Saturday 13 May 2017

OKINAWA Day 2 - Tipi Tacos, The Blue Cave and Maze Of Mirrors

Our first morning in the tropical paradise of Okinawa and we woke up to rain! So we had a slow start and then headed into Onna to check out the maze of mirrors. This is actually a glass factory and downstairs is a big display shop and from what I could gather, you can also book in and blow your own glass.

There is a definite lack of signage for the actual maze of mirrors, just head to the back right of the shop (easier said than done) and you should be able to find the stairs with flashing lights to get to it.

When you get to the counter to pay, you have to choose a pair flip-flops, size and colour, there are some to try on so you just show the clerk the style and she'll ask which colour. You pay ¥650 the change from your shoes into the flip-flops and then you are handed a pair of gloves!

I was somewhat confused until we walked into the maze itself, everything is glass, including the floor - hence the flip flops!

If you have a fear of confined spaces or heights, this is not the place for you! 

If that doesn't both you it is a lot of fun, the maze changes as you go through, it does get confusing and more than once I thought I was folowing Ebi-kun only to walk into the wall!

The photos really don't do it justice...

You get a better idea with the video...

When you come out you change out of the flip flops and they give you a bag so you get to keep them! I think that you *have* to buy new ones so that the floor doesn't get scratched. It turned out to be a good investment for us as we used them a lot over the following days. 

There is a great collection of glass to buy too but also it would be easy to break things and some of it is VERY expensive, not the place for kids to be running around or clumsy adults!

We checked the weather and it seemed too be improving in the afternoon so we booked a tour to the Blue Cave the went to lunch. The Tipi Cafe looked interesting and it's right on the beach.

We had Tipi Tacos, which were fun there was actually just two options on the menu, these and soba crepes. In fact the whole time we were in Okinawa there was limit choice with meals and you'd be buggered if you were vegetarian/gluten free/had any dietary requirements. I imagine the big hotels have that kind of thing covered but that's not really our scene.

After lunch we messed around for a bit then headed to Blue Ocean Tours where we had booked a tour to the Blue Cave.

Anyone who knows me will know that I have a fear of drowning, I can actually swim but I nearly drowned twice as a kid and that fear has stuck with me, so to go out in a boat and snorkel in the ocean is a BIG thing for me. According to their advertising, even a 5 year old can do it, so I figured I'd be OK.

We had to get changed into wet suits - everything is provided, snorkels, towels etc. And had a quick lesson on how to use the snorkel. Then it was off to the boat...

We were in small groups, 6 people with one instructor, we all got life jackets too and the instructor used an inflatable ring so we could hold on if we (me) were feeling nervous.

At first we were told the water was too choppy to go into the Blue Cave but once we got there, they changed their minds.

Due to the cave shape and the way the light comes through, the water is this incredible blue colour inside. The boat drops you off and you have to swim in, it's not too far and the instructor pulls the ring along so it's not hard at all.

Apparently the morning had been crazy busy and there were over 200 people in the cave! It wasn't that big so I can't imagine what kind of chaos that was. There were just 3 small groups when were were there and a group of scuba divers.

Even if water isn't really your thing, it's worth the trip. We did see some fish but I think they were all full from the morning session so non of them were interested in being fed.

We did have a couple of mis-haps, the first was my snorkel was broken and let in water as soon as I put my face in the sea - yes, the girl with the fear of drowning gets the broken snorkel! We were also using their free camera rental but had out own SD card in it but the camera malfunctioned. We though we had lost everything but luckily the guys at the rental place managed to recover the data.

The tour is about 2 hours all included and after you get to use the shower (which was crap). We got dressed and headed back to our cabin and had a decent shower. Then we walked down to the local beach to watch the sunset and have a paddle.

Lots of broken coral on the beach, not many shells.

Of course, Ebi-kun was loving it and din't want to leave for dinner, we eventually bribed hm away with the promise of pig ears. Now there is something I never thought I'd hear myself say!

We ended up going back to the Retro place for dinner, trying out a couple of other delights on the menu and ordering pretty much everything from the night before too! Good times!

Handy Links:

Maze of mirrors HERE
Tipi Cafe HERE
Blue Ocean Blue Cave Tours HERE

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