Whenever I travel, I find it important to get an idea of what daily life is like in that place. Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and now Okinawa have given me this experience and it’s ALWAYS different.
Most of these were taken in and around Naha, the financial, social, and economic capital of Okinawa. While I certainly noticed fewer old buildings, there were plenty of cultural gems found only in Japan and in some cases, only in Okinawa.
Heiwa-Dori, the famed shopping street, during the midday. Multiple streets actually intersect in this area, and it is under cover in the style of a Japanese “shopping arcade.”
As with the rest of Asia, you’ll find traditional food everywhere. Okinawa soba, varied types of tofu, sashimi, tempura – it’s pretty limitless – and delicious.
Above left: a pachinko parlour named “Monaco.” Above right: this Burger King requires you to take off your shoes upon entrance. Something I’ve never seen, even in Taiwan.
The Naha monorail is a great way to get around the city. Though they only have one line, it covers the important parts of the city – like the airport.
Above left: I’m not sure if this place is actually popular with servicemen/women, but I liked the sign. Much of Naha is off-limits to service personnel. Above right: another restaurant. Like Taiwan, it was hard to decide where to eat.
Above: a representative of the Japanese Communist Party (yes, you read that correctly!) announces an upcoming protest. Notice the MV-22 Osprey silhouette – the Japanese are protesting its use by US Marines due to safety issues. I think the restrictions on the aircraft should pass soon, but it was a pretty noticeable symbol.
Vending machines after the rain. I loved the rain in Okinawa – it was always just enough to cool things off and never stormed all day. Vending machines are everywhere.
Ice cream shop, Heiwa-Dori.
A vending machine-controlled restaurant. You order, it prints a ticket, and you get your food. Not a bad idea.
The monorail conductor.
A fortune teller waiting for business in a Naha alleyway.
Orion beer lanterns. Orion beer is a malty beer brewed on the island itself. Similar to most other Asian style lagers.
Old and new on a Naha street.
More old and new. This intrigues me about Asia and I see it all the time in Taiwan, yet never tire of it.