Starbucks Been There Okinawa mug

Been There – Okinawa

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Starbucks Been There – Okinawa is a mug for a prefecture in Japan that has a rich and diverse history that stretches back thousands of years. The origin of the term “Okinawa” remains unclear, with one of the possible meanings being “rope in the open ocean”, referring to how the islands form a chain along the China Sea from Kagoshima to Taiwan. The history of Okinawa dates back to prehistoric times, with the earliest Okinawans known as the Minatogawa people. From the 12th century, during the Gusuku era, farming developed on the islands, and communities grew. During the Ryukyu Kingdom era, Okinawa thrived as a trading nation, developing a unique culture, and serving as a pivotal hub for trade between Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. In the early part of the Meiji period, Okinawa transitioned to becoming a prefecture. Today, Okinawa is known for its beautiful beaches, resorts, and relaxed island living.

Naha is the capital city of Okinawa Prefecture and serves as the economic and cultural hub of the region. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, Naha offers a blend of modernity and traditional charm, with its bustling markets, historic sites, and lively entertainment scene.

Using the design of the mug as a guide, here are some things to do when in Okinawa:

Explore Shurijo Castle: Step back in time as you wander through the majestic halls and courtyards of Shurijo Castle, once the seat of power for the Ryukyu Kingdom. Marvel at the intricate architecture and learn about the kingdom’s history through engaging exhibits.

Dive in the Kerama Islands: Discover an underwater wonderland in the pristine waters surrounding the Kerama Islands. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner snorkeler, these islands offer vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine life, and crystal-clear visibility for unforgettable aquatic adventures.

Trek Yanbaru National Park: Lace up your hiking boots and venture into the untamed wilderness of Yanbaru National Park. Traverse lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and scenic trails teeming with endemic flora and fauna, offer a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace.

Relax on Kabira Bay: Sink your toes into the soft white sands of Kabira Bay, renowned for its stunning turquoise waters and panoramic vistas. Enjoy a leisurely swim, bask in the sun, or embark on a glass-bottom boat tour to admire the vibrant marine life thriving beneath the surface.

Savor Okinawan Cuisine: Treat your taste buds to the flavors of Okinawa with its unique culinary delights. One of Okinawa’s most iconic and beloved dishes is “Goya Champuru.” This flavorful stir-fry combines bitter melon (goya) with tofu, eggs, pork, and various vegetables, seasoned with soy sauce and sometimes dashi broth.

Experience Traditional Performances: Immerse yourself in Okinawa’s vibrant cultural scene by attending traditional performances such as Eisa dances and Shishi-mai lion dances. Feel the rhythm of the drums, marvel at the colorful costumes, and witness the age-old traditions come to life before your eyes.

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