Museum / Science Museum Spots in Okinawa Area

  • Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum
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    4.0
    703 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Omoromachi 3-1-1
    The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, which is the largest museum of its kind in Okinawa Prefecture, is located approximately 10 minutes’ walk from Omoromachi Station on the Okinawa Urban Monorail (Yuirail) line. Besides the Museum’s permanent exhibitions—which comprise general exhibitions relating to Okinawa’s natural environments, history and culture, as well as five sub-exhibitions on natural history etc.—special exhibitions are also held. The outdoor display area, with its reconstructions of a traditional Ryukyuan farmhouse and storehouse, is particularly popular with visitors. The Art Museum’s collections are focused on the work of artists with a connection to Okinawa island or Okinawa Prefecture, as well as modern and contemporary art; exhibits include contemporary artworks from Japan, other Asian countries, and the U.S.A., etc.

    I had a wonderful time walking through the museum. I was especially happy to see their exhibits of the past. Also they have a wonderful shop which for me has the best collection of post cards. free...

  • Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum
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    4.0
    154 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Tsuboya 1-9-32
    This museum dedicated to the subject of Tsuboya ware and other Okinawan pottery (known as yachimun in the Okinawan language) is about a 10-minute walk from Makishi Station on the Okinawa Urban Monorail. It is located on Tsuboya Yachimun Street, which is lined with many Okinawan yachimun potteries. The museum's first floor provides exposition on the history of Tsuboya ware and the role it played in everyday life in Okinawa. The second floor presents characteristic works of Tsuboya ware as well as the production process. The museum also exhibits the works of potters including the Living National Treasure Jiro Kinjo.

    I really appreciated the availability of the iPad tour and used it to learn more about the items on display and the culture and processes of pottery making. It made a good facility a great...

  • Kume Island Sea Turtle Museum
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    4.0
    126 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Shimajirigunkumejimachou Oku 170
    The Kume Island sea turtle building is a museum and display facility dedicated to sea turtles, which is located on Oujima Island in Kumejima District. The facility breeds sea turtles (which are on the verge of extinction); visitors can get a close view of sea turtles swimming about in large tanks; and there are display panels and videos providing information about their natural habitat; the facility also holds occasional special events when visitors can have the opportunity to handle turtles themselves. The facility also has displays of over 2,000 shells from different shellfish found in Kume Island.

    I personally prefer to see turtles in the ocean but I was nearby so I figured I’d check it out. Entry was only 300 JPY, which is good value. There were some turtles in very small pools which I was...

  • Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory
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    4.0
    109 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Ishigaki-shi Arakawa 1024-1
    "This astronomical observatory is equipped with the 105 cm ""Murikabushi Boenkyo,"" the largest optical and infrared reflector telescope in Kyushu and Okinawa. It was established in 2006 on the peak of Mt. Maesedake, the highest spot on Ishigaki Island. Its location on Ishigaki Island allows the observation of many stars that cannot be seen on Japan's main island. It is also said that more stars can be observed here than anywhere else in Japan. The facility, which is open to the public, conducts observational research on solar system celestial bodies and transient astronomical events. It also actively holds stargazing parties and other events including free 4D2U viewings."

    My wife and I made the trip to the astrological observatory and it was definitely worth it! For someone who enjoys driving, the touge road up to the observatory is one way so no risk of meeting on...

  • Kuroshima Research Station
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    4.0
    105 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Yaeyama-gun Taketomicho Kuroshima 136
    This research station is located in Kuroshima, Taketomi town, Yaeyama County. They research plant and animal life on Kuroshima Island, particularly the sea turtles who visit to lay eggs. Equipped with biological raising rooms and material display rooms, they have exhibits with living sea turtles, coconut crab, and habu snakes, as well as material exhibits with coral specimens, and fragments of H2A rockets which drifted ashore to Kuroshima Island from Tanegashima Island.

    Its one of the best aquariums Ive visited. I spent here more than 1,5 hour and absolutely didn t get bored. There are many species of sharks, turtles and various exotic fishes in open aquariums...

  • Naha City Historical Museum
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    3.5
    88 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Naha-shi Kumoji 1-1-1 Palette Kumoji 4F
    "This museum is located within ""RYUBO Department Store,"" in front of Kencho-mae Station, along Kokusai-dori Avenue in Kumoji 1-Chome, Naha City. It displays materials stored by Naha City, primarily materials related to the Sho family, the royal family of Ryukyu Kingdom, but also historical materials and works of art related to Ryukyu as it built its own unique culture while trading with China and Japan. You can experience Ryukyuan (also known as Okinawan) history and culture through temporary exhibits and special exhibits centered on various themes."

