Just when I think we’ve exhausted every Battle of Okinawa site on this island, another one comes out of the woodwork! CNN Travel wrote an article about its “Top Okinawa Tourist Sites” which included a Japanese Army Observation Post on hill 161.8 (named so because it’s 161.8 meters above sea level) located in the town of Nakagusuku. It had 360 degree views from the top and was somewhat of a challenge to access due to its steep ascent which was paved in jagged, sharp rocks.
Before we were even able to explore this site, we had to locate it using the very brief description provided by CNN Travel. They said that the “access point was located near the Nakagusuku Fire Training Academy” and sadly this was all we had to work with.
Once at the Fire Academy, we had to do our investigative work to discern where exactly this access point/trail was. In Okinawa, many jungle pathways lead to tombs and where we were at that moment was no different. Eventually, Ben and I used our deductive reasoning skills and confidently assumed that a seemingly never ending stairway (without a tomb in site) leading up a large hill must’ve been what we were looking for. Lucky for us, our suspicions were correct! After about a mile on this trail we finally came across our much anticipated Japanese Army Observation Post.
In the picture below, Ben is standing in the entrance of the observation post.
This Observation Post was used by the Japanese during the Battle of Okinawa and it’s easy to see why. Views atop this post stretch on for miles and it would have been easy to get an idea of where American troops were.
Recently, the structure was reinforced with steel beams because it had been suffering from erosion due to Okinawa’s harsh climate and the passage of 73 years!
Below is a cave, how unusual for an Okinawan site!!!!! *SARCASM* This particular cave was unfortunately sealed off which was a bummer because Ben and I were feeling particularly adventurous on this day. The only downside to this observation post is that it’s pretty much in the middle of no where. Once we saw the site our only option was to leave, I would’ve been happier if there were other cool points of interest in the area.
Im almost 99.99% positive that Ben and I have unearthed every Battle of Okinawa historical island by this point. In two years we’ve been able to cover literally every point of this island and have left no stone unturned. I will admit, I’m a bit nervous how we’re going to be able to entertain ourselves on Oki for another ENTIRE year! Thankfully, it seems like there is never a dull moment when you’re married to your best friend though so at least we’ve got that :) Until next time!
We're Kara, Ben and baby Zoe also known as the Lesniaks. We’re a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Yorktown, Virginia after a three year tour in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together!
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