Okinawa Trip

The Okinawan Sweet Potato

The Okinawan sweet potato was one of the few things that I missed out on when we visited Okinawa. There, purple sweet potatoes are a part of the culture in the cooler months of autumn and winter. Small trucks with ovens on the back go around selling fresh roasted sweet potatoes. I hear they are…

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Goya Bitter Melon: Eat and Enjoy

Their traditional diet contributes to the Okinawan elders’ robust health. And goya is a superstar ingredient in their traditional diet. Goya, also known as bitter melon, has many health benefits. It is definitely bitter and said to be an acquired taste. But some of us easily acquire it. Especially when prepared in a delicious chanpuru…

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3 Tips on Japanese for English-Speakers

In traditional Okinawan karate, we promote the culture that created our art. Language is an influential part of culture. The Japanese language remains the most enduringly difficult part of my martial arts training. Like a thorn in my side, it occasionally causes agonizing discomfort. Yet it’s survivable. And I don’t even notice it or think…

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OKINAWA TRIP 21: GRAND FINALE

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger On the first leg of our Okinawa trip, we stopped overnight in Hawaii, and got to witness a beautiful sunset along with a rainbow.  That night inspired this haiku: Waikiki sunset! tourists clamor in the street soba in bellies Here are two highlights of our trip on video, as promised.  These kata…

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OKINAWA TRIP 20: HAWAII OKINAWAN CULTURAL CENTER

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger We were able to stop over in Hawaii for two full days, plus a little longer, before we landed on the mainland (U. S. A.).  Several years prior, I had come across the Hawaii United Okinawa Association online while researching Okinawa.  I had determined then that if I ever went to Hawaii,…

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OKINAWA TRIP 19: GOODBYE OKINAWA

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger We left Okinawa on one of the first flights Sunday morning, but this was not the end of our trip.  It was not even the end of my visit to things Okinawan. It was a nice drive to the airport in Naha, with fluffy clouds in the sky.  We actually got to…

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OKINAWA TRIP 18: ON THE ROAD FROM NAHA

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger I enjoyed comparing and contrasting the everyday things like road workers and signs. Naha: the city’s road sites adjacent to Shuri Castle: I found this interesting: the center high-rise is completely covered in tarps as they do construction on it: This elf sign adorned several locations that we saw on the road. …

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OKINAWA TRIP 17: SHURI CASTLE

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger On Saturday, July 4th, we went to Shuri Castle, in the capitol city of Naha.  There were a lot of (mostly) Asian tourists there, and it was fairly crowded.  Our hosts worked their magic with the attendants in the full parking garage and finagled enough parking for our whole group. Shuri Castle…

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OKINAWA TRIP 16: SHOPPING, RELAXING & PR

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger The huge sign, above, bordered a large, open park.  We stopped at a large grocery store so we could go shopping for food to grill at the Wray’s.  Amy had told us about such fruit pictured below.  Now we finally got to see it with our own eyes.  They sell premium fruit…

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OKINAWA TRIP 15: NAKIJIN CASTLE

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger Nakijin Castle was to be our northernmost Okinawa destination.  As we got close, we stopped in a convenience store to buy our lunch. Once again, as in several other stores, the bento box-type perishable foods were displayed at room temperature.  This included all types of meat, pasta salad, rice, goya chample, eggs,…

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