So our latest adventure day took us to a newly renovated market place on the corner of rt. 329 and 330 (Gintengai Market) and the Gi-kugusuku Waterside Park across the street. And by newly renovated, I mean a very large mural placed in front of very old, decaying buildings…not actually renovated.
We first started at the waterside park. And by park, I mean an overgrown foot path by a small stream of water. But there were some bridges over the stream, some pavilions surrounded by clover and grass and a couple of cute looking (closed) stores and restaurants around.
After Little E and G chased some pigeons and butterflies for awhile, I decided we better get this show started and head to the market before the madness of the hungry toddler begins (yep, he gets hangry).
So we walked across the street!
First let me say, the mural is awesome! I just love when a city finds it important to include art into their architecture! So this is truly a wonderful expression of the Okinawan people. Then let me say that taking pictures with two small children next to a very busy street is kind of nerve wracking and so I didn’t fully get to absorb all of the pictures and their meanings! But, here is what I think I got from it:
If you start on the right side and work your way to the left, the mural tells a story. It begins with ancient rulers, samurai, daimyo and geisha.
THEN, I feel like I missed a huge hunk because the next thing I got was American troops coming in on tanks and they’re either rebuilding or tearing down the island.
The rest of the mural jumps through time, ending in the present with lots of foods with smiley faces and street venders and finally finishing with a beautiful giant dragon and a small rendition of Gintengai itself.
Now, upon delving into the actual market…that was a letdown. It is obviously a night market or a weekend market. Everything was closed and pretty run down. We walked down a couple of alleys, but the kids were getting a bit antsy so we gave up and headed back to the car.
I was really hoping that we could get a little snack there…but no such luck! Perhaps we shall try it again on a weekend!