After a week of hotel living and a good part of that without a car, we knew that we were well overdue for some quality family time, so once again, we loaded up Goldie, googled the nearest beach and went off on our way.
Following the directions, which go something like this “turn left out gate one, go straight until you see McDonalds on your right (not left as there is a McDonalds there too) turn right at the police station, drive until you see a picture of a cat….” we made it to Araha Beach, also known as the “one with the ship on it” because it has this giant ship on the sand which is a kids playground. Very cool, although we managed to get to the beach without Eden seeing it; we will save that for when the beach is closed over winter.
The beach was neat, they have a netted off area to help keep the jellyfish out, the water was lovely and warm and they comb the sand for coral so its nice to walk on. Lifeguards keep watch and you can hire beach umbrellas (approx $6) as well as chairs. What we found funny about this beach were the huge rocks out in the water, I am not sure if this is a common thing here on Okinawa or just this particular beach, I guess time will tell, but they were fake!.
Eden swam around, Clio got her feet wet and did not like it, and Matt & I waded through the water, then it was lunch time, I am sure you may have noticed already, but we are definitely fans of food.
Not knowing where anything was we just decided to walk, hoping we would come across something, and we did, we stumbled across this little gem, Wa-Ryu. We thought we needed to learn simple Japanese after our first eating out experience (here) well that was nothing compared to this experience!.
We managed to get seated before the lovely, quiet, no-english speaking Japanese waitress delivered our menu’s as well as a complimentary drink of green tea. Ice-cold and refreshing, I think it is something we will definitely enjoy by the time we leave. The menu had pictures and prices, we decided on the set menu but when it came time to order boy did we have some issues. We smiled nicely, pointed at the picture and showed 3 fingers, I guess our ‘sign-language’ wasn’t too hot by the blank look we got in return. Then it was her turn, and I am sure she guessed our Japanese wasn’t too hot as Matt & I returned an equally blank look. This went on a few times before we asked someone at another table to order for us, she understood, smiled and went on her way.
Then of course they brought out 4 meals not 3, thinking Clio was eating too! (I have since learnt 3 in Japanese in case this situation ever crops up again).
Despite our communication difficulties the food arrived and it was oh so delicious. We had Waryu style Tsuyu Shabu. Shabu-shabu is a Japanese dish of thinly sliced meat (in our case pork – we think!) which is cooked at the table in boiling water. The name shabu-shabu is an onomatopoeia derived from the sound produced when the ingredients are either stirred or ready – I am not sure which, and I have to say I didn’t hear the shabu-shabu sound, although after my first mouthful my mind was on eating the food and not listening to it.
Each of us received on our trays; thinly sliced pork nicely arranged over a bowl, a big pile of sliced leeks, cooked white rice, beautiful salad with umibudo seaweed (also called green caviar or green grapes), 2 other variations of seaweed in small bowls as well as the dipping sauce.
To cook and eat our food, the waitress gets the water going and puts in a piece of garlic, then the rest is up to us. We pour the leeks in and place the raw meat on top. When it is cooked you roll the meat up in the seaweed and place in the dipping sauce before devouring it. It. Really. Is. Good. Everything about our meal was good. Eden loved it and really enjoyed using the chopsticks (we have since ordered some trainer chopsticks from Amazon for her).
If anyone ever visits us this is definitely a place we would like to take you, the setting was beautiful over looking the ocean, the staff so friendly but the best thing was most definitely the gorgeous food and the fun way to cook it.