Naha and Noodles

Today we explored the capital city, Naha. Naha is about a 45 minute drive south of where we live. Farther away from the military bases, it didn't seem like many Americans lived in Naha. While the city streets meander unpredictably throughout the area, one street in particular stands out as Naha's "main street." It is called Kokusai Street (meaning "international" street in English). I compare it to Okinawa's Miracle Mile. The street is full of restaurants, bars, shopping and tourist traps. Fred and I spent the afternoon strolling up and down Kokusai, stopping in various shops. There is also a labyrinth-like public market we got lost in that sold everything from fish to house slippers.

People watching is spectacular in Naha. We stopped in at Yogurtland for a snack (an amazing, self-serve frozen yogurt chain here) and plopped in front of the store window to people watch as we ate. We saw Japanese businessmen, suggestively-dressed young women, and even a guy wearing a track suit pushing a cat around in a cart. I could have sat there all day.

After our big day in the big city, Fred's friends Valerie and Mark invited us to a soba noodle restaurant in our neighborhood. We met up with them, two other American couples and their Japanese friend, and walked down to the restaurant. I like that there are a number of restaurants within walking distance of our house. While soba is popular all over Japan, Okinawa has their own signature soba noodles. Fred tried the seafood soba and I had the curry vegetable soba. Both were amazingly delicious. After stuffing ourselves with soba, we waddled back home.

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