Search Map It! Okinawa

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Yakena Straits Observatory"

A view of the Yakena Straits


View Map It! Okinawa in a larger map
Yakena Straits Observatory

     GPS
     LatitudeLongitude
     N 26 19.114E 127 55.081





Yakena Straits Observatory 


Between the Katsuren Peninsula and Yabuchi Island lies the Yakena Straits. There is a viewing platform, called the Yakena Straits Observatory,  at the top of the ridge line. There you can see small fishing boats coming in and out from sea. You also have a good view of Kinbu Bay, Kaichu-dori Bridge, and outward towards the Philippine Sea.

There is also a stairway that leads to an Utaki and a small cave down below. It is evident that people still pray in this cave. Furthermore, you will notice a mirror glued to the cave wall inside. I have noticed this on several occasions near other sites. This is just speculation, but perhaps someone placed a mirror there because he or she believed it would ward off evil spirits. I was told by a Japanese person once as I was visiting a Shinto shrine that mirrors were used for such reasons. But mirrors, in general, do have a significant role in the Shinto religion other than warding off evil spirits (See Encyclopedia of Shinto).

The observatory also faces an island called Yabuchi-jima, or Yabuchi Island. It is that island, that in 1959, that an important archaeological site was discovered, and is now referred to as the Yabuchi Cave Ruins...and will soon be Mapped!

Other places of interest nearby: The Yabuchi Cave Ruins.