The Charm of Ancient Japan
Take an MSC cruise and discover ancient Japanese traditions. The village of Nakagusuku is in the Nakagami district on the island of Okinawa. Nakagusuku, with just over 20,000 inhabitants, is primarily an agricultural area with its staple crops being sugar cane and white and yellow carrots. The village is also the seat of the Ryukyu University.
An excursion will give you the opportunity to visit the ruins of Nakagusuku Castle which dominates the village and sits 150 meters above sea level. The castle which was built in 14th century by the Aji clan was added to the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites in 2000. In the 15th century, the legendary commander Gosamaru enlarged the castle against attacks by Amawari of Katsuren Castle.
The amazing flora and fauna of the island’s sea bed is within easy reach: an excursion will take you to Churaumi, one of the largest aquariums in the world. Here you can see, close up, whale sharks raised in captivity, reef manta rays which can be up to 5.5 meters in width, the eco system of the Pacific Ocean coral reef, illuminated by natural light and the creatures who live in the ocean’s depths.
Cape Manzamo is a part of the excursion, which includes the village of Ryukyumura. This final stop gives you the opportunity to taste bygone years: Ryukyumura is a theme park in Onna with Okinawan recreated typical houses, where you can listen to sanshin guitars, a three cord instrument, taste typical products such as Sata andagi (sweet deep fried buns like doughnuts) sugarcane juice, Sokisoba, and soba pork stew.
Returning to Cape Manzamo, the rock formation above the sea is one of the island’s major tourist attractions. Ryukyuan King Sho Kei, in the 18th century, amazed by its magnificence named it Manzamo, which in Japanese means ‘the field for 10,000 people to sit’.