Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Finding the Caves on Okinawa Island

There Must Be Hundreds of Them


Spelunking or, cave exploration, isn't really something I'd put in my resume.

That's something other people do.  I just do photography and some travel writing.

We spotted this one while driving around as Typhoon Danas was coming.

small cave with light showing in background

Already soaking wet from visiting Manzamo, this place was relatively dry and, out of the wind.

Sort of an archway of a cave, it felt pretty comfortable.

What a relief !

incense burner within cave


There are many different types of caves in the Ryukyu Island Chain.

This one had a few clues that indicated, it may be a sacred site.

An incense burner, tells you that someone worships there. 

So, before I do any poking around, it's best to learn more about the place.



coin found at cave



A coin or, coins in the area, weren't placed there for me to buy coffee.




close up view of  insence burner within cave


 
Vegetation, laid there recently, was some sort of offering.


Some Caves Are Tourist Attractions -- Not This One

 

 

In the past, I have written about a few of the tourist caves.

Everyone and anyone, is welcome to visit them.

There are adventure tours and, even underwater caves a traveler could visit.

Caves with a religious background are a different story.

Some caves, are burial grounds.

Others,  have important cultural significance.

Ceremonies, take place, where men or, women are the only ones allowed to enter.

It is best, when in doubt, to check with local authorities, before entering any cave.

So, I printed a photo of this one and, asked around.

Explaining, that I do cultural photography and writing, got positive results.

If they thought I was looking for a place to throw a cave party, I wouldn't have gotten far.

Some friends were made today and I came back with plenty of information.

Annual ceremonies are conducted in this cave and others.

Finding these caves, is an adventure, for me and, lots of fun.

Getting the whole story, is work.

We have Halloween coming soon and I still haven't got a good ghost story for you.


image of publications on Okinawa


But, I'll keep looking.






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