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Ryukyu Mura (Okinawa Ryukyu Village) 琉球村

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    Ryukyu Mura or Okinawa Ryukyu Village is an attraction showcasing the culture of old Okinawa with historic buildings and traditional dance and music performances.

    Just One Cookbook children on shisa statue at Okinawa Ryukyu Village |

    When we visited Okinawa, many Just One Cookbook readers recommended Ryukyu Mura (Okinawa Ryukyu Village) as one of our destinations. Visiting the park was an interactive experience and we had fun learning about Okinawan traditions.

    Okinawa Ryukyu Village Guide

    Ryukyu Mura (琉球村) is located north of Naha City and takes about 1 hour by car. Their website at the time of writing is not the most user-friendly so we’ll distill the park down for you if you plan on visiting.

    Here are the main features of Okinawa Ryukyu Village:

    1. Traditional Okinawan dance and music performances
    2. 8 authentic houses from the 1800s to early 1900s were relocated on-site forming a traditional Okinawan village
    3. A variety of gift shops that sells local souvenirs
    4. Hands-on experience for visitors including renting Okinawan Ryusou kimono, making pottery, etc
    Ryukyu Mura Map |
    Click to enlarge the map.

    When you first enter Okinawa Ryukyu Village, you will arrive at the Chanpuru Shop area. Purchase your ticket and skip ahead to the entrance as you will come back to the same area as you exit the park. We’ll talk about what we did as a family in the Chanpuru Shop area later on.

    entrance to Okinawa Ryukyu Village |

    Once you enter the park, the first exhibit you will see is the giant rope. The giant rope was used in the annual Naha Tug-of-war (那覇大綱挽) between the east and west.

    giant rope on display at Okinawa Ryukyu Village |

    giant rope on display at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    As you continue through the park, you will see many old residential houses that were relocated on site.

    Just One Cookbook family at at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    child in front of a traditional ryukyu house at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    Some of the houses allow visitors to participate in hands-on activities (usually for a fee).

    women performing traditional weaving at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    Okinawa Ryukyu Village Music and Dance Performances

    Just a short stroll and you will arrive at the central square in the park. This is the main feature with Okinawan music being played and dances performed. There are 4 types of performances:

    1. Michi Juneh (Okinawan Style Performing Arts Parade including Eisa)
    2. Eisa
    3. Live Okinawan Folk Songs
    4. Okinawan Dance

    traditional Ryukyu signing performance with drums and shamisen at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    traditional Ryukyu dance performance with drums at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    traditional Ryukyu dance performance with drums at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    man performing traditional Ryukyu stick dance at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    traditional dance with a Japanese fan at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |
    Okinawan Dance.

    Nami dancing with folk music at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    We really enjoyed the shows as the performers did an amazing job dancing and singing to traditional Okinawan music.

    child next to koi pond at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    After the performance, you can visit the various residential buildings and see how Okinawans used to live.

    written history and timeline of Ryukyu at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    children in front of shisa figures at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    The next area consists of various gift shops that sold Okinawan snacks, souvenirs, bowls, decorations, etc. There are also many hands-on activities for all ages, you can see the complete list here. The activities range from making textiles, sata andagi, to hand forming Shisa.

    roasted okinawa potato at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    souvenir shop at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    shisa souvenir at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    At the end of the walking tour, there is a Sugar Cane Mill with a water buffalo turning the mill and extracting juice from sugar cane. We haven’t met many water buffalo but this one was super friendly.

    water buffalo pulling a wooden pole for spinning gears to squeeze sugar cane at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    children next to a water buffalo at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    Chanpuru Shop at Okinawa Ryukyu Village

    As you make your way towards the exit, you’ll pass by Chanpuru Shop. Here you can rent traditional Okinawan Ryusou kimono or participate in arts and crafts. Our children made a coral sculpture and a gel candle.

    souvenir work shop sign and prices at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    rental Ryukyu kimono at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    child looking at camera sitting in front of art craft at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa | justonecookbook.comNami helping child with art craft at Ryukyu Mura Okinawa |

    We had fun at Okinawa Ryukyu Village and including the arts and craft time we spent about 2.5 hours there. It’s perfect for a morning activity as you can plan something else for the afternoon.

    If you enjoyed the Ryukyu Mura (Okinawa Ryukyu Village) guide, check out Ocean Expo Park Travel Guide, Churaumi Aquarium, and other travel posts from Just One Cookbook.

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