It’s not every day that you come across a cave. That is, of course, unless you live in Okinawa which is home to literally hundreds (if not thousands) of these cavernous holes in the earth.
After recently finishing his in depth book about the Battle of Okinawa, Ben had been begging me for weeks if we could go see the historical “Hospital Cave” which is situated in Yaese Park. We finally made time to see it last weekend and although the cave itself isn’t exactly a thrilling site I really enjoyed the park that surrounded it.
At the entrance of the cave were offerings (the water bottle above was one of many) and paper cranes. Many people perished and suffered inside of this makeshift hospital during WWII so the local people pay their respects by leaving out gifts and signs of peace.
Since the cave has a dark past due to its involvement in the Battle of Okinawa, Ben and I chose to not venture too far inside of it. We didn’t want to be disrespectful and it’s honestly kind of dangerous, caves like this could easily collapse or crumble at any moment. Plus, cave spiders are definitely a thing and I don’t mess with that!!!
After our brief cave visit Ben and I made our way up a long set of stairs to get to the park area. Along the stairway were hand made lanterns which appeared to be colored by school aged children. They were quite adorable and I really wish we could’ve seen them when they were lit up! Since we were there so early in the morning though there was no chance we could wait out these lights until night fall.
I’m a sucker for a cute photo op so I had to get one with the giant flower heart that was at the top of the park. The sign translated to “Yaese Cherry Blossom Festival” and the date was the same day we visited! Definitely bummed that we couldn’t have been there for the festival, but we’ll have one more chance to see it next February!
Both the cherry blossoms and cosmos are still going strong! I’m shocked that they’re still in bloom especially with the chilly weather we’ve been having. I’m glad we got another chance to see thee beauties again although it seems as though they could still be around next weekend!
For lunch we ate at Sukiya, a fast casual Japnese restaurant that specializes in gyudon (beef bowls.) Ben and I both had the pork, ginger, green onion and raw egg over rice bowls. They were only around $7 each and so filling!!! I will admit that it was an aggressive amount of ginger, but it’s good to breakaway from our ramen only diets everyonce in a while!
I posted a pic of our photogenic meals on my Instagram and was so surprised how many people were grossed out by the raw egg! It’s actually really common in Japanese dishes to have egg yolks perched on the top of rice bowls. After two years in Japan I’m quite used to it and can attest that it’s actually reeeeally good. It’s not too eggy and it’s served at room temperature so the yolk doesn’t add a strange coldness to the dish. The only weird part was that they had us crack the eggs ourselves... Naturally Ben messed his up and ended up with a gooey scrambled mess which had us both laughing. He was a good sport about it though so no harm no foul!
We’ve got a four day weekend coming up and temps in the low 70s so I cannot wait for some good exploration this weekend. Ben and I have some big plans but we’ll see what actually ends up happening! 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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