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Presenting ‘Okinawa, Japan’ according to Gina of Gina Bear’s Blog.
My old stomping grounds have a story. It’s not just a personal story, but one that can be molded into a unique one by any traveler who finds their way into the Yomitan Cape. I loved my old hometown and if you’ve ever heard the song “Where the City Meets the Sea” by the Getaway Plan, Yomitan is a picturesque, live depiction. The town melts at the edge of the sea where nothing but pristine, sapphire waters greet you at the edge of the cape as the lighthouse stands proudly. I can still hear the waves beating at the cliff, slowly persuading it to abandon its post and become one with the ocean. Thanks to the Torii Station U.S. Army Base, there’s a great selection of foreign food and things to do.
1. Scope out the island’s best scenic views
Right after Zanpa beach and where you can go no further, stands the lighthouse and a park with a path lining the cliffs. At Zanpa Cape, you can listen to the ocean spray and smell the clean sea. Climb the lighthouse for the best views Yomitan has to offer. Don’t forget to take a selfie! Also, driving north on the 58 is the best sight. As Yomitan and Onna Village fade into each other, you’ll be greeted by a bend of sparkling ocean for kilometers. It was my favorite part of traveling north in Okinawa.
2. Beach like the Okinawans do
Zanpa Beach was my absolute favorite beach in Yomitan. When the tide comes in, it’s perfect and deep for swimming. In front of a nice hotel, all are welcome to indulge in a clean ocean. During the summer months, lifeguards are always on duty. Since Japan is kinda awesome, no one cares if you bring all your floaties. Toguchi Beach is awesome because when the tide is low, you can wander around and climb the rocks. You can search for starfish in the pools and explore the trails around it. Since it’s a very natural beach, the water gets warm from the rocks in the summer and the ocean gets bathwater warm. It’s super relaxing.
3. Parade around during the Village Festival
The Yomitan Village Festival, held usually in September or October, celebrates all of Yomitan’s traditional aspects like the sanshin (Okinawan snakeskin banjo), textiles, and ancient culture. The best part of the festival is the reenactment of the giant ship paraded through the middle of the festival. This represents their village pioneers opening up trade with China. The townspeople dress in traditional costumes and it’s an incredible site to behold. The village where the sea meets it is an exquisite gem of Okinawa with culture, beach and ocean to satisfy even the pickiest of travelers. It’s is the kind of place you’ll dream about, for its beauty will surpass everything you’ve ever known. Don’t miss an encounter with the Yomitan Lighthouse at the cape or the wind tousling your hair at the Zakimi Castle. What are you waiting for? Go fall in love with Yomitan.
4. Take a step back through time
For the history buff, travel to the ruins of Zakimi Castle. Once a stronghold and strategic location, Zakimi Castle was used as a fortress and oversaw the northern parts of Okinawa. The castle boasts raw beauty and an amazing view of the ocean. During the Christmas season, the castle lights up making it a romantic date spot. To see the traditions of yore, make your way to Yomitan Pottery Village. Designated as a national treasure by the Emperor of Japan, the pottery village boasts traditional Okinawan pieces ranging from teapot sats to tiles decorated with elaborate flowers. You can see how traditional Ryukyu Glass is made and become enchanted with unique designs of sea creatures and the ocean.
5. Chow down on locally-sourced food
Even if you’re not a vegetarian, Dechibica (〒904-0314 Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, 読谷村古堅648-1) is sure to satisfy your palate. Made with all vegetables, local produce and natural ingredients, the taste will make your taste buds sing. Their curry and noodles are so satisfying even meat lovers agree. The owners, Kita and Taku are super friendly and will enchant you with pleasant conversation. If you’re hungover on a Sunday or looking for a brunch, the Yomitan Pancake House (〒904-0305 No.44,436 Toya, Yomitanson, Okinawa) is the place for you. Made from scratch and with a bunch of delectable delights to choose from, it makes for a great pancake. You will actually have a hard time choosing because all their selections look delicious.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gina Bear has been an expat since 2012. Starting her journey on Okinawa, Japan, she made the hop over to Korea and has continued loving, traveling, and misadventuring ever since. In her free time, she enjoys playing her sanshin (Okinawan snakeskin banjo) and exploring Korea for great YouTube content. If you’re interested in travel, life in Korea and Japan, venture to her blog for some insight. She promises you won’t regret it. You can find her blogging at Gina Bears Blog. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube too.