CONTRIBUTED BY LOUISE DUPUY
You may be wondering “What’s so good about a pineapple park?” Well, my friends, let me tell you. This is one of the weirdest, most fun days out I’ve had here. Let me impart some pineapple infused wisdom to you all.
Where Is It?
Well, the name (sort of) gives it away. It’s close to Nago. Not quite in the town, but only a short drive away.
Why wouldn’t you? Pineapples! That was enough to convince me anyway (that, and pineapple flavored food… more on that later), but if you still need some convincing allow me to proceed. For starters, you can’t miss it; there are a large pineapple and a couple of smaller cheerful pineapple characters to greet you at the entrance (as well as a huge sign), which you can actually take pictures with on a little platform, so the adventure begins before you even part with your money. The walk up to the entrance is lined with little food stands to tempt you into stuffing your face before you even get in, and believe me, it’s hard to walk past the ice cream stall on a warm day.
At only 600 yen per person (less for children, seniors, and students), including the Jeep ride, it’s a snip. Purchase your tickets, head in and take a right so you can experience the Jeep ride first. After having your photo taken with some colorful decor, it’s time to hop into a pineapple shaped Jeep. It’s self-driven (sadly) on tracks, but there is a steering wheel so you could always pretend to steer and make race car noises, just don’t touch the other controls!
Handily, the automated guide comes in four languages: Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese. The person who sees you to your vehicle normally sets it automatically, but if you want any of the languages offered you just have to ask. Considering it’s on tracks, it’s a surprisingly smooth ride!
And it’s entertaining. You learn all about the park itself and how pineapples are grown, all the while taking a leisurely drive through the active growing fields. The first part of the ride takes you through a pretty tropical garden, so if you love flowers this is going to be right up your street. You’ll also spot the odd pineapple character hiding out (this would be a great spotting game to play with kids/ childish adults!). Grin for the first of two more photos (you get plenty of warning, just remember to look up when it tells you to), before snaking around and out to where the star of the show is born: the growing fields.
Another big pineapple lets you know you’re still in the pineapple park, and if you have no clue how pineapples grow, prepare to be surprised. They grow out of little bushes from the ground (not trees)! I know! Some of them were teeny tiny; you’ll see them easily as they grow close to the tracks (get a good shot of them to amaze/bore family and friends with, since the Jeep goes slowly enough to allow this).
After you make your way around to the exit point, cheese it up for another photo, this time with the Jeep in a frame too, then exit and continue with your day. You have to go past the little photo gift shop at this point. They aren’t very cheap, but they have a few fun options for you to immortalize the day. We went with the Jeep shot, which was 1000 yen and came in a cute little cardboard frame (which sits in our living room now).
And Now For Something, You Might Not Expect:
The next part of the park gives you a small break from pineapples and instead shows you something you wouldn’t expect to see in a park about tropical fruit: fossils and seashells. Whilst it’s a real juxtaposition compared to the rest of the place, it’s actually really interesting. The building it’s housed in is fair sized and has a fascinating cross section of fossils, seashells, and coral. I found the horseshoe crabs particularly interesting, mostly because they are one of the oldest, most resilient species on the planet.
Become A Taste Tester!
Once you’ve perused this area, move on to probably the best part: Pineapple wine and food. You walk past a display on your left of lots and lots of wine bottles, and a display of brewing and manufacturing techniques on your right. Up ahead is wine tasting central. Just make sure you are legal age and not driving. The staffs are out to sell sell sell! So expect lots of over enthusiastic greetings and tempting offers to try different wines.
This is far from bad. There are a lot of different varieties (I sadly didn’t get to taste on my visit, I wish I could say it’s because I’m too young, but it’s because I was driving, so my husband had all the fun. He assures me it was delectable), and the staff are very knowledgeable about the products. Sadly you can only buy for consumption, you can’t ship it home (I asked, my dad and sister, are big wine lovers).
Moving on from wine to something everyone can enjoy: juices and food. Again, with the juice, there’s quite a few. Happily, I could partake and found them to be sweet and delicious. However, this was just the pre-game for the main event: food!
If I listed everything they offered, Okinawa Hai would need to set up another website. But it included jams, curry mixes, chocolates, candies, cakes, condiments, and of course, actual pineapples. More cheerful staff greet you with tasty samples (the cake especially is amazing) and great product knowledge, as well as a clever sales pitch. Wall to wall merchandise make it very hard to choose, so good luck.
