In spring 2015, my family and I took a 23 day trip to Japan. Why Japan, you ask? Well, we had several reasons: the hubby always wanted to go there, the kid is taking karate lessons, friends recently moved there… and really, it was some place very different. Our last big family trip was to Ireland and we were ready to try something a little more challenging. This is an account of our adventure. Hope you enjoy coming along!
Our first stop: Okinawa. We spent three days on the lovely island of Okinawa — definitely could have spent longer. The highlight was visiting with our friends who live there — it was fun (and helpful) having someone to show us the ropes and take us around. Our hotel was right near the water and had a lovely view. It also happened to be a few blocks from our friends’ apartment, so we were able to meet them quite easily by walking along the seawall.
After a lovely break on their beach, we enjoyed a traditional Japanese lunch of hamburgers. Ok, not so traditional but super yummy!
(Missing the two youngest in this picture.)
The next day, we rented a car and John did all the driving (he’s the expert on left-side drive). We headed north to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, a beautiful setting that houses some amazing sea critters such as the very large whale shark and the best climbing structure EVER (the picture only shows a fraction of it)!
On our last day in Okinawa, we visited the Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters. This was a stark and heartbreaking reminder of the role Okinawa played in WWII and an important history lesson for the kids.
After emerging from the tunnels, we were awarded a gorgeous view of Naha and a really fun park nearby with some crazy slides.
Overall, Okinawa was a beautiful, friendly place to visit and we barely touched the surface of it (an ongoing theme of our trip, we came to find). Definitely on our list to visit again! Next stop: Kagoshima. Stay tuned!