Ryukyu Mura or Okinawa Ryukyu Village is an attraction showcasing the culture of old Okinawa with historic buildings and traditional dance and music performances.
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:
- Traditional Okinawan dance and music performances
- 8 authentic houses from the 1800s to early 1900s were relocated on-site forming a traditional Okinawan village
- A variety of gift shops that sells local souvenirs
- Hands-on experience for visitors including renting Okinawan Ryusou kimono, making pottery, etc
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.
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.
As you continue through the park, you will see many old residential houses that were relocated on site.
Some of the houses allow visitors to participate in hands-on activities (usually for a fee).
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:
- Michi Juneh (Okinawan Style Performing Arts Parade including Eisa)
- Live Okinawan Folk Songs
- Okinawan Dance
We really enjoyed the shows as the performers did an amazing job dancing and singing to traditional Okinawan music.
After the performance, you can visit the various residential buildings and see how Okinawans used to live.
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.
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.
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.
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.