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!
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.
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.
It was quite a climb to the top but who cares? It was pathway of sakura and candle lights to Okinawa heavens!
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.
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?
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?
We went this year, but the week before the actual festival, so the blossoms were not fully in (we were in Kyoto for the lunar new year and Okinawa’s sakura festivals up in the Nago area). I see no real reason to go anywhere else for cherry blossoms; the mood, the ambiance, the manageable crowds, and the scenery are all just too hard to bet. We did Mount Yaedake, and in my opinion, it was a total bust. The stop-and-go traffic defeats the whole purpose of driving the cherry tree-lined street up the mountain; the road down to the coast from the castle is every bit as good, and there was not another car the entire time we enjoyed it!
We were Mt. Yaedake last year, hiked and ate with the locals and it was super fun. How was your Kyoto trip?
Oh….sigh…..I am SO Missing Oki right now. Your post about cherry blossom has beautiful photos!
Thank you. We are very surprised how much this island has to offer. We never run out of things to do and see :)
The photos are gorgeous! Which camera do you use? And did you photoshop your results? It’s amazing!
Thank you. My husband and I use a Sony Nex7 and I do not photoshop. The special lights they used in Nakijin Castle specifically for this Sakura season made all the difference though. We have tried visiting the castle on a daylight and not on a Sakura season and it looked very different. Still beautiful, but different :)
I see. Yeah, illuminated landscape at night looks beautiful, I know that too. But I’m not good in taking photos in the dark. They tend to get blurry. -.-°
I think, yours look professional. You have a nice cam and: good job! ^^