Children in Singapore are typically an city bunch. It might be laborious to persuade them of the charms of an outdoorsy holiday abroad when all they typically hanker for is the cool consolation of air-conditioned malls or the intense lights of film theme parks.
But dad and mom shouldn’t be deterred from planning a household journey to Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture. It is legendary for its sunshine, seashores and scenic sights, however there are different points of interest that can attraction to youngsters of all ages.
Here are 10 suggestions for a household holiday in Okinawa.
1. Nago Pineapple Park
Do you recall SpongeBob SquarePants’ pineapple home within the Nickelodeon cartoon? While an incongruous sight on the cartoon — sitting as deep because it does within the Pacific Ocean, the tropical fruit is completely and conspicuously at home in Okinawa’s Nago Pineapple Park, a plantation that doubles up as a themed vacationer attraction.
Ride a pineapple cart across the 600 sq m park, take images with pineapple mascots, study greater than 100 kinds of pineapples, pattern delectable pineapple confectionery and pineapple wine (just for the adults, after all), and learn the way a complete pineapple might be eaten or used, with none a part of it being wasted.
Where: 1195, Biimata, Nago City
Opening hours: Daily, 9am to 6pm
Admission price: 600 yen
2. Bios No Oka
This is a nature-themed park, however it’s most likely a extra engaging prospect to metropolis youngsters as a result of it’s much less just like the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and extra like a daylong farmstay.
Resembling a subtropical forest, the park is the place you may work together with goats and pigs on a large open subject, trip a practice (or relatively, a tram dressed as much as resemble a practice) to study Okinawan fruit and veggies, and take a jungle cruise to expertise Okinawan wildlife within the wild.
Be certain to put aside no less than an hour in your younger ones to play on the large jungle playground made nearly solely of wooden — it seems like a playground Robinson Crusoe would have constructed if he had had youngsters with him whereas marooned on a abandoned island.
You may take a buffalo cart trip to get across the park. It could travel at a extra leisurely tempo as in contrast with the tram, however will afford you the time to snap excellent selfies and wefies with the buffalo if you are using behind with your loved ones.
Another enjoyable place to take a buffalo cart trip is in Yaeyama Islands, from Iriomote Island to Yubu Island. There, the buffalo really takes you throughout shallow waters.
Where: 961-30, Kadekaru, Ishikawa, Uruma City
Opening hours: Daily, 9am to 5pm
Admission price: 710 yen (pay additional for numerous points of interest contained in the park
Three. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Located throughout the Ocean Expo Park, this is likely one of the largest marine-themed points of interest within the world, and much from being simply one other aquarium.
One of the sharks found right here is an eight.7m-long whale shark, mentioned to be the most important of its form in captivity. It is housed within the gigantic Kuroshio Sea tank that measures 35m large, 27m lengthy and 10m deep. Kids might be wowed, as a result of measurement issues.
If you want extra numbers to impress the children with, the aquarium is home to some 16,000 fish from 70 completely different species, and 70 species of corals in 800 colonies.
Even higher, it permits your youngsters the possibility to see numerous marine creatures up shut. They can maintain reside starfish and sea cucumbers below the steerage of workers within the Marine Creatures of Inoh part.
Where: 424, Ishikawa, Motobu-cho
Opening hours: Daily, eight.30am to six.30pm (Oct to Feb), eight.30am to 8pm (March to Sept); closed on the primary Wednesday and Thursday of December
Admission price: 1,850 yen (grownup), 1,230 yen (youngsters aged 16 to 18), 610 yen (youngsters aged six to 15), free for youngsters below six years previous
Four. Discover Okinawan tradition
A vibrant theme park showcasing conventional Okinawan tradition, Ryukyu-Mura, or Ryukyu Village, is the right form of attraction youngsters will love to jot down about after their college holidays.
Children and adults can gown up as nobles from the Ryukyu period from the 15th to the 19th century, witness buffaloes squeezing sugarcane, gawk at an hour-long parade of conventional leisure, or participate in a conventional dance.
Where: 1130, Yamada, Onna-son Village
Opening hours: Daily, eight.30am to five.30pm (Oct to June), 9am to 6pm (July to Sept)
Admission price: 1,200 yen
5. Visit A&W
Never thoughts that it’s an American quick meals restaurant — the Japanese have an inimitable method of placing their very own contact on one thing overseas — sufficient for this to be thought of an attraction of types.
Indeed, many travel guides say A&W shops are particular in Okinawa. Since opening its first outlet in 1963, the chain now has 27 branches within the prefecture, every of them providing a slice of quaint Americana in its décor.
The unique merchandise offered can be a singular and extremely collectible mixture of Japan cuteness and American perspective.
6. Shop for crafts and delightful knick-knacks
It could also be essential to show your youngsters concerning the worth of thrift, however taking them on an eye-opening journey to retail outlets round Okinawa is a should.
Think of it as a method for them to discover the fabulous world of Japanese design.
There is unquestionably one thing to admire (and purchase) in each store, be it the gorgeous handmade matryoshka dolls in Feliz (Four-20-11, Miyagi, Urasoe City), elegant bingata shawls in Katachiki (2-Four, Gibo-cho, Shuri, Naha City), or whimsical animal collectible figurines in Toy-Road Works (Three-6-2, Makishi, Naha City).
7. Try vibrant desserts
In Okinawa, your youngsters are prone to need to Instagram nearly each dessert they come throughout.
They might be spoilt for alternative too. The unique pink yam tarts at Okashi Goten Kokusai Dori Matsuo Branch (1-2-5, Matsuo, Naha City) are like tiny works of sculpture, whereas the brown sugar tarts at Ohacorte Matsuo Store (1-9-47, Matsuo, Naha City) are as beautiful to take a look at as to eat.
At Blue Seal (1-Three-63, Makishi, Naha City), the mushy serve with common ice cream mixture is intriguing to take a look at and attractive too.
eight. Canoeing in Yanbaru
It is difficult to keep away from the nice outdoor if you wish to actually expertise the most effective that Okinawa has to supply.
But even probably the most city youngster will take pleasure in being out within the open if the rewards are nice sufficient — which they’re in Okinawa.
Go canoeing within the Gesashi River mangrove forest along with your youngsters. The waters listed here are calm and comparatively secure. Yet, your youngsters will most likely discover the canoeing expertise extra thrilling right here, as a result of they’re in an actual subtropical wilderness.
For a paddling expertise within the ocean, go kayaking within the waters of the Kerama islands, the place you and your loved ones might additionally go snorkelling to search for sea turtles.
If you plan to be in Okinawa between December and April, don’t miss the whale-watching tour. When humpback whales migrate to the Kerama islands to breed throughout that point, they’re spectacular to look at.
10. Coral portray in Naha
Before you assume that you could carry home a painted coral, allow us to clarify. Coral-painting is a enjoyable artwork expertise the place youngsters use corals to color on paper or numerous objects corresponding to a T-shirt or a tote bag.
The intricate textures of various corals make for mesmerising patterns. Try your hand at Shuri Ryusen (1-54, Shuriyamagawacho, Naha), which is open day by day from 9am to 6pm.