‘Twas the Saturday before Christmas and the children were restless…..so we jumped in the van and headed out for adventure.
Our first stop was at the Indy Jones Adventure trail, a 1-mile nature trail full of ups and downs through the jungle and rocks of southern Okinawa. There were at least two places we used thick ropes to help climb the jagged rock along the trail. We knew the length going in, but were pleasantly surprised at the amount of climbing we had to do. It was anything but a wide handicapped-accessible path through some greenery. It took us about an hour to navigate the loop trail and check out the Tamagusuku castle ruins that spur off to the south from the Adventure trail. The views were gorgeous as we overlooked the ocean and town below. The foliage was thick and intertwined, but still allowed ample sunlight through. If the description hasn’t won you over already, I would definitely recommend you grab a pair of hiking shoes and try out this trail. It will not disappoint as a family outing.
The second stop of the day was at the Ryukyu Glass Village in Itoman. We really lucked out because it just so happened that they were having their Christmas celebration with cultural dance group performances, local food trucks, extra discounts at their outlet store, and vendor tents around the perimeter of their Glass garden. While Chipmunk napped in the stroller we were impressed and entertained by the Suzaku creative dance company as they presented traditional Okinawan dances with drums and weapons.
We explored the shops and vendor tents, and even sampled some steamed squid from one of the vendors, although the kids were not as enthused about that part. Much of the glass that is sold at RGV is hand-blown on site with an open-air viewing area that visitors can watch as artisans create unique pieces from blobs of glowing molten glass before your eyes. We even purchased a few of the pieces from their store. Much to my surprise after getting home, not only is the swirled glass cup that I chose beautiful, it even glows in the dark! How cool is that?
The amount of detail that goes into some of the pieces we found in their store was amazing, however it was a little nerve-wracking guiding 4 children through an entire store of one-of-a-kind fragile things. We did, however, escape unscathed and only purchased that which we chose to bring home.