Okinawa World

CONTRIBUTED BY CATHRYN JENSON

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If you are looking for a fun day-long adventure then you should consider Okinawa World.  The fees are reasonable and in my opinion, you get your monies worth.  Adult ticket prices for the Kingdom Village, Cave, and Habu Museum (the Free Pass) are 1600 Yen and 800 Yen for kids 4 years and older.   To see some of the attractions but not all, they also sell tickets a la carte.

To begin with you enter this HUGE cave.  The cave is well lit and there are not any bats or creatures to worry yourself about; it is just full of stalagmites and stalactites.  There is a well maintained path throughout but also some stairs.  It takes a good 30-45 minutes to walk the length of the cave so it can be tiresome for small children; the stairs make a stroller not an option, though a stroller might be a good idea to bring for the rest of the park.

After exiting the cave you enter into a grove and garden area showcasing the varieties of fruits and vegetables that are grown in Okinawa .  From here you are then able to explore at your leisure the many shops (textile, pottery, glass blowing, bingata, brewery etc.) throughout the village.  I do not remember if they only took Yen, I think possibly they accepted credit cards.  They also had several food stands set up throughout to buy a yummy snack, you would want Yen for these. 

The best part of the park was the Eisa performance that is showcased several times a day.  It is amazing and worth planning your schedule around!  They have a lot of dancing, drumming and sanshin acts.  They also had a HUGE shisa costume/puppet/creature that came running off stage into the crowd that for me was the highlight.  The performance is stunning, but unfortunately photography during the performance isn’t allowed.

Last but not least is the habu museum.  I have a very deeply rooted and all too real phobia of snakes so I volunteered to stay outside and watch the toddlers while the rest of the group headed into the dome of death, err…I mean, the museum.  Apparently it is “really cool” (the words of my 7 year old) and informative.  They have several showings a day of habu and other snakes. 

 Okinawa World will definitely be on the “list of things to do while visitors are here.”  It was fun, inexpensive and so informative!  Be prepared to take a lot of pictures as there is a picture opportunity around every corner.

Directions:

Take the expressway south toward Naha.  Follow to the Nishihara JCT exit (after Exit 2 but before Exit 1).  Follow to A2 – Haebaru Minama IC – and take a left onto HWY 507.  Turn left on 48 toward Nanjo.  Follow for 2 km and make a right onto 17; you’ll see signs leading you to the “Cave”.  Drive for another 2.8 km; the entrance to the park will be on your left.  It will take about 40 minutes to get there from the expressway entrance near Gate 2 Kadena.

27 COMMENTS

  1. I am wondering if it is possible to just go to the glass gift shop? We were there over the summer and would like to get a Christmas gift for my Mom.

    • There are some indoor portions of Okinawa World (including the caves), but much of it is outside. Might not be the best rainy day activity.

  2. Valley of Gangala is across the street from Okinawa World. When you finish Valley of Gangala it will end on the other side of the street right in front of Okinawa World. You could park at Okinawa World and then walk across the street to the Valley. Copy and paste the below into Google Maps or GPS:

    +26° 8′ 25.87″, +127° 44′ 54.92″

    Note: the green arrow is the check-in building and the pin “A” is a lost cause.

  3. I really did enjoy my trip to Okinawa Word. But I would have to agree w the previous posting regarding the horrible treatment of their snakes. Animal lovers beware. Not only were the snakes being held in cement squares, they were over crowded like jail cells too. And the snake show with the cobras is a terrible display of animal cruelty. Hitting the snake’s head into the cement repeatedly and then swirling it around in the air was seriously sad. And this happens 3x a show and 6x a day. If it was any other animal being smacked into the ground, would it be less okay? Animals deserve better including snakes. Disgraceful.

  4. Directions clarification
    Follow the airport branch off of the expressway for the Nishihara JCT. SIgns can be misleading. Then above directions are perfect

  5. We just came back from Okinawa world. We loved the cave, Eisa performance & the snake museum. We got there as soon as they opened & we had the cave all to ourselves. Def. something everyone should do while on the island.

  6. Are there options to eat lunch inside the park? Also, is the 800 yen fee for anyone under 18? I’m trying to plan a trip for a middle school youth group.

  7. I think you can find this while going towards Shuri Castle — I’ll let you know as we’re gonna try to find easier directions for us Kinser folks on our way back today.

  8. We went to Okinawa World today and while the cave and village are pretty nice, the Habu museum is sub-standard. While it had many snakes, the way they house the various snakes is, simply said, horrible. We love snakes and nowhere have we seen snakes housed as poorly as at the Habu museum. The terrarium for the python was blank concrete slab with no soil, rocks, logs or anything in there. Same goes for the Habus – some of the terrariums had a rock sitting on an aluminium floor and that’s it.

