My Mum or ‘GG’ as she is affectionately known to our girls, came to visit late last month for 10 days! Clio & I met her at the airport while Matt took Eden to her basketball game. I had intended not to tell Eden what Clio and I were doing because I knew she would want to come with us instead of participating in her hour long basketball lesson. Matt didn’t think about it and I didn’t think to mention my plan to Matt, so as we loaded up into separate cars Eden, ever so inquisitive asked where Clio & I were off too. Matt told her. Sure enough the entire lesson she constantly asked if GG was here yet, I know because I got a few messages from Matt inquiring on her behalf!
Mum flew from Australia, so while Australia is virtually on the same time as Okinawa (only 1 hour different) it was still a long flight which included a short stopover. I expected Mum would be tired when we picked her up at lunch, but she was raring to go! We all met back at the house ate some sushi and then made a plan on what we could go see/do. Matt & I settled on a visit to Zakimi Castle Ruins as it was new for all of us and we had been meaning to go for a while.
A short drive North and we reached the ruins, we didn’t stay for long, yeah they were nice, but not spectacular, the views were great, but it was SO WINDY, I think Mum probably thought she was back in Windy Wellington! I had done my research prior to our visit and everyone recommends paying the small entry fee to visit the folklore museum, sadly it was closed when we arrived so we couldn’t do that. I hear at night the ruins are illuminated which I think would be very cool to see, I am unsure if this is year round or just at Christmas time but I definitely plan on heading back to see it.
We ended the evening at a restaurant in the Yomitan area and I think Mum really enjoyed her first real taste of Okinawa!
The next morning we headed South to the touristy Okinawa World; a theme park showing the history, culture and nature all in the one place. There are three different ticketing options depending on what you plan on seeing/doing; The Kingdom Village, Habu Museum and the Gyokusendo Cave. We went with the option that included all three!
Having purchased our tickets we headed straight for the cave! The cave, created over 300,000 years a go, and is a whopping 5,000 meters long although only 890 of that is open to the public with the remaining preserved for research purposes. It contains over a million stalatites and was so cool to walk through and see all the different formations.
Thirty minutes after we entered the cave we exited with rumbling tummies so our next stop was finding food. There are a few smaller stalls selling food but we opted for the restaurant which served an all you can eat buffet!
The Kingdom Village offers many workshops where you can try your hand at weaving, paper making, pottery dying and many other things (most/all of which cost a little extra). I think this aspect of it is very similar to Ryukyu Mura which we visited back in October. There are also many shops to pick up locally made products and souvenirs.
I wasn’t really sure what Okinawa World was all about but almost everyone I have met here has been, had we not been to Ryukyu Mura previously I may have found it a little more interesting!
My favorite part of the day was definitely the cave and watching Eden follow GG around like a little shadow, everywhere GG went Eden was sure to go.