Heading to (H)Okinawa

We were sad to be heading out of Tokyo but excited for our second stop along our journey. We woke up early to watch the Duke/UNC game (no need to discuss the outcome) and walk around the surrounding hotel area as we had been exploring plenty of the city but nothing near where we were. After packing up our room and making our way to the airport, we asked if we could get onto an earlier flight and gave up our aisle seats next to each other to sit in middle seats deep in the plane (well worth the trade given the ride we didn’t know we were going to have).

We landed and after waiting for our bags for a long time, we made our way outside to try to find our “airport” rental car- which meant a 15-minute wait for a shuttle to arrive for a 20-minute ride to the rental car location. We arrived at the Okinawa (2nd) Budget Car Rental location for our first experience renting a car in a foreign country (best $20 we spent, international drivers license, technically for MariCar but also for the car rentals) and driving on the other side of the road. We filled out the paperwork and were excited to see that we had an “English” GPS…this meant that you can put the phone number in to the place that you wanted to go, navigate the Japanese menus, see Japanese for turn-by-turn navigation on the screen, but have a nice British lady read you turn by turn instructions.

Using both Google Maps and the GPS, we made our way out of the car rental location and had some lovely struggles attempting to understand the navigational directions. A few minutes had passed before we figured it out and we were on our way, driving on the left side of the road, unsure of what the speed limit was, in the dark, driving to a place we’d never been. For those that haven’t driven on the left side, it was exceptionally strange. From the looking at the main rear-view mirror to understanding where the blind-spots were, it wasn’t the most comfortable experience but we got there with no unfortunate incidents.

Upon arriving to the Sheraton Okinawa Resort, we checked in and found out that we’d been upgraded to a 2-story penthouse suite. The layout was quite interesting (see some of the photos uploaded) – when you walk in we saw a 3-person “bed” and were wondering if this is where we were going to sleep for the next five nights. We immediately looked right and saw this spiral staircase up to the loft part of the room where the bigger bed was for us to actually sleep in (this room easily holds five people, the Japanese bed is exceptionally firm if you’re into that option). We also had two different out-door balconies to sit on which we certainly got much better pictures of in the AM. We made our way downstairs to eat at the hotel buffet not wanting to explore too much and retired for the evening.

We can’t wait to explore all that Okinawa has to offer and are also excited for a few low-key days after our crazy wedding weekend and active, jam-packed days in Tokyo.

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