Thursday, August 16, 2018

Okinawa Japan Travel Bucket List 🌞 Exploring Okinawa's Culture and Beauty - Okinawa Travel Blog






Going to Okinawa? 
Want to experience the traditional culture of Okinawa while you're there?
Now that it's summer vacation in Japan,
JAPANKURU wanted to prepare something to get everyone in the mood!
Many people's image of Okinawa is just resorts and beaches,

but there are really a lot of other things to see and do.
So in this article, we are going to mention hands-on activities 
along with yummy food recommendations in Okinawa.
Hopefully, you'll see something you like and you can add them to your list
for when you get a chance to go to Okinawa💖

 Murasaki Mura is basically a cultural theme park 
where you can experience many different parts that make Okinawa so special
and different from the main island of Japan. 
It's a reproduction of its capital Naha City during the 14th and 15th centuries
when Okinawa was known as the Ryukyu Kingdom. 
Before entering the experience part of the kingdom, 
check out the village of Okinawa's ancient buildings. 
A large part of this facility in Murasaki Mura has been shot in scenes 
for many Japanese TV shows (dramas) which is proof of its authenticity. 
There are a total of 32 workshops and 101 kinds of experience activities, 
so you can definitely find the perfect cultural aspect of Okinawa 
that you want to experience here!


Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park (体験王国 ã‚€ã‚‰å’²ã‚€ã‚‰)
🏢1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa 
Google Maps
⏰9am~6pm (no holidays)
💴Infants free, elementary school  400yen, middle and high school  500yen, adults (college↑)  600yen
💻Murasaki Mura homepage (JPN)



What Can You Do at Murasaki Mura?

Blown Glass 
(吹きガラス)
 One of Okinawa's famous traditional souvenirs is "Ryukyu Glass", 
which goes all the way back to Japan's Meiji era (868 to 1912). 
The glass was used to make bottles for medicine as well as lamp chimneys, 
but after WWII much of the island was destroyed (literally and spiritually). 
So as a way to bring back moral, 
many craftsmen scrambled around the island to make use of 
available materials discarded by the Americans mostly on military bases. 
It was from this "trash" that they melted the glass down 
and shaped it into glasses, vases, and dishes. 
It was from there Ryukyu glass made its mark into a traditional Okinawan art
and became a popular souvenir of the island.

Knowing how important Ryukyu glass is to Okinawa, 
when we saw there was an area to create your own Ryukyu glass tableware it was immediately added to our to-do list. 

 Since glass crafts deal with high-temperature tools, 
you have to be careful but since the staff are all highly trained professionals
there is nothing to worry about. 
The cups you make are available for pick-up the next day, 
but if that doesn't work with your schedule don't worry! 
Worldwide shipping is available here for a separate fee, 
so you are sure to get your work of art✨ 


🎐Blown Glass (吹きガラス体験)
●Location: Glass Studio Umikaze (ガラス工房 海風)
💴 From 2,400 yen
*Prices vary depending on the form and color
⏰Time needed: 5~10mins/person
*You can choose the shape, color, etc of the glass
💻Murasaki Mura page (JPN)


Screen Printing 
(スクリーン印刷)
 Create your very own original, 
one of a kind designs and print it on an all-white T-shirt. 
If you don't want to make a T-shirt, you can also design your own tote bag!👜

There are tons of screens with traditional Okinawan print 
which makes it a fun Okinawan souvenir. 
There are two options to choose from: 

Screen Printing (スクリーン印刷体験): Select an existing design and print it on a white T-shirt
💴From 1,458 yen
Time needed: 1hr (1 to 15 people)

Original T-shirt Printing (オリジナル版Tシャツ制作体験 ): Make an original copy and print it on a white T-shirt.
In addition to logo marks and names, illustrations, team names, and more are available
💴From 3,132 yen
⏰Time needed: 1hr 1/2 (1 to 15 people)

●Location: Angel Hall Screen T-shirt Studio (天使館内 スクリーンTシャツ工房)
*Max group of 50 allowed (If you're in a big group, making a reservation in advance is best) 
💻Murasaki Mura page (JPN)


Wood Studio, Asahi 
(木の工房 あさひ)
 In addition to using Okinawan patterns to make a shirt, 
another option is decorating frames and clocks with local Okinawan seashells!
Just pick the shells you want and arrange them on the frame.🐚🖼🐚

 Once you're happy with the design, hot glue them to the wood. 
And you have your one of a kind Okinawa seashell picture frame💖🖼


🐚Wood Studio Asahi (木の工房 あさひ) 
💴1,500 yen to 2,000 yen
⏰Time needed: 30min/person
※There are also lamps, thermometers, cell phone stand, and piggy banks


Traditional Okinawan Dance, Eisa Lessons 
(エイサー体験) 
 Eisa is a form of folk dance originating from the Okinawa Islands, Japan. 
It originally was done to honor the spirits of their ancestors. 
If you're in Okinawa during O-bon 
(a Japanese holiday normally in the middle of August), 
you can hear sounds of taiko (Japanese drums) being played every night. 
When you go to Murasaki Mura you can also learn the Eisa dance! 
They'll give you a traditional garment to wear and a small taiko, 
then teach you step-by-step🎶 
This was probably one of our favorites at Murasaki Mura. 
It's a super fun Okinawa experience even if you aren't coordinated. 




