Post Tagged with "Okinawa"

Map It! Okinawa blog

Louie Sanchez is the author of the blog Map It! Okinawa about places to see and things to do in Okinawa, as well as its rich history and culture. We had a conversation via email about the blog. His answers were as interesting as his blog.

Fukugawa Falls (Photo by Louie Sanchez)

This was one of my best finds by accident. It is in a very remote part of Okinawa…almost a needle in a haystack find. Was driving one day and saw a trail…and curiosity took care of the rest. I like to imagine, that it some how called me to go there. Like I was meant to find it and share it with others. It really changed me and how I viewed nature.

I asked Louie how he came up with the unique layout of the blog and he said he is a web designer and understands viewer usability. Then Louie went on to say that “people like consistency so I kept using the same format: picture, map, photo album, GPS coordinates, and explanation. People are comfortable with expectations on the web I think. I wanted it to be a quick guide that sparks curiosity to see more and more places on Okinawa.” It certainly sparked my curiosity, Louie!

When asked about how the blog came to be, Louie told me he was on a two-month visit to Okinawa last year and was taking so many pictures that he thought it’d be easier if he posted them on a blog for easy viewing. It grew organically from there: he added a map, then some descriptions about the area and the rest is history, as they say. Louie calls it a “Eureka moment.”

Map It! Okinawa is the ideal companion for those visiting Okinawa: it provides maps and extensive information about each place, including directions, parking availability, degree of difficulty of treks, and other guidelines. Louie included wildlife information, which I found very useful as I’m not going to go anywhere where there are snakes!

I asked him if the wildlife information was first hand or from books, and he said that it “is through both research (internet/books), talking with local Okinawan, and experience. Each place I write about is through personal experience. This is a must cause I have to  put myself in my audience shoes for safety sake, and because of the language/culture barrier I may have to spell out do’s and don’ts as mitigate any “Lost in Translation” moments. Other things I have to consider are the climate, parking spaces, bath room facilities, road traffic, culturally expectations/taboos, if they had kids or not etc. So yes, I take a lot of notes both mental and written.”

Louie’s vision for the blog is that it is like a journal that helps people plan their visits and learn about “Okinawa’s rich culture, wonderful people and its natural beauty,” as he puts it.


Read more

An Okinawan Wedding

Ancestor worship in Okinawa, Japan

Photo essay: Okinawan sumo wrestling

July 31, 2012 4 comments

Picture Postcards: Traditional dress in Okinawa, Japan

Today’s traditional dress photo was sent in by our contributor, Mike, in Okinawa. He says, “…the kimono is made of a material found only in Okinawa. It is called Bingata. The hats they are wearing, Hanagasa, represent a red flower drifting on the ocean. Blue represents the sky and the silver-ocean waves”

See more:
Ukon Tea from Okinawa
Shopfront in Naha, Okinawa, Japan
Dragonboat Races in Okinawa

June 18, 2012 Comments disabled

Picture Postcards: Ukon tea from Okinawa

You might notice the special colour of this Okinawan tea in the photo sent in by our contributor, Mike. It is yellow because it contains turmeric which is said to help will all manner of ills. Since Okinawa has a large population of centenarians, there must be something to it!

Read more:
Okinawa Lunch
Shopfront in Naha, Okinawa, Japan
Five unusual servings I’ve encountered in Japan

November 20, 2011 Comments disabled

Picture Postcards: Okinawa Island life

Thanks to Mike for sending this ‘Island life’ street art which is painted on the front of a karaoke bar in Okinawa, Japan.


September 26, 2011 Comments disabled

From our contributors: September 13th

Here’s our bi-weekly roundup of articles written by members of out team on their personal blogs. This week we take a virtual tour of the art in some Paris churches, take part in the Moon Festival in Japan, get pushed in Hong Kong and celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai. Happy reading!

Anu, our contributor from India, writes about the last day of Ganesh Chartuthi, a festival devoted to the Hindu god Ganesha. Although it was raining, devotees came out ion full force to celebrate their god.

“This year, the Lord arrived amidst pouring rains, and he decided to leave amidst pouring rains too! After a couple of dry days, the heavens seem to have opened up just for Him to leave! However, the enthusiasm has not abated…” (more…)

September 13, 2011 4 comments

From our contributors: August 30

This roundup of posts published by our contributors on their personal blogs is now bi-weekly.  Happy reading!

Mike, our contributor from Japan, brings us an impressive photo essay about a cave called Shimuku Gama, located in Yomitan -Okinawa-, where a thousand villagers took refuge during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The monument to two local heroes is, indeed, a sobering sight.

“To appreciate what it must feel like being bombed into the Stone Age it’s probably best to show you this cave from the inside, looking out.  Welcome to a cave called Shimuku Gama in Yomitan Okinawa, Japan.”

Anu, our contributor from India, writes about different religious traditions and celebrations in India, especially those which are new to her. She comes across a new festival by chance while visiting a market. (more…)

August 30, 2011 Comments disabled