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Okinawa Day 2

On Day 2 of 3 in Okinawa, we once again woke at 6 a.m. Had a breakfast buffet courtesy of the hotel, and then because it was only 8 a.m. by the time we were done, we returned to our room. I fell asleep again for another hour.

Then we headed to the hotel's private beach, where we got on a boat with a glass bottom, made for viewing fish.

The water was so clear that you could see all the way to the ocean floor, and yes, all the fish and plants swimming below. They were obviously smart fish: they knew what the boat meant. At one point the guide tossed some food off the side to illustrate that point and it was torn apart in a few seconds.

If I wanted to, I could have reached down and touched a fish.

After the boat ride, we bought lunch from a nearby convenience store (when AREN'T you nearby to a conveniance store? or a vending machine for that matter...) to eat at our next destination, which after another hour of driving turned out to be the Churaumi Aquarium.

It was a concrete structure (all the buildings in Okinawa seem to be made of concrete. Not the...most attractive of building materials) set into the side of a hill. For the most part it was your average aquarium; lots of cool little fishes swimming about. If I could read more kanji, I might be able to tell you what they were...but I can't, except for the first one, which is a sea horse.

UNTIL you got to their main attraction: WHALE SHARKS.

To give you a picture of just how FRICKING MASSIVE those are, I might estimate that I am about the height of one of their tail fins. And they had THREE of those. THREE. I can't really do justice to how it felt to see them swimming by. But there was something mesmerizing about it.

Oh, and the tank holds the record for 1. the largest viewing window in the world and 2. the longest time whale sharks have been kept in captivity and 3. some manta ray breeding records. Pretty neat stuff.

We ate our little lunches on a bench, and then drove some more (there was a lot of driving during this vacation) to our final destination: Pineapple Park. Pineapple Park is exactly what it sounds like: they grow pineapples, let you see how they're grown and then try and sell you stuff.

The short, spiky bushes in the foreground are the pineapple plants. After the brief tour, there were pretty much shops galore, selling everything from pineapple wine (tried some...not bad, actually, a bit like a sweeter white wine. I'm partial to reds myself.) to soap to little pineapple characters. I did get to try some straight-up pineapple though, and I won't lie, it was some of the BEST PINEAPPLE I have ever eaten.

After our pineapple experience, we returned to our hotel. For dinner we ate at their BBQ house, one of those awesome DIY restaurants, where you pick what meat etc. you want and grill it up yourself.

A yummy ending to a pretty epic day. Next up, Okinawa: The Final Adventure.


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