Ben and I travelled somewhat far North today to the Motobu Peninsula (also called Nago) to see a garden. An hour+ long drive to see some flowers may sound extreme, but Mrs. Uto Yohena's hydrangea garden is unlike any you've ever seen before. For the past 32 years, Mrs. Yohena has worked hard expanding and growing her impressive home garden. She began by cultivating a tangerine field, soon adding hydrangeas and other flowers throughout time, and eventually her garden grew to the massive size it is today.
Mrs. Yohena is now 100 years old and still lives in the house adjacent to her garden. She claims that the key to her longevity is the happiness her flowers bring to visitors. I guess Ben and I might've help to add a few extra years onto her life because we absolutely fell in love with her beautiful garden. I've been to both Longwood Gardens and the Philadelphia flower show, but neither have left me feeling the same awe I felt with Mrs. Yohena's flowers. It was definitely an enchanting start to our weekend!
Since Ben and I were feeling quite adventurous, and it was only noon, we travelled West to the beach town of Bise. The first thing we saw when we arrived was a bike rental shop where we could rent bikes for ¥300 (a little less than $3) for two hours. Although neither one of us had rode bikes in years, we picked out two cute little blue and white ones and were on our way. Its true what they say - once you know how to ride a bike you never forget!
This town was unbelievably charming, the tiny streets were framed by thick trees which created a tunnel-like route. It was quite a hot day, so the shade was very welcome. I had heard of a "secret" hidden beach near Bise that we eventually found after biking around practically the entire village. Unfortunately, this supposedly secret beach was definitely quite well known and was cluttered with selfie taking tourists. Eventually, we got a break in the mayhem and were able to take a quick picture of the spot. It would've been such a magical little place, but was unfortunately spoiled by the heavy foot traffic filtering in and out.
On our ride home from Nago, which is over an hour since we don't take the expressway, Ben and I grabbed a bite to eat at a seaside cafe. Attached to the little cafe was a quite impressive looking store which sold a variety of Okinawan baked goods. You are technically supposed pick out several individually packaged treats, put them in a beautiful gift box of your choosing and give them as a gift. This is a very popular practice in Japan, food gift boxes like this are commonly found in malls/grocery stores during the holidays. Although we didn't put together a complete box of treats ourselves, we did purchase a few unusual ones for our ride home and then enjoyed the beautiful view of the sea one last time. Another perfect day in paradise!
We're Kara, Ben and baby Zoe also known as the Lesniaks. We’re a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Yorktown, Virginia after a three year tour in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together!
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