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Japan Okinawa Naha Castle

7 November 2018

Castles and shopping centres

Todays post is largely for my mother. I did things my mother will enjoy. My mother is just about the only reader of whats written here, so now I am pandering to my audience. Today I went to a castle (the only castle) and then a shopping centre (which was an accident spotted from the monorail).

The castle is at the end of the monorail at Shurijo. Actually the monorail is being extended, I saw construction of it very far from Naha, but for now, the castle is the end of the line. And its not really at the castle.
At first you will think you are at the castle, but Japan has gone to great efforts to make you walk around the castle park to the front entrance. On my return journey I further questioned the logic of this, as there is a really nice park to walk through all the way from the gate to the monorail, but instead they have people directing you up a road with no footpath.

The castle was constructed in 1992 yet is somehow a UNESCO world heritage site, which to me makes the very concept of world heritage worthless. I guess it is nice, theres huge new bits of wooden tea house corridors to walk through while they yell no photo. Of course you have to take your shoes off, because the glue is still drying as its so new.

The main castle is red, which apparently is the Ryukyuan style, but right now as you shall see, you get to see some painters drop cloths that have an image of the red castle printed on them.

History time, The Ryukyuan kingdom was ethnically Chinese, at least at the government official level. It only officially became part of Japan in 1879. I had no idea.

Entrance to the castle compound and the 'follow the route' path tour is about $10. It is very very popular with school groups and tour groups. I think its probably worth it. Now brace yourself for a whole lot of photos of not very much today.

Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - I like the early morning light reflecting off the open sewer. I took a similar shot here in the afternoon on another night I think.

I like the early morning light reflecting off the open sewer. I took a similar shot here in the afternoon on another night I think.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Due to Japans ongoing labour shortage, there was a call for volunteers to drive the monorail. I knocked 3 other people out cold to claim my rightful p

Due to Japans ongoing labour shortage, there was a call for volunteers to drive the monorail. I knocked 3 other people out cold to claim my rightful place as monorail driver for the day.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - If you come to Naha, ride the monorail, the views are awesome. Towards the castle it goes up a long steep hill that gives a very cool perspective of t

If you come to Naha, ride the monorail, the views are awesome. Towards the castle it goes up a long steep hill that gives a very cool perspective of the place which I failed to capture in a photograph.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Here I was shooting DIRECTLY INTO THE HEART OF THE SUN to capture the castle moat. There was a strange singing group performing nearby that featured e

Here I was shooting DIRECTLY INTO THE HEART OF THE SUN to capture the castle moat. There was a strange singing group performing nearby that featured everyone trying to sing a different song simultaneously. Bonus points if you clapped out of time.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - I dont even know if these walls are original. There were some other parts of the wall that looked very old and just like a pile of rubble. So are they

I dont even know if these walls are original. There were some other parts of the wall that looked very old and just like a pile of rubble. So are they 1992 walls or slightly older re creation walls?


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - It was a very busy place.

It was a very busy place.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Before entering, I climbed up through the garden for a view of greater Naha. I am glad I did, because as you will see, they do not like you getting a

Before entering, I climbed up through the garden for a view of greater Naha. I am glad I did, because as you will see, they do not like you getting a view from anywhere else!


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - I am pretty sure these are 1992 walls.

I am pretty sure these are 1992 walls.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - OK, here is the castle and the strange forecourt, and a lot of people. It looks nice from a distance.

OK, here is the castle and the strange forecourt, and a lot of people. It looks nice from a distance.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - But get up close and you can see its just a plastic sheet.

But get up close and you can see its just a plastic sheet.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Inside you follow the preferred route for about 30 minutes, through long wooden rooms of pictures and lots of NO PHOTO imperial guards. One of the pla

Inside you follow the preferred route for about 30 minutes, through long wooden rooms of pictures and lots of NO PHOTO imperial guards. One of the places you can photo is the throne. To me that text says, earth world mountain central.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Here is a wooden model of the modern concrete and steel castle.

Here is a wooden model of the modern concrete and steel castle.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - I like the models.

I like the models.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - NO VIEW FOR YOU! I have no idea why not? Those stairs look brand new.

NO VIEW FOR YOU! I have no idea why not? Those stairs look brand new.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Here is another dead end from where I thought I might enjoy a view.

Here is another dead end from where I thought I might enjoy a view.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Instead all you can do is exit, without getting a good view of the compound. Maybe they are hiding the fact the whole thing is just a facade with a sh

Instead all you can do is exit, without getting a good view of the compound. Maybe they are hiding the fact the whole thing is just a facade with a shed on the back of it?


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - My return journey featured many snakes.

My return journey featured many snakes.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - I spotted a heap of shops from the viewpoint of the monorail, which affords an excellent view, so I got off and at first was horrified at this large a

I spotted a heap of shops from the viewpoint of the monorail, which affords an excellent view, so I got off and at first was horrified at this large abandoned high end luxury goods duty free store, Hilton hotel and car rental collection zone.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Fortunately over the road was a better larger poorer person shopping centre with numerous food courts and cafes.

Fortunately over the road was a better larger poorer person shopping centre with numerous food courts and cafes.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - It had all the Japan favorites, including Tokyu Hands. It extends a long way around the corner.

It had all the Japan favorites, including Tokyu Hands. It extends a long way around the corner.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - The weather was really nice today, I sat outside in this area and had my 2nd coffee. There was also a big cinema complex in this facility, showing the

The weather was really nice today, I sat outside in this area and had my 2nd coffee. There was also a big cinema complex in this facility, showing the Freddie Mercury film.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - This looks like it could be the new Imperial Navy Headquarters, but it is actually the Okinawan prefectural art gallery.

This looks like it could be the new Imperial Navy Headquarters, but it is actually the Okinawan prefectural art gallery.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - I decided that wherever I was, must be the non tourist centre of town. There were a lot of useful shops but none selling Hawaiian shirts.

I decided that wherever I was, must be the non tourist centre of town. There were a lot of useful shops but none selling Hawaiian shirts.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Wherever there are government buildings in Japan I have noticed these little bento box selling food trucks lined up at lunch time. Presumably office w

Wherever there are government buildings in Japan I have noticed these little bento box selling food trucks lined up at lunch time. Presumably office workers are not allowed to cross the road to the shopping centre at lunch time.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - My longer return journey to the hotel went past a different sewer system. Okinawa is a traditional water village. The water appears to have bleach in

My longer return journey to the hotel went past a different sewer system. Okinawa is a traditional water village. The water appears to have bleach in it.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - Tsunami's are very real here. There are signs everywhere about how far above sea level you are.

Tsunami's are very real here. There are signs everywhere about how far above sea level you are.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - I went to the supermarket for lunch. The good thing about Japanese supermarkets is they all have little seating areas with a microwave if you want it

I went to the supermarket for lunch. The good thing about Japanese supermarkets is they all have little seating areas with a microwave if you want it to eat the food you just purchased. I always microwave my sushi to improve the flavour. Generally these places also have free water (bleached), and a bathroom. Very convenient.


Japan-Okinawa-Naha-Castle - What is going on here? We have pole dancing whores combined with children with cat whiskers painted on their faces?

What is going on here? We have pole dancing whores combined with children with cat whiskers painted on their faces?


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