We’ve been on Okinawa for almost a year now and we haven’t explored nearly as much as we normally would. The main reason is Cass was selected for promotion so he has a lot more responsibility at work and we’ve been more focused on that than anything else.
But I don’t work and I’ve been itching to get out more. I really need to work on my driving skills so I can take the car and go on my own. I just get too in my head about driving on the left side of the road and I start getting anxiety; so for now my adventures are limited to Cass’s days off.
During the long 96 weekend, we decided to get out. We pointed ourselves toward Ikei Island and stopped at anything that caught our attention on the map.
Our first stop was Churatokaido Information Center (美ら島海道案内所)
We grabbed onigiri from Family Mart on our way out so we sat next to the water and ate our lunch. Next time, we definitely want to try out the food stands. If you’re on Instagram, you know how popular BEAPA is with their swings overlooking the water.
Next we visited Nuchi-masu Salt Factory
This was a quick visit because it’s not big at all. There are few viewing windows with info placards in Japanese. I used Google Translate to read them and the translation was good enough to get a decent idea of the process. Everyone who worked there was so incredibly nice and made sure we got general info sheets and uses for the salt in English.
We hit up the gift shop and grabbed a couple salt bath bombs to try out and some bottles of salt. Their salt is supposed to taste different because of all the minerals in it and they boast that their salt is healthier for you because there’s less sodium chloride in it. The info sheet has a lot of science-y stuff on it with tests and graphs and things I don’t really fully understand because I’m terrible at science.
We got to Ikei Island, but there wasn’t much for us to do but do a quick drive around the island. We didn’t want to lie on the beach, we didn’t want to stay at the resort, and we didn’t want to go fishing or diving. So we headed back.
Our next stop was a sacred site on the side of Prefectural Road 10.
I wasn’t going to go up to the shrine (or whatever it was) because I know some of those places are only for those who worship there or for locals to visit. Instead I took pictures from the road next to some fishermen. They had set up their rods in the rocks and had a nice little hang out spot in a van to wait for the fish to bite.
There was also a ice cream van set up right in front of the sacred site marker. While I took pictures, I sent Cass to grab a cone for me. The man running the van insisted we go up to the rock and take pictures from up there. He came out and pointed at the path. I wasn’t going to tell him no, so we went up.
At this point we simply drove back to the main island of Okinawa. I love that we can drive to these little islands and explore. We definitely want to make more drives like this soon.