Monday, April 4, 2016

5 Reasons to Visit Okinawa (Japan) with Children

Having been to Japan a few times, I still want to visit Japan again! The most recent visit was when I was 6-month pregnant with Hao Hao! However, we didn't visit Japan in the past few years, as we have some concerns after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Somehow, when I was searching for information on our Hong Kong trip last year, I chanced upon some Taiwanese and Hong Kong parenting blogs, which shared about family trips to Okinawa. Little did I expect that Okinawa can be so exciting and family-friendly! In fact, I have started doing my "homework" on Okinawa since last year, long before DaDi actually gave us the green light. After I tried very hard to convince DaDi, we have finally decided that our family travel destination this June is Okinawa!

Here are our 5 reasons to visit Okinawa with children:

1. The sun, the sand, the sea...
The tiffany blue sea attracts even a non-swimmer like me! The children would be thrilled to play at the beach!

image source: Okinawa Island Guide

To enjoy the sun, the sand and the sea, we have booked one night accommodation at a resort hotel with sea-view room!

2. The SLIDES!
This is one of the main reasons for bringing our children to Okinawa - super long slides!

Urasoe Daikoen
image source: Urasoe Navi
Kaigungo Koen
image source: Lai-lai web

Other than long slides, I also found a few playgrounds that look interesting, hope to explore them if we have time. Like this one, there are trampolines on top (the white structure)!

Nakagusuku Koen
image source: Lai-lai web

3. Interesting places of interest 
If you have watched any travel programs or read any books / brochures on Okinawa, the most iconic place of interest in Okinawa is Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. You may say, we also have S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore, what is the big deal? I am actually keen to see the whale sharks! In fact, the aquarium is just a part of Okinawa Ocean Expo Park, which has many other interesting attractions, including free dolphin shows!

image source: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

We are also planning to visit Yohena Hydrangea Gardens, lava cave and Cape Manzamo!

Yohena Hydrangea Gardens
image source: Okinawa Clip

4. Discover Okinawan and Japanese cultures
When we travel with our children, we focus on experiential learning as a family. While Okinawa is a part of Japan, it has its unique culture that is not exactly what you can experience in Japan mainland. 

image source: Okinawa World

Of course, we can still experience Japanese culture in Okinawa. We have booked a Japanese-styled room for a night, and we will be visiting a Japanese shrine and onsen (hot spring).

One way to learn about others' culture is to interact with the people! In fact, the children and I have been watching Japan Hours every Saturday, and I have been teaching them some basic Japanese language.

5. Enjoy Okinawan Cuisine
Ever wonder Okinawa people's secret to longevity? Their diet must be very healthy! 

image source: Okinawa 2 Go
Hope to try some famous Okinawan dishes like Ishigaki beef, Agu pork, 夜光貝 (yakougai - a type of shellfish) and sea grapes (in the photo above).

Tips to enhance your trip to Okinawa
If you would like to visit Okinawa, you may consider visiting Taiwan or Hong Kong as part of your journey, since most of the time, the flights from Singapore to Okinawa would require transit at Taipei or Hong Kong.

Our Okinawa Travelogue

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  1. Okinawa looks amazing!! We definitely wanna head there to check it out when Bubba is a little older.

  2. Looks like you're all set for your holiday! Those slides look really fun :)

    mummybean @life is in the small things

  3. Why do you need a reason to go to Okinawa? Just GO! Life is short, Okinawa is awesome! And if you do find those slides, tell me where they are. I tried following those Taiwanese blog instructions to find the slides and drove round and round and never found them. Think my Chinese too lousy.

    And hoho.. 夜光貝 is super cool. It was as big as my 2 year old's head.

    1. It is precisely because life is short and also with limited budget, we have to choose places that worth our time to visit! Will let you know if I can locate the slides!

  4. Love this post of Okinawa, looking forward for the next post on tips of traveling there. Thank you.

  5. I am already planning to go Kyoto/ Osaka next year during the Cherry blossom season and now Okinawa?? *wallet bleeding*
    LOL! Thanks for sharing the lovely activities in point-form. Makes it easier to read :)

    1. Cherry blossom in Kyoto / Osaka is spectacular! I went with my friend many years ago. Hope to be there again with my children!


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