Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 6½ Hours
"Five hundred years of Ryukyuan history (12th-17th century) are represented by this group of sites and monuments. The ruins of the castles, on imposing elevated sites, are evidence for the social structure over much of that period, while the sacred sites provide mute testimony to the rare survival of an ancient form of religion into the modern age."
The meditative beauty of Okinawa's lush scenery, tropical sea breezes, wondrous rock formations, and ocean views over sandy beaches and palm trees will win you over from the moment your motorcoach leaves the port. Okinawa is sometimes called the 'Hawaii of Japan' and on this full-day tour with lunch you'll see why.
Perhaps the most sacred site in Okinawa, Seifa Utaki is an outdoor Shinto shrine. A place of natural wonders, it has an especially calm and contemplative atmosphere. Ceremonial altars were created from the natural stone outcroppings, ledges and caves that are found on this rocky promontory overlooking the sea. Dirt and stone pathways wind through the forests and clearings. Stalactites drip 'holy water' into pots once used to tell fortunes. This has been a sacred site since the earliest period of Okinawan history, and people still come here to pray and meditate, so you will be respectful as you explore this special place.
Relax and refuel with lunch at a local restaurant before heading back out into the Okinawan outdoors.
A guided hike through the Gangala Valley is next on the agenda. Enter through a cave that doubles as a meeting place and café. Here, you can stop and sip a coffee underneath some impressive stalactites. Continue on with your nature guide, who will point out the striking rock formations, dramatic plants and unusual trees that can be seen at every turn. The rustic beauty of this unusual forested park is unrivaled. Don't miss the Ufushu Gajimaru banyan tree, estimated to be more than 150 years old. Its roots have created large 'pillars' that once delineated a sheltered place for prayer and communal gatherings. After your active day, relax on the coach for the ride back to the ship.
Please note: Wear comfortable, non-skid walking shoes.