    ...on a long day of sightseeing was kinda disappointing. Just a few screens and displays with little to none English descriptions. Thank God it was only ¥350 so I didnt feel cheated that much. I...

  • Yaeyama Museum
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    3.5
    68 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Ishigakishi Tonoshiro Norihide 4-1
    Located in Ishigaki City, Yaeyama Museum showcases the history and culture of Ishigaki Island and the Yaeyama Islands as a whole. There are displays of Yaeyama textiles, ceramics and other handicrafts, as well as traditional household goods, agricultural implements, fishing equipment, and other important historical materials relating to the islands.

    This compact museum packs a lot into one large room and covers the Yaeyama islands history from prehistory through the Ryukyu kingdom to Japanese rule. It contains mainly artefacts of everyday life...

  • Miyakojima City Museum
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    4.0
    48 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Miyakojima-shi Hirara Higashinakasonezoe 1166-287
    This museum is located south of Miyakojima Botanical Garden about a 15-minute drive from Hirara Port or about a 20-minute drive from Miyako Airport. It is notable for featuring in-depth exhibits about the nature, history, folk customs, and culture of Miyako Island. The museum is divided into two exhibit halls: the No. 1 and No. 2 exhibit hall. The No. 1 exhibit hall, which is focused on archaeology and history, presents information on archaeological sites that have been excavated such as the Hokama Site. It also features a recreation of life on Miyako Island from the Meiji period to the early Showa period. The museum also holds regular themed exhibits and special exhibits as well as hands-on educational activities for children, lectures, and other events.

    Most of the attractions are in Japanese which is weird since this is advertised as a Joint Okinawa-American museum. Still the things you can see are great. We figured most of it out and we where...

  • Ayamihabiru Museum
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    3.5
    50 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Yaeyama-gun Yonaguni Cho Yonaguni 2114
    "This exhibit facility is in Yonaguni, Yonaguni Town, Yaeyama County. They have an exhibit of materials related to the ecology of ""Yonaguni-san (Atlas moth)"" one of the world's largest moths, which inhabits Yonaguni Island. In addition, you can learn about the precious flora and fauna of the island, and stroll along the well-maintained promenade in the surrounding forest."

    This museum has potential to be far better than it actually is. The notations in the museum are solely in Japanese and the films shown in their auditorium are also only in Japanese. Bearing in mind...

  • Miyakojima Kaihoukan
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    3.5
    39 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Miyakojimashi Gusukube Bora 591-1
    Miyakojima Kaihoukan located in Gusukube, Miyakojima City exhibits a lot of shells which are collected from all over Japan. It is a place with a feeling of great spaciousness where you can enjoy panoramic views of Boraga Beach to Higashihennazaki right in front of your eyes. It is the main facility in an entertainment area where you can play, eat and experience going to neighboring sightseeing attractions or enjoying with marine leisure activities for a whole day. There is a restaurant where you can enjoy your meal while gazing at the sea. Taco rice that uses a giant clam as a plate is popular. There is also a shopping center which you can buy souvenirs of Miyako Island.

    貝の展示数の多さは予想以上でびっくりしました。興味のある方は楽しめるでしょう。動く展示がほとんどないので、子供は退屈するかもしれません。

  • Yui Rail Museum
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    3.5
    33 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Nahashi Ashimine 377-2 Okinawa City Monorail Headquarters Inside the site
    Located onsite at the Okinawa City Monorail Corporation, this exhibition space has approximately 400 items on display. The first floor focuses on the monorail itself, and there’s a video showing the railway completion process. The second floor is dedicated to valuable documents, tickets, and other materials from the light railway that operated before the war. You can also use a computer to create your very own monorail paper model, and you can print it out and take it home with you. Entry is free.

    Arriving in Naha on a Sunday morning for a couple of days of local sightseeing, I decided to hit the sights towards the southern end of the Yui Monorail first. After visiting locations within easy...

  • Kumejima Museum
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    3.5
    22 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Shimajirigunkumejimachou Kadekaru 542
    The Kumejima Museum is located in Kadekaru, Kume-jima cho near Municipal Kumejima Hospital. The Museum has displays about Kume-jima’s natural heritage and history - focusing on the four main themes of “Kume-jima’s Natural Heritage,” “How Kumi-jima has Changed Over Time,” “Kume-jima’s Historical Treasures,” and “The Island Way of Life”—so visitors can learn about the Island before they travel round it. A tablet PC digital guide system has been introduced for the permanent exhibitions, so that visitors can listen to explanations of the exhibits in English.

