Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester
Step back in time at Yaima Village on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, Japan and discover what life was like in Japan back in the days!

If you would like to know what a traditional village would have looked like in old Okinawa, then you’re at the right place in Yaima Village on Ishigaki Island.

Here, you can find the authentic replica’s of over 6 Yaeyama Island style buildings as they would have been before modern times. But it’s not just the buildings that you’ll find here: the place is buzzing with people… and animals!

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Yaima Village in Okinawa

 

 

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

 

 

The Travel Tester - Bookmark The Experience

Yaima Village is the southernmost theme park in Japan. There are many activities you can do here, so we highlighted our favourites:

 

Traditional Village

There are many buildings on the site that you can visit: a couple of private residences (between 90-100 years old) that have been relocated and a replica of a fishermen’s house and a farm house. Make sure to inside as well!

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Makishi Residence (relocated in 1980)

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Ohama Residence (relocated in 2008)

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

A Sugar Mill

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

The Farm House

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester
Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

The Fishermen’s House

 

Cultural Show

There are a couple of experiences that happen during the day, one of which being the music and dance show at ‘House Ashibi’. Shows vary and they are held about 3 times a day:

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Don’t forget to take your shoes off!

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester
Time to join in! 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Her socks (made for slippers) were AWESOME! Shisha Socks!
 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

There was no escaping for us :)

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Rock Stars!

 

Kimono Fitting

Another activity that is great to do (you pay 500 Yen extra for this), is trying on a beautifully coloured Ryukyu-style kimono. Also for men and children!

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Again, the socks of the person helping us into the kimono’s were perfect!

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester 
Who wears the hat best?

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester
If you’re looking for more cultural activities in the park, how about (all on request):

  • Sata Andagi making experience: Okinawa donut making (1100 Yen, 11AM and 2PM)
  • Walking the Tansho path to the Nagura Anparu wetlands through the mangrove forest with a guide (3300 Yen, 12PM and 3PM, takes about 40 minutes)
  • Shisha painting experience: paint your own plaster Shisha (little dog/lion statues) and get a great souvenir of your day (1300 for 1 statue, 2200 for couple, about 60 minutes)
  • Island Sandal Arts experience: you carve your own images into a pair of flip flops (2200 Yen, about 3+ hours)
  • Sea Shell Amulet making experience: decorate your own shell necklace (700 Yen, about 30 minutes)

Great for kids, but also for grown-ups, I’m sure!

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

 

 

Squirrel Monkey Garden

Ah, this was so cool! I was a bit scared that they would bite me or something, but the monkeys were super cute and just waiting around for someone to feed them :)

Make sure you have everything safely locked up in your bag though, they are QUICK!

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Nick attempting a monkey-selfie

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Give me FOOD!

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester
I’m under attack… and he brought accomplices! 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

But we made friends in the end :)

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Monkey-Bombed

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

Our Tour Guide Yurika and her new friends ^_^

 

Viewpoint

As the most recent addition to the park, the Nagurawan Observatory gives you a great view over the area:

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

 

 

The Travel Tester - Bookmark The Verdict

We had a lovely morning at Yaima Village! If I would visit on my own, I probably would stay a bit longer to explore the buildings a bit more and have lunch or dinner at the restaurant, but in just two hours or so, we got a really nice look around. Definitely recommend a visit. It’s just 15 minutes from Kabira Bay and 20 minutes from the airport or the harbour, so perfect to do from or on the way to any of them.

 

 

Fun For: The whole family!

Less Fun For: I think everyone would like this, unless you’re not interested in a bit of history perhaps. If you’re scared of the monkeys, they’re in a seperate enclosure, so you don’t have to go in!

Think About: I am not sure of the level of English the people working in the park speak, but the brochure is in English as well as Japanese, so it’s easy to point to the pictures if you have questions. There is a clear map on it as well. You could also think about bringing your own food as there is a great field with grass where you can relax for a bit, although there is also a cafetaria.

 

 

Visit Yaima Village in Okinawa and Learn about Japanese Culture and Traditions | The Travel Tester

oh, and don’t miss the souvenir shop for these amazing socks!!

 

 

The Travel Tester - Bookmark Practical

Name: Ishigaki Yaima Village

Address: 967-1 Nagura, Ishigaki, Okinawa 9070031 Japan

Opening Hours: 7 days a week, 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM (last admission 5 PM)

Websitewww.yaimamura.com

Costs: 1000 Yen (Adults), 500 Yen (Kids)

Brochure: download here

 

 

 

The Travel Tester - Bookmark Inspirational

Are you interested in finding more great tours and activities all over the world? Check The Travel Tester map:

 

Disclaimer: We were kindly invited by the Okinawa Tourism Board to experience the hospitality, culture, food and nature of the Okinawa Island. All photos, opinions and love for little monkeys are 100% our own, as always.

 

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