Turf is currently in California for pre-deployment training. His blood must be used to this warm Okinawa weather (currently still in the 70's...in November!) because he his freezing his hiney off! We celebrated Thanksgiving a couple of weeks early before he left, and I spent the real holiday with a few friends. Black Friday shopping is a bit anti-climatic this year, so I am rushing to finish all my shopping online!
Here's a brief run-down of what we've been up to since my last post!
In September we took a snorkeling tour to the Kerama Islands, which are off the coast of Okinawa, with some friends. The snorkeling was beautiful with tons of interesting sea life to see and explore. We saw fish of every color, sea cucumbers, sea snakes, etc. It was a warm relaxing day, and Turf's first trip snorkeling since arriving on island!
Next came our little adventure to visit a few more of the World Heritage sites here on Okinawa. On this little outing we made it to Katsuren Castle first. Katsuren Castle is a bit further North on the island and offers beautiful views of the ocean. Katsuren's most famous "golden years" date back to the 15th century, under the rule of Lord Amawari. It is said that Amawari pushed the 9th lord off one of the castle walls, thereby taking control of the castle. He was the last powerful Lord to rule over Katsuren Castle.
A photo we took after climing to the top of Katsuren Castle.
Turf also took me to visit the ferris wheel this day! This is only something I've been wanting to do since we got here! There is nothing super spectacular or historic about this thing, but it does offer great views of the island from the top!
We also visited a fun little annual event- the Naha Tug of War! If you ever come to Okinawa, this is a must see! Each year there is a parade followed by a giant tug-of-war contest. The history of this event dates back to the 17th century and is a battle between the East and West teams. The tug of war correlates to the competition held between the old rulers of Naha.
The last stop we made was to Yara Castle. This is probably my least favorite of the castle ruins we have visited, because it was all overgrown....full of huge Banana spiders and other creepy crawlies!
We didn't stay long this particular time, so here is some information! We did later go back as part of a Haunted Sites tour we took right before Halloween. Upon going back we walked back further to the "park" area, which was nicer, but still spooky (especially after learning of some of the legends and tales of the castle and it's surroundings).