By Jenifer Tull-Gauger
Tuesday morning, we drove out to Zakimi Castle. It was still hot and humid, but I could not complain about it this day, because trees and the ocean breeze made it tolerable. On the drive to the Zakimi, I noticed shisa statues everywhere, especially guarding houses and properties in the neighborhoods.
We took a group photo at this sign as we left the Zakimi Castle parking lot. After that,a long path led between plenty of pine trees on both sides. Those beautiful trees provided a lot of cool shade. I love this picture of Dave lying on a bench. That is even though we found out later that he was coming down with pneumonia.
We had time to enjoy scenic Zakimi Castle. I was surprised at how small the king’s house (main house) was, as we could tell by looking at the outline of where the walls used to be.
They rebuilt this castle in 1972. I did not see plaques telling about ancient life there, but it had beautiful views in all directions.
Any time you are with Kaicho is a learning moment. Dave took videos of us doing katas.
Pinan Godan video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCuuAv1z4-M
Tomari Seisan video link (Dave was on top of the castle wall taking this footage): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7YbbRF_mlI&feature=youtu.be
After our time at Zakimi castle, we went to the museum adjacent to the parking lot. Many funerary urns sat outside. The museum showed off a lot of historical information and displays. The second story housed a small, enjoyable art museum.
After our Zakimi visit, we bought lunch at a grocery store and headed to a beach called Tumaigushiku. We strolled up a path to a picnic point overlooking the ocean. This was one of the areas invaded in the Battle of Okinawa. The wind kept the temperature nice, but blew our napkins and food wrappers around. Paths led down to the water.
Adjacent, a nice green park held beautiful plants and a small tomb, a playground, and a beach area with a rock formation shaped like a tunnel. At the water’s edge we saw a lot of shells, rocks, coral and sea glass. This proved one of my very favorite places on Okinawa. I could have stayed there longer, even for hours, beachcombing and relaxing, but others had to get a move on, so we went along too.
I will end my telling of our Tuesday adventures with my haiku inspired by Zakimi Castle:
perched atop a hill
the castle! with ocean views