So what can you do on a small island? Well let me tell you!
AquariumsThe aquarium here on island is the 2nd largest in the world and houses the largest whale shark in captivity. We got to see him and a couple of his friends in all their glory. There were crabs with bodies larger than my head and legs longer than my 6'3" husband. Massive! And yet all my husband could say, "That would be one tasty dinner!" He is so sick!!!!
This is a picture of my middle and youngest son hanging with the sea turtles
Shuri castle was the home of the royal family of Ryukyu Islands before China and Japan started battling for them. This place is just amazing! The architecture, the views, the protective walls. Very cool place to explore.
It was having some restorative work done in the front...I would need it too if I were almost 700 years old!!!!
Roller Slide Parks
I know Americans are asking, "Roller whats?" These are the coolest thing to happen to parks since the swing! These are a series of roller bars that allow you to take a long and winding ride from several stories high. The kids love them. There are also HUGE concrete slides that sound painful but are not at all. They are quite fun! Okinawa knows how to build parks!
Andrew coming to a stop after a 3 story ride
Also at this roller slide park is something they calla drop slide! It is exactly what you think...2 very steep drops. The kids love it!!
My oldest prepares for the drop off!
Greg waits at the top as Andrew flies down to meet Matthew at the midway point.
Just like the Chinatowns and Little Italys around America, they have an American Village. This place is so funny to me. The things they see as "American" are from the 1950s. But it is fun to take a trip back in time, ferris wheel and all!
The Ferris Wheel in American Village
One of the must visit places in American Village id Dr. Fish. Here you put your feet in a small pool and these little fish eat the dead skin off your feet. Gross, i know, but actually its a pretty cool experience.
My son and Mom get a fish pedicure
Visit Old Okinawan Villages
We went to a cool place that showed us what a traditional Okinawan village is like. To beat the heat, these houses were built very low to the ground.
I have tall kids, but this is ridiculous!
Here they even use water buffalo to juice the sugar cane to make sugar blocks. These are sugar cane juice that has had the water boiled out and left with a dark brown sugar. This is broken in to small cubes and enjoyed by the Okinawans as a treat on hot summer days. Of course we bought some!! It tastes like lightly licorice flavored sugar. Andrew absolutely loved it!
This guy made our sugar cane candy...Thank you Mr. Water Buffalo.
World War II MemorialsOkinawa was sight to one of the most deadly battle and a turning point in WWII. So many Okinawans were killed during this battle between Japan and the US. It is a very sad part of the history of this island. The Okinawans built a park and museum dedicated to the continued peace since that tragic time. This place is called Peace Prayer Park and it is one of the most beautiful places I have been to.
The museum holding a very detailed and well documented look at the Battle of Okinawa.
Beautiful scenic areas to meditate and pray.
Memorials to ALL who died during WWII from all countries involved. We found names of our relatives on these granite walls. What an amazing tribute to all who served their countries.
The view of the park from the tower.
Tropical Island excursions and Mountain climbing
We decided to visit a neighboring island so we packed our bags and took a ferry boat to Ie Island. Here we found Mt. Gusuku. The sign said 300 steps to the top...ok why not?!
I will tell you why not...those steps were steep and 300 steps is a lot more than you think. yikes!
My husband reading the its ONLY 300 steps up.
Matthew and I looking up saying holy moly...that is a lot of steps!
In the end, it was so worth the trip to the top. It really was one of the best views we have seen. It was worth the 300 steps and shaking legs to see it.
The good news is, afterward we got to go swimming!
Matthew approves of the pool!
Then we got to visit the beach. It was like a private little place just for us. Talk about a STAYcation!
Wish you were here!
Wiggling my toes in the sand.
All in all, we have had an amazing summer. The best part: this was only the first 3 weeks! We still have so much to see and do. And now its time to see what else we can find to explore!
Have a fabulous weekend!