News On Japan

Enjoy Okinawa for Free! Explore the Locals' Top Picks

Introducing free tourist spots in Okinawa!

NAHA, Mar 07 (News On Japan) - From airfare to hotel fees, travel can be costly. And with recent inflation, some might be wondering, "Can't I travel to Okinawa for a little less?" In such cases, we recommend tourist spots that can be enjoyed for free.

Dolphin Lagoon The Ocean Expo Park (National Okinawa Memorial Park), which houses the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, is a prime example of a spot that can be enjoyed for free. It is popular among locals as a place where families and couples can spend leisurely time.

国営沖縄記念公園(海洋博公園):イルカラグーン

While the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium requires an admission fee, the "Dolphin Lagoon," "Turtle Pavilion," and "Manatee Pavilion" located outside the aquarium can be visited for free to see marine life and dolphin shows.

国営沖縄記念公園(海洋博公園):マナティー館

At the "Dolphin Lagoon," you can watch dolphin shows for free. The "Turtle Pavilion" offers fun observation of turtles from both above ground and below. Additionally, if you time it right, you can see manatees feeding at the "Manatee Pavilion," so don't miss out. At any of these facilities, you're sure to be fully satisfied by the close-up view of adorable creatures.

(C)国営沖縄記念公園(首里城公園):大龍柱補修展示室

At the "Main Rest House (Churaumi Plaza)," you can view valuable exhibits such as the skeletal specimen of a sperm whale for free.

Other recommended spots include "Okinawa Folk Village," which recreates a village from the Ryukyu Kingdom era, "Omoro Botanical Garden," which collects 22 types of native Okinawan plants, and the "Coastal Promenade," where you can enjoy the magnificent views of Okinawa.

Another popular spot among local families is "Chibikko Toride," which has one of the largest net play structures in Japan, where even small children can have fun.

Shurijo Castle Park with its extensive free area Shurijo Castle Park: Shureimon Gate Shurijo Castle Park has both free and paid areas. Although an admission fee is required to visit the reconstruction site, the rest of the park can be visited freely during opening hours, and the extensive grounds allow visitors to fully experience the era of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

(C) National Okinawa Memorial Park (Shurijo Castle Park): Iri no Azana After walking through the Shureimon and Zuisen Gates to the Shuri Castle Main Hall, be sure to visit "Iri no Azana." This place used to signal the time by ringing bells during the Ryukyu Kingdom era and still offers one of the best views in Naha, overlooking the Kerama Islands.

(C) Okinawa Memorial National Park (Shuri Castle Park)

Also worth seeing is the "Great Dragon Pillar" displayed in front of the entrance to the paid area (no entry allowed; viewing through windows). The pillar, which survived the 2019 Shuri Castle fire, conveys the intensity of the blaze at that time.

宮古島にある多良川酒造 (C)OCVB

Awamori distilleries that offer free tours Talaragawa Distillery on Miyako Island (C) OCVB There are awamori distilleries where you can tour for free. Some even offer free tastings, so if you're a fan of liquor, be sure to visit. Most distilleries also have shops, so don't forget to buy souvenirs if you find something you like.

Most of the scenic spots where you can enjoy Okinawa's great nature are free to enter. The same goes for beaches, although there may be a parking fee, so be aware. Recommended scenic spots with free parking include "Zanpa Cape" in Yomitan Village, where you can enjoy the sunset, and "Chinen Cape Park" in Nanjo City, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

無料で通行できる古宇利大橋 (C)OCVB

Kouri Ohashi Bridge with free passage (C) OCVB Among the many free scenic spots, the author particularly recommends the "Kouri Ohashi Bridge" in Nakijin Village. At 1,960 meters long, Kouri Ohashi Bridge is one of the longest toll-free bridges in Japan!

Popular as a driving spot, it offers an exhilarating feeling as if you're driving over the clear, beautiful sea that represents Okinawa's main island. At the foot of the bridge on the Yagaji Island side, there's a free parking lot, perfect for stopping and taking photos. Furthermore, after crossing the Kouri Ohashi Bridge, you'll find "Kouri Island Station Sorahashi," where parking is free. Park here and enjoy the view of the bridge and sea from nearby Kouri Beach!

Other facilities such as the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Park, which commemorates those who died in the Battle of Okinawa, the Uruma City Sea Culture Museum, the Onna Village Museum, the Oogimi Shikuwasa Park, and the Okinawa Space Communication Station also offer free tours and admission. On your next trip to Okinawa, combine free spots to enjoy your visit affordably!

Source: MDPR

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