Anyway, as promised, here's the low-down on Shuri Castle. Shuri is one of 9 World Heritage sites on Okinawa (our goal is to see them all. Nakagusuku Castle ruins was the only one we had seen so far), and Shurijo Castle Park also includes two other World Heritage sites aside from the castle.
And this, my dear friends, is one of the World Heritage sites within the park. Just a gate? No way! The Sonohyan-utaki stone gate was of super religious importance to the King. He would pray in front of it for a safe journey each time he departed the castle.
The current castle is not actually the original, sadly, as Shurijo Castle was burnt to ashes in the Battle of Okinawa in the WWII, but the castle was restored in 1992.
Shuri Castle is said to be the symbol of Okinawa.
Standing in front of Shuri Castle
Bezaitendo Shrine and Enganchi Pond. This shrine was built to store precious Buddhist scriptures received from the King of Korea.
"The tomb consists of three rooms: The center room (for placing the remains before washing the bones), the East room (for the Kings and queens), and the West room (for the rest of the royal family members)".
Moving on to something more light and definitely more comical: Okinawa Wrestling. I have few words to describe this because I was so appalled at the idiocricy of it. Think American, Hulk Hogan, type wrestling, with a bit of MMA, with a bit of that terrible Japanese fighting/action scenes from movies, and you've got yourself Okinawa Wrestling. Don't forget to add some "traditional" and "culturally inspired" costumes to the mix!
Next came a sort of group fight, where they tag people in. There are all kinds of personalities at play here. Yanburu Queena (say it like an Asian!) and Mango (pronounced maaaaaaango) were my faves.
We ended the night at a friend's party. This party had a shake weight, random jelly bellies from Thanksgiving, and a gorilla mask. No idea how this guy acquires such crazy items, but they made for a good laugh.
And we got to try these, another Japanese treat. Remember the purple Beni-imo I told you about (Japanese sweet potato), these were little Beni-imo...cakes? Not very sweet and not my favorite. I probably wouldn't eat them again, but they definitely were not as terrible as the octopus balls from last weekend. When in Japan, right?!
More adventures to come next week, I'm so proud of my blogging lately! Sayounara!
PS: Here's a video of the Okinawa Wrestling for full effect :)