Tours and Banquet
On June 20 (Wednesday), all of the participants and registered guests are invited to join a complimentary bus tour. After visiting Shurijo Castle Park and an awamori distillery, the buses will arrive in the Valley of Gangala where a banquet dinner will be held. The buses will leave OIST at 13:20 and return to the hotels after the banquet finishes at around 21:30. A small lunch box will be provided for the tour.
Shurijo Castle served as the proud and dignified center of the Ryukyu Kingdom and its politics, foreign affairs and culture. With architectural influences from both China and Japan, the castle shows its exceptional cultural and historical value in its unique stonework and architectural design.
Awamori is a type of distilled liquor that has been produced in Okinawa for centuries and is said to be the origin of Japanese shochu, another distilled alcoholic beverage. Unlike the shochu on mainland Japan, awamori uses different ingredients and is produced by a different method, giving it its own unique aroma and distinctive taste. Another unique feature of awamori is its culture of maturation to create what is known as “kusu”– awamori that has been aged for more than three years after the distillation.
Banquet Dinner: Valley of Gangala
The Valley of Gangala is a sub-tropical forest full of lush, rich nature occupying the remains of a limestone cave that collapsed hundreds of thousands of years ago. An excavation of the area was carried out and it is believed to have once been home to the Minatogawa people who lived about 18,000 years ago. Enjoy a buffet-style dinner in the cave, making for a unique atmosphere that cannot be experienced anywhere else. During the dinner participants will be treated to a special live performance of traditional Okinawan dances.