Another fine day in Naha. In the morning, took a walk along the "Kinjo-machi Cobblestone Road" located down from Shuri Castle. The elegant cobblestone road was built during the reign of King Shoshin (1477-1526) as a route from Shuri Castle to the south. The existing cobblestone pavement is about 300 meters long, and the mosaic-like arrangement of Ryukyu limestone stones was spectacular.
Shuri Castle was the residence of the King of the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1429 to 1879, and flourished as the center of politics, diplomacy, and culture. It is built on a hill made of Ryukyu limestone, and the castle town spreads out around it. The area around Ryutan Street has been designated as an "Urban Landscape Preservation Area" with its red-tiled roofs and stone walls, a landscape suitable for a castle town. There are craft beer and wine stores, as well as a long-established Yamagusuku manju confectionery store, making it fun to stroll around . It is not in many guidebooks, but would recommend it.
"Ishigantou" were seen on the cobblestone road in Kinjo Town. Ishigantou is a stone used to ward off evil spirits, and is often seen in Okinawa and Kagoshima, along with Shisa (Okinawan Rion). It is said to have come from Fujian Province in China, with which the two countries have had relations in the Ryukyu period.
April has just started and it is already summer in Okinawa. Walking up the steep slope, it was so hot that the strong sunshine made the skin tingle, and had to be careful of heat stroke even in the morning.
Despite it is located on a hill, Shuri Castle has many wells where water from the limestone rocks flows out. This is because underneath the limestone is a layer of hard mudstone.
In the afternoon, drove to Ikei Island. The east side of the main island, opposite the area where many resort hotels are concentrated. In recent years, with the opening of the Kouri Bridge in the north side, it became possible to drive to Kourijima Island, which used to be a remote island. It seems that "remote islands reachable by car" are getting more attention here.
"Ikeijima Island" is located after crossing the ocean road from the main island and passing through Henzajima and Miyagijima Islands. This is an excellent driving route with a lot of variety where can enjoy the scenery typical of Okinawa. In particular, the 5-kilometer-long ocean road is an exhilarating drive through the middle of the sea. The next island, Miyagijima Island, is steeply up and down, but the emerald blue sea that can be seen from the car window is wonderful. After crossing the red arched Ikei Ohashi Bridge, reached Ikeijima Island. The view from the Ikei Bridge is also spectacular. Ikei Beach was closed today. The beach seemef already opened and jellyfish prevention safety nets was already set up.
Back to Naha, went to "Granato", a small wine shop near Shuri Castle.
Return to the hotel and enjoy the sunset.
Also enjoyed a Sicilian Grillo & Viognier blend and a South African Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon blend purchased from "Granato" at the hotel.
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