Murasaki Mura is an old Okinawan village where you can make various crafts. Entry was only about 500 yen but they’ll get you on the crafts. Within the course of an hour we had dropped close to an additional 4000 yen painting a pair of shisa dogs and a whale shark.



There was a moment’s hesitation but then I was thinking that ten years from now I won’t remember the cost so much. Instead I’ll have great souvenirs to remember our time in Okinawa…unless of course one of the kids breaks them before then! I’ve already had to relegate our crafts to a high shelf since my youngest had taken to banging the shisa dogs together.

My 3 year-old and 21 month-old had a great time painting and surprisingly enough did not make that much of a mess. They provided t-shirts for the kids to wear to minimize the chances of getting paint on their clothing. You can paint indoors or outdoors. The weather was really nice but we chose indoors so we could sit around their saltwater fish tank.

We made a beeline for the shisa dog painting from the get-go and left Murasaki Mura to get lunch soon afterwards so I didn’t see much else in terms of other crafts. I did notice that you could make your own candles and clocks. The clocks looked like a fun project and ranged from 2000 to 3000 yen. There’s supposed to be many other crafts there including making your own Okinawan sugar, bingata, Ryukyu glass, and shisa dogs.

I wish we had spent more time there as it’s a nice place to take a stroll with their stone walkways and old buildings. Also nice to take a walk so you can decide which crafts you’d like to do more. I’m quite happy with the shisa dogs we picked but they had plenty to choose from at other buildings as well…shisas with funny faces, shisas playing instruments, even shisas relieving themselves!


If you are going to be at Murasaki Mura there are a few other places that might be worth stopping by. Our original intent was to head to Gala Aoi Umi to see the salt factory but we never made it there. We did however stop at Hotel Nikko Alivila’s Kinshasa restaurant for all-you-can-eat dim sum lunch (more on that later!) and then Boulangerie Couques and Michel’s afterwards. If you’re coming from Torii Station Michel’s is on the right with a pink and white awning just past Boulangerie Couques. They have fantastic cream puffs there. All in all it was a full day of fun crafts and delicious food!

For more information check these links:

Here’s the FIRST one.


And the last one.


9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Last entry at 5:30 PM




1. From Kadena Gate 1 take a RIGHT onto Hwy 58.
2. Pass Kadena circle and take a LEFT at Route 6 heading towards Torii Station and Cape Zanpa.
3. Pass Torii Station on your left and look out for a Lawson’s on your left.
4. At the 1st traffic signal after Lawson the road will split. Take the LEFT fork and follow the signs for Hotel Nikko Alivila.
5. Murasaki Mura will be on the way to Nikko Alivila. You’ll see it on your left side with parking on your right.


  1. We love the horse stables! My 10 year old daughter takes riding lessons there and absolutely LOVES it. There are a few English speaking instructors that teach. They offer a few options for lessons or a membership that allows unlimited riding throughout the year. The horses are nice and very well cared for and the staff members are friendly and professional. We are so happy that we found these stables and like that it is just a short drive past Torri.

  2. The crafts are fairly expensive here, but it’s a good place to go on a nice day. One thing nobody has mentioned is that there is a decent (for Japan) riding stable in the back corner of the facility. They provide lessons (Japanese-speaking) but they also provide pony rides for 1,050 yen. Everyone was very friendly & professional and the woman who took my son for a ride spoke some English. We’ll be going back for another ride!

  3. Jen

    A good portion of the people there didn’t have kids so go for it. Also I was disappointed that we only used paint and didn’t use glaze which looks soooo much better. I’m not sure if that was an option and hopefully some of our Japanese speakers can find out.

  4. Jen, I don’t actually think there’s anything wrong with jumping in the ball pit at Chuck E Cheese but maybe that’s just me! With or without kids Murasaki Mura is a great place to get crafty. And making your own glass beads sounds like it could be right up your alley! The paint they gave us for the shisas and whale shark were dried with a good old fashioned hair dryer. There were a few other places to paint too but I’m not sure if any of those required a kiln.

    Mishka, the go-cart place is still there but I think it was 1100 yen per ride which I thought was a little pricey.

    Kelly, bingata painting and glass blowing sounds like so much fun! Dim sum at Nikko Alivila is yummy but also 2500 yen per adult so we’ve only gone twice.

    Staci…worth a visit or maybe two! One of these days I’ll have to sneak off without the kiddos so I can do my own craft!

  5. I LOVE Murasaki Mura. Jen, no worries about going there w/ out kids. In fact whenever I’ve gone it’s been almost all adults. The crafts are great. So far I’ve made a coaster. (I’m very proud of it; I wove it all by myself!) And I also made a little bingata painting. There are loads of other crafts there too…you can blow glass. You can make your own glass beads. You can do some laquerware painting, brown sugar making, etc. etc. Fun! I’m not sure what kind of paint they use for the ceramics though.

    In the rear of Murasaki Mura there’s a bocci ball field (or whatever that game is) and you can watch the old folks going to town. There’s also a bathhouse. I’ve been inside but, but never used the bathing facilities.

    Oh, and I’ve heard the dim sum place is yummy. Can’t wait to hear more about it. Great post Julia! Thanks!

  6. We went here last time we lived here when my sister, her husband and our mom were visiting. We happened to come on a festival day and there was no charge to get in. There was a huge gateball tournament going on and we were invited to sit down and have minor conversation in my broken japanese and some English…everyone was very friendly. We were the only westerners inside. It was summer time and there were quite a few tourists from mainland there. We didn’t do any of the crafts but we did walk all around and took all sorts of pictures. The kids really seemed to enjoy just hanging out. We saw adults doing the crafts too, so no worries there. There used to be a gocart place across the street from it, but I don’t know if it still there because we haven’t been down that way since we returned to the island.

  7. This is great! I had heard a rumor about this place but didn’t know if it really existed. Tell me, if you don’t have kids, would you feel strange here? I mean, can adults go on their own and paint or would we feel like we were jumping in the colored balls at Chuck E Cheese? My husband and I love to get crafty. Also, my husband wants to know, do you paint with real paint or do you paint with ceramic glaze that then needs to be fired in a kiln?

    Thanks for the great article!