Thanks for the mad selfie picture, Kacey!
I was extremely grateful to have my exploration buddy back! We've been getting together on weekends and hanging out with friends, but it's been a really long time since the two of us got out and explored this beautiful island! What was the best part, you ask? The fact that I sent her a text at 8:30-ish the night before to see if she wanted to go and had plans for a 7:30 am departure 20 minutes later.
If you're going to visit during the summer, I highly recommend going first thing in the morning or after the sun is going down. We arrived when they opened at 9 am and by the time we left, around 10:15, we were both sweating out butts off and ready for the A/C. It was tolerable and we really enjoyed the time we spent at the gardens, but there's no way that would have been the case had we arrived any later.
Picture courtesy of Kacey!The had been admiring pictures from Annie Writes and other local bloggers who had recently made the trip to Naha and couldn't wait to get my hands on this place. I was sure to bring my new 50 mm lens that my sister bought me for my birthday to practice my manual setting skills. It's so nice to have a friend that doesn't mind that you're taking 30 pictures of the same flower because you're trying to figure out how to get it "just right." Patience is a virtue in these situations and Kacey handled it like a champ!
One thing that we both love about Fukushen, and many other gardens throughout Asia, is how it's planted right in the middle of a city. The gardens are all so beautiful within the gates and, then, you look up and it's all, "Hey, look... an apartment building." Not to say Naha isn't beautiful......
The gardens were built as a symbol of the friendship between the people of Fukusyu and Naha. All of the wood and stone materials were actually brought in from Fukusyu City in China, which is pretty incredible! I love how much thought goes into everything around here. Man, I've really been missing exploring the island and this adventure was a big wake up call!
I contemplated taking Maylee because I couldn't find anything that specifically said that dogs were not allowed. However, I ultimately decided to skip it because I didn't want to risk getting to Naha and having to turn around. Thank God that I left her at home because the only dogs that are allowed are service dogs.
Overall, it was a great little stroll through a historical garden in Okinawa and I'm so happy to be able to check off something from my Summer-Do list. Yay us!
Picture courtesy of Kacey!