On Thursday, some of my ESL students at Central Texas College shared their favorite “off the beaten path” places to eat.  Today, we’ve got three more places to read about:  a museum, a beach, and a great place to check out a beautiful sunrise.  Enjoy!



If you want to see a beautiful sunrise, I recommend going to the Ikei Big Time Resort Hotel.  They have a private beach and the view of sunrise from there is beautiful.  The island (Ikei Island) is small and the hotel is located at the southern end on the east coast.  When my husband and I went there for the first time, the huge, round, shining, golden sun rose on the horizon in the east.  It looked like a golden road had appeared on the ocean.  It was the most wonderful sunrise I’ve ever seen.  Since then, we sometimes go there, but have never seen it.  You need to check the weather forecast before you go because you can’t see it if it there is bad weather.  But I recommend going not only for the sunrise;  if it is clear during the day there, you feel like you are standing at the end of the earth.

Address:  1286 Ikei, Yonashiro Uruma City

Phone:  (098) 977-7711

Restaurant Hours:

Restaurant Ichihashi  – 0700-0900 (Breakfast) / 1130-1400 (Lunch) / 1800-2100 (Dinner)

Restaurant BBQ Shidakaji – 1200-1400 (Lunch) / 1800-2100 (Dinner)

Directions:  (From MCCS website)  “To get to Ikei, take Route 8 toward White Beach.  Turn left on Route 31.  Follow the road to the bottom of the hill and bear left.  Cross the long bridge to Henza and wind around the island.  Remain on this road and you’ll eventually come to a red bridge that leads to Ikei.  All signs to “Big Time Resort” lead to the island.”



Location:  4 km north of downtown Kirara, Miyako Island — 20 minutes from Miyako Airport

Amenitites:  shower and restroom, vending machine, and stores located by the parking lot

Sunayama beach is located on Miyako Island, which is 300 km southwest of the main island of Okinawa.  One of the unique points about this beach is that you have to go up a hill to get there.  When you get to the top of the hill, there stretches a breathtaking view of the emerald green sea and white sand below.  The magnificent thing about this beach is that there is nothing artificial about it.  Everything is created by nature:  the white sand, clear water, an arch-shaped cave that was carved up by the waves, and the hill which enhances the spectacular view of the beach.  The beach is widely known both by the locals and tourists;  however, there are seldom too many people for you to enjoy yourself, like on the beaches of the main island of Okinawa.  Visiting this beach is strongly recommended if you ever get a chance to go to Miyako Island.  At sunset, you can also enjoy a different view of the beach.




Address:  3-1-1 Omeromachi Naha City Okinawa

Phone:  098-941-8200

Hours:  0900-1800 Tuesday-Friday / 0900-2000 Saturday-Sunday / Closed Mondays

Admission:  400 Yen for General Museum, 300 Yen Art Museum / Annual passports also available.  See website above for details.

Directions:  For a map click HERE .  *Just looking at the map, it looks like you head south on 58, pass through the Rt 82 intersection, turn left at your third light after 82.  You’ll see a McDonalds on your left.  Go through one light.  The museum should be about 2 blocks after the light on your left.  If you have better directions, please post them in the comments section! -Kelly

The Okinawa Prefectural Museum opened in November 2007.  The museum has three exhibitions now.  One of them is called something like, “Okinawan Life”.  The exhibition shows a collection of nearly ten thousand items and is divided into seven sections.  Computers help give more detail to explain the documents.  You can also do things there like experience how to keep balance when you put a basket on your head – just like the Itoman women did who sold fish in that style.

Another exhibition is “The Great Journey of Humankind”.  The exhibition takes us far back in time.  Four skeletons that are eighty thousand years old were discovered in Okinawa.  You can see them at the museum.  One of them is almost faultless.  Also, the Okinawa Prefectural Museum has the oldest Japanese fossils, two bones that are twenty-six thousand years old.  At the museum, Minatogawa-jin and Homo-Neanderthal bones are reproduced in the image of human beings.  I recommend visiting the museum because you can learn about human beings’ evolution and development.


  1. My kids and I finally visited the museum. Diana’s directions were perfect. It’s a really pretty museum. To the left of the museum is “Okinawa” type learning (400 yen for me and my kids) (my son liked) and to the right was the art museum (9oo yen). Go outside the back of the museum (where there are some modern sculptures) and you will notice a park- walk behind the museum (if you have kids that need to burn energy) mid museum. Very pretty architecture…we also walked across the street (left car at the museum) and went to the mall (there is a Marino’s/starbucks/a few japanese places). A fun day and a must see!!

  2. We went here for the first time today. It was a really nice museum. I’m so glad we went. The parking was free and the museum not crowded at all even though it’s brand new. My husband and I took our 8 month old. We brought our stroller, but they had nice Combi ones at the entrance for your use. We paid 1200 yen each because we paid to enter the “special exhibit” which we didn’t even end up going to. We didn’t go to the art museum either but I’d love to return and check it out. There was plenty of info in English and you can also check out an ipod for free that gives you info throughout the galleries. My favorite part was the Okinawa folk culture exhibit that had info about Okinawan ceremonies, about the tombs, fishing, home life, etc. When the baby got squirmy, we took him to the hands on part of the museum. While it was better suited for older kids, he had fun playing with little drums and fish magnets and we listened to a guy in there playing sanshin. After we finished walking around we took a break in the museum cafe where I had a really delicious yet super expensive cappuccino. I felt like I was in the Met for a moment. If you’re feeling the need for a dose of culture, I’d definitely recommend a visit.

  3. Went to the Prefectural Museum for the first time on Sunday. What a great museum! The exhibits on Okinawan history and culture are fantastic, with good English placards. The ambience of the museum is also wonderful. I didn’t have time to also view the art section in full but a quick tour suggests that it is well worth seeing at leisure. Free parking and only 400 yen adult admission!!

  4. We just went to the Prefectural Museum this week and had a really good time. My 6-year-old son was very interested in the exhibits and my 4-year-old daughter last longer than I expected. They both really enjoyed the hands-on room, located right before you give your ticket to get into the main part of the museum. As for directions, it’s definitely NOT the 3rd light down. Instead, if you are travelling south on 58, I would make a left onto Route 82, and then a right onto Route 251. The museum will be on your right hand side right across from the Naha Main Place. We took the expressway to the last exit (just like going to the airport) and then just went RIGHT on 82, and then left on 251. The Naha Main Place Mall is identified by a red and black dot in the 2007 Okinawa Yellow Pages on Map 25. Using this as a reference, it should be easier to find the museum. Hope this helps!

  5. I would love to learn how to balance a basket on my head! Not to mention take in some sunrises. I should do more of that since my boys are up at that time anyway!

    Thanks Seiko, Tomoka and Fusako for giving us more insight into this fantastic island!