It's been a month since our trip and the memories still cause me to smile. After spending a week on mainland Japan, we traveled again from Tokyo to Okinawa with the expectations of exploring Papa's sea glass beach, eating at all their favorite restaurants, and seeing a little of the way that Nana and Papa live.
Needless to say, our expectations were exceeded above and beyond! The first day was spent traveling to a little Baptist Camp on the island and exploring every sea creature possible on the beach just down the path from our cabin.
Someone attempted making a sand angel...
The beaches of Okinawa (when there is not a storm) are so peaceful. Water shoes are a must as much of the shores consist primarily of coral. But where there is coral, there are sea creatures... my Naomi's paradise.
Our "cabins" were connected, allowing separate sleeping areas as well as bathrooms and kitchenettes. We really enjoyed the outdoor eating area which expanded our living space and provided shelter from the occasional rain.
Rainy day activities included making shell creatures with Nana, jump roping indoors, watching movies and eating popcorn (thanks to Papa's laptop).
Our excursions were plentiful and amazing! Visiting the pineapple park, seeing all those baby pineapples, the pineapple factory, and then tasting everything pineapple-infused was almost more than my pineapple-loving taste buds could take! (I think I still have some pineapple chocolate somewhere...)
If you ask Chloe what her favorite part of the trip was, she'll say, "sea glass beach!" She and Papa, with their eagle eyes, combed the beach and found a record amount of sea glass marbles.
Our younger two made it their ambition to collect as many hermit crabs as possible. You could just squat and look across the shells scattered along the beach and see dozens crawling on top of each other and a gamma of shells and sea glass.
Our day on Sea Glass beach could not have been better. Hours walking along the shore, a picnic on the beach, discoveries gallore, snorkeling in still clear blue waters, and sitting... taking literal and mental pictures so as not to forget our time in Okinawa.
One of our rainy days provided the perfect opportunity to visit one of the largest aquarium tanks in the world. We had seen pictures and episodes from Netflix describing this incredible place, but nothing could prepare us for the magnitude of the fish and that tank!
Mura Saki Mura, a hidden gem on the island... What once was a TV set for a six month Japanese show is now filled with crafts and exhibits centered around the culture and art of Okinawa. Since Marty and I stayed in the hotel on the premises, we were able to tour the grounds for free and each of our girls chose one craft to try their hand at.
Marty trying out the shamisan.
Naomi drying the paint on her bengata.
Sophie's process of Ryukyu dyeing.
Chloe's marble wrapping with Papa & Daddy.
Eating at a Sushi go-around was a highlight for me! No, I did not use all of those plates. I was so impressed with my family for trying sushi (not the raw fish kind) and soba noodles.
A very special kind of sake. (No thank you!)
When my mom told us about a park with a really cool slide, we had no idea how amazing this slide would be! After retrieving some cardboard at a local store, we spent the afternoon walking up and sliding down the rolling slide that looked over the city.
One of favorite pictures... two peas in a pod.
One of Dad & Mom's favorite places to eat (and ours too!)
We knew it would be a once in a lifetime kind of trip and it was... Our girls did amazingly well. They were at perfect ages to take care of themselves for the most part, yet find joy in even the littlest of things. Japan will always have a piece of my heart and now I think it has piece of theirs too.