Thursday, January 30, 2014

Living on the Ledge: Lifestyle Choices in a Paradise Almost Lost

Manzamo is a popular tourist attraction in Onna Village on the East China Sea side of Okinawa's main island. This morning we almost couldn't find a parking place because of all of the tourist buses waiting to drop off their charges and park in the large parking area.
The whole plateau is a large grassy field that sits on the bluffs high above the crystal clear waters below. The place is popular for both fishermen and scuba divers. Unfortunately, during the Battle of Okinawa in the closing months of WWII, many locals met their deaths here choosing to hurl themselves from the high cliffs to the rocks below.
These days the main attraction is to see a natural rock formation known in Japanese as the "Zo, no Hana" or the "Elephant's Nose." Of course before seeing this natural wonder, you have to run the gauntlet of merchants hawking their wares near the parking area. You can't blame them, they do work hard for their money!
Many groups will stop and pose just long enough to have a portrait taken by a "professional" photographer like the one pictured below. Looks like this guy needs a lesson or two about using natural light if you ask me. These "been there done that" photos are popular with Japanese "Package" tours.
This next image I got simply by zooming in on the photo of the elephant's nose (pictured above) Here you can see, perched on the next set of ledges, several fishermen trying their luck at what looks to be a hard to access spot.
All I can say is, it must be a pretty good spot. Every time I go out to this location, I always see several fishermen doing what they can in these uncertain times to put a little food on the table!

Almost makes me want to put down my camera and dust off the old cane pole.....  Nah!!!

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