Japan
Nanjō Shi

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  • Day9

    Two Castles & a Sacred Place

    January 1, 2020 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    First full day in Okinawa saw me head of early in my hire car to Sefa-Utaki in the south east of the main island. A Sacred place down through the ages and specifically to the Okinawa native religion which is similar to but not the same as Shinto in the rest of Japan.

    Beautiful, powerful and peaceful I got there early before most of the tourists so it was very pleasant. Then it was off to the ruins of Nakagusuku Castle (中城) which is one of several castles, which were built across Okinawa during the era of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which had been in existence for several centuries before Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879.

    Okinawa is definitely different from the rest of Japan... but also the same.

    After Nakagusuku I traveled on to the ruins of Katsuren Castle. Another one with stunning views and magnificent stonework.

    Finally I just drove around the coast and out to two islands off the east coast - Miyagi and Ikie - connected by road bridges. Wonderful coastline.

    Ended the day back at the hotel/resort enjoying the swimming pool and relaxing after a few very full on days in Bali, Vietnam and here in Okinawa. More exploring tomorrow :-)
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  • Day141

    Okinawa World

    August 1, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    By bicycle I went to Okinawa World to walk through a long long cave, touch some snakes and stroke a turtle. I shouldn't forget to mention the Okinawa lunch buffet. Super full I went on cycling and ended up in a beautiful empty bay :)Read more

    Jon Hu

    Good:)

    8/19/17Reply
     
  • Day19

    Naha - Tag 5

    May 11, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    Heute gingen wir ins Okinawa World, ein Themenpark mit Tropfsteinhöhle, Schlangenmuseum und viele kleine Stände mit Workshops. Zu Beginn konnten wir eine Eisa-Tanzshow sehen (mit Kastagnetten, Löwentanz und Angama). Danach ging es in die Tropfsteinhöhle, die 850 Meter lang war. Zum Schluss besichtigen wir noch kurz das Schlangenmuseum (war aber nicht ganz so mein Geschmack...)

    Today we went to Okinawa World, a theme park with a Gyokusendo cave, snake museum and a lot of small workshops. At the beginning we watched an Eisa-Dance performance (with castanets, lion dance anf Angama). After this we went to the cave thazöt is 850 meters long. In the end we quickly went to thr snake museum (which was not really my taste...)
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  • Day51

    Memorial

    June 28, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    As you may know, Okinawa has been the scene of one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific in WWII. As a testament to that there are several monuments to commemorate the event spread across the island. The majority of them in the south part of the island where the fighting was the fiercest. I went to see the biggest one which also hosts a museum. It took me a while to find the right bus stop with al the timetables being written in Japanese. Luckily there is always the internet to help you on your way a little bit. I tried to ask some people but a lot of people on Okinawa don't speak English, something that surprised me seeing as there are so many American bases on the island.
    I had to transfer at Itoman busstop where the connecting bus had already departed because my bus was 4 minutes late. A smiling taxidriver offered to bring me to the monument because he already knew that the next bus would not leave for another two hours. I accepted because the ride was fairly reasonably priced and there was no way i was going to wait 2 hours in the blistering heat. The ride itself was pretty exciting as the driver did not care about traffic laws that much and he actually seemed to enjoy it. Again getting a good conversation going was impossible since he only knew as many English words as i knew Japanese. So i kept him and myself entertained by just saying al the Japanes words i know. That is, until i said Matteyoo. He slammed the breaks and was about to pull the car to the side as i tried to let him know everything was ok. Apparantly saying "Wait!" in a taxi is not a very wise thing to do. :-P
    The driver pulled over at the taxistand. I payed him and got out of the taxi. He was about to drive off as i noticed i left my phone in the taxi. A quick tap on the window got his attention and he had to laugh out loud as i grabbed my phone of the backseat.
    The museum was very impressive with a first space devoted to the history and how Okinawa got involved in the fighting. The second part is mostly about personal tragedy and people losing familymembers or friends. I won't get much into details but the thing that horrified me the most is that the local people were caught in between the fighting with nowhere to go. Some of that had to hide in the small tombs of their ancesters. Sometimes being sent away by the Japanese soldiers trying to hide themselves. Whole families have died this way and the estimated deathtoll under civillians was over 100.000, a bone chilling number. The facts and events were told without sugarcoating it and that's a good thing.
    Just outside the museum are rows and rows of marble walls, with all the names of the people who died during the battle on it. Be it Japanese soldiers, American soldiers or Okinawans. More impressive than any number you read. There was also a monument specifically for the fallen Koreans, people who treated as 3rd rate civilians and forced to do horrible things just to survive. Something
    acknowledged by the Japanese government.
    Luckily the bus back to Naha was quick to arrive and a friendly older man, Megumisan, helped me on my way and we had a nice chat in the bus.
    I had seen posters around town the last couple of days that two baseball teams were about to play against eachother in the baseball stadium and decided to check it out. I am not a big baseball fan myself as it is mainly a tactical game. But the atmosphere here totally makes up for that. The girls walking around with their beer backpacks and the singing crowds that go at it for as long as the game is not finished. I walked around at first and got some pictures with one team's mascottes before buying the cheapest seats in the back of the field. It's only a grassy hill that you could sit or stand on but my guess was that this was also the place where most of the singing would take place. I was right. Pretty soon the first people with drums and trumpets joined me there and they started singing right away. Even before the game had started. Meanwhile a 4 year old kid had arrived on the stands with his father and he was soon challenging me to chase him. Which i did of course. Eventually I ended up running through the croud with him for half the game and he kept screaming "muikai" which means "again". :-) The game ended and i took the monorail back to the hostel and straight in to bed.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Nanjō Shi, Nanjo Shi, なんじょうし