CONTRIBUTED BY MARY RICHARDSON
Looking for a serene escape?
Visit the Tropical Dream Center, a secret garden tucked away in the midst of Expo Park. After navigating around masses of school kids and tourists at the aquarium last weekend, we ventured over to the center and felt instantly soothed.
The center has short (half hour) and standard (one hour) walking courses that lead you along the gardens past several greenhouses, stone patios, ponds with giant water lilies, and an observatory.
Here are a few of the sights you’ll see inside this hidden oasis:
There are more than 2,000 orchids in all colors and shapes always on display inside the greenhouses.
One of the greenhouses boasts 32 exotic fruit trees. If you’re excited by the colorful fruit offerings at local farmer’s markets, this is your chance to see where that jackfruit and dragon fruit come from.
In addition to the well-known cacao, avocado, and guava trees, there are also some fruit trees that you may never have known existed. Ever heard of sugar apple, egg fruit, or bilinbing? Go check them out for yourself…
There are also aquatic plants including Amazon Water Lilies that reach up to 2 meters in diameter and can bear human weight. Though these were small when we visited, apparently in the summer time, the lilies get enormous and you can even walk on them.
While you’re there, be sure to get up to the top of the observatory. You can either ascend those stairs on foot or take an elevator to see 360 degree views of the ocean.
Tropical Dream Center
Admission: For a limited time, tickets are 50% off to the Tropical Dream Center with purchase of a ticket to the Aquarium. Usual prices are 670 yen per adult and 340 yen per child.
Phone: 81 980-48-3624
Address: 424 Ishikawa, Motobu, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture 905-0206, Japan
GPS Coordinates: 26.6944554, 127.87809870000001
Directions: Tropical Dream Center is inside EXPO Park. Follow the signs to the center. Walk or if you’ve got children, take a park tram to reach it.
How Is the weather there today?
Iam Gunasekara .can i see what orchids you have there for sale
Is the majority of the tour conducted inside the actual greenhouses or is it an outdoor path predominantly? I only ask because I want to take the wife and kids there tomorrow but the weather isn’t looking too cooperative…you gotta’ love the winter time in Oki!!!
This place is AMAZING! Went there today and had a great time! In my opinion, one of the best-kept secrets on the island. The post is good, but doesn’t do it justice! There is an eatery inside with YUMMY taco rice and desserts, fish to feed, a really cool mini-aquarium and lots of other awesome stuff. We spent almost two hours there and loved every minute. I am so glad we went here!
I went there in September, and it was cheaper then too to purchase a ticket if you had already bought an Aquarium ticket. Although, at the time it was in Japan Update that their orchid exhibit was opening there, so maybe it was a special discount then, as well. But, the orchids were really pretty. Even my husband liked the Tropical Dream Center.