Blog Hop / Food / Okinawa / travel

Explore the North (Okinawa)+ MIMM

When I woke up yesterday morning to the pitter-pat of rain and gray skies I was disheartened. It was the day of our Explore the North Tour with ITT and I was hoping for good weather so as not to be soaked while trying to see the sites. As we made our way to the pickup point the sun tried to peek out and my hopes rose.
Thankfully the skies stayed overcast and held its rain until the last portion of our tour…which happened to be inside a beer factory. Who cares if its raining when you’re inside having a few free glasses of beer and snacking in the most tasty beer nuts ever?!

Our day started with an hour bus ride up the expressway to Nago city. We slowly wound through the hills to the ruins of Nakijin Castle.

Castle ruins layout


Castle wall ruins


A fire pit that burned the ground to this color


A reconstructed site


E and K checking out the grounds


Entrance to the main castle gate


Peek out from inside the castle walls


View from the top of the castle grounds


Some writing at the ruins…(no idea what it says and no translation in sight)

Upon reading the brochure I found out it is a poem but it was sketchy on exactly what it says.


Another view from atop the castle grounds


Some boats outside the Nakijin Castle museum (no photos allowed inside)


HB and I saying “Cheese!” per K’s request


HB and I in front of the castle ruin walls


Castle entrance


Panoramic view


Once we meandered around the ruins and through the museum we boarded the bus and headed for some lunch at Fruitlands.  On the menu was some Yakiniku BBQ.  This is similar to hibachi except you cook the food…hope you know how to light the oil and spin/throw the knives.  😉  Kidding.  They place a hot plate in front of you and some prepped food that you cook and then dip in some delicious sauce!!



After enjoying all that delicious food it was time to walk it off at the Fruitland gardens and Pineapple Park.  (Actually we didn’t have enough time to hit the park but now we know where it is and will definitely be going back!)  The gardens were very kid friendly and had much of the signs translated in English.  The gardens meandered and we were led to a butterfly enclosure.   I suspect this isn’t quite the time of year for them as we only saw a few but the ones we saw were very pretty!  After the butterflies there was a bird enclosure.  For a small fee you could hold a cup of food and the birds would come eat.  K was dying to do this but when it came time he nearly spilled the whole thing from fright as the birds descended.

Fruitland gardens water fall, butterfly enclosure, and some bananas…there were a ton of different fruits growing.  Some of which I had never heard of.



Oops…out of order.  🙂  At the castle.



Some Okinawan cookies (I could eat the whole bag myself…amazing!), a candy (eh, ok), dried pineapple (so sweet), and some brown sugar banana chips.


One of the flowers from the gardens.


A few of the birds in the enclosure and another shot of a butterfly. (I want the pink bird!)


After we were done exploring Fruitland it was time to move on to the Ryukyu Glass Factory where we got to blow our own glass!  The heat was welcome on a dreary, chilly day and watching these men work was quite the sight.  They were very regimented in the process and you could easy tell they had been doing this for a long time.  This particular glass is famous in Japan for it’s vibrant colors and the beautiful sculptures they make.

Glass blowing


We each got to take a turn blowing glass and will get to see the final product in about a week.  Can’t wait to see how they came out!  I will be going back there for some gifts.  After we all took turns we headed to our last stop…Orion Beer Factory.  Tour and tasting!

One of the first boilers used at the factory, a wall depicting the amount of beers bottled in a minute, K and I showing our happy faces in the Happy Place, and one of my 2 free beers!


More of the Orion Beer Factory (their beer nuts are most delicious!)



The day was closed out with the beer tasting and we had an hour ride home to reflect on our journey.  (Or nap like HB or play on your phone like E and K.)

This my dears, is my Marvelous in My Monday!  I had so much fun looking through all the pictures we took and remembering the fun we had exploring.  We will definitely be visiting those places again during our time here and spending a little more time looking around.  Marvelous is spending the day with HB and the boys enjoying the local culture and learning a little more of the island we currently call home.



2 thoughts on “Explore the North (Okinawa)+ MIMM

  1. Pingback: January in Review | BreNaturally

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