I am lover of list making and I thought it would be fun to create a series where I break down some of the good and not-so-good things about Okinawa, from my perspective as an Expat, with anyone soon-to-be moving to Okinawa.
It’s been a while since i shared a Pros and Cons list and since i’ve been running low on inspiration i thought it would be the perfect time to work on one of these posts! It’s been hard coming up with cons, like i wrote on my last post, which is good for Okinawa but not for the purposes of this series!
Dollar stores in the States are okay, but in Japan? They are a Magical Wonderland!! They are my absolute favorite thing about Japan!! Especially Daiso, because everything is shiny and pink! You can find anything and everything for only ¥100! Household items, decor, stationery, beauty, gardening, plus snacks galore! My friends and i used to take trips to Daiso every other week, because why not?!
To be honest, this isn’t much of a con for me, but everybody complains about the summer weather here, because let’s face it, it’s torture! But unlike most Americans i’ve lived my whole life in a tropical island with hot/humid weather 365 days a year and Okinawa at least has cold-ish winters, which to me are a blessing! But nonetheless it sucks when October comes along and all you want is the breeze to kick in!
Remember when i talked about the japanese convenient stores and how awesome they are? Well, that’s not all. The best part about convenient stores and also grocery stores is the unlimited amount of weird snacks. From Pocky, Green Tea Kit-Kats, Milk Mints, Sour Gummies, to even “Meat Chips” (like my friends and i like to call them) there’s always some new to try and because we can’t read the packaging it’s kind of a fun surprise.
Okinawa has a large amount of Americans which means the Japanese here are pretty accustomed to seeing foreigners everywhere. But as you may know the japanese culture, along with other asian cultures, is very conservative and when you’re walking along in shorts or dresses, or even in a bathing suit at the beach, you will constantly be stared at; especially by the older generation. You can’t really blame them because here we are invading their space with our western culture, but it’s still uncomfortable. The worst part is feeling insecure in your own skin, when you know there isn’t anything wrong.
^^ This is a video from Taiwan, but it’s the same thing here ^^
So, you read right and if you watched the video, YES Garbage Trucks have music in Japan (and apparently other asian countries)!! The first time you hear it you get fooled into thinking it’s an ice cream truck and then you double take when you notice it’s a garbage truck warning people to take their trash out. If you ask me, it’s a brilliant idea but it’s one of those things that you find super weird at first but after a while you get used to.
^^ I couldn’t find a good picture so i chose this one from the movie Tiny Furniture! haha ^^
Home decor is really hard to shop for, here in Okinawa. Not for lack of stores but because we are used to American sized items and everything you can find off-base is obviously Japanese sized, which in other words means tiny. There is only one store that sells American sized furniture off-base and one store on base, and because of this everybody has the same things (#firstworldproblems)! It’s really not a big con, but when you’re trying to make a foreign country a home it sucks a little.
*Please keep in mind that all of these pros & cons are formed simply from my experiences and perspective as an American living abroad*
Do you currently live in Okinawa? Did you live in Okinawa at some point in your life? If so, are there any Pros and Cons you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below! Interested in more Pros and Cons of Living in Okinawa? Read the rest of the series!