I’d recommend getting whatever you desire for yourselves, then if you have family back home you wish to share the joy with, grab something with a long shelf life, like the cookies or chocolates.
The body beautiful.
Another surprise around the corner is beauty products! This I wasn’t expecting, but they have a wide selection. It’s mostly facial skin care products, but they also have bath and body, and hand care items, amongst other things. A mini market just beyond this allows you to buy a small range of fresh produce (mostly spices, pickles, fruit, and fresh pineapples) before you hit the last part; the gift shop.
Prepare to spend the rest of your money.
The gift shop is pretty big and caters to everyone. There’s a wall of sake, stationery, fashion, kids stuff, plush toys, and the usual Okinawa- themed gifts (Shisa dogs, fake hibiscus flowers, and stuff with I love Okinawa written on it). We spent quite some time here, it’s colorful and pleasing if a bit tacky in places. They do have some cool gift ideas though. We came home with a mini pineapple in a pot. He (yes I named him: Pedro the pineapple, and I may have drawn a little face his pot) currently resides on a step outside our house.
Overall I’d say you could spend a good 3 hours or so here. If you plan to eat at the restaurant too (we didn’t but there is one on site), you could spend closer to 5 hours. It’s cheap, easily accessible, suitable for all ages, and it’s really entertaining. Also, because a large part of it’s indoors, it’s a viable option for rainy/ colder days. Enjoy!
Extra options: For a full day of activities also consider lunch at Ufuya or Pizza in the Sky, and Mikan Picking, the Butterfly Park, Neo Park and/or the Aquarium.
Nago Pineapple Park
Hours: 9:00 to 18:00, daily
Adult (Junior High Students and above): ¥600
Children (approximately ages 5 to 10): ¥300
Kids under 5 are free
Phone: 098 053 3659
Address: 1195 Biimata, Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
GPS Coordinates: 26.616497, 127.96957429999998
Directions: Take the expressway all the way north till it ends. Continue driving north on 58. Turn left on 84 heading through Motubo peninsula. Look for the giant pineapple little ways up on your right. And it’s open 9am-6pm daily.
Parking: Parking is widely available on site
Note: Wheelchairs are available free of charge
Editor’s Note: This post was originally written by Joelle Yamada, published on December 28, 2007, in Okinawa Hai’s first year. We’re excited to bring you this update!
Do they sell the wine online?
I so miss Okinawa! Wish I could live there forever! I miss the culture, the food, the island itself!
Is everything included in price? What do you pay extra for??
Melissa, I’ve been to the Pineapple Park 4+ times and as far as I can remember it’s free to park and then you go up to the window to pay for the ride on the pineapple golf cart. After you get off the golf cart, you can look at pictures that were taken of you and purchase those if you’d like (extra fee). You then go into the shell museum (included in your golf cart ride fee) and that leads into a gift shop area and then into the wine/food tasting area. It is free to sample the wine and food, but all wine/food/souvenir purchases are extra. We think the golf cart ride and shell museum are cool, but I will warn you, it is hard to get of there without buying something, lol!
Does anyone know if there is a way to buy the wine they make online somewhere? I left Okinawa 2 yrs ago and my mom and I were talking about the pineapple park and how we missed the kiss wine they make. Her birthday is coming up and I would like to surprise her with a bottle or 2. She has a small bottle but refuses to drink it cause she’ll never get another chance to drink it again as she says. If anybody has any information could you please pass it along? Thanks!!! Semper Fi<3
In in Okinawa now planning to go to pineapple park, I can’t get you the wine and ship to you if you like, shipping ,cost of wine you’ll have to pay of course. I see you posted this 2 years ago but better late then never. lol
Hello. If you’re still in Okinawa, would you be able to send me some of that wine!?!(I’d pay for it of course!)
Actually, you can go in the gift shop for free, too. It is a prime example of Japanese Gift Culture, and I think everyone should go at least once.
You do not have to go on the pineapple cart – but it is kind of fun! The vendors are not pushy at all, the ride is fun and can be a great “selfie” jamboree.
Update on the price: Adult is Y600. Kids 6 years and under is free. 7-12 yrs old is Y300.
