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.

Sign_from_81_2

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:

Close_up_turn_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:

Parking_lot_sign

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:

Gift_shop

Complete with school of koi silently screaming “FEED ME!”

Feeding_frenzy

(these things give me the willies)

And a great little gift shop:

Pottery_for_sale

And the ticket window for admission to the old house:

Farm_pay_booth_3

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:

Entrance_arch

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:

Farm_roof

and it’s surrounding grounds.

Outside_steps

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

Phone: Tel/Fax.098-935-3500

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!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Just went to this today with my kids. There is no longer an entrance fee. A couple of hours in the original post sounds like a really long time. We were there for no more than 45 minutes. That included walking through the entire house and grounds, buying a handmade Shisa set & having tea with brown sugar jello.

  2. We just got back- it was on my final to do list. Very lovely. We went inside the shop and they served us jasmine tea and mochi. Worth the trip, thanks!

  3. The Nakagusuku-jo site is the Nakagusuku castle ruins. I just visited the castle ruins a few weeks ago. They were really neat to see. And, at the end of the castle ruins is the Haunted Hotel.

  4. I’ve never been to the Nakamura House, but it definitely sounds like we need to visit it.

    We have been to Nakagusuku castle ruins though. There are some great views and picture ops there. Very pretty! Plus there is the freaky haunted hotel looming in the background.

  5. This site sounds interesting. Hope that my daughter-in-law, Kristyn, gets a opportunity to check it out one of these days.

    But, now I wounder what is at the Nakaqusuku-Jo site.

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