Friday, July 18, 2014

nakagusuku castle

This past Sunday, seeing as the heat index was only 104 instead of the usual 109, Yoni and I decided to venture out and spend a bit of time exploring. Okinawa is covered in ancient castle ruins (a throwback to the long and complicated history of the Ryuku Kingdom), and even though they all basically look the same, they can be interesting and beautiful.

The main parts of Nakagusuku Castle were built in the 14th century, with later additions put on in the 15th century. It was operational in some capacity (first as a residence and later as a village office) until the Battle of Okinawa when some of the structures were destroyed. Despite the damage, of the approximately 300 castle ruins located in the Okinawa prefecture, this castle is one of the best preserved in its original state. (I got this factoid from the brochure. I can assure you Yoni and I have not visited 300 castle ruin sites. They’re nice, but they all look basically the same. But still – fun for a Sunday outing!)

Our local poisonous snake is called the Habu. Okinawans, however, are not known for their command of English when it comes to signage.

All of the rocks were numbered - we figured they were possibly re-assembling something a la the Jerusalem Stone walls near Machaneh Yehudah.

Yoni says that this hotel is haunted (at least according to local Marine Corps lore). If you're interested, he recommends googling "Nakagusuku Hotel haunted". 
I could not believe how many layers this woman was wearing. It was seriously hot. 

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