Okinawa: Bus Tour and Sweets Palace

So I've told you about the places we went on our bus tour. You might have some questions. Like: 1.) how do you get a hold of a bus tour like this yourself? And 2.) do you have to bring a lunch?

We used a specific course offered at Okinawa Tour Land, which I found by googling 沖縄 バスツアー. I know, I am the pinnacle of investigative googling. This course offers tours of four locations and a paid lunch: Ryukyu Mura, Manzamo, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, and Nago Pineapple Park. You eat lunch at Okashi Goten (Sweets Palace). This price is 5400 yen per person, which doesn't include a ticket to Churaumi Aquarium, gets you a discount at Ryukyu Mura, and gets you in for 'free' at Nago Pineapple Park and Manzamo (if I recall correctly). If you want to hit Nago Pineapple Park, make sure you hit it on the right day, because the tour alternates between there and an orchard called "Fruit Land".

You also get that paid lunch I mentioned. Do you see it in the schedule above? "11:50 御菓子御殿にて海をみながら昼食。" 11:50 - Lunch at the Sweets Palace while sea-gazing. That's what that says. And when they say Sweets Palace... Yes. It is a goddamn palace.

The food is pretty and delicious. The sea was nice too, but I was more interested in this:

 YES, A MILLION TIMES, YES! They make the sweets there! At least, a specific kind of sweet. It was really fun to watch. The sweets are mostly centered around brown sugar and sweet potato flavors, but they have many different kinds. Omiyage buying time!

The tour guide was kind and (as you may have read in the Aquarium post) they were very understanding when I wanted my pre-purchased Aquarium ticket refunded. I'd recommend the service, although we went on a fairly un-crowded day and still somehow got behind schedule. Considering the number of places we went I don't think the fee was too high, though if you had a rental car you might do better just to go to all these places yourself, especially if you don't want to be rushed through the experience.

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