Today was our first full day in Okinawa and we had a great time. We took a ride south of Lucky's almost to the end of Okinawa to go to the Okinawa Memorial Peace Park. This is a memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in the battle of Okinawa. This was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. There are many different tombs in the park and they also have walls with the names of those who died much like The Wall in DC. The one big difference though is that these walls contain the names of ALL who died. There are walls containing the names of victims from the US, Great Britain and Ireland as well as tne many walls filled with Japanese names. This park is dedicated to peace and there are quotes on different monuments in this peace with that theme. A beautiful and peaceful place.
We had quite an interesting drive down since it seems that their road signs are pretty quirky. We were traveling on one route that just stopped. It made navigation to the place we were going quite a challenge but gave us the chance to see a different side of Okinawa. We traveled part of the way along the coast and had wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean.
We came back north and went to Kokosai Street to do some shopping. This was a busy place. We wandered down a few of the alley ways (really streets) where there were vendors who have been there for many years. It was on a much larger scale than something like the Italian Market in Philadelphia (for those of you in Eastern PA). It was really fun to walk through and we did manage to find some things to buy. Pottery, fabric and special shopping bags to carry it all. And we also bought flip-flops at a 100 yen shop. A bargain that we can use tomorrow when we go on base for our manicures and pedicures. Yes, this part of the trip is filled with some pampering.
The best was when we went into one of the Japanese markets. Lots of fresh meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. Pig's feet, fish of every color, and some unknown (to us, at least) things from the ocean. One of the vendors offered us a taste of something we asked about but we declined. Better to do that than taste and spit. We also saw a whole pig's head and a puffer fish. Interesting. Our best new tastes of the day were sweet potato ice cream and sweet potato cookies. We saw Okinawa glass that is made right here in Okinawa.
On our way home we stopped for Thai food which was quite tasty. At least for the Japanese version of Thai food.
Another perk we have here is some normal TV programming. But it is evening and the Today show is on right now. A little confusing perhaps. Lucky has TV supplied by the Armed Forces Network. There are no regular commercials but rather all military commercials. Felicity and I are considerind enlisting! They did show Dancing with the Stars tonight.
On to more adventures and new experiences tomorrow. Oh, and I forgot to say it was 70 degrees and sunny for most of the day. Hope you are enjoying nice weather too.