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Welcome to Map It! Okinawa

Hi Everyone! My name is Louie, or Rui in Japanese. Welcome to "Map It! Okinawa” and these are the Adventures of Ryukyu Ryu - a fellow traveler and explorer on our many exploration adventures here on Okinawa. Like many of you, I have had dreams of seeing many different places and things here on this wonderful island. I had lived here on and off at different periods of my life and unfortunately I never really got to see Okinawa for its rich cultural beauty. Most times I got fixated from going to point A to point B and never really stopped to take a look what was in between. I had missed out quite a bit.
It was only when I decided to move here on my own that I realized how much I really didn't 'know' about Okinawa and its rich culture. Part of Map It! Okinawa is to help solve the 'Okinawa Code', by learning about its culture and history through its sites. The other part is to share the same beauty that I see with my eyes and camera with you all. I want you to see what I see at the exact same spot, and with the help of locals and many Japanese speaking friends, we attempt to decipher the sometimes complex Japanese language and the varying Okinawan dialect to help you understand what you see.

Map It! Okinawa is about rediscovering Okinawa in a different way. Many resources and websites on Okinawa have long been in existence before Map It! Okinawa's debut on July 2011. Map It! will cover the well known places - but from a different angle. We'll not only cover the site, we'll also Map Out where certain events take place, such as a place to view the Okinawa sunset or where to go to see Cherry Blossoms. But most importantly, we'll also cover the places that are not as fancy, and perhaps only have local significance. Maybe you have lived by a monument or statue but didn't know the meaning of it. We hope to get the answers for you.

There are many good resources out there. I encourage you to look at them. But the future of travel and exploration will no longer just be through a printed map or guide book. With today's technology, Wi-Fi mobility, Smart Phones, and tablets like the iPad, exploration will be done via the internet at your side as you are traveling about. This is the future of exploration.

Endless Mysteries/The O-Files. Sometimes you will hear me mention the word 'O-Files', which is a spin off from the name of the science fiction series, The X-Files. There are many things about Okinawa and its history that I won't have answers to, and perhaps there will never be an answer. For the time being, I'll just log it in and hope to have the mystery solved some time in the future.

The Future. I don't view Map It! Okinawa in terms of just the present. I like to view it decades from now. As time moves on, Okinawa will change over time. Some structures, through man-made reasons or natural causes will cease to exist or no longer look the same. Explanation signs may get eroded or damaged...and maybe some places overgrown by vegetation and thus forgotten. By mapping out locations and establishing GPS coordinates, Map It! Okinawa will help history be preserved and not left to be forgotten.

Translation. Though we strive for 100% accuracy, with the sometimes complexity of the Japanese Language there may times the interpretation or translation may not be 100% accurate. I have some wonderful help from a great group of people. However, I alone take full responsibility for any errors. If there is something we are not sure about, we'll openly let you know.

Contact Me
If you have a special spot on Okinawa that you think should be posted let me know,...I will try to get down there to check it out. Please send description/info (and map location if you can). Contact me at info@mapitokinawa.com

How To Use The Map
The Google Map on each profile will use the icons you see below to mark the position(s). Each Map Icon will have a label and a name.