Okinawa World

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Also known as the ‘Culture Kingdom Gyokusendo’, Okinawa World is a touristy theme park that features Okinawan culture and nature. The main attractions are:

1) Gyokusendo Cave – the longest (5kms) cave in the south of Okinawa island, and Japan’s second longest. Eight hundred fifty meters of the cave is open to the public and gives a spectacular display of stalactites and stalagmites.

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2) Kingdom Village – a nice replica of traditional Ryukyu village. (Ryukyu native culture is distinctly different from that of the rest of Japan in terms of language, cuisine, arts, etc.) It features workshops that introduce the various traditional Okinawan crafts such as weaving, dyeing, paper making, pottery, sugar cane processing, the making of musical instruments, brewing and glass blowing. Visitors can have hands-on experience in most of the workshops, purchase local products at souvenir shops, and dine in restaurants that specialize Okinawan cuisine.

The video below, which shows spray painting, isn’t on the traditional crafts village highlights list. So the man is most likely a guest artist on particular dates. However, his work is amazingly fascinating I stayed and watched one entire demonstration.

Here are a few postcard size prints of his work (click photo to view whole image):

3) Habu Park – named after the notoriously poisonous local snake, Habu. The Park consists of a snake museum, a snake show, and a small shabby zoological garden. Note: The first two attractions held my interest long enough and left no time for me to explore this park. No regrets though, as the mere sight of a snake is unbearably horrendous to me. And that explains why there aren’t any photos in this section.

Okinawa World is a never-to-be-missed experience while in Okinawa. There is so much to see and do in this touristy theme park. But when you’re with a tour group, you just don’t have control over much of your time.  So just take in as much as you can while you can. That’s part of the deal.

You can visit Okinawa World any day of the year. It is open from 9am to 6pm, entry allowed until 5pm. Admission fee of ¥1,650 for adults and ¥830 for children allows entry to all attractions. Check out these links for more travel information:

http://en.okinawa2go.jp/is/OCVB1EN0010683100/show

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7106.html

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