🥁Eisa Lessons (エイサー体験) 
●Location: Experience Stage Visitor Center Dance Room
(体験舞台 又は 体験ビジターセンター内 舞踊体験室)
*Group more than 4 people, children 5 and above can join
💴1,620 yen
⏰Time needed: 1hr
💻Murasaki Mura page (JPN)



Okinawa Soba, Janatei 
(琉球武家屋敷 謝名亭) 
 You can also enjoy local Okinawa food at Murasaki Mura. 
One thing you can't overlook is "Okinawa soba". 
Looking at it you may be confused since the noodles look more like udon noodles instead of soba. 
That's because it's made from completely different ingredients. 
Unlike "regular" soba which is made from buckwheat, 
Okinawan soba is made of wheat. 
Chewy like udon noodles, 
the broth is normally pork-based 
and comes with green onions, ginger, and pork. 
It's a great place to try Okinawa's famous noodles and pork!


🍜Janatei (謝名亭)
⏰11am~6:30pm (last order 6pm)
💻Murasaki Mura page (JPN)




Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park (体験王国 ã‚€ã‚‰å’²ã‚€ã‚‰)
🏢1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa 
Google Maps
⏰9am~6pm (no holidays)
💴Infants free, elementary school  400yen, middle and high school  500yen, adults (college↑)  600yen

💻Murasaki Mura homepage (JPN)



Places to Go in Okinawa
Hotel Resorts, Okinawan Breweries, Okinawan Pork

Holiday Resort 
Rizzan Sea Park Hotel Tancha Bay
(リザンシーパークホテル谷茶ベイ)
 Okinawa's Onna Village is filled with resorts
and this time we went to their biggest one 
that has a natural beach that stretches out 2624ft/800m,
Rizzan Sea Park Hotel Tancha Bay!!

This resort has ALL! SORTS! of activities and facilities!
Snorkeling, marine walk, fishing, spas, morning markets, and more.

If you're looking for the more tropical experience,
Rizzan Sea-Park Hotel is for you.


🏨Rizzan Sea Park Hotel Tancha Bay
(リザンシーパークホテル谷茶ベイ)
🏢1496 Tancha, Onna Village, Kunigami, Okinawa
Google Maps
🚙Car rental map Code: 206 158 991 * 66

+81 98-964-6611
💻Official homepage (ENG)


Okinawa Brewery
Orion Happy Park
(オリオンハッピーパーク)
 Want to try Okinawan beer?! Love going to breweries?! 
Then you've got to go to the Orion brewery Orion Happy Park.

At Orion Happy Park everyone, even children, 
can visit to learn about Orion beer.  

 Orion beer is primarily only sold in Okinawa. 
You may get lucky and see it in other parts of Japan so
if you like trying local beer,
you've got to try one of Japan's easy to drink beers, Orion. 
If you don't drink alcohol you can also try their lemon tea.
Which, may we say, we've never seen before!

Their gift shop is massive and has almost everything under the sun. 
Stickers, shirts, beer mugs, figurines, 
there wasn't anything that we were looking for that they didn't have.


🍺Orion Happy Park (オリオンハッピーパーク)
🏢2-2-1 Agarie, Nago-shi, Okinawa
Google Maps
🚙Car navigation code: 206 598 867*32
📅Closed December 31 through January 3
Brewery Tour is free!
⏰Tour (in Japanese only): First tour 9:20am, final tour 4:40pm
Time required: Roughly 1hr
Restaurant "Yanbaru no Mori": 10am~7pm (Last order at 7:30pm)
Shop: 10am~7pm
💻Orion Brewery Reservation (ENG)
Orion Happy Park Homepage (ENG)



Try Okinawan Pork and Traditional Food
Agu's Hideout (あぐーの隠れ家) 
 Agu's Hideout (あぐーの隠れ家) is a pork restaurant 
specializing in Okinawan pork "Agu". 
Their most popular way to eat the pork is Shabu-shabu, 
which is basically a Japanese hotpot 
where you dip thinly sliced meat and vegetables. 
Shab-shabu is also said to be really healthy, 
so there is no shame in eating a ton💖

 Agu pork is quite a high quality of pork due to its scarcity. 
Something that sets Agu pork aside from other types of pork 
is primarily the fact it's relatively low in cholesterol, 
despite its extreme marbling (which also makes it super juicy!). 

Aside from Agu pork you can also have some of Okinawa's local dishes
like umibudo (海ぶどう), meaning sea grapes, and oysters.
There are pleanty of interesting and delicious food to try here.


🍴Agu's Hideout (あぐーの隠れ家)
🏢1-1 Fuchaku, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
Google Maps
⏰5pm~10:30pm (Last order 10pm)
📖 English menus available
💻Official website (ENG)



Visiting Okinawa
An Island of Relaxation and Culture

🌞 More lovely article on Okinawa Travel ðŸŒž




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