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Okinawa World

Gyokusendo Cave, from my 2 previous posts, was highly mentioned as a travel suggestion during our orientation here in Okinawa. It says that it is in Okinawa World. Given I don’t fully research about the places I go to, I really wondered so much as why they call it “Okinawa World”, and why in the Okinawa World the cave is doing there.

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Luckily Okinawa World is not a theme park as I thought it sounded to be, neither a news channel. :D Little did I know (I’m too slow to catch it.) that Okinawa World encompasses most of what you need to know about Okinawa living. That being said, in well under a month, i got me a pretty good gist of what it’s like here in this little piece of Japanese land. No book nor Powerpoint presentation can offer that kind of knowledge in one presence than being in Okinawa World.

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My favorite interest is the Shisa. It is a cross between a lion and a dog. Most houses and businesses display this pair outside. The one with a closed mouth, always left side, is to keep good spirits in. The one with an open mouth, right, is to shoo away bad spirits. The one below…

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….. just smiling stuff toys, perhaps to mock whatever kind of spirit. :D

Above: Old houses, hanging wishes, food that day, open-mouth Shisa and Habu snake.

They also have a glass blowing and shisa making tutorials.

We each made our glass purchases. :) We all also tried wearing Kimonos which was so cool. We also wrapped wrapped ourselves to a very large snake. Like I previously said, it was a bucketlist galore when we were there in Okinawa World. We also tried Habushu or Habu Sake or snake wine. They also have Eisa performance, but photography was not allowed. You can visit my previous post here.

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They said a swig of this snake liquor can easily knock you out, an instant sleeping pill. :) A bite from the snake can actually lead to many side effects including death as Habu snakes are venomous.

Extra more: Banyan tree, paper wishes, shisa on a roof, glass blowing

What is Gyokusendo Cave has to do with allllll these? Nothing, it just there in Okinawa World. Just there to confused me. :D I was wanting so badly to be inside a cave someday, and I got more than I hoped for. ;) The name completely threw me off, but Okinawa World turns out to be such a very neat thing. It’s a one-stop place to get to know a location’s traditions and way of life. I couldn’t ask for a better orientation. :)

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39 Comments

  1. I am enjoying my lessons on the Japanese life! Thanks for enlightening me:)

  2. Amy says:

    I appreciate you taking time to introducing us Japanese life and culture. Thank you, Rommel!

    • rommel says:

      I’m glad to get introduced by Okinawa World as well. I never been to one general location where it summarizes many things about the whole island. It really was a very near thing. I wish all area orientations are like this. :D

  3. Angelia Sims says:

    This is so cool! I hope to visit Okinawa one day. My husband,when enlisted in the Marines, got stationed there for several years. He loved it! I can see why now. The traditions are fascinating.

  4. Ingrid says:

    When hubby was in the Navy he spent some time in Okinawa and really enjoyed it although at 6’3″ he definitely towered amongst the locals. Looks like an interesting and fascinating place to explore :-)

  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    What an adventure, I’m not sure about that food though, was it good?

  6. LuAnn says:

    I always enjoy learning more about foreign lands. I know many who have been stationed in Okinawa in years past but never took the time to understand the culture. Glad to see that you are soaking it all in. :)

    • rommel says:

      Plenty of Americans in the service here. I like interacting with them. ;) Yeah, most of them are not as interested. I don’t get that, really. So many people pay good bucks and go extra length to be n foreign land. A lot of military personnel just don’t travel and go places at all.

  7. Sun says:

    it’s hard to think about snake liquor – you mean they actually drink, wait. what exactly do they swig from this snake? the poisonous juices or liquid from another part of the snake?
    - looks like a great place to learn about the culture – glad you shared your adventure. :)

    • rommel says:

      The liquid is the alcohol which you drink. They just put the snake in the bottle. I guess it mixes with the snake as well. The snake you don’t eat because it’s venomous.

      • Sun says:

        hmm, snake in the bottle but you cannot eat the snake because it’s poisonous. that makes sense. :| sounds like a heavenly drink. powerful punch, i bet. :)

  8. cocomino says:

    Great photos. And Thank you very much for sharing my blog. I really appreciate it. :D
    Have a wonderful Okinawa life.

  9. magiecrystal says:

    Eat lots of Okinawan food while there, Rommel. They’re the longest lived people in the world, thanks to their diet. Thanks for such an informative and fun post.

    • rommel says:

      Ow, I actually knew that even before coming here. They have a lot of fermented food which I am completely not a big fan of. I will get to a Japanese food post in the far future. :D

  10. adinparadise says:

    I would really love a pet Shisa. So ugly cute. :D Looks like you’re really having fun there, Rommel.

  11. I would really enjoy Okinawa World. It would be such a cultural immersion and I’d learn so much quite quickly, I’d assume. I love the paper blessings and wishes. There is something really lovely about that tradition. The whole idea of the snake liquor is both a bit upsetting and also quite intriguing…not that I want any, mind you! :-)

  12. hermitsdoor says:

    I have not been to Japan for 30 years. Sendi was the the farthest north that I travelled. Regarding those Shisa dog-lions, I had not thought of it before, but it looks a lot like a caricature of an Akita dog. Akitas are similar to huskies, but were bread in northern Japan to hunt bears. We have an Akita mixed with ???. Being an alpha-dog type, she guards our front porch, sitting with her tail curled up, stalky shoulders tall, ears up, and ready to snarl at intruders. Hmmm. Just speculation. Enjoy your travels.
    Oscar

    • rommel says:

      I see. You’re right! They do look like Akita dogs. I shall pass what I’ve learned from you to my friendshere in Japan. Thanks for the power,I mean knowledge. :D

  13. themofman says:

    Shisa; finaly I get to know what they are. Thank you, Rommel.

  14. oh my goodness – i used to live in Okinawa, and Gyokusendo Cave used to be one of my favorite places to go. Thanks for the photography – really brought back some memories.

  15. wanderingcha says:

    Shisa, now I finally got to know the name of that dog-lion creature I often see in some business establishments here in the Philippines and why it has a closed or open mouth. Their eyes are haunting though, I think I’d still prefer the shisa stuff toys. :-D

  16. Angeline M says:

    Gosh, I am learning so much about Japan from your posts! I could do without the snakes, though! I don’t even want to look at them. Just being within this culture has got to make everything sink in faster for you to learn things.

    • rommel says:

      Being Asian, it still amazing how, we, asian countries all still have different cultures and traditions within the Asian races. I recognize the blessing of having this opportunity to experience a different culture than my own.

  17. Sony Fugaban says:

    I am not shy to say hi, so “hi”.

    It’s been a while, Rom. You still do that featuring blog kind of thing. Happy to know. It’s like a bit of a peer coaching in the academe. Anyway, I wish I have a job like you. It gets you to so many places. How cool is that, huh? Somehow, your vivid pictures get me to Japan. I wish one day I could get to so many places too.

    Regards, bro.

  18. […] are places you go to for a cultural immersion; to exercise or mesh with traditions. There are places you go to for an adventure, random or not. […]

  19. […] Ryukyu Mura, I found myself photographing people. And that exactly what separates Ryukyu Mura from Okinawa World. Both centralizes everything that describes Okinawa. Although, it is here in Ryukyu Mura that you […]

  20. […] - Habushu…a Sake drink→( Okinawa World by The Sophomoreslump) […]

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