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Travelog post for: Bobbie

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Okinawa, Japan - 5th March 2009

By: JaymeC

Dear Mommy,
Jayme says she's trying to get in shape and exercise more. She's got up at 4:30am to go swimming and she's been trying to walk on the days she doesn't swim. I think she's a bit nuts. Swimming at 5am? Yikes! Anyway, we got to benefit from her fitness kick. We took a very long walk (45 minutes each way!) to a place called Futenma Shrine. Shrine's are very important in Japanese culture. People come to them to ask for luck for the upcoming year on New Year's and they are VERY crowded! They also come on other special days. We got there very early today (around 8am) and no one was there besides the people who tend to the shrine. Futenma Shrine is one of Okinawa's 7 Sacred Shrines.

Here's the view of it from the street.
There was a very pretty small fountain type area.
And here is the shrine's shisa. Did I tell you about shisa before? They are traditional Okinawan culture (actually taken from Chinese culture).  Shisa protect a place against spirits and are found on almost all homes and businesses on Okinawa. In fact, Jayme's apartment building even has one! She says the thing she'll miss most about Okinawa is probably the Shisa. Some of them are very cute. This one is rather intimidating. You can tell its a female shisa because its mouth is open. Shisa always come in pairs, male and female. A female has its mouth open to allow the good spirits through. A male has its mouth closed to capture the evil spirits.
And here is a closer up view of the shrine
What a lovely walk! I hope we'll have more to update about soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 5:04 am [Quote] Go to the top of the page


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