Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shuri Castle tour book day

On Saturday Adrienne and I went to Naha to see Shuri Castle and do a little touristy shopping :) The trusty tour book guided us to the castle no trouble at all thank goodness! We got an English map and set off on our walk - the grounds were beautiful and it was a gorgeous day out!

Adrienne outside the entrance with our map :)

The first of MANY gates :)
The view down the hill - funky steps on a very steep slant
The outside of the castle - the middle part is where only the king can go during formal ceremonies - the lines on either side is divided by rank (kind of assigned seating)
We didn't know we would have to pay 800 yen to go inside the castle, but we figured we'd come all that way and were half done with the walk, so why not pay the money to see the once we got past the courtyard and entered the actual castle we were given a bag and were required to take off our shoes. It was HILARIOUS to see all these tourists walking around in bare feet or socks!
This was where the king conducted his business - tea ceremonies, etc. - it was amazing to see the how the tatami mats fit perfectly into a room
The castle had been destroyed by fires and war four times and it now sits a bit higher to prevent further damage - it was cool to see how they preserved the original castle ruins (notice the bare feet!! ha ha)
This was where the king does all his official stuff - the grand child sits on one side, the child on the other and the king comes down the stairs and sits in the middle - the detailing is so ornate
Adrienne and I in front of the King ;)
This is where the Queen would sit - the 2nd floor is girls only, no boys allowed
I wanted to take a picture with this guy, but Adrienne didn't think he'd be to friendly about that so I just pretended to be taking a picture of the building

The view of the courtyard from the inside - the red building is the gate to come in and the gray building on the side is where we entered to go through the castle

These models are examples of what the New Year's ceremony looks like and the 2nd one is of the ceremony of a new king coming into power

We went exploring the outskirts of the castle after the walking tour of the castle - I saw the HUGEST fish ever in a very shallow pond - it was funny to me
Adrienne walking ahead of me as legs just don't go as fast as hers!
The shopping trip wasn't successful in the buying department, but fun to wander the street anyway :) We parked in a lot and we thought it was going to be 100 yen every 20 minutes so 2 and half hours later we were a SHOCKED to pay 1800 yen (about 18 dollars) for parking - OOPS! Oh well, I guess that's what happens when we can't read the sign - not to self, do not park in a place that has a machine for a parking attendant!


Edith/URL said...

Tour Book Days are keeping you all healthy, happy, and you're going to be broke...if you keep paying Disneyland Parking Ticket prices--not quite, but it sounds extreme for a Castle. Enjoyed your pictures--you know the interesting fish is a koi, at least it looks like a koi. On boys day in Japan Koi flags are flown and the number of flags denotes the number of boys in the family. I missed talking with you all. Have a great week.

Adrienne said...

I don't remember ever walking that far ahead of you! I think the problem here are your little legs! :)

Aimee said...

The Shuri Castle looked awesome! You get to do all this tour book stuff again when we visit you (ha ha). I like being on this side of the timezone too! Funny that we hated it when I first arrived! :)I just miss you!

Cheryl said...

You're going to have to add parking to your budget! It looks like you had a fun trip though! Love you and miss you!