  9. This place was awesome! The entire family enjoyed it! There’s enough to do but but to much that is overwhelming. Great place to take kids and have a family outting! Must go if your station in Okinawa!

  10. You can purchase tickets ahead of time from the Kadena ITT. They are slightly discounted from the price at the door. You can still choose which parts of Okinawa World you would like to visit.

  11. I just got out my brochure and for 4 adults to see it all (Gyokusendo Cave, Kingdom Village and Habu Museum) will run you 6,400 Yen (1,600 yen per adult). If you have children the fee to see it all is 800 yen per child. They also sell tickets for each attraction individually and that might be for you if your family is not interested in one of the attractions. We did not choose to see the Habu Museum when we went because we were short on time. When you enter the Kingdom Village portion of the park, there are all these different areas where you can make your own Bingata, Pottery, etc. and if you choose to do those things, I would recommend you bring even more yen. We enjoyed ourselves just watching others do those things. You will defintely have to either pack a lunch to save money or eat out at some point during the day so plan for that as well. Okinawa World is not really convenient to any of the bases, so you will not be able to scoot over to one of those for lunch. You will also notice when you get there that there are what seems like a million souvenir shops that are placed at the exits and sometimes entrances of every attraction. If you plan to purchase something at those, that means even more yen. Oh, in my opinion, the Okinawa History Museum should not be missed. It is small, but included in the Kingdom Village fee. As for my family, we went unexpectedly with the yen we had in our pocket, chose the cave and Kingdom Village and did not purchase anything else. We had a great time! Hope that helps!

  12. My in-laws are coming in about 3 weeks and we have been saving money for their visit. We are trying to figure out if we saved wnough so far. Can anyone tell me if they think about 10,000 Yen would be enough for the day at Okinawa World? Thanks in advance!

  13. Just an addition to the directions above. Exit 2 is also Nishihara. If you continue past exit 2 you will see the next exit, 1-1, which is Nishihara JCT. Exit to the left here. After we circled the expressway a few times and found it, the kids had a great time. The cave was worth the long drive. We took our stroller in and left it at the cave entrance. They were very nice and put our name and phone # on it. You do come out of the cave at the other end of the park, so my husband had to go back and get it. But it only took about 10 minutes so it was totally worth it. It was blazing hot and my 1 year old would have never made it walking. We also took a small cooler that we had hanging from the stroller with water and snacks.

  14. There is a micro brewed beer in the center of Oki World. It’s really fantastic and worth a stop if you appreciate micro breweries!

  15. Forgot to mention that you can buy tickets for Okinawa World at ITT; they were charging $16.10 for adults, which would have been slightly cheaper than paying the 1600 yen rate with the current conversion rate. ITT only takes American dollars though, and we only had Yen on us, so we just paid at the gate.

  16. We just took a family trip here today. My kids loved it! It’s not cheap; for 2 adults and 1 child over age 4 we paid 4000 yen in entrance fees (and nearly that much in tolls because we couldn’t figure out how to get to exit A2… I’ve since fixed the directions in the post above) but we thought it was worth it.

    It is a bit touristy – there are vendors pushing their wares after every attraction and you have to walk through stores in order to get from the Village to the Eisa show and Habu museum, but we just covered our kids’ eyes through the toy sections as we hustled through. 🙂

    We loved the caves; we were actually the only ones walking through right then and we took our time getting through. We all thought the Eisa show was the best part; we missed the first half of the show so ended up doing the Habu museum and show, then hanging around the Village for awhile before sitting down in the front row for the next one. We were there about 10 minutes before it started and they let audience members come up to practice using drums and the wooden hand clappers in that time. It also turned out that the two shows were different from each other, so if you have time to watch a couple viewings of it I’d stay for both.

    I wish we’d known about Okinawa World before our visitors all came to see us; this definitely would have been on our list of places to take them.

  17. It’s not every day you get to see a mongoose outswim a snake. Pretty grounds. Cool cave (don’t lug your stroller in there)-a little touristey- but worth doing.

  18. Hi- We tried and failed at finding Okinawa World. Sniff. Sniff. Can anyone give me directions (out of a gate on a base). Thanks in advance!! Staci

  19. Haha! Joshy isn’t looking too excited about holding the snakes tail (really though, who in their right mind would be?!) but all-in-all he honestly did like the snake. Notice I am not in the picture..no way ever would I hold a snake!

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