April 8, 2017

Finding Peace

Amid the busyness and chaos of daily island life many Okinawan locals visit a hidden gem known as the Southeast Botanical Gardens.  Our daughter in law, Kana, had to work so Alex took us to see the gardens.  The day we went it was quiet, peaceful and relaxing.  In the background soothing music was playing.

Our first stop was at the fish pond.  For 100 yen (roughly $1) we received a plastic container full of food to feed the fish.  The food looks like small dog kibble.  It's fun to see if you can bounce it off the duck's back and land it so the fish eat it before the duck does :-)  I'm not sure what type of fish these are, likely catfish or something similar.

The gardens are full of beautiful plants.  But among the many plants are animals, some common and some not so common.

Goats are pretty common but we wanted to give them a treat.  Ron was the brave one here.  Another dollar and another container of food.  The goats enjoyed a snack of healthy green cabbage.  They like it so much they try to jump on you to get to the container.

"I can smell the goodness from here"

if you throw it fast enough they don't jump as much...

In another area we saw a new born goat.  The keeper let it out of the pen.  It jumped and frolicked on the nearby grass.  Then the keeper put it in Alex's arms.  It tasted his scruffy chin and decided Mama has better food :-) 

Down the path we saw the pen with three Squirrel Monkeys and two Capybara.  At designated times you're allowed to feed them.  The monkeys are, of course, the main attraction.  They're so cute!  Their snack is croutons.  The Capybara's snack is green cabbage.  This time we each wanted a food container.  We aren't allowed to reach out and touch the monkeys but they are definitely not shy if you have food for them.  Lots of laughs and smiles from us!

he's ready for some yummy snacks

The gardens are full of beautiful flowers, trees and shrubs of various shapes and sizes.  I'm not sure how large the entire gardens are but we spent nearly 3 hours walking around.  We took nearly 200 photos during the time we were there.

In the herb section they have one of my favorite spices, a cinnamon tree.  It doesn't look like much (so no photo), but it sure smelled good :-)

Here are some of my favorite photos:

one of my favorite photos from the gardens!

the vines were covered in blooming flowers shown below

this grove of Alexander Palms is my favorite place in the gardens
Yes, children are encouraged to climb this!  Children in America would only get this experience in their own backyard-if they're lucky enough to have a tree this strong and a ladder this tall.  It was anchored to the tree for safety, just so you know :-)

selfie time :-)
More adventures await us in Japan.  This was a great start to them!


  1. Those were most likely Koi fish. Very expensive and colorful. The monkeys were adorable. Loved seeing the goaties! The palms are so pretty! What a great time you're having with your family!

    1. I hadn't thought of Koi, perhaps you're right. Anyway, they seem to sense when food is coming and opened their mouths WIDE :-) It was all so pretty. Hard to capture the essence of the area in photos. We've had quite a few awesome adventures already!

  2. That baby goat!! Beautiful gardens, I can see why you would spend a few hours. Love those interesting vines - they sort of look like chilis. So glad you're having a great time with Alex.

    1. That baby goat was so adorable! The vines are definitely a type of flower. They have a festival each year (we missed it) to celebrate the blossoms. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here. It's hard to believe we'll be leaving in two days already. The time has flown by...


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