I've mentioned this before, but there really isn't much of a night life scene in Okinawa. The service members have early curfews/hours they need to stop drinking and the locals don't seem to be too interested in the bar scene. For these reasons, I honestly haven't been to a bar at night since we got here four months ago... I know that sounds insane for a 23 year old, but on Okinawa it's really not that unusual.
This past weekend we decided to break my barless dry spell and hit some bars at American Village. On a Saturday night at 8:30 pm, the first bar we visited had four patrons... including us. Like I said, Okinawa bar scene=nonexistent.
After a pint of Orion Beer (Okinawa's very own beer), we set sights on a more lively joint. On our way we saw a fellow American outside of a Pizza bar and asked for recommendations. He told us we should check out Red Lobster-ARE WE REALLY THAT OLD?!? Yikes. Feeling a bit disappointed and very uncool we entered the next bar we saw which just so happened to be a "quiet place for sipping." Not exactly how we planned on spending Saturday night, but it would do.
Bar Barragan looked like a little hipstery joint you'd find in Fishtown/Northern Liberties. I'm not too good at descriptions, so you'll have to check out the pictures instead. What we thought would be a one and done drink location, ended up being the place where we spent the remainder of our night. After chatting with the bartender for a bit (we were his only patrons), he insisted that we try some samples from the chocolate store next door. He legitimately ran full speed (I loled pretty hard) over to the Chocolate store and brought us some tasty, bitter Okinawa chocolates. Free chocolates, turned into free pineapple, then free awamori (Japanese liquor) and free Tequila samples and before we knew it, I'm pretty sure we somehow became best friends with the bartender. The chocolatier also stuck around for some fun and eventually we were also joined by an extremely interesting Air Force pilot who was deep in the local Okinawan scene. This was perhaps the strangest and best night of my life all mixed into one, but I have zero complaints. For anyone living in Oki, definitely check out Bar Barragan in American Village if you're looking for a great atmosphere, great drinks, and great company!!
Ben and I just discovered that we can go to resort beaches and it is seriously a game changer. We spent our Sunday at the Moon Beach Resort and had access to a clean, roped off, life guarded beach, an infinity pool, multiple bars and restaurants, and access to the incredible grounds for only 15 bucks. It's a pretty incredible feeling when you're hanging around tourists visiting the island knowing that you actually live here!!!
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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