Yall. It was craziness. The largest tug of war in the world. They close down the main roadway in downtown to make room for the rope. We weren't actually close enough to participate, but I'm not sad about it because people were getting all kinds of sweaty and gross tugging on that rope. It was fun to watch and a good introduction to Okinawan culture for sure. There is a lot of history behind the tug of war that we didn't find out about until after, so we didn't really understand what we were watching-- but it was certainly interesting anyways. You can read more about the history behind it here.
It's also customary and tradition for people to cut off strands of the rope, as the rope is said to bring good luck throughout the year. There were literally elderly women with hacksaws and razor blades fighting to the front to slice off the biggest piece of rope they could find. This isn't an exaggeration. I sent Brian into the craziness to try and bribe one of the women to cut us off a piece-- he was victorious and miraculously returned to me unscathed!
There was also a parade through the streets of Naha before hand with all different types of cultural productions. My favorite part was the little ninja boys. Cutest. Thing. Ever.
This was the very middle of the rope, but gives you an idea of the thickness. It was huge.
These are my friends Ashley and Sarah (look mom! i have friends! aren't you proud?), they are great.
We also got our first daytime view of the beach! Beauty.
We are kiiiiinda loving this place already. Except for the fact that it felt like a vacation until Brian left this morning to check into work. Then it felt like real life.