Yanbaru Lohas Lodge

I found this accommodation on Air Bnb although it is available on Tripadvisor as Yanbaru Lohas and they have glamping tents and usual hotel rooms.

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Cottage where we stayed for 2 nights.
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Shower is above the horse stable with attached public bath for 2. Very cold at night. But hot water and a jacuzzi warms you up.

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At night you get up and walk out about 30 steps to the bathroom shared with glamping tents. But during our stay we were the only ones.

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2 horses in the stable. Not smelly and well groomed.

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Just 5 steps away, your own private beach and unblocked view. It was cloudy so we didnt see any stars.

We were more keen to visit the Falls etc and daylight ends at around 6pm with no night lamps so we didnt fully enjoy the compound even though it was very pretty and there was only 1 other couple staying whom we never ran into.

Megumi who has been working at the place for past 4 yrs is from.Fukuoka. She speaks english and has been to Singapore 10 years ago. Time to visit again Megumi!

Uppama-beach (natural beach) (10 min by foot)
Gesashi-Mangrove Hirugi Park (Rhizophoraceae) (10 min by foot)
Gesashi-Fising port (20 min by foot)
“A-i-u-e-o” (restaurant) 10 min by foot
“Hokaze” (cafe lunch) 3 min by car
“Kaguya-Hime” (rose gerden, lunch) 3 min by car
“Mori-no-Fukurou” (restaurant) 10 min by car
“Canaan Slow Farm” (restaurant) 15 min by car
“Agarinuhama” (restaurant) 15 min by car
“ECOPA” (restaurant) 20 min by car
“Tachiga-a” (restaurant) 30 min by car
“Michi-no-Eki” (roadside rest area) 15 min by car

Accommodation:
Yanbaru-lohas
〒905-1205 Okinawa Prefecture, Kunigami District, 東村慶佐次167−2
0980-43-2884
https://g.co/kgs/MZRmaV
Booked under Megumi Log House under Airbnb

Christmas lunch at L LOTA on Kouri island, Okinawa

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No more Christmas Tree next year.
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A DIY Christmas tree with Christmas decorations.
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A real sugar cane and bittergourd farm next to the restaurant.
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Christmas lights around Bird of Paradise. I always suspect they need a sudden drop in temperature to flower. Mine has not flowered in 4 years. Help!

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View of Kouri island bridge from the restaurant.

We had 1 lunch set and 1 coffee. Kind of like a moveable feast. No more agu pork for me after my experience on Kokusai Street.

Restaurant L LOTA(エルロタ)
〒905-0406 Okinawa Prefecture, Kunigami District, Nakijin, Kouri, 466−1
0980-51-5031
https://g.co/kgs/YChaNj

Day 3 Chatan to Nakijin, Okinawa

After breakfast, we immediately set off for Aeon Mall next to American village.  There is tax free for purchase of 5000¥ above. But bring your passport. What do we buy? Stock up on groceries, the Zojirushi flask half price in Japan, good quality sake, and Japanese cosmetics.

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Drive from Chatan to Cape Zanpa and Maeda. It was such a hot day and we were not into anymore limestone rocks.

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Didnt realise sea cucumbers are so soft.

Planned to check out Pancake House and Bakery Suien enroute to Churami. Unfortunately for us its closed from 23 Dec to 3 Jan.

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Very well worth a visit. I cant absorb beyond an hour. Sea urchins and puffer fish are part of Japanese cuisine. Didnt realise the puffer fish is so cute.

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Enroute to Churami SEA Acquarium. Long drive. We entered at 4pm. There is discount at 1280¥ per pax.

Whale sharks and manta rays

Not plants but animals

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Photos taken by me in the Acquarium
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Big eyes is discovered at 100 to 200m.
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Its really an experience looking at the exhibits and walking around. Although the acquarium’s official closing time is 630pm in winter, the exhibits are far apart. The last entry is 530pm. So when you enter at 4pm, you only have time for the main Churami acquarium and feeding time of the whale shark at 5pm.

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I had booked the night at Cielo Unten which is 35 mins away. But the roads were narrow with no street lamps and a different kind of ecperience. Dark cloudy sky, no street lamp. Strong wailing wind. In the end we arrived at 630pm in pitch darkness. What a way to spend Christmas eve.

What an irony to note that our accomodation was next to a good restaurant Coco Neel next door which closed for thr day just as we arrived.

We went to bed hungry on Christmas Eve with nothing to watch on tv. Only to discover a restaurant Coco Neel was literally beside our restaurant and closed at 630pm.

