As an affordable alternative to Hawaii, we spent Christmas in Okinawa. The weather was warm the first two days, which was a welcome change from Tokushima, where it was only one degree centigrade when we left. The architecture, flora and fauna of Okinawa are quite different from the rest of Japan, so it was sort of like being in a foreign country (the Rykyu Kingdom!). Along the sides of the road we saw lots of sugar cane, banana trees, and tropical flowers. We also spotted a lot of shisa – the ubiquitous lion/dog, protector of Okinawan homes.
Due to the thousands of air force personnel at Kadena, there is a lot of American influence on the islands. We dined a couple of times at A & W, a chain known for its root beer, which reminded me of my childhood home town. We also tried taco rice, which originated in Okinawa about twenty years ago, but is clearly an adaption of American-style Mexican food.
Happily, just about every place we visited had wheelchair access, including an old castle, Shurijo.
We also made the acquaintance of several snakes. Okinawa’s indigenous serpent, the habu, is very poisonous. We saw several in captivity including a pink snake that Lilia thought was cute.
As for the rest of the snakes, she didn’t want to have anything to do with them. The python, for your information, was very heavy!!