CONTRIUBTED BY KELLY GARCIA; UPDATE BY HEATHER GELORMINE
As many of you know, we have a park here in Okinawa called Comprehensive Park. Despite the promise of a wide range of park activities that its name suggests, my husband, Joe, and I have never felt compelled to visit. Until yesterday.
Why oh why did we wait a year and a half to visit this wonderful place? It’s got a full-on water park, with slides and pools and a view of the ocean. (Unfortunately, according to the sign, the admittance of tattooed people is prohibited. Sorry Joe!)
There are walking paths, a couple of running tracks, a weight room, and dance classes. There are ponds where you can buy boxes of fish food to toss into the mouths of the most desperate carp I have ever seen.
(Feeding fish is, bar none, Joe’s all-time favorite park activity. But seriously, the Japanese park carp are worse than pigeons in their frenzy for food. They did their best to fly into the air and bite my hand off. I’m not kidding.)
There are tennis courts, camp grounds(!), a bicycle race track,and playgrounds. You can rent bicycles there. If you are feeling really ambitious, I suppose you could even ride a unicycle. I saw not one, not two, but THREE little kids teetering around (successfully!) on unicycles. Crazy.
If your kids are too young and uncoordinated for a one-wheeled bike, bring theirs with you.
Don’t forget a drag-along toy for kids young enough to be amused by anything smaller than they are. (I don’t ask questions anymore. Kids are weird. If it keeps him busy and he’s not flinging himself off a bridge, I’m good with his ideas.)
Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park really is massive. Our family can easily spend an entire day wandering the grounds – without even visiting the water park portion – and still not get tired of being there.
There is something for everyone, from adults to families with little ones. Our kids LOVED the variety of playgrounds (and I’m sorry that I can’t give better guidance about how to find them, but honestly? Just stumbling on them as we walked around was half the fun!
Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park
Address: 5 Chome-3-1 Hiyagon, Okinawa, Okinawa Prefecture 904-2173, Japan
GPS Coordinates: 26.3106486, 127.82000489999996
Phone: +81 98-932-5114
Directions From Kadena: If you are driving out of Kadena Gate 2, drive straight through the Goya four-corners intersection onto route 20. Take this road about 10 minutes until you reach the major intersection for route 329 and then turn right. Stay on this road until you reach the park. You will pass a San-A and McDonalds and a few minutes later will see road signs announcing Comprehensive Park. Finally, you’ll see the arched entrance on your left side. Turn in here, park your car, and go explore!
Directions From Foster: Head out the Legion Gate to Route 329 and keep going about five kilometers until you see the entrance gate on the left side of the road.
[…] Athletic Park, located in Nakagusuku Village, like Comprehensive Park contains a baseball field, tennis court, soccer & track fields and a small park; which was what […]
From Kadena out gate 2
Turn right on 330 (music town toward the aeon mall)
Turn right on 85 (in front of the aeon mall)
Go straight through the light for 329
Turn right on 227
The entrance for the playground will be on your right. You may have to make a turn around. I took the directions originally posted today but drove all the way around to find the correct parking lot. I took these directions back and 85 was also much faster.
We went here last weekend to check out the playground. It was a long hike from the entrance described in the directions to the kids’ playground. I think if we had taken a left at the intersection with SanA and McD we would have found a closer parking lot. There was lots of shade at the playground which was great because it was incredibly hot. Will have to explore the other things another time. But we will try a different parking lot.
Question, does the park (trails, not the water park part) open year round? Do you have to pay for the trails only?
How do I get there from Kinser?
i cannot find the other playground. we found the one that was all metal but where is the other one with the little zip line thinggy???
Do they allow dogs in the park, to go on the walking trails?
@Josh, yes dogs are allowed & on walking/running trails..you just got to clean up after yourself. Its a nice stroll with your pet around the big park. I know it was tiring for me with a double stroller!
Thanks Dawn that helps a ton!
I see people walking their dogs there all the time, we live close by and go weekly. So my guess is that dogs are allowed. Just be careful if you have a larger dog or a “fighting” dog. In Japan certain breeds and sizes are considered to be fighting dogs regardless and certain rules apply when you have then out in public. Have fun!
Does anyone know if they allow dogs in the park?
By no tattoos, they mean no Yakuza. So a few tattoos are okay, but if your entire back is covered with tattoos, or your arms, they might turn you down. Generally if you’re american, and you have tattoos,(no matter how many) they’ll know you’re not associated with Yakuza at all and let you in. They also have this rule on mainland Japan when visiting onsen, hotsprings and public baths.
I’ve been to the park several times and I have a few tatoos….they will not stop you from coming in and enjoying the park. I swam for hours with my boys.
They also have a viewing point that you can see the ocean, most of the park, and the city. There is also a lilly field up there. You head up the wooden stairs right near the bridge that goes over the pond. my family and I have been here several times and love it.
I just went today and the park is open from 9:30 til 6pm on Saturday, Sunday & Japanese holidays for the month of September and then it closes for the season. You can have tatoos, they ask you to cover them up. Another thing is you can’t go in the pools with sunglasses on. You have to have a strap. I saw them making people take them off for not having a strap.
Does anyone know when the park closes for the season? I’m wanting to go now (September) but can’t find any information on when it closes. Any help would be appreciated!
Just have to say that I still love this place. Yes, it’s taken about a year for me to get back since writing the original post, but when I went again this weekend with my husband and baby I got the same rush of joy that overcame me the first time I went. The park was full of people picknicking and biking and just enjoying the beauty of the day. This time we found a mini golf course and paddle boats. How fun is that? I definitely recommend making the trip out there with your family, especially with this weather.
FYI for the water park there is a separate blog on the park at:
Hey there ramsthom. I got a message about this from another post. The person who wrote told me she saw lots of tattoos while in the waterpark. So, it looks like you’re in the clear!
Just wondering if that is true….can you not go to the water park if you have tattoos?
Just wanted to mention that comprehensive park is great for kids as well! it has a 2 playground areas for kiddos of all ages. There is also an amazing water park which opens in the summer. Any type of bike including tricycles are available for rent. We also always stop at the shack near the bike rentals for red bean ices (zenzai)!