Walk through one of the island’s largest caves and admire mystical stalagmites and stalactites at the fascinating Okinawa World. Embrace the exciting local culture and observe the animals that live here.
If you want to learn about Okinawa’s history, culture and wildlife, visit Okinawa World. Combining everything from geographical displays to folk art demonstrations, it is one of the island’s most popular and informative attractions.
Start your tour of the park with a lesson on Okinawan geology at the gaping entrance of the Gyokusendo Cave. Follow the raised walkway that leads you through a 2,920-foot (890-meter) section of this 3-mile-long (5-kilometer) cavern. Look down into pools of shimmering blue water or up to the walls and ceiling to see the mesmerizing stalagmites and stalactites. Knowledgeable staff are available to explain how the remarkable natural phenomenon was created.
Back outside, make your way to Kingdom Village where several aspects of traditional Okinawan life are revealed. The replica Ryukyu settlement features several workshops devoted to the island’s traditional crafts. Try paper-making, weaving and pottery-making with the help of a friendly guide. Don’t miss the glassblowing displays which take place here several times through the day.
Back outside, view an array of reptiles and mammals at the mini-zoo. Look for pythons, exotic lizards and giant tortoises. Time your visit to be present for feeding for a chance to hold a lizard or stroke a baby mongoose. If you are feeling really brave, touch a live habu, the poisonous snake native to the Ryukyu islands.
Learn more about these snakes with a visit to nearby Habu Park. As well as live snakes, this small zoological center has habu skeletons and information about the lifecycle and habits of these fascinating reptiles.
Okinawa World is located approximately 8 miles (13 kilometers) south of Naha. To get to the park, take a bus from the terminal in the center of town. Okinawa World is open all week and has a small admission fee.