Day 4 in Okinawa: Aeon Nago, Churaumi Aquarium, Hotel Koza Dinner During Typhoon Kong-rey

Though we managed to avoid Typhoon Trami, we didn’t realize Typhoon Kong-rey was hot on its heels. So I’m typing this now in the comfort of our hotel while the howling of the wind continues outside. When I asked the hotel staff if it was safe to head out to buy food (thank you, Google Translate), the reply was “Very, very dangerous!” *gulp* We went anyway. There’s no stopping two Singaporeans from getting their makan. Haha! Even though the supermarket was just two blocks away, and definitely within walking distance, I insisted on driving there. I wasn’t afraid of being blown away but I was terrified of having something fall and hit me whether it be an air-conditioning unit, signboard, or tree branch. 😀

In the morning, the drive up north to Churaumi Aquarium was rather challenging. Visibility was very poor in some areas due to the heavy rain. But the drainage system for the Expressway was apparently very good. There were hardly any waterlogged areas.

Couldn’t even see the license plate of the car in front:

It’s about a 2-hour drive up north to Nago. You take a ticket from the entrance toll gantry (machine). At the exit toll gantry (where there is an actual human), hand over the ticket and pay cash. The GPS even calculates toll payable and notifies you even before reaching the toll station! 🙂

For us, the toll payable was 1020yen.

After that crazy long drive, with our bladders about to burst, we made a quick stop at Aeon…

Aeon Nago Shopping Center

We had udon at Sanuki Udon Hanamaru. Picked this seasonal item ‘cos it looks so good. The croquette is really good too. Plus, there’s free chilled water you can help yourself to, like in many foodcourts in Okinawa.

We were running a little low on petrol after the long drive so we popped by JASS, where regular petrol cost 140yen/litre.

Churaumi Aquarium

We parked at the multi-storey carpark, which we found simply by following the long line of cars ahead of ours. Despite the heavy rain, there were still lots of people headed for Churaumi. I suppose, like us, they had pre-purchased tickets AND visited Okinawa mainly because there’s this fantastic aquarium with whale sharks. Not one, but two!

And rays and lots of fish…

Plus exhibits to scare you…

Camera-friendly fish below:

We wanted to visit the Ryugujo Butterfly Garden too but it was closed due to the impending typhoon. So we decided we should return to the hotel.

The toll for the return trip via expressway was 720yen.

We stopped by Plaza House Shopping Centre too but just about all the shops and eateries were closed. A supermarket and a taco place remained open though.

Hotel Koza (business hotel)

Parking at Hotel Koza costs just 500yen/day, which you pay upfront when you check-in. Then you’re free to park at any of the lots belonging to the hotel.

There is a supermarket nearby so we drove over to get some dinner – basically sushi and other cooked items. And beer. I’ve had more beer in one week in Okinawa than in my entire life, I think. I’m not sure why Okinawans live such long lives when they have cheap beer and cigarettes. 😀

Not too shabby a meal when a typhoon’s sweeping by, eh? The winds are crazy. Have you ever seen a lamppost moving? Well, now I have.

And what you see on TV is real.

Okinawa supermarket during typhoon

Lots of food sold out. But there’s always still some sushi and lots of sashimi. 😀