Hi we just visited the pineapple park. Hopefully this update will help those of you out who are on the fence about going. My advice is to not waste your time or money. The highlight of this place is really the big pineapple in the front…which is free. It’s mostly a disappointment after that. The self guided go carts were interesting but the tour was only semi-interesting at best. They do give “free” pineapple samples which were good as well as juice and wine tasting. The wine was nothing impressive. Other snacks such as the pineapple wine cakes were tasty but all of this
stuff was overpriced big time. After that you have to navigate a neverending line of vendors trying to sell you stuff just to exit. The kids did like the ice cream but overall nort worth it for us. If you insist on coming my advice is to take advantage and see some other interesting sites in the Nago area while you are there.
The price for adults is now 600 yen.
Yes, this park has pineapple wine. There are two types available for tasting. One is sweeter than the other. I prefer the Kiss wine. It is the sweeter one. They may have more than two available types for purchase though, I cannot remember.
Hello I wanted to know if this was the pineapple park where they also have the pineapple wine? I was told there were two different parks.
I’m just wondering… is everything included in the admission price? All of these foods and drinks everyone is talking about?
It’s indoors for the most part – the pineapple cart is covered and has rain curtains too.
I Would like to take my hubby this Weekend. But its suppose to Rain. Is it okay to go when its rainy?
I ate a ton of samples today. Will def go back for more.
My family and I really enjoyed the pineapple park. The free samples and information were really great. These directions were easy to follow. Will definately go again with visiting family and friends!!
Thank you very much Marc!!! I did go today and it was actuly not crowed and there was no traffic on the way! I was such a fun time there!! Thanx again for the directions they really worked out for me!! I know this may sound a little Gushy but I think with out your directions I think I would have not the oppertunity to take My Mom to the Park, I have only been here for about 3 Weeks! I dont know much. So thanx again and take care
Bye, Love Alle
In response to the comment by Alle for directions.
From Camp Lester, get on the Expressway, it is toll-free now (you still have to take a ticket at the entrance and give it to the attendant when you exit). The closest Interchange is 4, the one on Route 23/85, located between Kadena Air Base Gates 5 and 2.
On the Expressway go NORTH to NAGO. Go all the way to the last exit and then follow signs again for NAGO, ROUTE 58 NORTH.
This will take you through Nago City. Be sure to stay on ROUTE 58, as there is a sharp right-curved intersection when Route 449 starts on a left lane split.
You will then go only about 1.5kms to the left turn onto ROUTE 84 (there is a Lawson at this traffic signal intersection). The road winds up hill and the big Pineapple at the park entrance will be easily visible on the right hand side after about 1.5kms.
As pointed out at the end of the original article, you can easily combine a visit to the Nago Pineapple Park with other activities in the Nago or Motobu area. Or you could just drive around in the northern Okinawa roads admiring the beautiful lush green hills and mountains and the tropical blue/green ocean waters.
However, you should know that from mid-July to the beginning of September is the peak tourist season in Okinawa, with many places crowded and heavy traffic on the roads, especially on the weekends. Just plan on a little more time driving and possibly waiting in some lines at popular sights and venues.
In case you missed it in the first sentence of the article, here is the Nago Pineapple Park (ナゴパイナップルパーク) homepage website link. This portion of their website is in ENGLISH, and has a lot of information and photographs, all nicely presented and well-written.
You may think that the website page address has an odd name, http://www.NAGO PAIN.com.
The Japanese word for pineapple is . . . pineapple (パイナップル). However it is pronounced [pa-ee-na-poo-roo] and thus the shortened version [pa-in] is pronounced [pa-ee-n] (not like the English word ‘pain’, meaning to hurt, which is pronounced the same as window ‘pane’).
The park includes: the cart tour through a Pineapple Field and Tropical Garden, a Shell Gallery and Shop, a small Pineapple Factory (where they show the processing activities) and Gallery with information, the Wine House with its unique Spanish-style influenced architecture, Souvenir shop (where, of course, you get to shop and taste various cakes and sweets, along with eating juicy chunks of freshly cut pineapple), and the Palm Tree Restaurant. You can see information on all these areas on the website.
There is a comment (Posted by: Kay|June 21, 2010) about the ‘Pineapple Song’. On the Japanese section of the webpage there is a video (YouTube link) where you can watch kids dancing at the park to this song, for more than six minutes! This is sort of the ‘official’ song for the Nago Pineapple Park.
