Experiencing Okinawan Culture | All You Need to Know Before You Go!

Okinawa Entertainment 2018.08.15
Visiting Murasaki Mura, Orion Brewery, and Eating Okinawan Food

Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park (体験王国 むら咲むら)

Going to Okinawa? Want to experience the traditional culture of Okinawa while you're there?
Then you should check out Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park (体験王国 むら咲むら)!

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!
Take a look at what sort of things JAPANKURU got to experience at Murasaki Mura!

🎪Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park ( むらむら)
🏢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

What Can You Do at Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park?

🥛 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 (1868 to 1912). The glass was used to make bottles for primary 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. Just be careful. 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)
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 (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, kamaboko (fish cake), 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)

Okinawa Beer Brewery Tour

👐 Orion Happy Park (オリオンハッピーパーク) 🍻

For beer lovers all alike💖
  • 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. Along with seeing the brewing process first hand, you can see the gallery. A reproduction exhibit of a shop "Machiya-gua" (まちやぐぁ) during Japan's Showa era year 40 (1960's) when Orion beer was established. 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. 

    🍺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)

Enjoy the Premium Taste of Okinawan Agu Pork

🍲 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". 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 it's relatively low in cholesterol, despite its extreme marbling (which also makes it super juicy!). Agu's Hideout most popular way to eat the pork is Shabu-shabu, which is basically a Japanese hotpot where you dip thinly sliced meat and vegetables. This allows you to enjoy Agu pork's true and natural taste on top of experiencing one of Japan's many fun ways to eat. Shab-shabu is said to be really healthy, so there is no shame in eating a ton😋
🍴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)
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