Kouri Island Bridge

Kouri Island is connected to the main island of Okinawa by a long bridge that stretches over a beautiful blue ocean. Parking lots are located at the two ends of the bridge. I recommend parking at the one on the main island and crossing over to Kouri island using the bridge’s walkway. A small farmer’s market and a beach are located on Kouri island near the end of the bridge.

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A market street in Naha

On the side of Kokusai Dori in Naha, not too far from the fish market, is located an interesting shopping arcade filled with souvenir shops and restaurants. It is a really nice place to find good quality food that is perhaps more authentic and less commercial than what can be found directly on Kokusai Dori. You can definitely see more locals eating in that region.

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Naha fish market (Makishi public market)

The Naha fish market is located not too far from Kokusai Dori. At the market, many vendors display freshly caught seafood from Okinawa’s tropical waters. Colorful fish, shrimps and lobsters are on display. Not so practical to bring a fresh catch to your hotel room? One can buy the fish and it is prepared in the form of sashimi to be consumed on site. The market’s second floor hosts several affordable restaurants that serve Okinawa’s traditional food.

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Kokusai Dori, Naha, Okinawa (International street)

Kukusai Dori in Naha, which literally means international street, features many gift shops and restaurants. It is a great place to spend the evening while visiting Okinawa’s capital. Some gifts that are particularly famous in Okinawa include the famed locally-brewed Orion beer, many types of pork products, and Awamori, a local alcohol. For the more daring, Habushu (or Snake Sake) is an alcohol made from Awamori and snakes. Habushu bottles usually feature a curled-up snake at the bottom.

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Nagoya train museum (SCMaglev and Railway Park)

Amateurs of Japanese trains will be satisfied at the SCMaglev and Railway Park, a museum dedicated to Japanese trains. The museum features historical and modern locomotives including a good selection of Shinkansen express trains and the new Maglev currently being developed. An impressive train diorama and train simulators are also popular attractions. Lucky winners of a lottery can test their driving skills in the Shinkansen simulator.

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Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum

The Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum, located nearby Zenko-ji temple, stages art exhibit from artists of Nagano prefecture. An annex of the museum, the Higashiyama Kaii Gallery, features artworks from Higashiyama Kaii depicting the beautiful scenery of Nagano prefecture (some examples here). Taking photos of the artwork is prohibited, but there was no issues with taking photos of the museum’s modern architecture.

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Traditional houses of Gero Onsen – Gassho Village

Gassho Mura (Village) is a touristic attraction in Gero which features traditional Japanese farmhouses that were moved to Gero and preserved as a museum, recreating a typical mountain village of the old days. The Gassho houses feature a steep triangular roof made of dried vegetation. In addition to the traditional Japanese farmhouse, the village also features beautiful gardens.

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