After spending a week in the Tokyo area with friends, we flew back home and Katie (who lives in Yokosuka now) came down with us! We visited the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum and Park down in Itoman, followed by the Himeyuri Peace Museum.
The Peace Memorial Park is located in Mabuni Hills, where the Battle of Okinawa came to an end in 1945. We visited the Cornerstone of Peace, a memorial which features black granite slabs inscribed with the names of 241,281 people who lost there lives during the battle. Another feature of this memorial is the Eternal Flame, which sits closer to the cliffs. Although beautiful, these also have a grim history, because many Okinawans decided to commit suicide before they got caught by Americans.
Husband and I had been here once during the MCCS Battlesites Tour we did with our family back in July 2014, but only for a short amount of time. This time around I was able to visit the museum and I cannot recommend it more, especially to those history buffs!!
It surpassed all of my expectations and it’s really inexpensive! The entrance fee is only ¥300 for adults / ¥150 for children. My favorite part was reading/learning more about the Battle of Okinawa from the perspective of the people of Okinawa, who were sort of stuck in the middle between the Japanese and the Americans and lost so much. If you go, be sure to also stop by the observatory tower to see the amazing view of the park!!
614-1 Mabuni, Itoman City, Okinawa, Japan, 901-0333
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, CLOSED Mondays! Also closed from December 29 – January 3.
More info: Okinawa Prefectural Museum Website