Most viewed - OKINAWA 沖縄県
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Okinawan kimono called the bingata, perhaps Okinawa's most famous kimono. The design is made by applying dyes through a stencil.639 viewsIt was originally worn by Okinawa's royal family members. It is now the costume of a slow-moving Okinawan dance called "Yotsudake."
Model: Maki Uyeunten
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Yotsudake, Okinawa's most famous dance. 四つ竹377 views
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Back view of yotsudake dancers on stage.302 views
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January: A Japanese White Eye visits the Cherry Blossoms. Okinawa is the first place in all of Japan to see these blossoms and they bloom through the month into early February. All photos copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.286 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Eisa dancing is performed on the streets at night in every village on Okinawa during the three days of Obon, late in August. Here a young lady dressed in traditional Okinawan yukata (an informal kimono) marches while waving Rising Sun paper fans.232 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Okinawan house, Taketomi214 views
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Okinawan house and rock wall, Taketomi197 views
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This dance is called "Nuchibana" (flower lei) featuring a string of red and white flowers.190 viewsOkinawan dancer wearing a kimono with her right arm exposed outside the sleeve. The dance is called "Nuchibana" (flower lei) featuring a string of red and white flowers. The dance expresses the feelings of a young woman in love.
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Playing the sanshin on the beach. Her name was Hiromi.188 views
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179 viewsDancer: Nariko Miyagi
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Nakagusuku Castle is part of a World Heritage Site of Okinawan gusuku castles. This is a view looking eastward from the base of the 3d enclosure (migusuku). Photos in this album all by Michael Lynch.167 views Constructed in mid-fourteenth century of limestone rocks, placed without the use of mortar, Commodore Perry praised the construction technique on his visit to Okinawa in 1853.
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Approaching Naha165 views
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Hoshi Sunahama or Star Sand Beach151 views
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Taketomi Port boat for Ishigaki139 views
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Kondoi beach134 views
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Dancer: Nariko Miyagi133 views
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Taketomi Primary School130 views
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Boat for Taketomi at Ishigaki Port.124 views
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October: A parade of traditional Okinawan Kimonos and headwear takes place every year on Kokusai Street in Naha, where a reenactment of the coronation of the King and Queen of the Ryukyu Kingdom is performed.123 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Urinal with a view.120 views
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White coral road119 views
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My take-out dinner at Naha Airport before the flight back to Tokyo. Goya-champuru and rice. 116 views
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Power voltage station114 views
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View from lookout tower110 views
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For their parting shot, these Eisa dancers couldn’t resist flashing the Peace sign along with their smiles for the camera. 110 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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November: This dragon statue guards the corner in front of the Uruma City office. Dragons are part of many Asian sea-faring cultures folklore and Okinawa also holds year-round Dragon boat races.105 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Kondoi beach104 views
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December: A white Pacific Reef Egret catches breakfast on the east coast of Okinawa. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.104 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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White coral road, one of Taketomi's trademarks.103 views
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Be aware that these parasols are not free.102 views
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During each brief pause in the Eisa music, the men make a loud whistling noise that is distinctly Okinawan. All photos copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.102 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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The brown and beige garment worn by this Buffoon is hand woven clothing called Bashofu. It is made from the fiber of banana plants. There may be two or three of these characters with each Eisa group skipping and weaving through the dancers as if they...102 viewsThe brown and beige garment worn by this Buffoon is hand woven clothing called Bashofu. It is made from the fiber of banana plants. There may be two or three of these characters with each Eisa group skipping and weaving through the dancers as if they weren’t there. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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See-sa at a kindergarten.101 views
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The Eisa dancers are all unmarried men and women between 20 and 30 years of age. The small handheld drums, known as Panraku, have the traditional symbol of Okinawa painted in gold on them.99 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Kondoi Picnic Site96 views
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View from lookout tower95 views
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July: A Shisa (Lion-Dog) seems to dwarf the Royal Hotel in Yomitan, which is on the West coast of the island. Another influence from trade with China, the Shisa may be seen everywhere in the Prefecture, warding off evil spirits. This one stands...95 viewsJuly: A Shisa (Lion-Dog) seems to dwarf the Royal Hotel in Yomitan, which is on the West coast of the island. Another influence from trade with China, the Shisa may be seen everywhere in the Prefecture, warding off evil spirits. This one stands around 30 feet tall, most tile-roofed homes have Shisa closer to a foot tall guarding them, either mounted on the roof or walls surrounding the house. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Here the Buffoon (called Gajangani) can be seen going in the opposite direction of all the other male dancers and waving a banana leaf. Some clowns carry bottles of sake and try to get bystanders to drink with them.91 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Here a group of men reach into a cooler for some refreshments while on a quick break from dancing. They will pile on trucks and move to the next location, performing Eisa dances well past midnight at every street, in every village for miles around.89 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Lookout tower88 views
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The Buffoon, Clown, or Town Drunk is a man who zig-zags through the line of dancers to the beat of his own drum, entertaining everyone and chasing evil spirits away.88 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Sacred Well. There are three spring-fed wells within the castle. This one is located in the West enclosure and is also a sacred site where people make ritual offerings. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.86 viewsThe woman on the left gave consent to take a photo after helping her down the rough, stone stairs.
