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Japan Kyushu Okinawa

Postcards and Poetry from Okinawa

October 2, 2015

The rope of islands in the East China Sea that make up Japan’s southernmost prefecture once prospered as an independent territory before falling under the control of modern-day Kagoshima in the 19th century. The Ryukyu Kingdom then became known as Okinawa, and was taken over by the US during World War II, under whose administration it remained until the 1970s. Several thousand military members are still stationed on the main island today, and that is one of the reasons it is so famous. The other is for the islands’ surrounding seas, which are considered some of the most beautiful in the world, brimming with coral and marine life. The Ryukyu spirit lives on in Okinawan culture, language and cuisine, which is nothing like the rest of Japan. In fact, arriving there from the mainland is like falling down a rabbit hole. During Silver Week, I was lucky enough to follow Alice for 8 glorious days through Naha and Miyako with an awesome bunch of humans otherwise known as the Okinawarriors (check out our hashtag on Instagram!) We saw whale sharks for the first time, dined in the only Little America I know, bussed to a Peace Park that we never saw, drove across the longest toll-free bridge in Japan, caught flights and missed flights, and swam and snorkelled our days and nights away, feasting under the moonlight with new friends that welcomed us into their home and hearts like family. It was a holiday like no other and I don’t believe I’ve ever visited a more magical place. How to do it justice? I can only offer a few snapshots and words that began to take shape on our last night at the beach…

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