Okinawa 4: Hiking Route 58
James Knott takes a long hike along Route 58 through northern okinawa. He needs to reach Hentona before night creeps in. You should see the size of the centipede he finds along the road.
Okinawa 5: Hentona to Ogimi
James hikes a little further on Route 58 in Okinawa - this time from Hentona to Ogimi by way of Okuma. See Japan's largest spider, the unique tombs and the beautiful blue beaches.
Okinawa 6: Family in Nakijin
In this episode, James heads to Nakijin village to see his Okinawan relatives. The whole family cooks out at his Aunt Tsuneko and Uncle Haru's house. They sing Happy Birthday (in Japanese) and plenty of Orion beer is consumed. James also finds a huge spider living in the bathroom behind the toilet. Yikes!
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Okinawa 7: Nakijin Castle and Village
Nakijin is the off the beaten path. This video explores the backroads of this rural community. James stumbles on a cool moth that is beautifully camoflaged. Take a moment to notice how loud the cicadas are in the background. Then, we head to Nakijin Castle (Nakijin-Jo) to learn about the history of these centuries-old ruins.
Okinawa 8: Ie-Jima
James Knott takes a ferry to the island of Ie-Jima (AKA Peanut Island) and climbs to the top of it's highest point, Gusuku-Yama. On the way down a huge snake nearly lands on his head - is it the dreaded, poisonous habu snake?
Okinawa 9: The Jungles of Yonaha-Dake
Aunt Tsuneko and Uncle Haru hike with James to the top of Okinawa's highest point - Yonaha-Dake. It's a fairly intense trail made scarier because of the fear of habu snakes along the path. They see several cool specimens of wild-life - Ryukyu robins, lizards and frogs.
Okinawa 10: Ocean Expo Park and Churaumi Aquarium
Ocean Expo Park is a great place to stop in Okinawa. It's home to Churaumi Aquarium - the second largest aquarium in the world. Seeing the whale shark swim by makes it worth the stop just by itself. There is also a great dolphin show and a small village of traditional houses.
Okinawa 12: U.S. Military and Central Okinawa
James Knott visits the central part of Okinawa's main island. This area has the highest concentration of U.S. Military bases in Japan and is a great place to see the influence of American culture on Japanese Society. There are also some great resorts - like Moon Beach and Busena Terrace - and some deliciously cheap sushi to enjoy.
Okinawa 13: Katsuren-Jo
Katsuren-Jo is one of nine World Heritage Sites on the island of Okinawa. This is the former home of Lord Amawari from the 15th Century - the last local leader to be defeated before the Ryukyu Kingdom took control of the island. There is also a brief look at watersports on the island.
Okinawa 14: Naha
Okinawa's capitol city of Naha is southern Japan's cultural center. Venture through the streets of Naha with James Knott and learn about some cool places to visit like Kokusai-dori, Shuri Castle (Shuri-jo), Heiwa-dori, Shikinaen, Tamaudun, Fukushu-en Garden and Naminou Beach. Take the monorail, sit back, relax and enjoy.
Okinawa 15: Kokusai-Dori
Take a walk with James Knott down the most famous street in Southern Japan - Kokusai-Dori (International Street). "The Miracle Mile" is full of energy and several times a year you can experience parades and festivals. Enjoy the great shops and restaurants and pick up a few souveniors like Shisa dogs, Awamori and Goya-themed trinkets.
Okinawa 16: Musical Traditions
From Eisa drumming to the Sanshin there are many musical traditions unique to Okinawa. Let your ears go on a musical adventure with James Knott as he explores the history and sounds of the island. Hiyasasa! From Shuri Castle to the Uchinanchu Festival to Kokusai-dori, there are so many venues to see these traditional dances.
Okinawa 17: World's Largest Tug-of-War
The Naha Tsunahiki is the world's largest annual Tug-Of-War. Every October, the residents of Naha pit the eastern half of the city versus the western half. The hatagashira (decorative poles representing areas of Naha) wave high above the parades and crowds. It is quite a spectacle.
Okinawa 18: Heiwa-Dori and Makishi Public Market
Shopping on Heiwa-Dori is a great way to take in Okinawan life. The tastes of the people are revealed with what is on sale in this maze of small shops. Get lost in the culture and pick up a few authentic souveniors with James Knott as he wanders through this asian shopping mecca. Items available - goya, smoked irabu sea snake, awamori, shisa dogs, clothes, umbrellas, pottery and anything else you can think of. If you're feeling hungy head to the Makishi Public Market and get some fresh fish, lobster, crabs and clams and have it sent upstairs to be prepared by one of the nearby restaurants.
Okinawa 19: Shisa Dogs and the Tsuboya Pottery Village
Tsuboya Pottery District is the home of Okinawa's pottery makers. Learn about the Chinese-influenced history of this district and the significance of it's most popular item - the Shisa Dog. Fire up the kiln and enjoy taking awalk down this quaint little street. You can find a Shisa dogs almost anywhere in Okinawa - rooftops, doorways, parades and more.
Okinawa 20: Shuri Castle
Shuri Castle - or Shuri-jo - is the largest castle in Okinawa. It was once the center of the Ryukyu kingdom and has been reconstructed to its original grandeur. Catch a glimpse inside the castle walls and learn about the history of this great monument.
Okinawa 21: Shikinaen
Shikinaen (Shikina Garden) is the largest second residence of the Ryukyu royal family. Come stroll the grounds with James Knott as he explores the history and architecture of this World Heritage site.
Okinawa 22: Tamaudun
Tamaudun is a mausoleum built for the Ryukyu royal family who ruled the Okinawan Islands for centuries.
Okinawa 23: Sefa Utaki
Sefa Utaki is considered to be one of the most sacred religious sites on the island of Okinawa. It was used for religious ceremonies by kings and priestesses in the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Okinawa 24: Okinawa World and Gyokusendo Cave
Okinawa World is a theme park that celebrates Okinawan culture. It's main attraction is the longest Cave in Okinawa - Gyokusendo Cave. Go spelunking with James Knott in another fun video highlighting Okinawan culture and travel.
Okinawa 25: WW2 Peace Memorial
The Battle of Okinawa in WW2 devasted the island. Over 100,000 Okinawan civilians were killed in the fighting. Today a very fitting peace memorial sits in southern Okinawa.