Editor’s Note: This attraction closed in 2014 and reopened in 2015 as Uchina Farm. We’ll be publishing a review on the new farm in March 2016.
CONTRIBUTED BY MARY RICHARDSON
Would you ever have guessed that wine production and miniature golf go together?
Like other fun unusual business combinations in Okinawa (Think back to the egg shop and petting zoo), last weekend we explored the Itoman Wine Farm.
There we found none other than a small local wine factory and popular putt-putt golf course, good for the whole family.
For a fee, there were also a couple of horses for children to ride around the farm (~800 yen), and a pen with bunnies to play with (~100 yen). In addition, there was a large greenhouse with plants and flowers that could be purchased, and a restaurant with traditional Okinawan fare.
The mini golf course had 18 holes, and though it wasn’t fancy by any means (no loopty loops or bridges over ponds), it was a fun time. (Even though my husband insisted on keeping score! Can you relate?)
Despite the dreary weather, the mini golf seemed quite popular with locals including families with little kids, groups of teens, and a competitive team of grandpas! We suspect we must have been there during a senior citizen tournament – I’ll tell you one thing, they had great shots. The fee cost 600 yen per person to play, and there didn’t seem to be any time limit on the course.
The farm produces several varieties of wine including Acerola wine, Passionfruit wine, and a Sparkling version. You can walk around the factory and peer through big glass windows to observe the machinery and the whole process of it. Because we were there on a Sunday, it didn’t seem that much was going on in the way of guided tours or churning vats. I’m guessing that summertime might be a more popular time for that.
They did have a nice souvenir shop, however, where they gave free tastings of the wines. They also sold jars of fruit jams and spreads made out of local ingredients like sweet potato, shikuwasa, pineapple, and more.
The Itoman Wine Farm is almost directly across the street from Peace Prayer Park, making it an easy side-excursion with kids if you are heading down that way. Combine it with a stop for dinner at Cafe Caracuma, Thai in the Sky, and you’ve got the makings for an interesting day that pleases the whole family.
Costs: Miniature golf cost 600 yen per person. Wine starts at 850 yen per bottle.
Hours: The Itoman Wine Farm is open daily fromr 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Getting There: Take 58 South to Naha. Take the 331 to Itoman, and expect about a thirty minute drive. You’ll see the Peace Prayer Park on the right side. Across the street, take the first left past the park. You’ll see a few signs including pictures of fruit. The white windmills on the left side of the road are another landmark to look for. There is plenty of parking. A small shop on the right side rents the golf equipment.