Wansaka Oura Park (わんさか大浦パーク)

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  • Tomuu

    on Sep 17

    A rest stop and much more on remote east coast Okinawa

    Driving in Okinawa, you might make the crossing from resort-laden west coast to remote east coast via Route 329 which makes the crossing at the island’s north-south center. Wansaka Oura Park is about the first things that will greet drivers on the east coast as they head north on Route 331. Wansaka Oura Park appears as a mere rest stop for drivers in Okinawa. In fact the people behind the facility seem to be aware of this in their online appeals for motorists to stop by for a bit. Indeed, this is a viable function of the facility, which has a large parking area, is right by the side of the road and is a place where you can make a toilet stop, stretch the legs and take in a light snack. The shop here sells some tasty looking treats (zensai / ぜんさい), including ice creams and floats based around regional produce like muscovado, mango, and the citrus “shikuwasa”. Prices from 300 - 600 yen. Behind the rest stop appearance (which includes one of those racks for road bikes) is a facility that aims to promote regional culture, products, agriculture, activities and events. The people at Wansaka Oura Park can help you to book glass-bottom boat tours (1,500 yen for adults), and point you in the direction of the Mangrove Promenade (350 yen entrance). They can dispense information about many of the attractions nearby. If you’ve got space in the car you can purchase locally grown fruit and veg at Wansaka Oura Park which will of course include pineapples. And then there are the local crafts turned out from the area’s workshops. On a more curious note, visitors here can even buy mangrove seedlings! (Not many rest stops can boast of that!) If you can handle the Japanese, Wansaka Oura Park (わんさか大浦パーク) has its own website which gives the basic lowdown on how you can make use of the facility beyond its function as a nice rest stop for those driving around Okinawa. The town of Oura is just across the river from the park. It’s a pint-sized place. For more substantial services like a post office, the town of Kushi is about 1 km further up the road. Oura Park is easy enough to spot as there’s not much else around but the life-size cow statue and flamboyantly decorated kayak will give it away! Hours: 10:00 - 19:00

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