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View from lookout tower84 views
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On Taketomi, the best way to get around.81 views
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Different color yukata and uniforms of the dancers are worn, depending on which district or village they represent.81 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Each team of Eisa dancers has its own band riding in the back of a straw roof-covered truck. Sanshin (3 stringed instrument) players sing and play Okinawan folk music accompanied by CD’s blasted over a loudspeaker system. 80 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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May: Eisa, a dance originally associated with ancestor worship during the Obon holidays, is now practiced at any festival or cultural event. Here, at Henza Island, a small festival celebrating Golden Week, the spirit of Okinawa was demonstrated in music77 viewsMay: Eisa, a dance originally associated with ancestor worship during the Obon holidays, is now practiced at any festival or cultural event. Here, at Henza Island, a small festival celebrating Golden Week, the spirit of Okinawa was demonstrated in music and dance to the enjoyment of all in attendance. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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The large drum used for marching is slightly smaller than a Taiko and is called an Odaiko drum. The drummer in this photo is the only female player of this team to play such a large drum and she smiles and beats it enthusiastically.77 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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The large banner or flag carried on a bamboo pole is known as Hatagashisa and also represents a village or district. Each has their own unique design and the team takes pride in displaying it as a symbol of strength and prosperity for their hometown.77 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Second Enclosure. A view of the archway and stone construction from inside the 2nd enclosure, looking East. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.68 views
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Utaki. A closeup view of a place of worship. Incense is sometimes burned and coins placed in the stone container centered within the utaki stone walls. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.68 views
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September: This young lady is trying on Kimonos at a shop in Naha in preparation for “Coming of Age Day” which is celebrated in January. During the 3d week of January, all who turned twenty years of age during the past year are initiated as adults..68 viewsSeptember: This young lady is trying on Kimonos at a shop in Naha in preparation for “Coming of Age Day” which is celebrated in January. During the 3d week of January, all who turned twenty years of age during the past year are initiated as adults. Her mother is preparing her early. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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March: The weather starts to warm up, schools have their Spring break and tourists begin to flock to the many attractions available throughout the island. This is Katsuren Castle, which overlooks a peninsula on the East coast of Okinawa.66 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Three Sacred Sites. The South enclosure contains three Utaki (sacred sites), all within a small area, as seen by the signs in this picture. Many Okinawans come to worship at these Utaki and make offerings. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.63 viewsFrom the high ground to the left of this scene, you may be able to see Kudaka-Jima, where locals believe the first Okinawans originated.
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Rear Gate. Most visitors will enter through this gate to the castle, as it is closest to the parking and ticket sales. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.62 views
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Stone Stairs. They lead to the 2nd enclosure. Visitors should wear sturdy walking shoes, as the stone-lined pathways and stairs can be very difficult to walk on without twisting an ankle. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.62 views
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Gun Port. At several locations along the North walls of the castle, gun ports may be seen, where sentries could repel invaders. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.62 viewsMany visitors are surprised to learn that firearms were in existence in the 14th century.
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February: A bullfight at the Ishikawa-Dome in Uruma City took place as part of the Lunar New Year festivities. While all of Japan utilizes the Gregorian calendar, many traditions in Okinawa revolve around its historical ties with China. By Michael Lynch62 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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August: The lively lead-singer of a popular band named Zukan jumps and shouts while performing at the Kin Festival. During the summer months there are festivals every weekend, somewhere on the island.62 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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World Heritage Marker. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.61 views
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Okinawan graves60 views
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Sacred Site. There are eight special places of worship (Utaki) located within the castle walls. This view looks toward the East from the inside of the 1st enclosure. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.59 views
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A view from the base of the West enclosure. Constructed in mid-fourteenth century of limestone rocks, placed without the use of mortar, Commodore Perry praised the construction technique on his visit to Okinawa in 1853. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.58 views
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Terraced Walls. A view looking from north to south standing at an elevated point along the inner castle walls. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.58 views
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June: Hiji Waterfall in Kunigami is the largest in Okinawa and attracts many visitors from mainland Japan. It provides a refreshing, cool break after the 45 minute hike, along a nature trail, to reach this beautiful scene.58 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Perry Monument marking the place where he landed on June 6, 1853.54 views
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April: A black Pacific Reef Egret gathers building materials for a nest at Red Beach. Photo copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.53 viewsPhoto copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.
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Back of Perry Monument which is in a cemetery.52 views
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Shuri Castle's Seiden main hall. It is a brilliant reconstruction inside and out.51 views
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Monorail being built in 2000.51 views
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I went with a tour group and this is part of the tour group photo. Going on a bus tour was most convenient (before the monorail was completed).49 views
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Shuri Castle's Shureimon Gate 守礼門 which appears on the 2000 yen note.47 views
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Approaching Naha Airport45 views
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Landing in Naha Airport45 views
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My lunch.45 views
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Naha Airport Domestic Terminal43 views
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Shuri Castle41 views
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Photo gallery on Kokusai-dori41 views
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Koban police box40 views
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Shuri Castle wall40 views
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The flowers in the passenger corridor is a very nice touch at Naha Airport.39 views
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See-sa figurines 39 views
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Kokusai-dori is Naha's main drag with shops and restaurants. 国際通り39 views
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I rented a bicycle to cycle around Naha. Came across this beach near the port.38 views
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Boeing 74737 views
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Inside Shuri Castle's main plaza37 views
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Shuri Castle wall. Okinawan castles are called gusuku, a very different type of architecture from Japanese castles on the mainland.37 views
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Sanshin (with snakeskin) for sale.37 views
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Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit T-shirts37 views
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Pickled vegetables.37 views
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Heiwa-dori shopping arcade36 views
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She's selling goya (bitter melon) juice. I tried it.36 views
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Okinawan restaurant36 views
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Meiji Bridge34 views
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Colorful fish in the Makishi Public Market where you can pick the fish to be cooked for your meal.34 views
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Crossing the bridge.34 views
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See-sa on Kokusai-dori.34 views
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Sculpture at a high school.33 views
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Perry Monument33 views
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My video of Okinawan dances like yotsudake and a karate dance.32 views
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