Happy 3rd Day of New Year!
Shuri Travel Blog› entry 7 of 14 › view all entries
January 3rd, 2008 – by: Chariot13
Once inside the protective walls there is a path to the main gate that leads to an outer area still outside the main central court of the castle. In that area there was a stage set up for shows and girls dressed up in traditional Okinawan kimonos handing out tea and awamori (an Okinawan liquor). After taking some pictures with the girls, we headed into the main courtyard of the castle to take pictures and get a spot for the presentation of the emperor. As you can see from the pictures I took, the castle is beautiful and colorful. It's architecture is Chinese, since they occupied Okinawa during the time the castle was built. Shurijo itself was the home of Okinawa's Ryukuan emperors for about 400 years and is the only remaining castle on Okinawa.
During New Years the castle does a reenactment of the presentation of the emperor and his wife. Basically, they leave the castle with their servants around them and great the people. Sometimes I guess they do even more extravagant reenactments of coronation ceremonies and other festivals, but this was a pretty short and basic show. It was interesting to at least see how the emperor would have presented himself back then. His servants and wife always stayed behind him, even when they stood in a line, you could see they were just 1 step behind where he stood.
Later, we went into the outer courtyard and there were eisa dancers performing on the stage. They had beautiful costumes and performed very precise dances, sometimes with fans or flowers. Most of the dances were slow, but Nicole said there are also fast ones with drummers and yelling.
Having enough of standing in the hot sun, we headed out of Shurijo and off to eat lunch at Mos Burger. It's like a Japanese version of McDonalds, except that their food is 100 times better. Their hamburgers are actually existent and very tasty. I was super impressed. Maybe not as much as at Shurijo, but just about as impressed as I can get by fast food.
It's a pretty interesting day when you can get both the taste of 400 years of ancient Okinawan culture and about the least-traditional Japanese food you can find within 4 hours and 2 blocks of each other.
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