We started our sightseeing on July 14 - went to Shurijo Castle Park and walked around. Shurijo Castle was constructed around the 14th century and served as the center of Ryukyu Kingdom for approximately 500 years. Shurijo Castle was actually reduced to ashes in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 but was restored in 1992.
|Making our way to Shurijo Castle - passing by Ryutan Lake|
|Looks like Cartman from South Park is drowning|
|Entrance to the grounds - Shureimon Gate|
|Paul is really beginning to like this pose|
|Kankaimon Gate - front gate of the Shurijo Castle|
|A lookout tower provided a panoramic view of the Castle grounds and view of the Naha port|
|Nichiei-dai - this sundial was used beginning in 1739 until 1879|
|Paul is patiently waiting for me to take photos...|
|...no, he doesn't look annoyed here|
|Entrance to Suimui Utaki - place of worship within the Castle precincts|
We also caught the daily cultural performance.
We then had a nice stroll through the park
|He's looking quite plump - Paul wanted to capture him for dinner|
|One of many ducklings swimming around|
|Paul liked this one because it was the only one far away from the group|
|Pretty colors on this butterfly|
|Another view of the castle as we leave the grounds|
We then spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Kokusai Street.
|See, Paul is slowly becoming Asian|
|Not as excited to take this photo|
|Pretty scary looking snakes in rice wine|
|Pots of rice wine|
|Paul found a friend|
|Santa had it comin'|
|He looked thirsty|
We had an educational day on July 15. We ventured south to first visit The Former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters. This 450 meter tunnel complex was built in 1944 and could sustain 4000 soldiers. Many people died in the tunnels including the admiral and many of his men who committed suicide in June 1945.
|This was a photo in the museum|
|Walking down to the tunnels|
|Walking through the hallways was eerie|
We went even further south to the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum.
|Not sure what Paul is looking at here|
|Names of those lost in the Battle of Okinawa|
|The "Cornerstone of Peace", a collection of stone plates with all the names of those fallen - civilian and military|
|Looking toward the Museum|
|Looking towards the Pacific Ocean|
|There were tons of butterflies|
|I was patient enough to get a few good shots|
|Really like the contrast in colors here|
|Clock tower and the path to Peace Hill|
|Guarding the entrance|
|At the top of the observation tower|
After the long day, Paul needed to let off some steam.
|Paul gave him a 5-piece|