Nero (nerofotia) wrote in okinawa,

Geocaching – Another way to enjoy the sights of Okinawa


Part of the fun of any video game is the thrill of finding a treasured item.  In some games, it’s a unique weapon, in some, a priceless artifact, and in others, it’s nothing more than a checkpoint.
Part of my upgrade from video gaming to real-life gaming came by way of a conversation with my wife.  She mentioned something to me during a conversation about Land Nav that sparked my interest.  She told me that one of her friends did little treasure hunts with her husband and 2 sons.  Then she explained how it works.  A website has a database of hidden treasures (caches) all over the world, including the latitude and longitude coordinates of each cache.  There are different types of caches, but it’s typically an ammo box or other waterproof container with small, inexpensive trinkets inside; things like unit coins, key chains, etc.
I was hooked.  ‘Land Nav, with a twist, for fun?  I’m in!’
I went to the site ( and filled out the free registration.  I thought it took a little while to convince my wife that I needed a handheld GPS unit.  (It turns out, she was trying to save it for an anniversary gift).  Once I had the GPS, the hunt was on.  I found my first cache just outside Camp Foster, easily within walking distance.  It was actually a little more difficult than I thought it would be, but when I actually found it, I was exhilarated.  I have found a grand total of two caches, and it’s difficult to say which is more exciting- the thrill of the hunt, or the joy of discovery. 
One of the nice fringe benefits of this hobby is discovering new parks.  This island is packed with recreational areas, scenic views, and points of interest; I have found that many of these caches include at least one of these highlights, if not a combination of them.  The game is free, registration on the geocaching site is free, and the sights you will take in playing the game will be priceless.  It’s a great activity for adults and kids alike, and it’s played worldwide.  There are themed events for geocachers, some similar to the TV show The Amazing Race, some just an opportunity to meet and greet other cachers.
Check out the site- there may be treasure hidden just outside your door.
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