Last weekend we were in TCCOR-1C i.e. in lockdown due to not 1 but 2 typhoons (Fitow & Danas) hitting Okinawa, I was expecting a blog post out of it; dinner by candle light, camping out and playing board games, instead the typhoons were a non-event, not only did we not lose power (which I am actually pleased about) but the second typhoon, Danas, which was predicted to be a category 4, didn’t even produce a heavy rain!
So after being locked indoors last weekend we made an effort to head out today and cross something off our ‘Okinawa Bucket List’ just in case Whipa (another typhoon) decides to put us in TCCOR-1C again, keep your fingers crossed it continues on its projected path; only getting 335 nautical miles close to Okinawa.
We ended up visiting Ryukyu Mura; a recreated village from the times of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which includes a traditional residence, a shrine and various workshops which visitors can enjoy (pottery, weaving, painting a statue etc) as well as performances.
Unfortunately, it took us a lot longer to get to Ryukyu Mura than it should of, I blame the stupid map, Matt blames the navigator a.k.a me! So by the time we arrived it was lunch time, we enjoyed some Okinawan Soba and just as we sat down to eat, one of the performances started. 2 men playing a drum and sanshin guitar started singing and before we knew it, dancers and eisa drummers weaved around the tables and even brought gifts (some Okinawan cookies and a pinwheel for Eden).
After lunch we finally got to enter, it’s a small but well maintained place and hard to believe that some of these houses, while basic, are 200 years old. Incense burnt, many pairs of shoes lay at the entryway, and employees, wearing traditional outfits, made tea, played sanshin guitar and cared for the water buffalo to name a few.
Matt almost bought some milk so that Eden could feed one of the goats we came across, that was until he discovered that the milk wasn’t for feeding the goats but it was the goats milk!.
Eden thoroughly enjoyed feeding the fish and the 1 duck while Clio absolutely lapped up all the attention she was getting!.
We had planned on bypassing the Habu centre, both Matt & I are happy if we don’t see one of these poisonous snakes for the duration of this tour, even if it is caged, but we ended up there for the Eisa performance, we caught a glimpse of one habu, and that was definitely enough for both of us!.
It didn’t take long to walk around the entire place, which was ok by me, it was hot and I was eager for the end, why you ask, because before we had even entered Ryukyu Mura we had said we would get the girls dressed up in traditional costume and pay the overpriced fee to get their picture taken. We are suckers for this and have quite a stack of these souvenir photos and I was A.O.K about adding another to the pile, especially because the girls looked so damn cute! So cute in fact that they managed to get a small crowd of Japanese around them also taking their photo!.
I am looking forward to crossing more items off our bucket list over the next couple of days…will keep you posted!