Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Exploring the Okinawan South

In the mood for something different, over the weekend we headed south and drove along the coast to visit a few scenic spots and enjoy views of ocean.

Our first stop was the Ryuku Glass and Ceramics Factory where they sell beautiful dishes, vases, planters, and tiles among other things. The pottery is mostly brown clay and rustic and earthy looking, while the glass reminds me of Murano glass from Italy-- vibrant, sparkly, and colorful. The factory has an open workshop where you can watch the glass be heated in a 1300 degree oven and then transformed into a plate or glass right in front of you. (We did buy a few things including 2 gorgeous thick glass mugs, and wouldn't you know, I already shattered one, not even in our possession for 24 hours)

From there, we visited the Peace Memorial Park, a monument to those lost during the Battle for Okinawa, March-June 1945 . Both of us had read about the battle and learned about the Japanese and American losses, but it was more than overwhelming to see the actual sheer number of marble tablets honoring the names of the deceased including 107, 539 Japanese miltary.  

Also, one area of the park honors by name the 12,000 Americans who perished during the battle.

We were very impressed by the serenity of the monument overlooking the ocean.

Our final stop was lunch at Cafe Carumba, aka Thai in the Sky. What a cool place! Perched up high on a cliff and surrounded by flowering plants and foliage, this restaurant serves all kinds of Thai and Japanese dishes made with herbs they grow in their own garden. In fact, we could smell the freshness of the herbs the minute we got out of the car. 

We ordered Typhoon pork curry 

Tom Yum Seafood Soup

Last, Larb salad

After our meal, we sat outside the restaurant and enjoyed the view.

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