Monday, April 6, 2015

Our experience at the Okinawa World theme park

On our last day in Okinawa, we decided to check out the Okinawa World theme park, in Nanjo.  This park is made up of a natural underground cave, an Okinawan village, and a snake museum. 

Gyokusendo Cave
The Gyokusendo cave stretches 3.10 miles (5,000 meters), and is the longest cave in the south of Okinawa Island, and the second longest cave in the country.  About one half mile (890 meters) is accessible to tourists, and the remaining area is preserved for research. 
You enter the cave from above ground and go down a long flight of steps.

The cave was kept very clean with easy walking platforms. Lights were strategically placed along our path to illuminate the amazing structures inside.  The temperature of the inside of the cave was a cool 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Stalactites and stalagmites surrounded us along our exploration.  Stalactites are icicle shaped formations hanging down from the ceiling of a cave, produced by minerals in water dripping down from the ceiling.  Stalagmites grow vertically from the ground up due to minerals in the water that drip down (opposite of stalactites).


An underground river runs along the pathway.  We felt very safe and peaceful along our half-mile walk. 

Okinawa Kingdom Village

The Ryukyu village is a replica of traditional times.  We walked around and checked out the Okinawan crafts and walked through a small cultural museum.  
This overhead picture of the village was taken from this website.
There were various workshops for weaving, paper making, pottery, dyeing, and glass blowing – but we passed on participating.

We enjoyed a traditional Okinawan dance and drum show by the Eisa dancers in the plaza.  No pictures were allowed during the show so I took this one from the following website. 

Habu Park
The third portion of Okinawa World is a small snake museum.  Since we weren’t interested in checking out snakes, we passed on this part of the park.  Instead we enjoyed some Blue Seal ice cream, a tasty blend of American ice cream with Okinawan flavors. 

To visit the Gyukusendo Cave and Kingdom Village, it cost 2,480 Yen, or around $21 for both of us.

Hills-tei Yakiniku
For our last meal in Okinawa, we decided to have some yakiniku, or Japanese style grilling BBQ.  In the Naha shopping district, we stumbled upon Hills-tei, a restaurant specializing in top of the line Wagyu beef.

The fresh meats were set at our table cut into small pieces and put over wood charcoals.  The meats were extremely tender and very flavorful, one of the best meals we had in Japan.  

Look at the fatty marbling of the meat! 

Our total for 3 people came out to be 10,055 Yen, or around $85.

The next day, my wife and I flew out to Hong Kong on Dragonair to connect to our first class flights home on Cathay Pacific.

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