Food lately

Last week at work was crazy-busy, and one of the saving graces was the food that accompanied it. We've also had G's dad over here for a visit, which has meant eating out a lot, as well as the chance for H and I to have our first date night in 6 months! For date night we went to Pizzeria da Enzo, which is a new place right near Cape Maeda, and it was seriously delicious! I think it's my favourite place in Oki. It rivalled some of the best Italian I've had in Melbourne, and it makes me so happy to think we can get this food here now!

Kakigori from Onna-no-eki

Okinawa green curry from Onna-no-eki

A kimchi pork and bean sprouts stiry-fry from an Izakaya near my place (no idea what it's called)

Every Thursday and Friday Kijimuna comes to my work and sells tacorice bentos. These are the best lunch days

Spam and mayonnaise sushi from Hama sushi. I didn't eat this, but it felt like an "only in Okinawa" moment.

Date night we tried Pizzeria da Enzo at Cape Maeda, and it was amazing!

Fresh gnocchi from Pizzeria da Enzo was seriously delicious

I love these cold noodles on a summer's day from Family Mart

Pizza-man - A steamed bun with a cheese and Bolognese filling.

This was tasty.

Ploughman's Lunch Bakery

Sunday morning after our usual breakfast cafe was full, we decided on a whim to venture down to a vegetarian friendly cafe in Kitanakagusuku. I'm so glad that we did because I think it is my favourite cafe in Okinawa so far. The Ploughman's Lunch Bakery isn't too far from the Kitanakagusuku exit of the Okinawa expressway in an area with lots of other cute looking cafe's (of which I now must try!). The thing that first drew me to this place is the fact that it opens at 8am (unlike most other places which don't open til 11) so I can actually get breakfast at a breakfast hour! The menu is short, but I want to try everything on it. I decided on the vietnamese ham sandwich (their take on a bahn mi), and H got the Avocade open sandwich. We also got a side of their carrot and tomato soup. All the food was really good. My only regret is that on the way there we stopped at Family Mart of a little snack because I was hangry after our original choice of cafe was full, and this meant that I didn't get through all the food we ordered.

I really enjoyed the coffee we got here and i'd almost say it was comparable to Melbourne standards. Next time I will be sure to ask whether they do a soy latte, which I didn't think of before ordering yesterday, although the fact that 2/3 of the menu is vegan makes me think this would be possible. 

Stairs up to the cafe

Vietnamese ham sandwich (bahn mi)

Avocado open sandwich

The coffee was delicious

Cute seating outside

Lovely interior

Ploughman's Lunch Bakery is open from 8am - 4pm everyday except Wednesday

Cafe Doka Doka lunch date

Now that my lady is back, and has a visa, meaning she can stay, we had our first lunch date in about 6 weeks. The weather was beautiful, so we ventured to Cafe Doka Doka, in Onna, which is only 5 minutes drive from work. We sat on the balcony and looked at the amazing ocean whilst eating our lunch. Sometimes it's hard to believe that we live here and that views like these exist in real life!

Entrance to Doka Doka
This view! Seriously!

I can't believe I get to live here!

My love is back, and with a visa! I'm so happy.
Margherita pizza and a mango juice

Obsessed with snorkelling

Since I arrived in Okinawa, i've become obsessed with snorkelling, and given a choice, I would probably do it everyday. This weekend we had friends visiting from Australia. They are in Japan for 2 weeks and for some cheap flights down to Okinawa to visit for the weekend. Luckily, the rainy season was declared officially over on Thursday, and Okinawa brought out it's best weather for our guests. 

Both Saturday and Sunday mornings we headed to Maeda Cape first thing to try and avoid the crowds and see some amazing fish. Saturday morning we had my 3 and a half year old in tow, so my snorkelling involved occasionally putting my head under whilst hanging with a child in a floating ring, but it was still fun. On Sunday Helen took the little man to the shops while we did some serious snorkelling.

I know Maeda can be like people soup with all the tour groups and diving companies, but there is a reason it is the most popular snorkelling spot on Okinawa's main island. The selection of fish is HUGE and there is lots of room to have a great snorkel. Also, the water is crystal clear. We tried to go to the secret snorkel spot in the afternoon, but it turns out that on the weekend, it's not so secret, and it was actually rough and really murky when we tried to go, so visibility was almost non-existent. 

Aaron and Reannon 

A school of fish

Reannon hanging with the fish

I love the colour of this water

crystal clear water

It's impossible to capture the real colours of the fish with my underwater camera but this blue/green fish is amazing in real life and one of my favourites.

These stripey fish seem to be the most common

A larger kind of clown fish. Not Nemo, but similar

Lunchtime walks

Since my lady has been back in Australia, trying to regularly walk the puppy with a 3 year old before or after work is almost impossible. I also feel incredibly guilty if the puppy doesn't get his walk everyday. Luckily, I only live, a 5-10 minute drive away from my work, so i've been coming home most lunchtimes so I can walk the puppy.

Today, the weather was particularly glorious, so I couldn't help sharing the few photos I took! H finally arrives back in Okinawa on Saturday (so much happiness!) and we have friends from Australia arriving on Friday. I'm hoping they get more of this wonderful weather so I can show them what Okinawa is all about!

Ollie needed a cool down from the midday sun

I love this water!!

Things I love about Summer in Okinawa

If you know me, you will know that I hate humidity with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. The last time I went up to Queensland, the humidity made me want to kill people. I was an angry, former shell of my usual easy-going self.

So, when I moved to Okinawa, I knew I was going to have to embrace the humidity, as it is summer 9 months of the year over here. Over the last 4 weeks, the rainy season has brought the humidity along with it, and I hear things will get much worse.

So far, I feel like i've actually done what I promised myself and embraced the heat and humidity, and these are the things that are keeping me positive

  • Butterflies and Dragonflies - These guys are everywhere and I love it. No matter where I walk, I seem to see pretty butterflies everywhere, even on the beach!

  • The beach - Of course, living on the beach was one of the big draw-cards when it came to making the decision to move to Okinawa. I take the puppy for a walk on the beach everyday, and even if I don't get to swim, dipping my feet in is lovely
Ollie taking a dip

  • Greenery - Unlike Australia in the summer, which is brown and dry, Okinawa is really lush and green, with a lot of lovely flowers everywhere. Most recently, i'm loving this Okinawan Ginger flower that is all around my work 

  • Air-conditioning - My house has aircon in all the bedrooms and the living area, which is a lifesaver, as does my work and car. Going from an air-conditioned house to car, to workplace makes the heat bearable.

  • Vending Machines - Anyone that has been to Japan knows that there are vending machines EVERYWHERE, full of cool drinks to cool you down on a summer's day.
I know I have many months of the heat and humidity ahead of me, so hopefully I can keep up my positive resolve and enjoy it!