CONTRIBUTED BY JOELLE YAMADA
Not worth driving all the way up there for. Not quite that cool. But if you’ve already made the trip up to the Aquarium or the Pineapple Park or you’ve spent the morning picking oranges then it’s a MUST SEE!
When entering the building, you’ll be surrounded by the typical Okinawan souvenir items (awamori, packaged sweets, t-shirts, etc). But over to your right is the entrance to the butterfly area. For 400¥ (adults) or 200¥ (3-15 yr olds) you can enter the garden – be sure to pick up a red umbrella on your way out – evidently the winged ones like red. Wander down the path and then up into the “Butterfly House,” a net-enclosed area. Here you can enjoy being swarmed by beautiful butterflies to your heart’s content – putting on one of the red hats provided will also help.
When you leave there you can… well… you can leave… OR you can spend a few more minutes walking around the garden and enjoying their interesting collection of hermit crabs, lovely plants and, of course, the requisite Blue Seal Ice Cream.
Either way, the whole visit won’t take you more than 30 minutes unless you choose to have lunch upstairs where they have an incredible view (see 3rd small pix). The kids loved the butterflies (they’ve got cocoons on display too in case you want a live illustration of the book you’ve read TOO many times: The Very Hungry Caterpillar). I thought it was pretty neato, too – but it’s a quick visit to add on to a day full of other activities.
You’ll pass the Butterfly Park on your left about 4 minutes before you get to the Aquarium on Motobu Penninsula.