If you were to ask me for advice on how to see Okinawa, that would be my advice. Jump in the car and drive. However, I would like to point out that I am visiting for a couple of months and most of the time I am by myself or with my husband. That leaves quite a bit of room for an impromptu adventure.
I clicked shuffle and my short trip started with Blessed by Martina McBride. I drove until I didn’t know where I was anymore and then I turned down a couple of streets. I came to Shurisakiyamacho near Naha.
I came across this gazebo with a bench sitting under it and this VIEW! What an amazing place to sit and read, or have lunch or watch the sunset! Being a Tuesday, I didn’t see anyone else here.
I followed the stairs down and took a walk around the neighborhood. Down the stairs and to the left I walked by many beautiful tombs. The stairway I was on appeared to be there for the tombs. These tombs were right in the middle of this neighborhood hidden among the trees. There were little paths that led from one to the next. I didn’t take any photos or wander too close to be respectful. On the Okinawa Wanderer (http://www.okinawanderer.com/2017/03/the-origins-of-okinawan-tombs/) , I learned a little bit about these tombs, or haka as they are called in Japanese. The Japanese culture isn’t very religious but these tombs show influence from China. The two types of tombs are turtleback and gable. The turtleback are larger and resemble a turtles back and are meant to symbolize a womans’ womb. The gable is smaller and more house like. The Okinawan people believe that after death, the souls return to a mothers’ womb fore that is where life started. The haka are sacred places and once a year, family will gather at their beloveds haka; bringing food and drinks.
I eventually hit a couple dead ends and turned around. Next time I’m in the area, I want to explore the paths that are peeking through the trees down below!