After 30 years… Our trip back to my homeland: The Beautiful Island of Okinawa, Japan!

The big day is almost here… We will be flying to Finland tomorrow!!! It has been a very busy week getting everything packed, but we are looking forward to starting our new adventure! I am finally posting the photos from our trip back to my homeland. It was an amazing experience and also a very emotional one. It was so nice to see all of our family in Japan after so many years and also to meet many of them who were not born until after we moved away. I had forgotten how beautiful it was… It felt like we were in paradise!!

First evening in Okinawa. Dinner with some of our family! June 5, 2013. — at Okinawa|沖縄.

First evening in Okinawa. Dinner with some of our family!
June 5, 2013. — at Okinawa|沖縄.

Our first evening together with our family!

Our first evening together with our family!

What an amazing view! at Itoman-Shi, Okinawa.

What an amazing view! at Itoman-Shi, Okinawa.

Such a peaceful place! — in Itoman-shi, Okinawa.

Such a peaceful place! — in Itoman-shi, Okinawa.

My mom at the WWII memorial site.  She is pointing out her uncle and great grandfather.

My mom at the WWII memorial site. She is pointing out her uncle and great grandfather.

The Cornerstone of Peace memorial.

The Cornerstone of Peace Memorial.

Mia and her daddy enjoying some beach time at sunset. — at Araha Beach Okinawa Japan.

Mia and her daddy enjoying some beach time at sunset. — at Araha Beach Okinawa Japan.

So cool... meeting my Aunt for the first time at the airport and her purse matched my wallet!  I gave it to her as a gift before we left! :)

So cool… meeting my Aunt for the first time at the airport and her purse matched my wallet! I gave it to her as a gift before we left! 🙂

Mia and her cousin feeding Koi fish.

Mia and her cousin feeding Koi fish.

This is a cave that I visited 30 years ago on a school field trip! It was amazing! — at Gyokusendou Caves.

This is a cave that I visited 30 years ago on a school field trip! It was amazing! — at Gyokusendou Caves.

Mia and I with our cousin — at Gyokusendou Caves.

Mia and I with our cousin — at Gyokusendou Caves.

At Gyokusendou Caves.

At Gyokusendou Caves.

A beautiful waterfall in the cave. — at Gyokusendou Caves.

A beautiful waterfall in the cave. — at Gyokusendou Caves.

Being brave at the Habu Snake show!  — at Habu Museum Park, Okinawa.

Being brave at the Habu Snake show! — at Habu Museum Park, Okinawa.

Having fun on our last full day in Okinawa! — at Okinawa world.

Having fun on our last full day in Okinawa! — at Okinawa world.

Mia and I having fun in front of the beautiful Shisa dogs. — at Okinawa world.

Mia and I having fun in front of the beautiful Shisa dogs. — at Okinawa world.

At my Aunt's home for an amazing family dinner!

At my Aunt’s home for an amazing family dinner!

Our family butsudan at my Aunt's house.

Our family butsudan at my Aunt’s house.

Mia and her cousin having fun!

Mia and her cousin having fun!

Danny enjoying some good food and drink!

Danny enjoying some good food and drink!

Mia and I on the balcony where we are staying in Okinawa... very close to where I was born! June 9, 2013. — at Okinawa|沖縄.

Mia and I on the balcony where we stayed in Okinawa… very close to where I was born! June 9, 2013. — at Okinawa|沖縄.

Danny and I at the beach where we stayed.  We are very happy to be back together again! ♥

Danny and I at the beach where we stayed. We are very happy to be back together again! ♥

Mia having fun at the playground close to where we are staying... June 9, 2013. — at Pirate Ship Park, Araha Beach.

Mia having fun at the playground close to where we stayed… June 9, 2013. — at Pirate Ship Park, Araha Beach.

Our family at my Aunt's house.

Our family at my Aunt’s house.

Mia and her cousin enjoying the yummy dinner my Aunt's family prepared for us. It was amazing!!

Mia and her cousin enjoying the yummy dinner my family prepared for us. It was amazing!!

Mia playing with all of her cousins! They had a blast together!

Mia playing with all of her cousins! They had a blast together!

Mia and her cousin. They are the same age and only one day apart! March 15th and March 16th. :)

Mia and her cousin. They are the same age and only one day apart! March 15th and March 16th. 🙂

Mia trying on her cousin's cool school backpack.

Mia trying on her cousin’s cool school backpack.

At Camp Lester... where I was born!

At Camp Lester… where I was born!

My mom and I in front of the hospital where my older brother and I were born in the same room, by the same doctor, and exactly two years apart!

Where it all began… My mom and I in front of the hospital where my older brother and I were born in the same room, by the same doctor, and exactly two years apart! We were told that this hospital would be torn down later this year. So glad that we made it back when we did!

The glass bottom boat tour to see all of the beautiful coral and fish. It was unbelievable!

We had a lot of fun on a glass bottom boat tour to see all of the beautiful coral and fish. It was unbelievable!

Having fun on the glass bottom boat ride!

Having fun on the glass bottom boat ride!

Mia and I on the beach. Mia and her daddy drew a note in the sand for me. :)

Mia and I on the beach. Mia and her daddy made a note in the sand for me. 🙂

My family enjoying an afternoon together at the beautiful aquarium.... — at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

My family enjoying an afternoon together at the beautiful aquarium…. — at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Entrance to the Churaumi Aquarium.

Entrance to the Churaumi Aquarium.

Mia and I enjoying the beautiful view... — at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Mia and I enjoying the beautiful view… — at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

An amazing tank at the Aquarium!

An amazing tank at the Aquarium!

Mia at the aquarium.

Mia posing with a cool fish at the aquarium.

At my family gravesite. Reunited with my mom's Uncle and his wife. We had to cut through the jungle behind us to get to it.... Luckily, there were about 12 of us to hike through it together. Yikes!!!

At my family gravesite. Reunited with my mom’s Uncle and his wife. We had to cut through the jungle behind us to get to it…. Luckily, there were about 12 of us to hike through it together. Yikes!!!

We made it through the jungle to my family's gravesite.

We made it through the jungle to my family’s gravesite.

Danny introduced my Great Aunt to Angry Birds! :)

Danny introduced my Great Aunt to Angry Birds! Now all of my family in Okinawa are playing the game!

This was on the drive to Motobu.

This was on the drive to Motobu to visit my family’s gravesite.

Grocery shopping... Holy Daikon! — at Okinawa|沖縄.

Grocery shopping… Holy Daikon! — at Okinawa|沖縄.

Our last dinner in Okinawa. We miss all of the yummy food!

Our last dinner in Okinawa. We miss all of the yummy food!

I will end with my favorite photo from our trip. Mia couldn't stop laughing from these Doctor Fish! ;)

I will end with one of my favorite photos from our trip. Mia couldn’t stop laughing from these Doctor Fish! 😉

3 thoughts on “After 30 years… Our trip back to my homeland: The Beautiful Island of Okinawa, Japan!

  1. What excellent photos of your exciting adventures in Tokyo and Okinawa! It must have been so much fun spending time with your family in your homeland! Thank you so much for sharing your precious photos! Safe travels onto your next destination, Finland! We will miss you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  2. Christina

    I love all the pictures of Akinawa!!!
    I’ve never been to Okinawa, but your pictures and memories tells me a lot.
    It really seems like you had a great time.
    I miss you!

    Like

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