CONTRIBUTED BY DASHA GARIEPY
Have you ever noticed how observant kids can be? They don’t miss a beat. In the car, if I ever deviate from an established driving route my kids immediately ask, “Mom, where are we going?”
When they were little I’d smile slyly and say, “We’re going to get a snack!” and they’d sit happily in the back seat for an hour or more giggling to each other.
Now when they ask, I mutter “Hang on a sec, I just want to see where this road goes…” and then tune out all the moaning and groaning from the back seat. My kids learned long ago that “just a sec” actually means “I’m exploring and you’re along for the ride.”
The other day I noticed this sign on route 81.
If you’re squinting wondering “What’s that sign say?” join the club. I had to do a u-ie to get another look. There’s a similar sign from the other direction, too, and they both read:
Nakagusuku-jo Site 2.8 km
Nakamura Old House 2.3 km
The arrows are pointing at the street directly across from Foster’s SgtMaj gate.
I can’t resist the urge to explore. So instead of turning into the SgtMaj gate, I went the opposite direction. Sure enough, right about 2.3 km, I came to this sign:
Decisions, decisions. Turn for the “Old House”, or proceed on the road to the Nakagusuku-jo Site?
I turned because (1) I had no idea what a Nakagusuku-jo Site was, and (2) I wanted to see how old a house had to be to warrant it’s own “Old House” sign!
The parking lot is super easy to find, about 50 yards down the street on the right:
Once parked, however, I was stumped. There were a couple of buildings facing the parking lot, and frankly they all looked old. What I thought was the official “old house” turned out to be the visitor’s center:
Complete with school of koi silently screaming “FEED ME!”
(these things give me the willies)
And a great little gift shop:
And the ticket window for admission to the old house:
I still didn’t have any idea what I was paying to see, but figured it was worth five bucks* to satisfy my curiosity.
Step through this entryway:
to see Nakamura House, “a rich farmer’s residence” dating back to 1720! I had a very pleasant time wandering through this captivating 8 room home:
and it’s surrounding grounds.
You don’t need all day to see Nakamura Old House, but plan on a couple of hours to be transported back in time.
Address: 106 OSHIRO AZA KITANAKAGUSUKU OKINAWA JAPAN
Hours of Operation: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
*As of April 2014 we have been informed there is no longer an entrance fee for Nakamura House
Editor’s Note: Do you ever drive down a road just to see where it goes? Or follow signs just to see where they lead? Share your stories with us here at Okinawa Hai!