturally. Nature is beyond our imagination. Just for your information, it takes 3 years for a stalactite to grow by 1 mm.
Also, if you are a person who likes beer then you are most welcome in Okinawa to have a sip of "Habu" snake sake (beer) :P
Snake sake as omiyage (souvenir)!
We started from Naha in the early morning so as to reach Motobu before noon.
Emerald Beach (in Motobu)
Forenoon and the beautiful beach sounds an amazing combination no?! I don't have any word to explain the beauty of white sand and blue seawater, you can see it by yourself.
Meeting the Japanese standard of cleanliness, the beach was extremely clean and beautiful with the spread of white sand underneath the blue seawater, shining like the bed of emerald in the sunlight. I felt that I could spend my days and nights just sitting beside the sea, enjoying the view and listening to the sound of waves hitting the shore (only if I get paid for doing so :P).
This aquarium is considered to have the world's second-largest water tank. This was my second visit to any aquarium, so for me, it was amazing to see small colorful fishes, coral reefs and big fish like a whale shark. You can see a wide variety of aquatic animals here or in fact, you will discover some new aquatic animals which may not be known to you till the date..that is what happened with us.
Also, there are some open areas where you can touch small fishes like starfish. You can feel the hard stone-like stiff body of starfish.
And, if you are at the correct time then you may get an opportunity to watch the feeding show. Basically, you can see how they feed 55000 kg whale shark by the filter-feeding method.
There were many shows but because of time constraints, we couldn't cover up all the shows.
The last thing to watch that day was the Dolphin show. I feel that Dolphins are not just fish but they are the sweetest and cheerful creature among aquatic animals.
If you are feeling tired or low just get a ticket to the nearby aquarium and watch the dancing Dolphins. Dolphins are like drama queen only, they will definitely cheer you up and seeing their dance and act, you will definitely burst into laughter.
We had kept this day especially to cover up some of the famous beaches which were on the way from Motobu to Naha. Though because of the rain and thunderstorm, we skipped a few and preferred to stay inside the bus.
Again, the clean dark blue water hitting the rocks to carve out a beautiful structure. Till that day, I had seen blue water only in painted sceneries, which used to have no relation with real existence. The rock formation near the beach was looking like the head of an elephant.
People over there were busy taking photos and selfies while I felt completely lost in paying gratitude to the Creator for such an amazing beautiful creation. I wanted to absorb everything ... the air ... the scenic beauty with blue water, greeneries and rocks all around ... and the mystic sound of waves ...everything was so pacifying to my soul. At that moment, I wanted to capture all those feelings, senses and emotions in my memory forever.
After Cape Manzano, we roam around a few other beaches before taking our final bus to Naha. Thus the closing evening of the trip passed away. We reached Naha airport and took our flight back to Tokyo. Once again continuing life in between skyscrapers.
My one-liner for Okinawa
- Amazingly beautiful place to relax in the lap of nature!
- It is a foolish idea to judge something without exploring it because you never know what transformation can happen next. I discovered that I had a wrong perception about myself and I love long-duration trips. These trips give you the opportunity to create more memories to cherish upon and to daydream sitting in front of your computer at the office desk.
- Steal a few days from your busy schedule, pack your bags and start your journey to explore yourself.