Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Headed up to Hedo

The good thing about living in Okinawa is that there are so many beautiful places to see and fun things to do.  The bad thing about living in Okinawa is that it is sometimes difficult to get to all of them since the island doesn't have much in the way of public transportation.  Although Okinawa is relatively small, it is also very thin and narrow, making it quite a trek up to the northern-most tip - Cape Hedo - especially since the one stretch of highway we have stops only about 1/3 of the way up there. 

Matt and I decided to head up to Hedo and spend the whole day there.  From our house, the drive up north took about 1 1/2 hours, maybe a little longer as we hit some unnecessary construction on the way... they were literally building underground tunnels for the crabs to get from the ocean onto the land... no joke.  Oh, Okinawa... :)  The day started off a little bit hazy, but it got prettier and prettier the farther we went.  Our first stop was the actual Cape Hedo, which is some of the most gorgeous coastline I've seen here ever!

Our drive up the coast to Hedo

Signs explaining what all the construction was about.  See - I wasn't joking!

Our first view up at Hedo

It doesn't really look like it, but we are sooo high up on top of large cliffs

A shrine we found... normal for Okinawa

Not the easiest rocks to climb on

Looking down

At the edge of the cliffs we spotted a couple Sea Turtles

Me taking photos on the crazy cliffs

Looking down into the water at Hedo is gorgeous!  There are HUGE crevices that are perfect for diving and snorkeling

The actual Cape Hedo - AMAZING

So gorgeous

This is a HUGE bird observatory up on the mountain overlooking Cape Hedo... it's supposed to be an endangered bird they have here on Okinawa that they are obviously very proud of.  We've seen soooo many signs and buildings with this bird on them - we even saw people wearing bird shirts!  Apparently it is called the Okinawan Rail Bird, and it is only found in Yanbaru, the northern-most area of Okinawa.

View of Cape Hedo from the bird (I am actually taking this from the bird's mouth LOL).  Our previous photos were taken over on that point across the bay. 

We drove down to Hedo Beach, where we snorkelled and saw two more Sea Turtles in the crevices of the reef!  And no beach visit would be complete without collecting some shells and coral:)

Our Pajero on the beach

Signs warning us not to hit one of those birds - Matt actually saw one crossing the road!  I did not. 

We ended up taking the loooong way home on the east side of the island, because we were trying to find a waterfall and freshwater pool that we had been hearing about called Aha Falls. 

Check out this video clip of Matt on the rope swing at Aha Falls:

We started to get hungry for dinner but couldn't find any restaurants up in "jungle country" (the northern part of the island).  After miles of driving, we ended up finding our way back to civilization and ended up choosing a restaurant we had never heard of called Sumiya. 

Sumiya had a HUGE menu with tons of individual skewers to order

A yummy radish salad

We were so hungry by this point that we ended up ordering a ton of food - starting with a bunch of skewers.

Oh, did I mention that this restaurant was vintage video-game themed??  We each had a private table with our own old-school TV and game console!

I normally don't like to refer to my era as "vintage", but there really isn't a better word for it - look at these old school games! 

Me caught up in a SERIOUS game of Space Invaders.

Even though it took awhile to get some food in us, and we drove pretty much from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, it was a really fun day of exploring.  The weather was perfect, and we finally got to see the gorgeous Cape Hedo!  I wish we had no jobs and could do this everyday:)


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