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On display -Arts, crafts and history-


1: Royal crown. Brought from China, used in special ceremonies for the Ryukyu Kingdom’s royal family. 2: Food box set. Used at private parties by Ryukyu Kingdom royalty. 3: Bingata. Okinawan resist-dyed kimono, 18th-19th century. 4: Golden sword. Used by the king of Hokuzan to commit suicide when his kingdom was destroyed by Sho Hashi of the first Sho dynasty in 1416.

Learn the history of Okinawa

Opened in the fall of 2007, the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Okinawa Museum of Contemporary Art is a museum complex in the Shintoshin area of Naha City. The two museums focus specifically on all aspects of Okinawa. The glass pathway to the natural history section is designed in such a way that it appears visitors are walking over coral, towards the shore. Among the attractions are displays on the geological origins and natural environment of the Ryukyu Islands, extending over several rooms in this section. The history section of the museum comprises numerous artifacts, pieces of art and reproductions that are employed to illustrate the entire history of the Ryukyus, starting from the early Jomon period through the return to Japanese sovereignty after the US administration. It also covers aspects of individual islands in the Ryukyu Archipelago, including satellite photographs of famous sites, native flora and fauna and local culture. The focus of the exhibitions in the art museum — the first prefectural art museum in Okinawa — is on works of art by Okinawan artists, from the early modern to contemporary periods, as well as pieces created by individuals with an affinity to Okinawa. The museum also includes display space for a number of works by Japanese, other Asian and American artists. The permanent exhibits at the art museum are rotated three to four times a year. The museum buildings, constructed mainly of local Okinawan limestone, are designed with the imagery of gusuku, old Okinawan citadels, in mind. The Shintoshin area, where these museums are located, is the center of shopping and entertainment in Naha City, hosting numerous eating establishments, a movie theater and large shopping malls including DFS, all of which you can take in along with your museum visit.


Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Okinawa Prefectural Museum of Contemporary Art

Address: 3-1-1 Omoromachi, Naha City
Tel: 098-941-8200
Hours: 9:00-18:00 (Fri and Sat: 9:00-20:00)
Closed: Mondays (Closed the following day when national holidays, substitute holidays and June 23 fall on a Monday.), Dec. 29-Jan. 3 and additional holidays
* Free brochures in English. Audio guides in English, Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Spanish for the permanent exhibition can be rented.




Naha City Traditional Craft Pavilion

The pavilion is located on Kokusai Street, Naha’s main boulevard. Visitors can experience making pottery, textiles, bingata, Ryukyu glass and lacquerware. These crafts can be viewed in the exhibition room and their history learned by watching a short film. Various items are available for purchase in the craft goods sales room.

2F, Tenbusu Naha, 3-2-10 Makishi, Naha City
9:00-18:00 (Craft goods sales room open until 20:00)
Closed: Dec. 31-Jan. 2
Admission: Adults 300 yen, high school students 200 yen, junior high and elementary school students 100 yen
*Explanation of displays available in English




Naha Municipal Tsuboya Pottery Museum

The concept of this museum is to introduce the history and production of Tsuboya pottery, for which the Tsuboya district in Naha is famous. It offers a short film about the lifestyle and work in Tsuboya and holds events and concerts at a public square.

1-9-32 Tsuboya, Naha City
Closed: Mondays and Dec. 28-Jan. 4
Admission: Adults 315 yen, college and high school students 210 yen, junior high school students and under 105 yen
*Brochures in English (630 yen)




Left: Lacquerware from the 17th-18th centuries, during the Ryukyu Kingdom era.

Urasoe City Art Museum

This impressive museum, distinguished by its octagonal roof, exhibits lacquerware and 80 works of art representing the history and culture of the Ryukyu Kingdom era. They also hold special exhibitions that never fail to attract great interest. A museum shop and café are located on the premises.

1-9-2 Nakama, Urasoe City
9:30-17:00 (open until 19:00 on Fridays)
Closed: Mondays, Dec. 28-Jan. 4 and additional days for the changing of exhibitions
Admission: Adults 150 yen, college students 100 yen; high school students and under are free
*Free brochures in English; audio guides in English for the permanent exhibition for rent





Ginowan City Museum

Introducing the history of Okinawa and information on Ginowan City, this museum displays pictures of the residents of Ginowan City. Also featured are exhibitions of clothing, articles for everyday use, material on the war and models of a Ryukyu Kingdom-era procession. The museum holds approximately 18,000 books about Okinawa in its collection.

