Eat, Education, Food, Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters, Growing Up, Japan, Kokusaidori, Okinawa, Photography, Tomari Iyumachi Fish Market

Okinawa Travelogue – (Part 2): Aeon Naha, Kokusaidori Night Street, Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters, Kaigungo Park Playground and Tomari Iyumachi Fish Market

Still on the first day. After a rest, we visited AEON Naha during the evening. The shopping mall is directly-connected to Monorail Koroku Station and this is the view from the monorail station.

What was fascinating was that the residential buildings beside the monorail station looked exactly like Singapore’s HDB flats!

A closer look.

Aeon Naha

A big fan of Aeon malls wouldn’t want to miss exploring them.

We were here to have our dinner at the foodcourt.

The foodcourt was filled with students hanging out here after their school.

The prices were reasonable and the quality of food wasn’t compromise in terms of quality.

This is our favorite section in the Okinawa shopping malls. At certain hours, they may have discounts off the racks, some as much as 50%!

Kokusaidori Night Street

We thought spending one full day in Naha city would be enough. A meaningful visit to Okinawa should involve driving out to discover the attractions which travelling along monorail would not be possible.

When night falls, Kokusaidōri comes alive. Restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and shopping malls will be packed with people.

People thronging the streets and traffic is slow moving, sometimes coming to a complete halt. And it’s good to take a pause and admire the city of Naha.

Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters

On our second day, we picked up our rental car (Toyota Sienta) from the hotel and drove to the Former Japanese Navy Underground HQ, which is about 3km from Mercure Naha. This hybrid car is fuel-efficient and we only filled the petrol twice (~SGD100) throughout 5 days of usage which allowed us to cover about 650km.

The Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters, a 450 meter tunnel complex which was served as an underground headquarters during the Battle of Okinawa was established in 1944.

Best part of our visit here was the underground tunnel.

A reminder of the tragedy of the Battle of Okinawa.

The Chief Commanding Officer’s room.

Kaigungo Park Playground

At the exit of the Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters, we get to see the Kaigungo Park playground. Sob sob, it was raining most of the time in Okinawa and the kids were unable to play the slides.

However, we must say Okinawa definitely bring their playgrounds up to another level. Imagine this is where kids can slide for more than a minute and enjoy excitement to the fullest.

Tomari Iyumachi Fish Market

The Tomari Iyumachi Fish Market located at Tomari Fishing Port. It is a medium-sized seafood market with shops selling fresh tuna, salmon, grilled lobster, scallop, unagi, squid and many more.

There is a processing plant screened with glass for viewing. Workers are working hard to bring the freshest catch out for sale.

This is the best and biggest fish market in Okinawa where you can get same-day-fresh seafood and other marine products.

We had our breakfast here.

Freshly grilled and juicy lobsters.

She must be very happy!

Visitors come here for a taste of great Okinawa seafood!

Highly recommended to come here as the prices are reasonable.

As there are lack of sitting places, most of the time people would need to stand eating.

 Tomari Iyumachi is the direct sales fish market in Naha with tuna specialty vendors from the Okinawa Fishing Cooperative and mozuku vendors in addition to wholesalers. The best time to visit Tomari Fish Market is in the morning.

Our gripe was the frequent rain but this has been a great trip so far!

Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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Okinawa Travelogue – (Part 1): Naha Airport, Urban Monorial, Mercure Okinawa Naha, Kokusai Street and Heiwa Dori

This is our first very trip to Japan, and what a way to start off with Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture comprising in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan’s mainland. Nicknamed the Japanese Hawaii, it is not difficult to see the influence of chinese and americans on this sunny island.

Naha Airport

Thanks to Jetstar, visitors can finally get to Okinawa on a 5-hour direct flight from Singapore. The Naha Airport is very clean and neat.

As usual, we would hit the brochures rack after clearing the customs. We forgotten to bring our itinerary and the travel guides were really a life-saver.

We would be driving but not on our first day. The length of Okinawa is about 100km from North to South so driving is easy and a must to visit more attractions. However, we heard that the Monorail is very efficient and connect conveniently to Naha City. It would be a shame not to try the Monorail as a tourist.

On our way to the monorail, we were fascinated by the stores that we spent about 2 hours browsing through the lovely japanese products!

Guessed we were not the only one, there were visitors glued to the Naha airport shopee.

A must-try taro tart from Okinawa.

Okinawa Urban Monorail

The Okinawa Urban Monorail, also known as Yui Rail, is a monorail line in Naha.

We bought day-tickets valid for 24-hour where we could take limitless rides. It cost about SGD35 for 4 of us. The time will start the moment the ticket is being tapped.

The seats were kind of low but the ride was very smooth, especially with the playing of lovely music during each announcement.

Our accommodation is Mercure Okinawa Naha which is right in front of the Yui Monorail Station“Tsubogawa”.

There’s our hotel, so near!

Mercure Okinawa Naha

We booked this hotel because it was one of the cheapest we could find in Naha and it was close to the city. The hotel room was small but we decided to stay here cos’ it has a car rental counter at the hotel lobby. We could collect and return the car over here.

Rented our hybrid (which we would share more later) from DH Rental Car.

Kokusaidori Street

Kokusaidōri, literally “International Road”) is Naha‘s main street, stretching for roughly two kilometers through downtown Naha.

This is the iconic spot for photography in Naha main street, just outside the monorail station.

Look at these little children on an excursion and they were having a sing-along session.

Souvenir stores selling Okinawa goodies.

Kokusaidori is lined by restaurants, cafes and departmental stores. It is similar to the Orchard Road of Singapore. Most stores would close by 10pm.

Here is where we can find special Calbee products. The exterior is brightly-colored and instagram-worthy for many hipsters.

Okinawa is sunny and warm, so there is not a need to bring thick clothing during the summer.

This is our favourite place for meals – YUI Garden.

The food were amazing cheaper compared to the streets and the quality were superb.

We had our lunch here.

Do you find such prices in Singapore?

Heiwa Dori

Heiwa dori is a covered shopping arcade featuring many shops, supermarkets and convenience stores that sell beauty products and local snacks.

A certain allure to this picture – a life of the locals.

And we tried the local snacks…

About $1 per piece.

Small fish market at the corner.

It cost about $85 for a steamed crab. Not cheap.

But it’s the walking along the streets and exploring little alleys that makes discovering Okinawa so special.

Just finding joy in the little things. Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.

All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.