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Okinawa Self Drive Trip Kids Friendly Itinerary Day 4

Day 4 of our 8 Day 7 Night Okinawa Self-drive Trip with Kids Itinerary via Taiwan 

  • Churaumi Aquarium ( 5mins drive)
  • Dolphin Programme at Motobu Genki Village
  • Went back to Marine Piazza to rest (sticky bean fell sick)
  • Aeon Shopping Mall Nago for dinner and supermarket shopping

We had a great night sleep at Marine Piazza Hotel and woke up bright and early today. Our target is to get to Churaumi Aquarium early in the morning to avoid the crowd.

Breakfast at Marine Piazza Hotel was a decent affair and if you ask me, I'd prefer the breakfast served at Okinawa Grand Mer resort, the porridge there was so flavourful. But you get to enjoy the beautiful sea view at breakfast here at Marine Piazza Hotel.

Sticky Bean @ breakfast

Mine breakie, love the plates they provide at breakfast. Trying a bit of everything

Sticky Bean spotted dolphins! Yes there's a dolphin lagoon just opposite the hotel

Sticky Bean didn't eat much at breakfast, it was only until much later that we realised that was because she is starting to feel ill =(.

We went back to our room to dress up and get ready to leave for Churaumi Aquarium, located a 5 minutes drive away from Marine Piazza.
Getting ready for a day of adventure

Unfortunately, it was a gloomy day today and it started drizzling when we were there. It was already crowded with a continuous flow of tourists and visitors flooding in when we reached there at 10 am.
Thankfully they have staff stationed at every turning point of the car park to direct you to the decks with available parking lots. At least we do not have to go through the hassle of hunting for a parking lot deck by deck like how we'd do in Singapore.

If you're heading to Churaumi Aquarium, do try to get there early in the morning. When we're leaving the place at 2 pm, more visitors and tourists flooded the place and the multi-storey car park was full as well. It was so bad, there's a long q at the entrance just for photo taking!

See how gloomy the skies are

It was a short walk from the multi-storey carpark to the main area of Churaumi Aquarium. We went to the aquarium area and contemplated getting the tickets for the aquarium now, then we realise that the FREE dolphin show is starting in 30 minutes time so we decided to make our way outside to catch the first dolphin show.
The dolphin show is located at the Okichan theatre, outside Churaumi Aquarium. The first show begins at 11 am.
Be there really early if you want a good seat. When we arrived 15 minutes before the show, the seats were already 75% occupied. As it was also drizzling, the seats in front were not taken since they were wet and you'll still get the rain if you're seated that.
So we were pretty lucky to secure the last few sheltered seats left.

waiting patiently for the Dolphin show to start

still waiting patiently

this dolphin greeting the audiences

The Dolphin show was awesome! How can one not like dolphins anyway, they are so adorable. This is a must watch if you're making your way to Churaumi Aquarium.

After the show ended in 30 minutes, we thought Sticky Bean looked really tired and that she probably needed a nap so we let her nap in a resting area near to the dolphin lagoons. There was supposed to be a dolphin experience session in one of the small pools near okichan theatre but it was cancelled, probably due to bad weather. The announcement was made in Japanese so we couldn't quite figure out what it meant.

a  mini dolphin show and tell
totally KO, my poor lil girl

Then the nightmare began, Sticky Bean started vomiting when she woke up from her nap. She vomited twice and looked so lethargic. She asked to go back to the hotel to sleep. She looked so ill, we decided to abandon the initial plan of visting Churaumi Aquarium, grab a quick bite for lunch and head back to Marine Piazza Hotel.
It was a good thing that we have not purchased the tickets for Churaumi Aquarium and that we're staying just 5 minutes away.

I've initially planned to go for the Dolphin School Programme at Motobu Genki Village, located just beside Marine Piazza Hotel so that she can experience a close up with the dolphins, feed them and train them but well, firstly the weather's not good and Sticky bean fell so ill.

She took a long nap back at Marine Piazza Hotel. While I was trying to convince myself not to feel too upset about 'wasting' the day at the hotel, I quickly realised that I can go for the onsen (hot spring bath) in the hotel! It's highly unlikely that anyone would be using the onsen at this time anyway.

So lucky for me and you, cos that means I get to take photos in the onsen area!

The entrance of the onsen for female

clean dressing area with everything you'd need such as cotton pads, cotton buds, sterilised hair brushes, toner, moisturiser etc

here's the area where you're required to remove your clothes and place your personally belongings in the basket provided. Only the small towel is allowed in

the inviting hot spring rich in minerals

an overview of the shower area. Please do shower clean before entering the hot spring, that's basic onsen etiquette
Do note that this is a full naked onsen. In fact, for most onsens in Japan, you have to go full commando. It was a good thing there ain't anyone else here else I'd be feeling so awkward. The night before I peeped in an saw 2 ladies using the onsen, 1 of them a mummy with her daughter.

Felt so relaxed and revitalised after a good soak in the hot spring. Now I fully understand why Japanese loves to go to the onsen before bedtime. It fully relaxes the muscle and I felt almost ready for bed.

But nah, I was determined not to stay in the hotel. After a few bouts of vomiting, we decided to head to Aeon Mall in Nago area just for dinner and to salvage whatever's left for our last night in Okinawa.

yummy pork katsu

This pork katsu is absolutely crispy and delicious. Best katsu I've ever tried.
Aeon Mall in Nago area is unlike the one at Rycom. Here's it consists of just a huge supermarket, a Best Denki stall, some clothes such as Uniqlo and other brands as well as a huge arcade.

I love how kids friendly Japan is, there are strollers for free use at almost every supermarket and shopping mall. This was a god sent for us, else Mr Keir would have to carry Sticky Bean all the way.

Sticky bean finally felt a tad better later in the evening just when we're about to leave the game place. So we brought her to the games arcade for her to have a wee bit of fun. It's after all our last night in Okinawa.
Though she still feels weak and listless she managed to take a few rides.

They have this kids play area with bouncy castles and ball bit where you need to pay to enter. It's a pity it closes so early, by the time Sticky Bean felt slightly well enough to come off the stroller, this area is closed. So if you're heading to Aeon Mall Nago after Churaumi Aquarium, do pop by here before 7:00 pm.

fun kids play area

fun kids play area

fun kids play area
finally  feeling a tad better for some rides

We bought some local beer and of cos sashimi for our supper! You won't believe how cheap this tray of ikura and salmon belly is. Each of them cost SGD4 only! I mean seriously!!! One ikura sushi alone cost SGD6 in Singapore with just a handful of Ikura on top. AAh..regretted not getting daily for supper when we were in Okinawa.

Well, that gives me another reason to come back to Okinawa!

What's better than having a beer with ikura and salmon sashimi?
Having a foot massage in-room at the same time!

Some tips for our Okinawa Self Drive Trip Day 4

Tip #7: Churaumi Aquarium is the most popular attraction in Okinawa. So do try to be there super early. The dolphin show is Free and the first session starts at 11 am. You may want to catch the dolphin show before heading in.Alternatively, you can consider entering after 4 pm for a huge discount.

Tip #8: It's ultra convenient to choose an accommodation near Churaumi Aquarium so you don't have to wake up so early in the morning. Plus there are plenty of places to visit in Nago / Motobu area.

Mrs. Keir's Reflections
It was unfortunate that Sticky Bean fell sick and in fact, she was quite sick with all the continuous vomiting that she slept most of the day. This reminds us to always be flexible and be prepared for a change of plans when travelling with kids. Do plan for wet weather alternatives as well. If I were to replan for the day, I guess I'd still stick with my original plan but of course when the weather is good!

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