Okinawa is like a box of chocolate – an island-paradise butterscotch, culture-rich truffle, warmhearted-community caramel and, for a limited time every year, a must-indulgence Cherry-Blossom loco dip – and you are certainly going to love what you are going to get!

Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.

 

SAKURA and NAKIJIN CASTLE 

Last year’s Cherry Blossom at Mt. Yaedake in Motubo , which was our first, was a blast. Ha, the joy of that wonderful memory. This year, hubby and I capped the season with a Sakura Festival at an illuminated Nakijin Castle. The experience was a delight. Not only is Nakijin Castle Ruins a designated national historic site and inscribed on the Register of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but for ONLY two weeks and two weeks ONLY during cherry blossom season every year, the site is open at night until 9 and a colorful display of attractive lights illuminate the treasured cultural property. 

Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 and the Nakijin Castle Wall 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 and the Nakijin Castle Wall 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
With the Ryukyu King and Queen during the Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
With the Ryukyu King and Queen during the Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.

 

Upon stepping inside the castle walls, full cherry blossoms tunnel the entrance leading the way to the top with pathways lit up with candles. It was my personal favorite moment.

Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in full at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in full at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in full at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in full at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
A pathway of Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 and candle lights at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
A pathway of Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 and candle lights at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.

 

It was quite a climb to the top but who cares? It was pathway of sakura and candle lights to Okinawa heavens! 

A pathway of Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 and candle lights at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
A pathway of Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 and candle lights at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.

 

NAKIJIN CASTLE ILLUMINATION

At the top of the stairways is a marvelous panorama view of East China Sea with a stunning dusk lights in the background, making us wonder how this castle must be like in its hay days. The illuminated castle wall remains also adds charm to the scenery and although there are no cherry trees at the castle’s courtyards, the colorful lighting turns everything phenomenal.

Nakijin Castle Illumination 今帰仁城 during a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in Okinawa, Japan.
Nakijin Castle Illumination 今帰仁城 during a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in Okinawa, Japan.
Nakijin Castle Illumination 今帰仁城 during a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in Okinawa, Japan.
Nakijin Castle Illumination 今帰仁城 during a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in Okinawa, Japan.
Colorful lights illuminating the Nakijin Castle Courtyard 今帰仁城 during a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in Okinawa, Japan.
Colorful lights illuminating the Nakijin Castle Courtyard 今帰仁城 during a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in Okinawa, Japan.
Colorful lights illuminating the Nakijin Castle Courtyard 今帰仁城 during a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in Okinawa, Japan.
Colorful lights illuminating the Nakijin Castle Courtyard 今帰仁城 during a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 in Okinawa, Japan.

 

It was very crowded, which was not a surprise, but we managed to squeeze in some photos of ourselves together. After all, who else gets the chance to live this moment?

Witnessing a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Witnessing a Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.

 

The magic does not end there. Cherry blossoms line up the road going down the hill as we drove back home. Now, that is a charmer!

 

A must-indulgence Cherry-Blossom loco dip, what’s in your box of chocolate?

Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 line up the road going down the hill at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) 桜 line up the road going down the hill at Nakijin Castle 今帰仁城 in Okinawa, Japan.

 

 

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