The Start of a New Year - La Vie Est Belle

The year of 2018 has been going for over a month now!  It seems that time plays that nasty trick of speeding up on us.  We have been busy with  work, school, soccer and parenting duties.  Our time left in Okinawa in coming to a close and Linz and I have a few things left on our bucket list.  

Two of the things we have wanted to go and visit have been Sefa-Utaki and Vally of Gangala.  

Sefa-Utaki is considered the most sacred place in all of Okinawa.  So many people come here to pay homage and pray.  We found it unique to almost all other places we have found in Okinawa.  The jungle forest that we had ot walk through was amazing.  The google photos of the place make it look to be super small and not very well kept.  But we found that it was very well done and we spent almost two hours there.  It is one of the Heritage Sites in Okinawa.  


After we finished with sefa-utaki we went to peace prayer park with some friends. Whenever we do a  day long outing we always pack a lunch and eat on the go. It allows us to move and eat when we need to. Sandwiches are the go to food. Kennedy has ham and cheese with no mayo. McKay is jam, no peanut butter, just jam. Hayden usually gets left over, mac and cheese. Mom gets peanut butter and honey. Dad get peanut butter and jam plus a Ham and cheese.

We really are gonna miss the parks in Okinawa. They are huge and have so many different type and activities for the kids. Another favorite thing the kids do is to climb trees. Sometimes the older two end up spending more time in trees then on the playground.

Peace Prayer Park

Valley of Gangala

Valley of Gangala Banyan Trees

The Valley on Gangala has been on our list of places to go for sometime now. We put the kids in school and Linz and I went on a day date there. You have to make reservations to go and they give you a guided tour. Unfortunately the tour was all in Japanese and ours Japanese is basically non existent.

The main attraction for me were the huge Banyon trees. They stand tall as sentinels watching over all who pass. I had seen a photo from this place and new I had to come and visit.

They also have caves of fertility. One for the males and one for the females. Parents would go and pray for easy childbirth and easy pregnancy. Just side note, no we are NOT expecting any babies any time in the future.

The guided tour took about 1.5 hours.  You start off in this huge cave where you can hang out and get coffee or ice cream.  I don't know why but it seems everywhere you go in Okinawa you can get ice cream.  But Linz and I just hung out and drank our bottled water from home.  

I thought this was one of the most unique places we have been to lately here in Okinawa.  It seems like there are always these hidden treasures that we find and the island has an endless supply of fun things to do.  

Sakura in Okinawa

There are many times of the year that are special to be in Japan.  But when the cherry blossoms come out there always seems to be a bit of magic in the air.  Here in Okinawa the cherry blossoms are very early.  They are usually in January or February.  If you have seen the cherry blossoms before in Washington DC or in mainland Japan they are white in color.  The Okinawa Sakura are pink, and in my opinion, so much prettier than anywhere else in the world.  I have taken many pictures from the past 3 years of the cherry blossoms and have many images that I am very happy with.  

There are many places where you can enjoy the cherry blossoms.  One of the favorites it the Nago Cherry Blossom Festival.  They have this beautiful stone staircase that ascends up a giant hill that is covered with cherry blossoms.  It is very picturesque.  But the hike up to the top can take a little while especially with kids.  

Nago Cherry Blossom Festival

Kennedy Pondering Life

This was perhaps one of my favorite images from the cherry blossom adventure.  Kennedy is sitting along a winding road.  The moss covered earth was a beautiful rich green and then the cherry blossoms from above had fallen just popped out against the green.  

The kids really did have a good time on our cherry blossom adventure.  

The only other thing that we did this last month was spend a full day at the zoo.  I do have a lot of pictures of that and if you want to see them you can check them out in my gallery for 2018.

Thanks for stopping by!