Dinosaurs lurk at Okashigoten nature park
By Jun Ikemura
A nature park northwest of Nago City is a place to visit for anyone who’s excited about dinosaurs and a fan of ‘Jurassic Park’ movies.
Okashi Goten Co., which is best known for its beni-imo (sweet potato) tarts and other Okinawan sweets has built a park featuring about 50 different life-size dinosaurs tucked among the lush subtropical forest. That’s a nice destination for a whole family, which the kids will remember for a long time.
The Dino Park opened May 3rd this year just next to Okashi Goten Nago branch and restaurant. Okashi Goten has four large branch stores on Okinawa, each of which produces sweets on premises with production lines behind glass walls for visitors to see how the sweets are actually made. Each location also contains a restaurant and souvenir shop.
The 50 some dinosaurs in the Dino Park are scattered across the jungle-like forest giving the place a definite feeling of a Jurassic Park movie. Most of the dinos at the park move, hiss and growl, too, making them very realistic! Cyathea spinulosa fern trees growing in the park make a visitor to think back to the Jurassic period. The dinosaurs are so realistic that some of the smallest kids actually get scared, and even some parents seem rather startled.
It’s also nice to watch the many subtropical plants and colorful flowers in the park. And after a leisurely walk around the park, there’s a playground for kids with a dinosaur ride.
A special shop has the largest number of dinosaur-themed items on Okinawa on sale from cute to cool ones. This must be the place to go on Okinawa for those who like to collect dinosaur related items.
The Okashi Goten shop in the same area serves cool ice creams and cold drinks in the air-conditioned comfort after a sweaty walk outside. The shop sells a large variety of sweets, traditional Okinawan souvenirs, and for those who are really hunger, the restaurant serves an all-you-can-eat yakiniku buffet.
The Okinawa History and Folklore Museum is located just across the road from Okashi Goten, where visitors can learn a lot of Okinawan traditions.
The Dino Park and Okashi Goten nago branch is located at 1024-1 Nakayama, Nago, on Route 84 between Nago and Motobu. Their phone number is 0980-54-8515. The Dino Park is open 10:00 – 18:00 every day with the last entry at 17:30.
The fee to enter the Dino Park is ¥800 for persons over 16 of age, and ¥500 for kids from 4 through 15 years old. A mobile tablet is available at an extra fee for the walk through the park that shows virtual dinosaurs on the screen.
Okashi Goten shop and restaurant are open 10:00 – 20:00 every day through the end of September, and 10:00 – 19:00 from October through March. The facility is very baby-friendly for mothers with infants, as there is a nursing room, diaper changing room, kids’ chairs and hot water for heating up a milk bottle available.