Seaside Drive-In: シーサイドドライブイン

The Seaside Drive-In is an assuming place located near Moon Beach Hotel in Onna (North). It is open 24 hours, and is sort of charming in its own way. It reminds me of Hawaii, actually, so I felt very comfortable inside like I was eating back home.

The food is cheap, nothing exotic, just sort of a typical drive-in diner menu; it has “western,” Japanese and Chinese dishes (seriously, if the menu had some spam options, chili, and loco moco I would swear I was in Hawaii). My husband and I both got sandwiches, a side of fries and a soup for the husband– our bill was ~1100 yen. We were quite satisfied with our lunch. I cannot believe we passed by this place a few times to never check it out until now! If you are looking for a cheap lunch spot with plenty of options in Onna, this is a pretty decent place to check out. Plus, you can even get take-out if you don’t want to eat inside; the counter is to the left of the entrance doors outside.

There is even a jukebox, 100yen for 2 songs.


Bonus: Abandoned restaurant island?! Out the window of the diner (or from the parking lot) you will spot a strange little “island” with a pretty dilapidated structure, only about 20 m from the shore. It is called “Hiituu-jima” ヒートゥー島, translated as “Dolphin Island” in Okinawan language. The reason being they used to hunt/kill dolphins in the area of Nago Bay around the island and eat them so there is some rumor of it being a haunted or ghost spot (kinda like the opposite of a power spot). Though I hear the custom of eating dophin is still practiced in the Nago area even today; it used to be a protein source for Okinawans.

The owners decided to open a restaurant only accessible by boat (you can already imagine why this might be a failing idea) that would serve hiittuu (dolphin) on the menu and started building on the small island; however they did not end up getting permission or approval from the local authorities, dooming their restaurant to never actually open. So, now it is in ruins. Perhaps the revenge of the dolphins.

There is also a rumor that unhappiness always comes to those who enter this island. There was a young man who went to the island to explore the ruins. It seems that he broke the mystery stone shrine inside and took pictures; it is said that he died the same day due to an accident.

Since it is technically private property I cannot encourage you to visit it (you could easily swim/snorkel in the area), or if the tide is low you can practically just wade out. There are signs (in Japanese) that say no trespassing, so keep this in mind if you try to seek it out and get into trouble. That being said it does not keep out some of the fearless urbex-ers, as there seem to be a few blogs out there with photos of this place, as well as a fair amount of graffiti decorating the ruined building.

**心霊 shinrei spirit, ghost, soul; can also be used in “haunted” spot (心霊スポット shinrei supotto).


Kunigami Historical Hiking Path: 国頭方西海道

石畳道 ishidatami michi: stone path

歴史の道 (rekishi no michi): path of history, historical path

Another “Path of History?!” Yes, another historical path from the Ryukyuan era, this time located in Kunigami 国頭 district (northern part of the main island). It is part of the original National road that used to connect Shuri-jo to the northern part of the island, built sometime around the fifteenth century.

The name of this one is Kunigami-hou seikaidou 国頭方西海道 meaning something like Kunigami west ocean road.

To walk this path, a good starting point is the Onna Village Museum, since there is decent parking. There is a map post here that shows the route. You notice there is some path and sites further up at Nakadomari 仲泊 milestone, but we skipped that portion for today and only went from just before the “You are here” (by the Nakadomari ruins) to #6 Yamada stone bridge. We will save the rest of the hike for another day:


As you start walking from the Onna museum, there is an interesting restaurant called 田芋 Taimo (or Taamu/Taanmu in Okinawan). There is a Spiderman statue out front, but it just serves local Okinawan food.

First, you will come to the stone path: 比屋根坂の石畳道  Hiyagon-bira ishidatami michi (“bira” means “slope”, “ishidatami michi” is “stone path”). It is a steep climb up, but you will be rewarded with some views. Next you descend and pop out by Rt. 6.

Now you walk along Rt. 6 for a bit (with all that traffic) until just past the Renaissance Resort where the stone path picks back up again. It will be obvious and there will be signs, so don’t try to turn down any unmarked paths.

From here, you will head (mostly upwards again!) to 山田谷川の石矼 Yamada Yaagaa Ishibashi (ishibashi is “stone bridge”) made from Ryukyu limestone; the bridge was restored some years ago. *Note 谷川 in Okinawan is pronounced “yaagaa” instead of “sakugawa” or “tanigawa,” and unfortunately the “official” map posted has this incorrect after re-checking with some reliable sources regarding this Ryukyuan path and historical properties, as well as the signs actually at the bridge! Anyway, this bridge is an example of Ryukyuan engineering. There was a small stream and plenty of foliage (so you know, bug spray!). At this point we turned around before it got dark out since this was an early evening walk.

This time around we did not make it up to Yamada gusuku 山田グスク, residence for Lord Gosamaru’s ancestors, or the further stops by some more ruins, the tomb of Gosamaru’s ancestors, and a few more historical properties. We will save it for next time and update this post.


addresses for path we walked:

Onna Museum (with parking):

Yamada Yaagaa stone bridge (from my understanding you cannot access this from the road it claims you can on google, so be careful, this is only for walking purposes):

Yamada gusuku ruins:

Japanese brochure for path (I think you can pick one of these up inside the Onna Museum):