The Castles of Okinawa, Japan - My Family Travels
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Hi everyone! I had an amazing time this weekend and thought I should tell someone about it. I live in Okinawa, Japan. I've lived here for ten years and it has been an amazing experience. I like to explore the island with my family so sometimes we "get lost" which, in our case, means driving around without a map to find new things. We randomly do this, with no planning, but this weekend was different. We, we being my mom, sister and I, planned to go to not one but two, yes two, castles in one day. It is usually an easy task because castles here are so close to each other. Well, we weren't exactly thinking straight and chose to go to a castle on the north end of the island and a castle on the south end. Yeah, we weren't thinking of how much time there is in a day.

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When we got to our first castle in the north, Nakagusuku Castle Ruins, we were amazed at the view from the castle walls. We could look out at the ocean and a big dock and the town below. Nakagusuku Castle Ruins isn't very big but still breathtaking nonetheless. As we walked back to the entrance to leave the castle we passed the "haunted hotel". I cringed while my mom and sister got closer. Now, I understand that most people don't believe in the supernatural but when you live here it's hard not to. Japanese people are very superstitious and there are many places here that are haunted. The "haunted hotel" is what gets me the most though. There was a murder there (well more like many murders) and it was left empty. Then someone got the land grant and started construction for a new hotel. They had to stop construction though because workers kept getting hurt. It's empty now but there are tags left by gangs. It always gives me an eerie feeling when I see it. My mom and sister are really into supernatural things though so I kept walking while they took pictures and walked closer. Personally I think they're insane but hey, maybe that's just me. When they finally caught up and I made sure they weren't possessed we got a treat at the end. It was an ice cream we could only get there, Apple Mango. It tasted amazing! First, you get the taste of a crisp red apple and suddenly BAM the mango hits. It made the hot day that much more bearable.

Anyways, by the time we were done there it was too late in the day to go to the second castle so we opted to go the next day. Sad to say it but we failed in our quest for two castles in one day. Oh well, I'm over it now. The next day we got up early and went to the second castle, Shuri-jo. Shuri has gone through many wars but the Battle of Okinawa really took it down. It is being renovated though so visitors can see what it looked like in the feudal era. What I noticed most was how everything had either gold or flowers on it. I'm not really sure why but that really stood out to me. We didn't get as many pictures though because the camera died soon after we arrived. Overall, it was really cool to see and learn even more about this island I call home. I plan on going to more castle sites in the future. Maybe I'll even look at what ends of the island they're on this time.

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