New semester and Okinawa!





These past few weeks have been pretty busy with the start of the new semester – classes starting up, resident meetings for the seminar house, everyone settling back in properly.  I haven’t had a lot of time for running about the Kansai area!  However, this weekend I managed to get the chance to go to Okinawa with some friends!  It was just for the weekend, only three days and two nights, but we saw the sights of Naha and even made our way to a beach!

Little beach in Naha

The view wasn’t great – get a load of that highway!  And it was February, so the water was a bit chilly, but it was nice to sit in the sun on the beach.  Okinawa was far warmer than Osaka is.  I really enjoyed the warmth.  It was especially great because we decided to walk everywhere, and walking in the cold is so much worse!

Aside from the beach, we had time to go to a nice little garden we passed on the way!  It was heavily Chinese-influenced, so a lot of the design and architecture was different from what I’ve seen in other gardens in Japan!

So many waterfalls.
Like a tall birdhouse.

There was also a gazebo with an astounding sun design in the ceiling  – literally one of the best things I’ve seen in Japan.  The work was so intricate and skillful.  I have no idea why, but it really stood out to me.

I love it.

One of the best parts about the garden, though, was a series of caves with a gazebo on top and a waterfall coming over it – you could go inside, and actually stand right behind the waterfall!  I wish there was more stuff like that in Japan – little adventures to have in your free time.

The entrance to waterfall cave!

I think this garden might be one of my favorite places I’ve been in Japan.  It’s definitely a highlight for Okinawa!  Fukushen garden – I must return one day!

Our return to Osaka the next day was cold and filled with reminders of homework and assignments, but the warmth of Okinawa still glows in our hearts!  Spring can’t come soon enough.