Accommodation:
CIELO UNTEN(シエロウンテン)
〒905-0403 沖縄県国頭郡今帰仁村 運天402-2
098-989-7617
https://g.co/kgs/2H9BLk
(Found by searching google map and Facebook for anything near Chillma and Kouri island)

Fairy garden

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No more Christmas trees for me next year. But a Christmas bonsai. If I can find a manger scene instead of father christmas.

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Artist easel with pails, an idea to keep tools and hang more plants?

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I really felt like digging them up and bringing them home. Draped across the drive way. Enchevera or some succulents.

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レストランFull里
Furusato
Japan, 〒905-0411 Okinawa-ken, Kunigami-gun, Nakijin-son, Amesoko, 1124
+81 980-56-1223

Day 4 Nakijin to Kouri to Higashi, Okinawa

I woke up on Christmas Day with a surprise.

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Photo credit: Facebook of Cielo Unten.

This is the view from my room at Cielo Unten. My camera didnt capture it as well and it depends on daylight. Because I didnt read Japanese I thought that was the general view of the location.
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How did I discover this hotel? I didnt know where to spend Christmas eve. I wanted to stay in Chillma but its $550 per night for accomodation only- too expensive. So I searched for a hotel in the area via Google maps and checked out Facebook for info.

But it looks like someone is going to build next door and this view will be hidden.

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I suspect we were one of the earliest to stay in the place as the host was quite inexperienced in giving directions. But its new and lovely and next to a restaurant. Coco Neel.

We walked down and found this old house where you can rent for a retreat.

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Himself was not impressed with the view. He couldnt sleep last night because of allergies and now looking for breakfast.

Leaving Cielo Unten hotel we programmed the GPS to Kouri Ocean Tower. Sugar cane patches, small pineapple farms and this inconspicuous stop selling fruits and coffee. (Tel: 0980561223)
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Bitter gourd sliced thinly. Is that the secret to longevity or the amount of raw cabbage for salad. Help yourself.
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It helps to know a few Japanese words like unagi this beauty of an eel, soft and tender. 2200¥. Very reasonable to eat this on top of a hill.
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Furusato Full里, a real hidden gem overlooking Straits of Warumi is a tiny Japanese eating place. Top choice: Eel, stirfry beef or beef stew. Buy a ticket from the machine and pass to waiter.
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We lingered, bought snacks next door (eg sweet potato mochi, veg fritters, bitter gourd fritters, shikusa fruit) and took photos of the little fairy gardens and the view of Kouri island and the bridge. You can have your own picnic by the open benches and enjoy the view.
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Every shop sells the shikwasaa lime juice, the proverbial longevity tonic. You can buy a syrup and add 5 times water. Didnt taste different from the lime juice we have back home. The real lime is not fragrant either.

Driving past the bridge linking Kouri island enroute to Kouri Ocean Tower, we stopped at L Lota Restaurant. We had the bouillabaisse stew lunch set at 2500¥ with drink. Coffee at 500¥. Fabulous view with modern look and sugar cane farm in front and melon patch on right. We didnt drive up to the Tower but it is worth visiting the island and having coffee in one of the cafe and just view the sea.

From Kouri island we drove straight to Higashi and arrived at Yonbaru Lohas at 230pm. Drive took an hour. Megumi was very kind to let us check in earlier and showed us the toilet, public bathing areas above the horse stable. They have glamping tents on a platform. Our lodge is next to the horses. More photos on the
Yanbaru-lohas lodge on another post.

We took a drive to Ogimi longevity village. Nothing revealing except that its a cluster of homes with very old people and a communal hall next to the sea. I didnt find any answers here except that Ogimi is next to the hill and sea. With farms in between worked by the old.

We wanted to visit Sakishima Sappanwood tree but 1 min drive away seeing how deserted the road was, with overgrown weeds, we turned back.

Early dinner and early night.

Lunch at
レストランFull里
Furusato
Japan, 〒905-0411 Okinawa-ken, Kunigami-gun, Nakijin-son, Amesoko, 1124
+81 980-56-1223
11am-6pm
https://goo.gl/maps/cDJJvtUFGVv

Restaurant L LOTA
〒905-0406 Okinawa Prefecture, Kunigami District, Nakijin, Kouri, 466−1
0980-51-5031
https://g.co/kgs/YChaNj

Dinner at:
“A i u e o”
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/7508154?m=19905
Ask the convenience store owner opposite Gesashi-Mangrove Hirugi(Rhizophoraceae) Park for directions.

Accommodation:
Yanbaru-lohas
〒905-1205 Okinawa Prefecture, Kunigami District, 東村慶佐次167−2
0980-43-2884
https://g.co/kgs/MZRmaV
Booked under Megumi Log House under Airbnb