A shortened version of that catchy ‘Pineapple Song’ video is occasionally used for the background on a local Okinawa TV weather forecast. The TV station also sometimes uses a different video with the same song and it can be viewed here:
The song lyrics in Japanese are shown on the top of the screen with local weather forecast for various portions of Okinawa shown on the bottom.
If now you (most likely it is your kids) are really hooked on that song, there is a CD with three songs on it available to purchase for 500yen. It has all the lyrics (in Japanese) on the insert. You can buy it at the park.
After hearing the song (over and over), you are probably humming the music trying to determine how to sing-a-long! ?? Maybe not….
For those hooked on the addictive chorus/refrain here are the lyrics to that portion of the song:
pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa ee na poo roo (pineapple)
pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa ee na poo roo
pa pa pa ee na poo roo pa-a-ku (pineapple park, with long ‘ah’ to fit the music)
Hmmmm, I think I need to run to the store now and buy a fresh mango or bunch of bananas!
hey guys i am going tomoroww to the pineapple park its my mom’s Birthday and i was wondering of any of you people knew if the directions are good. I wonder baceause i live on Lester Base were the Navy hospital is. So if u guys can plaes help me if out if there are better Directions it would mean alot to me
Thanx a bunc
This was a great day trip during my recent Okinawa vist. Could have stayed much longer, and I found the vendors very friendly and helpful. We were encouraged to try everything, and it was a great experience! Love the pineapple song, my grandson and I try to sing it. (or our English version 🙂 BTW, the pineapple vinegar was AMAZING!
The “X” sign for the Japanese is simply a way of communicating “no” or some version of that to you (stop, we don’t have any etc…). Having just lived in mainland Japan for 2 years it is common practice and has nothing to do with communicating “No Americans”. It is not intended to be offensive – it is simply a nonverbal method of communication. Hope this helps!!
Tara — a reader (Marc) had some good insight into what may have happened to you there — I’m posting his comment here:
The arms crossed in an ‘X’ does not only mean “No Americans”.
It can mean many things depending on the situation. I do not think the vendor would just make that sign for an American shopping, especially at a place that is popular and has many American customers.
You mention the vendor did this as she was “trying to sell” something else to you. I think you need to provide more detail about the situation so that other people can learn what may have triggered the vendor to do this.
Did the vendor actually say “No Americans” to you? Did she say anything?
If this happens at a popular place such as the Pineapple Park, you should have gone to an employee of the park to ask a supervisor or manager what the problem was. I am sure there are some English-speaking people working at the place.
Some vendors/shops do not like people taking photographs which can result in the X-arm sign.
We went in March with a friend visiting from the states. All in all it was a good time with lots of yummy samples but there was major downer — I got my first (very VERY rude) arms crossed in X over chest “No Americans” while there from a vendor. It really did take me aback with just how rude the lady was about it especially as she is trying to sell me something else. Oh well.
Can you only by the pineapple park products at the park, or do they sell them anywhere locally?
Also make sure you go ready to EAT and DRINK!! They have so many samples and the fresh pineapple is so good. They try to fill you up with liquids first so keep in miind there is a lot of food to try so keep the liquids to a minimum! LOL!
I think the park is a half day kind of thing. MCCS tours+ does the Fruits park & Pineapple park together in their tour (they are right next to each other).
Planning to do the Pineapple Park with visiting family. How much time should I plan for in the park?
They do, Jaime 🙂
Does anyone know if they take Visa in the gift shop at pineapple park?
Bambi – not sure if you are still looking for that info but on their website under the picture of the pineapple charcoal it says “A source of minus ions this charcoal is great for getting rid of odors, and protection against mold and mites.” Hope that helps!
We went yesterday for like the millionth time and the lady gave me a gift of pineapple charcoal. However, the directions are all in kanji so I have no idea what to use it for (the only thing I can read is pineapple charcoal). Does anyone else know what to do with the stuff?
Thanks, Bethany!! BIG OOOPS. I fixed it in the directions!
I thought I followed these directions, but the pineapple was on the right side of the road. It was obvious either way. 🙂
We just got back from rainy Okuma- and the Ufuya noodle restaurant. So amazing!!! WE LOVED IT!!! So worth the trip!!! Thanks for the directions, Kaho! 🙂
Thanks for this info….in all the years I have lived on this island, I have never been to the Pineapple Park but I just might have to make a trip up there now…sounds fun.