    島の自然、歴史、文化を紹介する小さな博物館です。 かつての名称は自然文化センター、島内観光出発前に立ち寄るべし。 入館料200円、月曜休館。

  • The Okinawa Peace Hall
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    3.5
    22 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Itomanshi Mabuni 448-2
    The Okinawa Peace Hall is a monument rising up 45 meters in the Peace Memorial Park. Okinawa became an arena for the ground war at the end of World War II and the site of a hard-fought battle which cost as many as 200,000 military and civilian lives. With the belief that the tragedy should never be repeated, Okinawa Peace Hall was built in 1978 to appeal to the world about the nobility of peace. The heptahedron shape represents the seven seas and hands joining together.

    I entered this place thinking that it was the Peace Memorial Museum, but was in for an awful shock when I realised that after pay 450 Yen, that it was just a gallery with some art on display and a...

  • Higashi Museum (Higashi Village Yama to Mizu no Seikatsu Hakubutsukan)
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    3.5
    7 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Kunigami-gun Higashi Mura Kawata 61-1
    This museum is located in Higashi Village, Okinawa Prefecture. Visitors can learn about life in Higashi Village as well as the village's history through an abundance of pictures, artifacts, and other items. Notable exhibits include a diorama of the local ecology from the headstream of Yanbaru forests to the mangrove forest at the estuary, a skeletal specimen of a dugong, and bird taxidermy specimens. The museum also raises pit vipers, giant mottled eels, Ryukyu wild boars, and other wildlife native to Okinawa. Visitors can learn about how people used to live in Okinawa from the everyday items once used by islanders on display as well from exhibits about jobs that used to exist on the island.

    Known simply, as the Higashi Village Museum to the English speaking visitor, this is one place I love to visit. Many museums, no longer allow photography but, this one does. Its always best to ask...

  • Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Pref. Yaeyamaguntaketomichou Komi
    Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center is dedicated to the conservation of the Iriomote Cat and other species of animals and plants on Iriomote Island that are in danger of extinction. The Center has displays on the nature and wildlife of Iriomote, including panels that explain the habitat and reproductive status of the Iriomote Cat and the measures that are being taken to protect it. There are stuffed specimens of the Iriomote Cat, other animals that live on the island, and resident and migratory birds. All of the profits from the Iriomote Cat-related products sold at the Center are donated to the Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Fund.
  • Kumejima Hotaru no Sato Natural Park Kumejima Firefly Pavilion
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ohda 420 in Kumejima cho, Okinawa Prefecture
    Kumejima Hotaru no Sato Natural Park Kumejima Firefly Pavilion located along the lower Urauchi River is a protective observation facility for firefly and opened in May 2000. It breeds fireflies including the Kumejima firefly, a Natural Monument and one of Japan’s rare fauna and flora, and creatures such as birds, insects and fish related to fireflies. Inside the facility, the exhibits include pictures, specimens and documents, so you can learn about the diversity of animals, particularly fireflies, as well as nature and the environment on Kume Island.
  • Nago Museum
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    4.0
    33 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Nago-shi Agarie 1-8-11

    This relatively small museum really packs a lot into its galleries. The first floor traces local history back to the 12th century focusing on crop harvesting, domestic animals, food, clothing...

  • Onnason Museum
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    4.0
    38 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Kunigami-gun Onnason Nakadomari 1656-8

    Under renovation at the moment but is on 58 as you pass the Renaissance Hotel and Hollywood Malibu. Sits on the East side next to the Onna-Station just before you see route 6 to Ishikawa or the...

  • Okinawa Tracking and Communications Station
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    4.0
    28 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Kunigami-gun Onnason Afuso Kanera Hara 1712

    不要な電波の影響を受けないためなのかどうかよくわかりませんが、山の奥に入ったところにあります。入口の案内板は立派でしたが、たどり着くまでの道路はすこし心配になりそうな感じです。 じっくり見ても1時間程度でしょう。サクっとなら20分かな。 展示物はそんなに多くはありません。

  • Ginoza Village Museum
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    4.0
    12 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Okinawa Kunigami-gun Ginozason Ginoza 232

    A super small museum which I don’t mind coz I love history, but all descriptions r in Japanese, no English at all, so really not worth a visit.

Okinawa Areas

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Let go of your image of a busy, ordered Japan and replace it with crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and relaxing folk music: You've arrived in Okinawa. A world away from the high intensity of Tokyo, Okinawans appear to live a laid-back beach life on this paradisiacal tropical island that lies in the middle of the East China Sea almost 1,000 kilometers south of mainland Japan's most southern tip. Home to a spattering of islands, prepare yourself to discover underwater caves, star-shaped sand, and an island culture sometimes unrecognizable from mainland Japan.

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