1-25-1 Mashiki, Ginowan City
9:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30)
Closed: Tuesdays, end and beginning of the year, national holidays and June 23 Admission: Free





Okinawa City Hometown Museum

This museum has a library, an entertainment room and two exhibitions all in one facility. You can learn about Okinawa City through its history, entertainment, culture and nature, such as insects and marine life in its rivers and waters. They also hold frequent exhibitions on Okinawa City.

2-19-6 Uechi, Okinawa City
9:00-17:00 (hours can vary)
Closed: Mondays, Dec. 29-Jan. 3, national holidays and June 23
Admission: Free
*Free brochures in English





Left: Excavated dugong bones set into the shape of a butterfly from about 30 million years ago.

 Yomitan Village History and Folklore Museum

Located at the entrance of Zakimi Castle, one of UNESCO’S World Heritage sites, this museum holds 7,000 general documents and 40,000 documents relating specifically to archaeology and displays artifacts from Yomitan Village and the remains of Zakimi Castle. Visitors can view a model of an Okinawan-style tomb and Yomitan textiles.

708-6 Zakimi, Yomitan Village
Closed: Mondays (closed on Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday), Dec. 29-Jan. 3, national holidays, June 23 and extra holidays
Admission: Adults 200 yen, students 50 yen
*Free brochures in English for visitors





Onna Village Museum

Located on Route 58, this modern building is hard to miss. Visitors can learn about Onna Village through dioramas,  historical materials, and history and culture panels.Ethnic and history exhibitions introducing the lifestyle of being at one with nature are also on offer. The museum shows a film that introduces various types of festivals and events.

1656-8 Nakadomari, Onna Village
Closed: Mondays, Dec. 28-Jan. 3, replacement holidays and June 24
Admission: Adults 100 yen, college students 50 yen, high school, junior high and elementary school students 30 yen





Ginoza Village Museum

Located by the Ginoza Village Office, this museum introduces the entertainment culture, history and archeology of the village. On display are articles of everyday use, materials on the war, a 4,000-year-old boat, nuts and a replica of a house from the early Meiji period. Visitors are allowed to handle some of the articles on exhibit.

232 Ginoza, Ginoza Village
9:00-17:15 (break between 12:00-13:00)
Closed: Mondays, Dec. 29-Jan. 3, national holidays, June 23 and during Obon
Admission: Adults 100 yen, college students 50 yen; high school students and under are free.





Left: Skeleton of a sperm whale.

Nago Museum

This museum introduces the nature and lifestyle of Nago City, also known as Yanbaru. The old lifestyle in Yanbaru is highlighted through pictures, and visitors are encouraged to take a look at items representing nature, hunting and rituals. The must-see on this floor is the giant skeleton of a sperm whale suspended rom the ceiling.

1-8-11 Agarie, Nago City
Closed: Mondays, Dec. 29-Jan. 3, national holidays, June 23, extra holidays and the fourth Thursday of every month
Admission: Adults 150 yen, college students 100 yen, high school, junior high and elementary school students 50 yen; preschool children are free
*Free brochures in English





Left: Well-preserved celadon found in the keep of Nakijin Castle.

Nakijin Village Historical Culture Center

The distinguishing characteristic of this museum is its unique red roof. It is located right next to the Nakijin Castle site, which is registered by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage. Three exhibitions display Chinese pottery, old coins and the village lifestyle through which you can learn about the history and culture of Nakijin Village.

5110 Imadomari, Nakijin Village
8:00-19:00 (May-September) / 8:00-18:00 (October-April)
Closed occasionally for building maintenance
Admission: Adults 400 yen, high school, junior high and elementary school students 300 yen; preschool children are free / Group discount (more than 20 persons) 10 percent
*Nakijin Castle tickets can be used for entry.
*Free brochures in English





Left: The school bags of two sisters, victims of the disaster.

Tsushima Maru Memorial

Tsushima Maru is the name of an evacuation ship sunk by the USS Bowfin on Aug. 22, 1944, during World War II. A total of 1,484 out of 1,661 passengers lost their lives, and 767 of those who perished were children. This memorial is dedicated to teaching the importance of world peace. Texts on the panels are all written in Japanese.

1-25-37 Wakasa, Naha City
Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: Thursdays, end and beginning of the year
Admission: Adults 500 yen, high school and junior high school students 300 yen, elementary school students 100 yen / Group discount (more than 20 persons) 10 percent
*Free brochures in English



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