Friends, Associates, & Other Stuff Aug 11 - Dec 11
12th Itoman Peaceful Illumination Festival just began with the aim of giving Okinawa's prayers for peace, and making them heard to the world. The event is held in Mabuni, Itoman, where the final battle of Okinawa took place during World War II.
Shurijo Castle Park (11th World Heritage site within Japan)- site was the center of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Has both Chinese and Japanese influences that showcase it's cultural and historical values.
Shikinaen Royal Garden (related World Heritage site)- largest second residence of the Ryukyu royal families used to entertain the family and foreign guests.
18 MOS Holiday Party
Tour around Okinawa’s sacred prayer sites and religious culture. Tamaudum (the Royal Mausoleum), Shuri Kannon Temple, Gokoku Shrine, Sefa Utaki and Narita Temple. Stopped at a JUSCO for lunch and saw a bit of Christmas activity....with a broke a$$ Santa. LOL
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders visiting Kadena. I think they had about 4 teams of girls all over the base at the same time. I was able to work having one of my Airmen eat lunch with a group...he's from Texas and a diehard Cowboys fan. He actually went to college with one of the girls he had lunch with. Small world.
Thanksgiving weekend in Kyoto, Japan. A wonderful trip with beautiful scenery and COLORS. Didn't realize how much I missed a real fall season. Saw so many different temples, shrines, castles etc... that I honestly won't be able to recall which ones are which. List includes the following Heian Jingu Shrine, The Golden Pavilion, Rokuon-Ji Temple, Toji Temple, Sanjusangen-do Temple (w/1001 Buddha's), Kyomizu Temple, Deer Park., a side trip to Osaka for downtown and Osaka Castle (thank you Maki), and so much more. Also, have random stuff from wandering the city. All and all 780 photos taken. Would have been more, but there were a quite a few places we weren't allowed to photo (inside temples)
Day 3 - includes my detour to Osaka
Day 4 - stumbled across a college event while at one of the last day sites. Heard some old school hip-hop off I went. lol
Ie Island Day Tour- Ernie Pyle's Memorial, Niya-thiya cave (w/legendary rock, and it is said that if a woman lifts it she will soon have a baby), Wajee, and hiking Mt. Gusuka
Expo Park, Okinawa Aquarium (2nd largest in the world), and Tropical Dream Center (I now know what beautiful smells like)
Veteran's Day (11/11/11)- historical tour of the Battle of Okinawa in WWII. Okinawa Museum (couldn't take photo's inside the museum) at/and Peace Prayer Park, Southern Beach Hotel for buffet lunch, and Japanese Naval Underground.
Zombie Walk in American Village
Ryukyu Golden Kings Basketball
Sunday in Nago: Neo Animal Park, 21st Century Park, and riding around.
Camp Foster Festival music: American Idol's David Archuleta playing a ..that boy can saaanng! Filipino group called Streebeat (they kept it LIVE). And Iyaz...cat kept it moving right!
Exploring the North: Nakijin Castle ruins, Fruit Land (bonus cause I finished lunch fast), Nago Pineapple Park (got some wine coming your way mom), Ryukyu Glass & Orion Beer Factory all in one wonderful day.
Okinawa World Festival- Okinawan's that have moved to other countries come back to Okinawa to share the cultures of the countries they live in now. It's held every 5 years so my timing couldn't be better. lol Lot's of food, music, dancing and stuff to buy. I almost didn't go 'cause the weather was crappy. Even left the big guns (dSLR) at home...bad move, such a bad move, but my Canon S90 did okay.
Naha Great Tug-of-War- The rope is the largest in the world and is a Guinness World Record holder. Takes 15K+ people to pull it. With so many people I really didn't see much of the rope or anything going on. Got some photos of kids on shoulders though. lol
Okinawan Professional Wrestling- it was pretty exciting and entertaining. Title fight night between Habu Man and Mango.
Labor Day weekend on Yoron Island, Okinawa
Tenkaichi Super Fight (Kickboxing & MMA)..they brawl for real in Oki!!
Alien Ant Farm at Camp Hansen Festival (don't remember what they were called, but the cover band was pretty good as well)
18 Maintenance Operations Support Squadron Summer Picnic. Another day of picture "takering" where I don't end up in any photos. Damnit when will I learn! ;)
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