Okinawa Love (Pieces Of Home)

I know I usually post about my outfits/fashion/shopping, but I just wanted to dedicate this post to my home. (These photos were previously posted on my Instagram, but I wanted to share them on here as well. :) )

Okinawa is home. I was born and raised here. I've lived here for more than 20 years. This small, unique island will always have my heart. I know many fellow military wives who came here to live for a few years and ended up falling in love. Although technically now part of Japan, this island has a unique culture and language of its own and long ago, it used to be it's own nation, the Ryukyu Kingdom. The history here goes way, WAY back and some of it is very sad, (especially during WWII) but the Okinawans are strong, friendly people. I'm proud to be Okinawan and American, and I'm proud to call this island home. I just came back here a few months ago, after being away from here for 6 years, and everything is magical. Life here is just grand. :)

(This was our view from our hotel room, when we first arrived back in Okinawa. :) )

Now of course one of the most exciting parts about going back home is eating all the foods that you missed eating! Hubby equally loves Okinawa and all the food, so we were both anxious to satisfy every craving! One of my top cravings was Okinawa soba. :D I had this Okinawa soba set at the AEON Mall in Nago.

 My other craving was taco rice. :D This one and the one below actually aren't your 'typical' taco rices, but I wanted to try them. Taco rice is usually just a layer of rice, taco meat, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes, but these from the new Rycom Mall have weird toppings you can add on, like the one above has avocadoes, and the one below has an omelet with jalapenos and garlic. :D Very weird for a taco rice but very good! :D

Then the tacos. Not just any tacos. From KING TACOS!!
I can't explain it. This is something that has to be experienced, that's all I'm gonna say. :D

Then in this photo....I was busy running errands one day, and I came across this.
Okinawa is a very small island, (only about 70 miles long) but in many random, unexpected corners, you will see something beautiful and charming like this, that makes me smile. :D I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I can't resist flowers and greenery like this.

......Then there's the ocean/beaches.....
I may be biased, but dare I say Okinawa's beaches are one of the best in the world....
The bluest waters and whitest sand....the only other place that I've visited that compares is Haiti...
 Not to mention the best sunsets!
 Just me showing some Oki love. :D

Not every country/island can claim to have castles/castle ruins, but Okinawa does, and they are all over the island. In fact, 9 of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This one pictured above is Katsuren Castle, the oldest in Okinawa. They have kept up the ruins for most of the years, but recently, the government received more funding for the restoration, so they are doing even more improvements to the ruins.

Okinawa has no shortage of cafes. :D
Endless cute, charming cafes I should say!
This delicious burger set is from Palmetto Cafe.
My sister's friend is the owner, and I love everything about this place!

.....Then there are the convenience stores.... :D
 The bentos. (Boxed lunches.) The bentos!!! I've missed these! The convenient stores I frequent most is called Family Mart and Lawson. Family Mart has a new thing now where you make your own iced coffees and lattes. THE BEST THING EVER!!!! I hated American convenience stores. Nothing compares to the ones here in Okinawa. :)
 I mean Tapioca Cafe Au Lait?!? Say what??? It was awesome.
 And this sweet little thing. Pretty sure they don't have these in the States.
And this giant delicious parfait is in fact from a convenience store! Lawson! The layers of deliciousness was unbearable!!! :D


Well, this is it for now. As you can see, these are the "little" things about Okinawa that makes me happy. Of course there is much more to Okinawa than what I posted, but it's these simple little things that I mostly missed while living in the States for a total of 9 years. I cannot really get/see any of these things stateside. The food: Okinawa soba, taco rice, tacos from King Tacos, the beaches, the sunsets, the old castles and castle ruins, the unexpected beauty seen around a street corner, the cafes, the snacks, drinks and desserts from convenience stores....

This is what I grew up with, and I'm so happy to be home. :)



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