CONTRIBUTED BY HEATHER GELORMINE

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This past week, I got adventurous. I decided to take a trip with my kids… to Toys R Us in Naha. {cue eerie music here} We were only there for a quick look-see, but on our way out of the store we heard the melodious tones of children laughing and shrieking. The sounds of fun.

Given that we’d just spent half an hour in a store where I allowed my children to touch everything and bring home nothing, I was relieved to see that after our quick escalator ride to the second level of the complex, there was a kid’s play area just waiting for us.

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For a fee, kids up to age seven can play for either 30 minutes or all day (60 minute limit on weekdays and holidays). I opted to pay the smaller fee for half an hour’s worth of play; next time we go back, I’ll fork out the extra ¥200 per kid, because that thirty minutes just flew by. We easily could have stayed there for an hour… or more.

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My 22-month-old’s first inclination was to sit on the toddler-sized, fuzzy-charactered, merry-go-round for the entire duration, but after his sister showed him the wonders of the flying balloon pit, he was more than happy to give everything else a try. This balloon pit – it’s the Best. Place. Ever. Elevated about six feet off the floor and fully enclosed with heavy plastic netting, the floor has vents in it which propel the many balloons around the space. My son didn’t want to leave. And when one of the balloons popped, an attendant immediately dashed in to pick up the pieces to keep them out of little mouths and hands.

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And then they discovered the ball pit. You know, the same ones that you hear the horror stories about in regards to fast food restaurants back in the states? But this is Japan, remember, and so I saw the shelves of cleaning products, and I could tell for myself that all of these surfaces are routinely wiped down and sanitized. Add in a waterfall-esque slide, a waterbed-esque play surface, and a couple other padded toys, and this was a rockin’ fun place for my little ones. As my five-year-old said, “This place is much funner than that toy place downstairs!” So yeah. We’ll be going back there again.

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If you’re planning on making a day of it, you’ll be all set. There’s a soba restaurant and a cafe on the second floor, as well as a Blue Seal ice cream shop. There’s also the Co-Op down the escalator if you’re looking for something fresh.


YuKids Island

Ages 0-7 years

Fees:

Everyday: ¥300 per child for 30 minutes

Weekdays: ¥500 per child for unlimited play

Weekends/Japanese Holidays: ¥500 for 60 minutes

Address: Japan, 〒900-0006 Okinawa Prefecture, Naha, Omoromachi, 3 Chome−3, あっぷるタウン

GPS Coordinates: 26.2283096, 127.69194849999997

Directions: Located in the Toys R Us/Babies R Us/Co-Op building in Naha

Take 58 south to Naha. After traveling over the second overpass, get into the left lane. Watch for the Uenoya intersection; it’s not well-marked ahead of time, but you’ll see it directly after a Pachinko building and the Premist Tower building. A Birkenstock store will be on your right across from the Uenoya street.

Take a left here. Follow the road about a kilometer, past a Sports store and a Uniqlo strip mall on your left. YuKids Island is on the 2nd floor in the Co-Op (apple sign market) and Toys R Us/Babies R Us building. Free parking is either directly in front of the building, or in the parking garage within it.

3 COMMENTS

  1. My son and I have been here before, last year some time, and we both love it! It’s not too big, but has just enough stuff to keep them entertained. This must be some kind of chain because we use to go to one on Mainland Japan that was in a Jusco type store, called Daie (something like that). They also have a stamp card, so sooner or later (depedning on how often you go) once you fill up the card you get a free visit.

  2. I love this place during the week for an hour of relief. Especially during rainy days. My kids are old enough now I can sit with a book and keep an eye on them while they run and play. There’s a sitting area right outside the play area, looking in. With a good seat you can see the whole place. Just so you all don’t get there and wonder where something went, they regularly change around the attractions in this play area. We were quite surprised the first time.

  3. Thank you so much for this information! I love finding good places to take my kiddo… That looks fantastic, and not too expensive either. GOod to know there’s food nearby also, I do plan to make a day of it.. probably next weekend!

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