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Okinawa

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Nakijin, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Once used to house and protect the King and his family, Nakijin Castle still stands firm against typhoon alley and is a frequently visited UNESCO World Heritage site. In the spring, many people flock to see its magnificent cherry blossom trees.
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Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
My favorite time of year was Eisa- all the towns and villages have their own Eisa drummers and they gather in Naha for the annual festival. Such color and excitement!
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424 Ishikawa, Motobu-chō, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 905-0206, Japan
Okinawa Aquarium contains the largest fish tank in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. For more info go things I Have Learned in Okinawa and Hiroshima http://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com
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Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Ten United States military bases dominate the real estate on this historic island in the East China Sea. Although best known for its strategic location beginning in World War II, Okinawa is very rich with cultural reasons to visit this fascinating...
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Amesbury, Salisbury SP4 7DE, UK
Stonehenge is definitely worth a day trip. We lucked out and was able to get a combined tour of Stonehenge and Bath. More for the money.
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Amesbury, Salisbury SP4 7DE, UK
We visited Stonehenge a couple of days ago, on the way back from Wales. It was a grey, rainy, cold and windy day and we still wanted to be there. We were only able to be at the site for about 2 minutes. The wind was extremely strong and the rain...
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Amesbury, Salisbury SP4 7DE, UK
Many reviews recommended skipping the Stonehenge altogether. But I had spent too many days with a Windows desktop that sported the mysterious stones. So I had to stop here on my way to Bath - not a decision I regretted. The place is evocative and...
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Bath, UK
I met a fellow undergrad friend in London and we took a trip to see Stonehenge and also stop in Bath. We had a lot of fun shopping and seeing the sights. As we were leaving Bath to go back to London, we passed a small village outside Bath and it...
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Avebury, Marlborough SN8 1RF, UK
Avebury is a unique village in Wiltshire,England in that it is surrounded by three ancient stone circles. Mystery still surrounds the stones that seem to pop up all over the countryside here and that were somehow placed intriguingly on ancient ley...
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285 Ishigaki, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa-ken 907-0023, Japan
The Tōrin-ji Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple was originally built in 1614 and because a 1771 tsunami wiped out much of the city, it is Okinawa’s oldest wooden building. Its carvings (the two big guys on either side of the main gate) also clock in as...
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178 Ōkawa, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa-ken 907-0022, Japan

Built in 1819, this is the kind of house a rich samurai might have lived in (although not here; samurai didn’t live in this area—this house was built for a local official). While you can’t go in the house proper, a lot of...

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Kabira Bay is the place to go for black pearls. Black pearls are more commonly associated with Tahiti, but because pearl cultivation was first developed in Japan, there are a couple of pearl farms in Okinawa. Black pearls actually range from deep...
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4-1 Tonoshiro, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa-ken 907-0004, Japan
Yaeyama Museum is small, interesting and worth a trip just to see some of the oldest human remains found in this part of the world, dating back about 24,000 years. Note that any item in the museum that’s over, say, 200 years old is not Japanese;...
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Taketomi Island, Taketomi, Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture 907-1101, Japan
Taketomi Island, just a short boat ride from Ishigaki, is the closest thing you’ll find to traditional Okinawa. About 300 people live on the car-free island, so you have to walk, bike or take an oxcart to get around. Make time for Kihoin Temple...
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2468-1 Arakawa, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa-ken 907-0024, Japan
In this lovely traditional setting, tiny buildings scattered around the well-manicured grounds serve as dining areas. Customers are entertained by dance and samisen (a cross between a guitar and a banjo, but with only three strings) performances....
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The Yurateiku Market is small enough for a fairly quick run-through, but it’ll have most of what you’re after, including Ishigaki salt and awamori, the local booze. The market is also where locals come to do their shopping, so you’ll see some...
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The Yonekoyaki Craft Center offers Japanese and Okinawan arts and crafts and is the place to hit if you’re after a shisa, the Okinawa guardian dog/lion sort of thing. Usually found in pairs—mouth closed on the right shisa, open on the...

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2 Chome-5-18 Hamasakichō, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa-ken 907-0013, Japan
Beef from these southern islands is along the lines of Kobe beef but not as famous and generally a lot harder to find. Expect lots of marbling, so if fatty meat isn’t your thing, skip it.