Peace Memorial Park sits south of Naha in a town called Mabuni. It was the site for the final battle for Okinawa in World War two. I still can’t believe that one of the places with the most bloodshed in the war turned into an amazing memorial park. It’s such a big place and Danny told me we missed a few spots when we left. I was surprised since we were there for four hours! It didn’t feel that long though, it was such an interesting place with so much to look at and so much information; time whizzed by!
Upon arrival there are cute little ladies selling flowers for ¥300. They are VERY persistent!
Even with people around there was a sense of stillness throughout the park.
This part is called the Cornerstone of Peace which was erected to commemorate the war dead on the 50th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa. The stones have names of over 200,000 people who lost their lives in the war, regardless of nationality, soldiers or civilians.
I was really amazed and just in awe of the views here.
There are many monuments around the park, we decided to post our favorite ones!
There is a LOT of walking because the park is so big. But I mean who really cares when there are views like this!?
We had some lunch before heading to the last part our adventure. All that walking worked up an appetite. After we had our yummy pb&j’s we headed to the Peace Hall.
The hall’s roof expresses seven seas and the shape of hands joint in prayers. How amazing is it that that’s what the roof signifies?!
The Bell of Peace is rung on memorial occasions of praying for world peace. I hope we get the chance to go back and hear the bell being rung.
The Peace Prayer Monument is opinions on peace. There was a contest soliciting the opinion of peace and the top three winners opinions are inscribed on the monument.
We finally made our way into the peace hall. We paid our entrance fee and it was well worth it. We walked in and there was an art gallery, the art was beautiful but what really took us aback was the 40ft Peace Prayer Statue. I walked in and my eyes started watering because of the sudden rush of emotions. I did cry a little by the way, I’m not sure why I was feeling the way I was feeling in that moment but it was amazing.
The statue is a symbol of praying human beings. The artist Shinzan Yamada started on the project when he was 72 years old, after he lost his eldest son in the Battle of Okinawa. He was 90 years old when he finished the project and he even fell down twice while working on it! The statue shows his effort and strong will for peace.
We were there for a while just admiring the beautiful statue and the art surrounding it. After we got ourselves situated we made our way to the butterfly garden… I went in and tried my very best to not get scared but I failed miserably and ran out, haha. But Danny did get beautiful pictures of the butterflies. Apparently, they are the biggest butterflies in Japan, their wings reach 13cm when they are fully stretched. SCARY!
We went out to the back of the park and just enjoyed the day and relaxed after all the walking and scary butterflies.
It was a full day at the park and we highly advice to wear comfortable shoes because there is a lot o walking. Also, taking lunch is a must, we had a little picnic! The only place where they charge is at the Peace Prayer Hall which is ¥450. They also charge at the museum but we didn’t go so we don’t know the entrance fee.
It was a fun experience and I learned a lot here. Thanks for tuning in and check out our flickr for more pictures!